Josh’s life is awful. His beloved mother has died. His stepfather barely tolerated him while she was alive, but now that she’s gone, he doesn’t want Josh around. He’s a homophobe, you see. So, Josh is homeless with hardly anything except his Mom’s ashes…and a plan. His Mom had always wanted to go to New England to see the leaves change color, so Josh is going to head up there, scatter her ashes, and then curl up, wait for it to snow, and go to sleep forever.
Mark is a former Marine, back from Afghanistan, and trying to figure out what to do with his life. He’d come back to his family, but staying with them became overwhelming and claustrophobic. Now, he lives in a cabin in New Hampshire, doing odd jobs and painting the house of a lovely old lady. He sees Josh by chance one night and realizes he’s in trouble. It’s getting cold and going to snow, so he offers Josh a job and a place to stay.
As they work and live together, they begin to fall for each other. However, they have several hurdles to jump before they can be happy.
I became a screaming Eli Easton fan as soon as I read her How To series and I’ve been catching up on everything she’s written ever since. Needless to say, when Falling Down became available, I jumped on the chance to read it. I was not disappointed. It’s the perfect story of healing and redemption. Smoothly written, with detailed scenery, and three dimensional characters who steal, rip apart, and reassemble your heart.
Both Josh and Mark are lost, just in different ways. Their pain is nowhere alike, but by coming together, that pain begins to ease. I loved how Mark was so willing to take Josh in. How many people would do that for a stranger? Even in the cold? I also loved how Josh was able to trust Mark enough to come in out of that cold. Seriously, but sadly, when a stranger offers you a room, most will wonder exactly what that stranger wants out of them.
Their path to each other and happiness was not a short one. They both had their issues. Poor Josh continued to hear his Mother’s voice and felt the pull to head out into the woods as he originally planned, and Mark is hiding his sexuality from his family. It was easy for me to feel for them because I’d fallen in love with both men. They were so…real. Their issues were realistic, as were their struggles.
Along with falling in love with Mark and Josh, I was also enamored with Mrs. Fisher, the old lady whose house Mark and Josh were painting. She was a good woman, often funny, and very caring. She cooked meals for them, and I got the feeling they were helping her with more than paint and trim. The three had a sweet bond that I really enjoyed reading.
This wouldn’t be a Kenna review if I didn’t mention the sex. I’ll make it quick, though. It was hot and intense, but it was sweet and tender as well. It seemed Mark and Josh’s bodies were made for each other. Eli Easton really knows what she’s doing when she writes a love scene, let me tell you
I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’m going to stop talking about the plot. I will say Falling Down was romantic and sexy, but it was anything but candlelight and roses. It’s not a fluffy love story. It’s the story of finding someone who heals and completes you. It may be cliché, but I’m going to say it wasn’t about the destination so much as it was about the journey. It wasn’t always pretty, but in the end, it was positively beautiful.
I highly recommend Falling Down. It’s a spectacular story about two very special men. I wish I could have read this in time to add this to my list of top reads for 2016 because it would definitely have been included.