I’m addicted to it. It’s how I feel alive. It’s the only thing that’s real any more.
And now I have to sit around and discuss it like it’s physics or calculus.
I can’t do it. I can’t pretend that it’s some sterile academic topic.
Violence isn’t sterile. It isn’t calm. It’s pulsing. It’s alive.
It’s my drug.
Until I met Abby, I never wanted anything beyond the next fight. Never considered that I might finally find a way back to the land of the living.
Now? Now I find myself dreaming of a woman with golden eyes.
But I can never be with her. Because I am not whole. And I never will be again.
But I cannot stay away. And loving her might finally be what breaks me.
The moment I see Josh, though, everything else falls away. Their noise, their needs. Everything I am is focused on Josh.
He is darkness and shadows near the edge of the dim light. He doesn’t even pretend he’s not watching me. It does something to my insides as I meet his eyes and refuse to look away.
In the shadows, his eyes look almost black. His face is sharper, more angled, the stubble on his jaw darker.
He stands out. I think he always will, no matter where he is. He’s wearing jeans and a long-sleeved shirt with the sleeves pushed up, exposing his thick forearms. There is writing on his forearms. Big, black letters that blend into the shadows so I cannot read them.
The men who frequent this place do not get tattoos. At least not visible ones. No, these men have polished hands and pressed shirts and impeccable manners.
They don’t stand in the doorway, staring.
No, Josh is none of those things. He’s not polished and he’s not pressed.
Graham slides up beside me and of course, he has noticed exactly who I’m watching. “Oh, look who’s back,” Graham murmurs. “Do you have any condoms?”
I lift one brow and try to pretend that I don’t actually know who we’re talking about. “Are you serious?”
“Don’t even try it,” Graham says, patting my cheek. “What did you call him the other morning? Mr. Tall, Dark & Depressed?”
*I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review*
What I like most about Jessica Scott‘s stories, and especially here in Break My Fall, is the flaws in the characters. Josh and Abby both have some clear demons, and even though this story has a happy ending, it doesn’t mean their issues are gone. They’ve made some progress, and things are looking up, but in no way are they fully healed. I find it refreshing to see that their love isn’t the magical cure for all their problems.
Josh is nearing rock bottom. He’s having trouble fitting in at school, sleepless nights, panic attacks, and the idea of socializing just makes him nauseous. The thing is that at a certain level he does want to fit in, be a regular twenty something student with no worries. It’s a work in progress, and he’s conflicted. War was easy for him, the violence something he craves now, and making him unable to connect with civilians. So he wasn’t expecting this interest in Abby, most of the time also has no clue what to do with it.
Your heart breaks for him, seeing him struggle with things most of us take for granted. There is this class where they debate about violence, leading to some heated discussions, though I found them most interesting. As most of us have never experienced violence, or not on that level of war, it stays a concept, while for guys as Josh, it’s a reality. These parts in the story actually made me contemplate, adding to the complexity of the characters.
Abby has her own issues. While never been to war, she’s had her brush with violence. The last thing she needs is to fall for a nearly broken guy like Josh. Still the hearts wants what it wants. Though it’s not easy. Abby has trouble opening herself completely, that mixed with Josh’s issues, makes for some serious conflicts. While not smooth sailing, they are not people who easily give up. They both feel that connection between them, and they want it so bad.
Break My Fall is an intense love story, between two broken souls. Abby and Josh find solace in each other, though don’t rely on it to fix them. Realistic characters, touchable pain, and an overall feeling of content when these two give in to each other. At the end of Break My Fall it really only felt like the beginning for Abby and Josh.
Falling – Reading order and purchase links
*All books can be read as a standalone*