Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Review of Falling Fast (Falling Fast #1) by Tina Wainscott

"You were beautiful then, and you're beautiful now. It has nothing to do with your scars." - Raleigh West

Falling Fast
Series: Falling Fast # 1
Author: Tina Wainscott
Series: Loveswept
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Source: Netgalley

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Fans of Jasinda Wilder and Colleen Hoover will adore this emotional new small-town romance—a smoldering tale of first love and long-awaited redemption from USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott.

Raleigh West works in an auto shop day and night, trying to put his broken past out of mind. It’s been seven years since the fiery crash that landed his teenage sweetheart in the hospital . . . and him in jail. In an instant, he lost everything: his passion for racing, his hope of escaping his father’s shameful legacy, and the only girl he ever loved. Raleigh hasn’t seen her since that awful night. Never got a chance to apologize. And never forgave himself, either.

When brave, beautiful Mia Wentworth returns to the Florida coast for the first time in what seems like forever, it’s not to see Raleigh. Even so, the moment she arrives she can feel his presence like a gust of wind that gives her goose bumps. Opening her heart to him again seems impossible. But staying away? That might be harder still. Lucky for them both, Mia’s never been the kind of woman to take the easy way out.

Tina Wainscott's Falling Fast is a beautifully written story with an emotional romance between two loveable, yet deeply wound characters. As the first book in the new series, Falling Fast introduces readers to a world where nobody is perfect. A world where characters carry the burden of secrets and scars... A world that I can't wait to revisit...

I fell in love with Raleigh and Mia almost from the moment I first met them. Both are incredibly strong and resilient individuals. Raleigh learned to live on his own at a very young age. He takes care of people he loves, from a young Mia to his half brother. Raleigh would risk his life and limb for them. After being diagnosed with cancer as a child, Mia went through a long battle for her life. Now that she has a second chance with Raleigh, she's not about to let it slip through her fingers. Although Raleigh and Mia have a previous history with each other, their romance still builds pretty slowly. It takes some time for Mia to convince Raleigh to let go of the guilt and take a chance on their love. Although they still face obstacles in the book, there is no real "monkey wrench" in their relationship. It is obvious that once they proclaim their love, there is no stopping them. With that said, there is one aspect of the book that left me wanting more - the accident. When Raleigh and Mia are first dating, they are involved in a devastating accident that leaves Mia severely wounded. We relive parts of that night through a conversation between the two of them. For an event that has a huge impact on the story, I thought it would have more powerful as a flashback. The way that it is explored in the book, I felt as if it wasn't given enough page time. I wanted to feel that raw emotion from that night through Raleigh's memories as he risks everything to pull Mia from the car. With Tina's writing and the severity of the accident, it would have given me chills.

I adore Tina's writing style. The love and romance she created between Raleigh and Mia was so beautiful. I loved Falling Fast and I can't wait to see how she builds upon this world. 

Raleigh looked up, and his eyes softened in a way she knew, and felt, right down to her bones. He didn’t smile, but he stood, his body tensing as he took in her approach. Friendly or hostile? He was no doubt trying to figure it out. She tried to smile, to let him know that she wasn’t here to yell at him, but her face felt frozen. Paralyzed. Hell, was she going to freeze up again?

She tried to utter a greeting, but her dry throat prevented the words from emerging. She waved instead.

Raleigh stepped out from behind the stone, coming toward her. His eyes hungrily roamed over her, skipping from her face down her body, then quickly back again. Not lustily but as if sating a deep thirst. And there, beneath the question in his eyes, lay a hint of a smile. Suddenly she was transported back to that first time she’d gone into the garage just to see him. To ask him more about the races. 

He’d looked both pleased and surprised.

“Mia,” he said, her name loaded with more than she could interpret.

For a moment, she forgot about the scars that would be visible in the bright sunlight. She forgot to breathe. “Raleigh,” she said. She thought she was smiling, but it might look more like a grimace. Gawd, get hold of yourself. You’re just here to let him know you don’t hate him. “I—”

“Mia! We have to go!” Her mother’s voice pounded harshly from behind her.

Mia turned, spotting her mother duck-walking over in spiked heels that kept sinking into the earth, hands fisted at her sides. She turned back to Raleigh. “I just wanted to say . . . I don’t —”

“Mia,” her mother ground out.

“Blame you,” Mia managed, and quickly walked toward her mother, not wanting her anywhere near Raleigh. He would probably think she was still that timid seventeen-year-old who was afraid her parents would find out that she was sneaking out at night. But she wanted to protect him from all the angry, imprudent things that would gush from her mother’s mouth.

“What are you doing?” she hissed as Mia hooked her arm through hers and spun her back toward the casket.

“It’s called closure, Mother. The last time we spoke, he’d called to see how I was doing, and I hung up on him.”

“Well, he deserved it,” she shot back, flicking a glance backward.

Mia fought not to do the same. She didn’t want to see what expression he might have. Disgust. Sympathy. Regret. Or, even worse, just dismissal. “No, he didn’t.”

“She was talking to him,” her mother said when they reached her father. “She went to him.”

Mia met her father’s curious and disconcerted expression. “I just wanted him to know I wasn’t angry at him.” Though, dammit, she hadn’t gotten that part out.

“Why do you care what he thinks?” her father asked in his low, emotionless voice.

“Or do you care?” her mother asked. “You’re not still—”

“Of course not.” Even uttering the words in love was preposterous. Mia couldn’t help herself, glancing toward Raleigh. He was kneeling in front of the stone again, but his eyes were on her. “It was just a summer romance. Teenage hormones.”

They seemed gratified by that last declaration, even though it sounded hollow to her ears. “We should go,” her father said, nodding toward the people now milling by the limousine.

Once they reached it, she shot one more look toward Raleigh. She wanted to believe her recent declaration, but she felt exactly like that girl who had fallen fast and hard for the boy who’d made her a woman.

USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott has always loved the combination of romance and suspense, because nothing complements falling in love better than being hunted down. The author of more than thirty novels and novellas, Wainscott creates characters with baggage, past hurts, and vulnerabilities. They go through hell, find love, and, at the end, find peace in who they are and everything they’ve gone through. And isn’t that what everyone wants?

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  1. Thank you so much, Crystal, for the awesome review and for hosting!

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