Agent Martin Bishop never intended to reveal his deepest secret to his colleague, Casey Wicker. But when he is forced to do so in order to save Casey’s life, it changes everything. Discovering that your partner suddenly has a pair of wings isn’t something Casey expected, but he’s loved Martin for years and this gives them the push they need to move forward. And Casey has no problem loving Martin as he is, wings and all.
Martin is a member of a rare race called Avians and they live in secret for a reason. Exposing ones wings to a human, however unintentional, carries a heavy penalty for both Avian and human. So as Casey and Martin begin to finally embrace their romance, they are left scrambling to appease the Avian council. If they don’t, then Martin and Casey will be killed.
There is an idea in writing called “Chekhov’s gun.” It stems from several quotes written in private letters by the master Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. In simple terms, Chekhov means that if an aspect of a story isn’t needed, cut it. And if you leave it in, you’d better be prepared to do something with it, i.e. don’t bring a gun on stage unless you’re prepared to fire it. Fallen For You is filled with so many metaphorically unused guns I almost don’t know where to start. There are mysteries that never go anywhere, a mated bonding whose properties seem to change nearly every page, and crisis after crisis that is resolved within paragraphs. In short, Fallen For You is something of a mess.
The concept is a good one and intrigued me right away. Casey and Martin are secret agents who have worked together for years, but never acted on their mutual attraction. And when Martin reveals his wings, Casey’s acceptance is sweet and wonderfully loyal. This all happens in the first couple chapters, but after that things fall apart.
We’re told the Avian race is incredibly rare, but they have no problem passing a death sentence on Martin for accidentally exposing his wings. So even though they’re super rare, they can still afford to just slaughter one of their own for a minor transgression. Once the sentence is passed, Casey seems strangely unbothered by the fact they’ve decided to kill him. As if death by bird people is an everyday occurrence for him. More likely he realizes, as readers quickly do, there are absolutely no stakes in this book. Problems are resolved with stunning swiftness and even moments of temporary tension are brushed aside with ridiculous casualness.
Neither Casey nor Martin are particularly deep characters. They are not quite caricatures, but we never get a sense of who they actually are. They have great sex together, but beyond that they interact like casual acquaintances. Secondary characters are just sort of dropped in whenever the rambling plot requires it, but aren’t give much by way of purpose. Even Martin’s brother, Leon, who plays a fairly important role, gets shuffled from page to page only to disappear for whole chapters.
Fallen For You is a jumbled collection of shifter tropes, a poorly defined plot, and so many pointless incidents that it was nearly impossible to finish. The original idea was actually intriguing and had the author focused on building a relationship between Casey and Martin and establishing a cohesive narrative, this could have been a much different novel. As it stands I can’t recommend this one.