My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Taking the Fall: Vol. 3 wraps up Carter and Layla’s story. I’ve been enjoying this series quite a bit, though at times Carter can be too caveman-ish for my liking. But he has already proven that he truly cares for Layla so I just rolled my eyes and read on. For me, the ending of their story was predictable and not so predictable, both.
Layla’s crime lord of a father hired Carter as her bodyguard when she was 16. They’ve been attracted to each-other ever since, though Carter is quite a bit older than her. He wanted her but knew she’s too young to take this to the next level. Knowing that she feels the same didn’t help, but Carter was biding his time to make her his. One night changes it all. Something happens and throws Carter in jail 8 yrs. for manslaughter. The details of that night would escape Layla completely but no one told her exactly what happened. Not even Carter. When she finally escapes her a$$hole of a sire, 4 yrs. into Carter’s jail time, Layla goes to see him in hopes that he still feels the same about ‘them’. Unfortunately, she returns brokenhearted, as Carter acts as if he didn’t care any longer.
4 more yrs. passes by and Layla is trying to move forward with her life, though she can’t forger Carter no matter what. She might’ve thought that he doesn’t care for her at all, yet she had no idea that Carter’s been keeping tabs on her thru his friend Saint all along. Incidentally, it was also the time of his release and the moment he’s out, his first line was ‘Where is she’? *swoon* Carter then finds Layla’s apartment and sweeps her off her feet for a night. All night long he stayed with her, proving that he cares. That he never wanted anyone but her in all these years. Truth be told, he hasn’t been with any woman ever since he met Layla all those years ago! But in the daylight, Layla finds herself all alone yet again, as Carter has vanished without telling her where he’s going.
3 more months pass without any sign of Carter. In the meantime, Saint has been seeing Layla’s BFF Jeannette. While Layla is the introvert type, Jeannette is all wild, one-night-stand type. But Saint thought he got her well as whatever they had seemed much deeper than a fling. It all changes when Layla finds out she’s pregnant and he blows his cover in shock. To show her support, Jeannette dumps his a$$ because of that betrayal. After that, Saint makes sure Carter knows about the pregnancy.
Layla wasn’t amused. She wouldn’t give Carter a chance, until he explains that he has been making arrangements to take revenge on her father; the bastard who made his ‘Cherry’ suffer. He also wants revenge for the murder of his parents a long time ago, that was Layla’s father’s handiwork for sure. To prove his devotion he finally begins opening up about that fateful night, when Layla was beaten by her father’s man so badly that she lost a part of her memory in the trauma. She and Carter were planning to elope and this was Layla’s father’s warning to them both. Carter killed a man to save her, and we all know what happened after that.
Carter had already thought of everything. He knew he’d need a heavily secured place to keep Layla safe while he goes about his business. Both she and Jeannette are moved into this warehouse that’s sure to have been more secured that Pentagon... until Layla’s daddy dearest returns and finds a way to blackmail her out of there.
Vol. 3 takes off right where the previous installment left off. Layla and Jeannette are kidnapped and thrown in another ramshackle warehouse where her father’s base is. They’re forced to witness some crap stuff, including Layla’s mother’s debasement. She is now a junkie with no hope and prostitutes herself in exchange of the powder, all thanks to her father. Layla was surprised to see but somehow, not shocked at her miserable existence. But then, both her parents have always been cold and distant, so I wasn’t surprised.
Saint and Carter find a way to rescue them, while Layla’s father escapes. Though Saint finds himself in Jeannett’s good graces again, unfortunately, the trouble doesn’t die down with this. Layla had an on and off boyfriend for a while named Jason. He was your typical good-boy type, but they had no chemistry. Since Layla had never gotten over Carter, it was a doomed relationship right from the start. I didn’t think that Jason was anything else other than how he was portrayed because he was a minor secondary character... until he wasn’t. This really surprised me when he turns out to be Layla’s father’s spy. Layla was the holder of all her father’s account since he was hiding away. It’s also the reason why he kidnapped her, or so he tells Carter later on, to get her signature to withdraw money. After Jason makes another attempt to kidnap Layla to give him the access to that money, things starts moving real fast. Carter decides he can’t take any more chances with Layla and their baby’s life.
There were some pretty good scenes, alongside some HOT sex scenes. However, must admit that Layla-Carter’s relationship was becoming a bit too cheesy for my liking. I’m glad that this didn’t drag on, though I’m sure (and I hope) we’ll see more of them in Saint-Jeannette’s story, Falling In. 3.5 stars.
PS: I like having glimpses into the future of our H/h, reading updates, even then ‘18yrs. later’ is a bit of a stretch. Still it was funny to see Carter going caveman-ish about their daughter Mary, who has just turned 18. Apparently, Jeannette and Saint’s son seems to have an interest in her... umm, I think you get the picture. ;)
As a part of Taking the Fall. Vol. 3 Release Day Blitz, I was given an ARC in exchange of an honest review, courtesy of The SubClub Books/FlirtySubs PR.