My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Quite unexpectedly, I came across this HOT new series called Taking the Fall by Alexa Riley. I had a distinct reason to pick it up. When I read some of the reviews, then checked out the blurb, this caught my eyes—
Layla is Carter's. He would never touch another woman.
When it seems that manwhore heroes are in trend and makes every chick out there ga-ga over them, a hero who wouldn’t touch another woman because of the heroine, that too has been going on for a really long time? Hallelujah! I’m sold!!
Taking the Fall: Vol. 1 is very short, which doesn’t give us much background on Carter or Layla, whom he (and only he) calls ‘Cherry’. In the first scene, it seems that Carter is doing time for manslaughter, where Layla goes to meet him. Carter was her bodyguard, which means Layla’s father was pretty rich (to afford one) and infamous (that she needed one)... which turns out to be true in the end. Layla was 16 at that time but ever since Carter came into her life, even though he was quite a bit older, she’s been attracted to him. She knew Carter felt the same, and it wasn’t just a passing fancy. He had pretty much zoned in on her, which a young Layla felt instinctively but didn’t know how to react on.
But something happened one night and Carter went to jail for 8 yrs. Layla was involved in it somehow but she doesn’t remember a thing, and no one would tell her what it was. Then, to make matters worse, in the jail, at their meeting, Carter gives Layla her first kiss, then acts as if he doesn’t care about her at all. That everything between them was a show or something. It hurts her too much and Layla decides there and then that she’s not going to be under her father’s fingers anymore, neither would she let Carter get to her the way he’d always done. She, for that matter, won’t let any man come near her, ever.
4 yrs. have passed in between. Layla was able to escape her father and now, living alone under partially false name. Her love life is a mess, as she still can’t get over Carter no matter what. She is still a virgin, but that wasn’t the problem. The problem was, Layla seemed too naïve and easily influenced, not the strong girl I initially thought her to be. She had some questionable friends and would let herself get influenced by them. She has been dating this guy, Justin; very lackluster stuff because he’s the proverbial ‘good boy’ and Layla’s mind is not in it, or him. Her mind and body is still occupied by that one SOB. Ironically, though Layla thought she’s now escaped both men of her life, she had no idea Carter had been keeping tabs on her all these times thru his man Saint.
Now, gotta tell you about Carter. The moment he comes out of the jail, his inquiry was about Layla. No one else, no ‘hi-hello’ to Saint but plain ‘Where is she?’. This story is narrated from both Layla and Carter’s POV, and man I LOVED Carter’s. All his obsessing, intense thought about Layla and how she belongs to him. When he learns of her whereabouts, a cheap bar somewhere in the town, Carter is mad. He gathers it’s time she knows who she belongs to... which he sets about proving for the next few pages with every word and touch.
All I can say is that Carter was seriously HOT. Everything he did to Layla pushed all my right buttons. Some may find him a bit of an a$$hole but I liked his rough edges. He did nothing to Layla that she didn’t want. And it definitely doesn’t mean he didn’t have any soft spot. Carter isn’t, and has never been, a soft man of gentle words. It was even said that he didn’t really smile all that much, unless it was for her. When it comes to Layla, he can’t help himself; as if all his softness belongs to her. And yep, he hasn’t touched a woman ever since he’d set his eyes on her. Make whatever you wanna make of it, I find it extremely hot. HOT!
In the end, there is a misunderstanding as Carter leaves Layla without telling her, because he was on a mission. I can’t blame her since she’s still in the dark about too many things, a feeling I won’t like either, so Layla is angry as hell. How could he leave her again? Must mention here that, initially, didn’t like her friend Jeannette all that much but I think she’s got something she’s hiding, a sad past maybe? It came out after she got herself entangled with Saint, who hid it that he’s Carter’s man. Gotta find out more!
Let’s see what Taking the Fall: Vol. 2 has in store for me. 4 stars.