I wasn't always in love with Colton Calloway; I was in love with his younger brother, Kyle, first. Kyle was my first one true love, my first in every way. Then, one stormy August night, he died, and the person I was died with him.
Colton didn't teach me how to live. He didn't heal the pain. He didn't make it okay. He taught me how to hurt, how to not be okay, and, eventually, how to let go.
Nell Hawthorne is in love with her life-long best friend, Kyle Calloway. Their young love is invincible and life is full of promise; then one night Kyle dies suddenly in a tragic accident and Nell is forever changed. She meets Kyle's older brother, Colton, for the first time at the funeral. They both struggle to move on with life as best they can. Years later, they meet again in New York City, and Colton realizes that Nell has never really gotten over Kyle's death. She seems to be harboring a deeply rooted pain, a heavy weight of guilt, and regret. He knows he shouldn't get involved, but he can't help himself. Trust doesn't come easily for either of them, and they both have demons. Together, they learn the purpose of pain and the meaning of healing, and the importance of forgiveness.
Mature Content Warning: 17+ for language, and adult situations
This audiobook contains an exclusive copy of Jasinda's original song "Falling Into You."
©2013 Jasinda Wilder (P)2013 Jasinda Wilder
Obsessive reader of at least 5 kindle books a week. Only use audiobooks to survive my daily 90 minute walk to work.
I cannot go on. This book has defeated my powers of endurance, I am annoyed to have wasted a credit but enough is enough.
First half of this book is the fairytale of Kyle and Nell. We know Kyle is going to die so it’s a little hard to get invested in him emotionally. Nevertheless they are both perfect. Perfect friendship into perfect romance into perfect sex. They have wonderful friends, wonderful parents, wealthy lifestyles. They breeze through school and life, without a problem, a zit, or apparently, a single argument. He, naturally, pops the question as soon as they turn 18. She wants to wait – but decides to join him at Stanford because, she muses, “Daddy will make sure I get a place”. During what is, apparently, their first ever argument, he dies saving her from a falling tree. And then the story really gets bad.
Seemingly paralysed with grief at the funeral of Kyle, she still manages to ponder on the colour of brother Cole’s eyes, the size of his chest and the tingle she feels when he touches her. As you do. She dreams about him at night and kisses him the next day. And then we skip forward two years.
Here are some of my (many) problems with this story:
· During the fairytale of Kyle and Nell, Nell never met Kyle’s brother – not at school, not at Kyle’s home, not at social events. Never. Ever. Cole did not leave home until Kyle and Nell were 12. Was he invisible? Locked in the attic? During this time he was apparently failing at school, getting into fights and learning how to build car engines but she never saw him. Ever.
· Kyle’s father, with political ambitions, warns Kyle and Nell to “be careful” It seems he thinks an unplanned pregnancy between two consenting adults would be more scandalous than the fact that his other son is running with street gangs in New York.
· Two years after the funeral, an unreal coincidence sees Cole and Nell meeting in Central Park and performing an impromptu guitar duet to huge admiring crowds. Of course Cole is so brilliant that yet another annoying record producer hands him a business card. I guess he can add it to the pile of UFC scouts that were also after him.
· Cole was part of a New York street gang. He admits to drink, drugs, girls, “enforcement” and alludes to murder. He walks around with a knuckle duster in his pocket. But the gang, apparently, let him walk away from all this to live a straight lifestyle. But they stay “friends”. And he calls them “honorable”. And they rush to help him save Nell from her rapist boyfriend – because we all know that gang members are such good guys and really don’t approve of a woman being mistreated in any way.
· Cole, having lived with gangs on the streets for years, then apparently manages to buy a building in Queens, big enough for a garage with a flat above. How?
Oh – and the misery. The endless wallowing in self-indulgent grief. Apparently once Kyle died, Nell was abandoned by her loving family to live in misery, drinking and cutting herself. She is so tortured inside, and so guilty and grief stricken and so endlessly miserable. She wallows in the misery, drowns in the agony. I just got bored with the whole issue. Cole admires her. Why? He only met her once at the funeral. And he tells her she is strong. What? This girl is weak and pathetic. She dates a violent underground fighter for three months, and then is surprised he wants sex? He tries to rape her, Cole saves her (another timely coincidence) and she then goes to his place and sleeps in his bed. He sings to her. Really?? I read from reviews that the book gets pretty steamy after this, which is weird. Because I would say this book is for teenage girls only. The dialogue is awful in the part of the book. The poor narrator was trying his best but no man talks or thinks like that. He was an idealised, sanitised version of the bad boy for teenage girls to dream about. He even kindly uses Windex and Pledge to remove the blood of the man he almost beat to death from Nell's floorboards and walls.
