My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book...
Falling In concludes Alexa Riley’s series novella-length series Taking the Fall. I’ve been quite enjoying the journey, that is when I could ignore the amount of cheesiness and caveman-ish behavior from the lead male characters. But to be fair, there were some pretty good, hot scenes throughout that kept me hooked and going for the next.
The first 3 volumes were about one couple, Carter and Layla, who had a history together. Carter spent 8 yrs. in jail but he’d been Layla’s bodyguard before that, hired by her crime lord of a father. Layla was pretty sheltered and largely unloved; something that shadows her later years as well. Yes, her needs were taken care of but none of her parents, it seemed, cared about her much. Until she met Carter, she didn’t know the meaning of love or affection at all.
There were twists and turns that land Carter in jail and Layla alone, escaping her father’s clutches. He didn’t want them to be together and returns to haunt them when Layla and Carter are back together after his jail time. Carter had a different history with Layla’s father, a negative one and vengeance had been on his mind for a long time. Because he loves Layla so much (an affection returned by her), Carter’s need for a payback doubled ever since the man did something terrible to his own daughter. It all happened that one fateful night which Layla couldn’t remember until Carter explained to her later in the story.
I mean I love my share of growly, cavemen H’s but there’s always that fine line between sexy and ‘wtf?!’. Carter was just fine for a while, but by Vol. 3 I thought I can do without some of his shenanigans. Saint, on the other hand, was a little underdeveloped so it’s difficult for me to comment on him as a lead.
Saint has been Carter’s close buddy for... well, I have no idea how long but it must be a long time, seeing how they both understood each-other and worked together so well. He’s been keeping an eye on Layla on Carter’s behalf ever since he went to serve time. Along the way, Saint had also managed to get in Layla’s wilder and big mouthed BFF Jeanette’s pants. They’ve been going on and off at it throughout. There were some vague implications of Jeanette having a ‘past’ of sort.
In this installment, I was hoping to get a good story out of it but unfortunately, it went way too rushed for my liking. The story starts simultaneously somewhere in the middle of Vol. 3 of Taking the Fall, as Saint and Jeanette were a part of all 3 previous volumes. All we get is to read their scenes and learn a bit more of what’s troubling Jeanette. IMO, her past wasn’t as dark and disturbing as I thought it’d be. The whole matter was taken care of even before I blinked my eyes and said ‘huh?!’. Overall, Falling In does wrap this series up but not as satisfactorily as I had expected it would. 3 stars.
I enjoyed reading about Layla and Carter, though not so much the ‘20 yrs. later’ glimpse that was, again, a part of this installment. It seems that at 21, Layla-Carter’s daughter, Mary and Jeanette-Saint’s son, Anthony, are up to no good. :p I’m not even gonna try to imagine what the two over-protective fathers would do about it. Most especially if you know Carter, Anthony should grab hold of his... er, private parts and run for his life. ;) But the boy seems to be up to the task because he’s as much fixated over Mary as were their fathers over their mothers. History repeats itself and all that... :D
PS: there’s this serial killer, Viktor, who was introduced as a secondary character here, though his presence was pretty brief. I’m intrigued and thinking a spinoff... hmmmm, will have to keep my eyes peeled for that one.
I received an ARC as a part of Falling In Release Day Blitz, thanks to The SubClub Books.