Published on March 27th, 2013 | by BookCrack0
Review: Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder
Summary: "I wasn't always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way. Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him. Colton didn't teach me how to live. He didn't heal the pain. He didn't make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go."
Hot and Heartbreaking
FALLING INTO YOU is unlike most new adult romances we’ve read.
At times the depth of the couple’s pain and healing had us thinking of Colleen Hoover’s HOPELESS (Bc Review) and SLAMMED (Bc Review) but there was an open rawness to it, a level of unfinished pain that was fueled by guilt and self-loathing that takes FALLING INTO YOU and makes it something…different. A class of its own. For all its angst and honest pain it’s a book about surviving, healing and finding love and forgiveness in the most unlikely of places and for yourself even when you feel undeserving.
Jasinda Wilder’s latest best selling romance is a book about love, life and death and the balance of perfection and imperfection in the journey in between. It is a wrecking ball of a romance inflicting both pain and loss and equally cathartic in its ability to pick the reader back up and restart their heart as Nell begins to learn to let go of the pain and really breathe again.
I feel I must warn you, this review will probably differ from most out there because when Jasinda sent me the ARC I knew all about Kyle, Nell and Colton and the pain she was about to inflict on these poor characters and honestly I was hesitant to start the book.
I know, right? In my defense, the week I received my ARC I was in the unique position of both mourning the loss of a family member and dealing with the roller coaster of ups and downs that had come with a major health issue both for myself AND another important loved one in my life. I was angry, fearful and in mourning and I didn’t need another reason to cry, damn it, and I didn’t want one-fictional or not.
In this case, it all came down to the fact that it was Jasinda Wilder.
I love Jasinda for her willingness to embrace the “ugly” as I call it. Her new adult romance characters are real, have self doubts and issues, and aren’t afraid to air “the ugly” with their partners whether it’s fear of physical intimacy, body imperfections or the baggage we all bury and carry inside that can make us doubt the love we deserve.
So, while I knew FALLING INTO YOU would be a tear-jerker, I ALSO knew it would be an honest story of FALLING in and out of love and the joy and pain therein.
But the main reason I persevered and read this no-punches-held romance:
Jasinda Wilder deserves the accolades she has coming. I had the opportunity to meet Jasinda at her first ever book signing a few months ago and she was awesome. Friendly, funny, and so very affable and approachable. It was amazing to get to meet her at a time when her career was just about to sky rocket. And now just months later with FALLING INTO YOU she’s dominating the best seller lists like this:
I knew this book was the real deal. I had heard from several other blogger friends that I HAD to read it. NOW. And I knew from other reviews that it would bring Wilder the accolades she deserves and had my fingers crossed that there would be headlines like this one. That’s why I knew I just had to pull up my big girl panties and dive in.
All in all, I’m glad I did. But tell that to my sinus infection! Puffs-Plus Lotion is officially my life-long friend.
This book grabbed me, shook me and left me blinking in bewilderment. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Whew. I needed a few days to process before I was ready to begin this review.
It’s that kind of book.
FALLING INTO YOU starts with a surprisingly very, very YA tone that is a smokescreen for what’s to follow. In the beginning FALLING is a reflection of where sixteen year-old Nell is at when the story opens. Nell’s blossoming relationship with childhood best friend Kyle is sweet, awkward and adorable at all the right moments and offers all the hallmarks of first young love.
As the story continues and the couple quickly matures into young adulthood I read with an increasing amount of dread, knowing every step of the way that the shoe was about to drop and wanting it to happen so I could just “deal”. It was a very different kind of reading experience and had me all kinds of tense.
And when “IT” happens…let’s just say I cursed you Jasinda. Just a little bit. Even though I knew “IT” was coming. This isn’t a spoiler. It’s in the blurb. (Jasinda, you know I still love ya *wink*.) But, damn it all–it HURT. A LOT.
She reeled me in, got me over the very YA feel of the book (which I didn’t love as much) but then turns E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G on its head.
Fast forward a few years to a chance meeting in the big city and Nell is getting by-barely. From the outside she’s got it going on, but everything about her screams to Colton (Kyle’s older brother) that she’s never dealt with her loss. It’s all just boiling under the surface and it’s only a matter of time before she cracks. And he would know. Colton’s childhood was far different from the one his baby bother had known and this tattooed bad boy knows all about trying to out run demons and he’s determined to be there for her when Nell crashes and burns. Whether she likes it or not.
“I will protect you. From others and from yourself. Always.”
The honest conversations and sexual intensity in FALLING INTO YOU is off the charts. What quickly unfolds between Nell and Kyle’s older brother Cole/Colton is what makes this book one of the most jacked up, angry, cathartic and sexy as f*ck (as she would say) couplings I’ve ever read.
“There’s no start, no stop, no him or me; there is only us, only perfection, only meshed souls and merged bodies and dizzy pleasure.”
I was surprised at just how much I loved Colton’s POV and appreciated his quiet strength and even more surprising dominance when things become nearly combustable between them. At times it felt like too much too soon but at the same time the pace was just right and I wanted to shake my head and say, ” No, No! Just let him/her off the hook please,” or “they couldn’t both have suffered that much”…and yet it all felt so raw and honest I had to keep reading to find out what was driving such beautiful “walking disasters” like Nelly and Colton. I had to see how two twentysomething adults with such a comfortable, suburban upbringing could have been savaged by life and suffered so much loss to be the man and woman I felt so invested in at present.
“There’s darkness in this girl, now. I almost don’t want to get involved. She’ll hurt me. I know this. I can see it, feel it coming. She’s got so much pain, so many cracks and shards in her soul, and I’m going to get cut by her if I’m not careful.”
Is he ever.
It’s Colton’s love for her, his belief that together they can heal and that the hell that he’s survived has made him strong enough to help her that made this book for me. And for all the drama (his additional backstory was a bit unexpected and put me off balance), I think Cole believes it was worth it, if he can just pull her out of the dark hole Nell has put herself in (it’s so hard not to be spoilery!) and help her let it all go. He’s already healing from his own trauma, fearful of taking on her pain, but knows she would be lost without him.
“We understand each other, Nelly. We’ve both lost someone we love. We both have scars and regrets and anger. We can do this together.”
It’s that just off the mark romance aspect of FALLING that made me love it. This is not a HEA (Happily Ever After) book but a HFN -Happy For Now. It wouldn’t have felt honest to force it into anything more. Many of Wilder’s decisions with FALLING INTO YOU were honest, brave and heart-wrenching, but in the end we are left with deep wounds healing and broken souls believing in the redemptive power of love -especially love of one’s self when you see it reflected back at you in the eyes of someone you love.
“I’m not just falling in love with you, Nell. I’m falling into you. You’re an ocean, and I’m falling in, drowning in the depths of who you are.”
4.5 STARS for SMEXY
4.5 STARS for Love it or Leave It
-You’ll enjoy this crazy, mixed up tissue-fest of a love story and its smexy tattooed heart of gold hero and hot mess of a heroine that you can’t help but root for every painful step of the way. Our thanks to Jasinda Wilder for sending this ARC to Bc for a fair review.
There’s a GIVEAWAY!!!
Don’t forget to check out our initial take on WOUNDED here and Jasinda’s other erotic romance compilations of the BIG GIRLS series starting with BIG GIRLS DO IT BETTER and the ROCK STARS series along with another current best seller back on the charts-her PREACHER’S SON series all available at the above retailers on ebook and paperback.