Tristan Whitmore is desperate for sleep. His chronic insomnia has created a cycle of exhaustion that is affecting Tristan’s work and what little life he has. He tries the app Sleep With Me, not really expecting it to work. But thanks to the sultry narrator’s voice, Tristan sleeps well for the first time in ages. He seeks out the app’s creator, Sam Stephenson, a shy introvert who doesn’t fully appreciate the importance of his work.
Sam knows that meditation was his saving grace when anxiety threatened to cripple him as a child. He just wants to offer that same help to others, but his business isn’t exactly booming. With Tristan’s help, Sam finds a way to make a living, while growing his small business. Romance quickly blossoms between them, but before they can look to the future, Tristan must dealt with a terrible guilt that has haunted him since childhood.
The Harder We Fall was a really engaging and sweet novel about the power of love and the crushing weight of guilt. While at one point I felt the book took an “easy” way out, it was still well done.
Sam and Tristan are both sweet men in their own way and haunted by their pasts. Tristan read as the more developed character, but each man offers a balance to the other and they work well together. They’re a strong couple and they do a good job of supporting one another when needed. The romance moves a little fast, but it still reads as believable and relatable.
When dealing with the issue of Tristan’s guilt, it seemed as though the author was only willing to explore it so far. We know why he feels guilty and we clearly see the effects it has on his life, but just as he and Sam start start to address the hard work of moving forward, things are wrapped up too quickly. We don’t actually see much of the work being done and given all we’d been through with the characters, I wanted to experience that success along with them. Instead, we get a flash forward epilogue that reads as somewhat tacked on and not fully integrated with the rest of the story.
Ultimately, The Harder We Fall has a well-written plot and the characters really reached out and grabbed me as a reader. I could empathize with Tristan’s struggle to come to terms with his past and with Sam’s often intense anxiety. I think most readers will too, and while I wanted slightly more development of certain aspects, I found The Harder We Fall a thoroughly enjoyable and emotional read.