Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.
Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.
Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expected that he’d be the one to fall.
The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?
Just looking at the cover for Falling Down and reading the blurb, I knew I was in for a good cry. This story made my heart hurt, but by the end it was singing.
Josh Rivers is a young man who thinks he has nothing left to live for. The only person who ever really loved him, his mother, is dead and Josh is just so tired. Tired of fighting, tired of being alone, tired of being. So he makes one last promise to himself and his mother and heads north to see the leaves change. She always wanted to go, but they never made it. He just wants to see the beauty of the fall, before going to sleep, one last time.
Mark Sullivan is a former Marine who doesn't know which direction to go. He moved to a cabin outside of Gainesville, NH so he could have some space from his suffocating, but well-meaning family. While driving home from a job, one day, he sees a young man walking alongside the road. That young man looked bleak. Like there was no hope left in is soul.
But Josh wasn't the only one who had lost sight of hope. Mark was there, too. He felt like he let his brothers down, his father, his brothers-in-arms. Mark felt like he would always be alone so he pushed everyone away.
Mark and Josh gave each other purpose. They were both adrift and needed the connection they found with each other. And while Mark hired Josh to help him with a job, he quickly became attached - more attached than he ever thought he could get with anyone. Their romance was a slow burn and I loved that. They build a friendship and they learn how to trust each other. And when they loved, they loved big. But even then, they didn't fully trust what they had, and that almost cost them dearly. And I cried. I cried for Josh, and I cried for Mark, and I cried for what was slipping away. But worry not, we get a glorious happy ending.
Falling Down is about getting up, even when you just want to lie down and sleep. It's about learning to trust and love. It's about finding a new family and embracing the one you've got. It's about life. And hope. And love. So much love.
ARC of Falling Down was generously provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.
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