From the blurb:
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 expects that he’ll 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?
Eli Easton is one of my all-time favorite authors, and she does it again with a heartfelt, angsty book that showcases her serious side.
*Trigger warnings: PTSD, suicidal thoughts, depression*
Falling Down is about a 18-year old man at the end of his rope. Josh is heartbroken, homeless, and sees no way out of his depression other than death. But he decides to make one last trip in order to honor his mother and visit a place that they dreamed of seeing together.
Josh was a rough character for me to read about because he was so broken, so hurt, and so shut down. I had a bit of a difficult time seeing him as a sexual being, someone ready and willing to love, because he reminded me of a child in need of comforting. I slowly made that transition along with Mark, the man who gave Josh a job and a place to stay. I'm really happy that the author made this one slow burn because I would have really struggled with it otherwise.
The emotions run high with this one. I didn't cry, but I can see how many would while reading this story. I have an extremely close bond with my mother, and seeing Josh's pain at her loss and hearing what she meant and still means to him was hard.
Mark is also going through some stuff as a result of trying to prove himself in the military and being shown firsthand how ill-suited he is for that type of work. Also, Mark is closeted, and struggles with how to come out to his family. There was a lot of angst from Mark, but he really stepped up and became a rock for Josh to lean on. Josh needed Mark to give him stability and the freedom to overcome his bleak mental state, and Mark was the ideal counterpoint for him.
I liked that neither man was perfect. They both made some mistakes, and there were some misunderstandings, but everything felt realistic and not just like a plot device.
The last 20% of this book will put your emotions through the ringer. I knew it was coming, but it made me so anxious. Be prepared to bite your nails.
Falling Down was a lovely, painful, yet hopeful slow-burn love story for all fans of angsty contemporary romance. Another winner from the always reliable Eli Easton.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
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Enjoy, my friends!