Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blog Tour: Falling by E.K. Blair

Fading by E.K. Blair is in Tami's top five list for this year.  It was an incredibly powerful read and one that she highly recommends to everyone.  When you have a reading experience like that you often wonder whether the author will be able to repeat it.  Well, it's fair to say that E.K. Blair absolutely has.  Falling is Ryan's story and getting to read things from his perspective is just amazing!

Sometimes it takes someone else to show us what we are truly capable of becoming.

Suffering from years of violent abuse, Ryan Campbell has learned how to keep people from getting too close. But when you shut yourself off, people get hurt along the way. Never caring much about others, Ryan creates a world in which he doesn’t have to feel.

When Ryan meets Candace Parker, all of his walls slowly begin to crumble. Not sure of the truth of who she is, he feels his mind is playing tricks on him. Unable to force out the thoughts that consume him, Ryan is haunted by visions that torment him every time he looks at her. He finds himself swallowed by guilt and blame, but he’s unwilling to turn his back on the one person that could possibly save him.

You’ve heard Candace’s story in Fading, now hear Ryan’s.

“Babe, what the fuck happened in there?” I ask, when we get to my car, her whole body shaking. “Who the fuck did you see?”

She falls with her back against the side of the car and grabs on to my shirt as she’s crying, gasping for a decent intake of air.

“Jack is in there. We have to leave.”

“Who’s Jack?”

“Him! Jack is . . .” Her cries are strained when I see Jase approach, asking in shock, “Candace, what happened?”

“Jack’s inside.”

“Oh, shit!”

“Who the fuck is Jack?!” I scream, confused as fuck with what’s playing out in front of me.

“The guy that attacked her,” Jase tells me.

Everything stops.

Grabbing on to Candace’s shoulders, I demand, “Get in the car. Now.” I pull my keys out of my pocket and hand them to Jase, yelling at him, “Get her in the fucking car!”

Everything tunnels as I turn from everything good in my life and walk away.

One second. That’s all it took.

Suspended in a false reality where actions and consequences no longer exist. Where rage boils so deep inside your veins that you’d do almost anything to drain them. I’d bleed it all out for her.

Chaos. I’m in it when I slam through the doors and bark out, demanding only the way a feral animal would, “Where’s Jack?!”

When the guy to my left points him out, I come unleashed.

Fading by E.K. Blair is one of my most memorable reads from this year -  Candace's story was intense, graphic and heartbreaking, so I have been patiently waiting for the chance to read the continuation of this story in Falling.  Fading told the story from Candace's perspective.  In Falling we get to hear Ryan's perspective and it adds greater depth and provides further insight to Candace and Ryan's story that is definitely worth the read.  While you could read Falling without having first read Fading, I would encourage you to read Fading first as it will give you greater appreciation of Ryan's perspective.

I fell in love with Ryan in Fading.  He was sensitive to and supportive of Candace's needs.  In Falling, I developed a full appreciation of just how much Ryan was grappling with his past, his present and his growing feelings for Candace.  A violent father, drug use to mask his feelings, Ryan had detached from feeling as far as possible.  As an adult his practice was hook-ups with women for sex, not even a hint of anything more.  He worked and played hard and was satisifed with his lot in life. 

That is, until he witnessed a violent attack on a young woman.  Horrified by what he had seen and the extent of the damage inflicted on the tiny woman Ryan began to question the way he lived his life.  He drew parallels to the way he 'used' women, and while he was never violent with them, he saw that his behaviour was almost as questionable as the rapists.  With the images of the violent attack burned into his memory, the damaged face of the woman, swollen, bruised and bloodied to the point that she was unrecognisable, Ryan begins to re-think his life style.

When Ryan meets Candace for the first time he is intrigued by her.  She is everything he doesn't normally look for in a woman but she invades his mind.  He notices the similarity in stature to the rape victim but dismisses it as his mind seeking closure to that traumatic event.  He pursues Candace, behaving in ways that are foreign to him and yet he is comfortable with and it is exactly what Candace needs.  As their friendship grows he begins to face elements of his past in an effort to be enough for Candace.  His fear of being like his father is great, his fear of love, equally so and yet he finds himself falling ...
"I never wanted to before, but with her, all I want to do is fall.  Fall into her.  Fall so deep inside of her heart so that I never have to be without her.  That's what this girl does to me."
Falling is beautifully written.  E.K. Blair has a place on my favourite author list.  I have read all three of her books: Fading, Freeing and Falling and each of them is a perfect escape from the world.  The subject matter is not light, but there is a sense of hope throughout all of the books, not to mention a gorgeous love story, that softens the bleakness.  Falling concludes perfectly.  It gave me a look at the lives of all of the characters from this story and I was so thrilled to see what unfolded for all of them.  In my mind, Fading, Falling and the companion novel Freeing are must reads.

5 out of 5 stars

USA Today bestselling author and International Amazon bestselling author, E.K. Blair takes her readers on an emotional roller coaster with her FADING series. A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.

Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She's a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.

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