I love a good romance, and I love a little escape from reality. But I could never get into this book because it was just so far removed from reality that it jarred. People are the result of their circumstances and this is where this book fails for me. These characters did not make sense. Logic dictates that Nell would have gone into expensive therapy, her family and friends would have surrounded her with love and support and she would have, eventually, successfully gone on with her life. And Cole’s politically ambitious family would have had Cole in therapy at the first sign of rebellion and would have easily spotted a highly recognisable problem such as dyslexia. But even in rebellion things are perfect. Cole doesn’t just fight – he is so good that talent scouts want him to go professional. He sings, writes his own songs, and is so good record producers tell him to call. He apparently taught himself to rebuild car engines and is so good he now runs a successful business with several employees. He was even such a good gangster that his former buddies happily let him leave the gang but still “have his back” on speed dial. But throughout all the brilliance and achievement he is still so tortured that he cuts himself. And he has OCD. Whatever. Enough. Delete.
"Hard to categorize this one!"
STORY (contemporary romance) - The story line of Falling Into You has three very different parts, with each having a different mood and feel. The first part is a sweet and sexually inquisitive romance between Nell and Kyle. (It will bring back memories of high school and your first love!) This part of the book ends with a horrible accident, and Nell holds Kyle's hand as he dies. It's heart-wrenching and made me cringe, and I was really glad when it was finished. At Kyle's funeral, Nell runs into his older brother Colton, a "bad boy" who lives in New York. (This is all in the publisher's summary - no spoilers here).
Fast-forward a few years, and the story changes to a much darker one. Nell blames herself for Kyle's death and is pretty screwed up about it. She runs into Colton again, and they start seeing each other. He's determined to help her heal emotionally, and he's also very attracted to her. We learn about his problems and his violent past, but we also see his creative and sensitive side. They share their guilt and emotions, but will it be enough to keep them together?
Then, in my opinion, the story changes a third time and turns very sexually explicit for a very long time. I'm not prudish or offended in any way, but this large part of the book is definitely X-rated. The story concludes well, and there's a nice performance of a song titled "Falling Into You" at the end.
PERFORMANCE - There are two narrators who alternate reading this book -- a young female for Nell and a male for Colton. Their overall performances are good, but the female's performance during the accident gave me goose bumps.
OVERALL - Pretty good book, but not great. It's touching and sweet, but there's also some difficult scenes. There's also lots of cursing and sex, which may be offensive to some listeners.
"Worth the Credit!!!"
The book starts by giving you a glimpse of two teenagers growing into adulthood falling in to what they believe is true love. We experience soul wrenching tragedy that in turn brings a new blossoming romance. Unfortunately, both main characters are struggling with hidden dark pain& sorrow. I enjoyed the two narrators portrayed in this book. This book was a pleasant surprise!
"Music, love and healing. This one is A-mazing!"
I had been anxiously waiting for Audible to get this book and when it finally arrived I was a little hesitant to listen at first. I wasn’t ready for the heavy and emotional content. After waiting 6+ weeks I finally took the leap and started this long anticipated book. WOW! It was every bit as gut-wrenching as I expected. However, it was so much more than just a story about loss, grief, pain and heartache. It was also about love, forgiveness, redemption healing and finding your true self.
I loved every minute of this book. The characters, the narration, the story and the MUSIC. I loved how the author used music to express the feelings between Nell and Colton. Music was like a secondary character to the story. I LOVED it.
This was well worth my credit and more!
Reading the synopsis of this book, I wasn't really interested in this book, sounded like and overdone plot, but the reviews convinced me to give it a try.
I loved this Book, the emotion that the author manages to portray made me fall in love with the characters. Kyle and Nell grew up together and them falling in love and dating was inevitable, when Kyle dies, Nell is plagued by grief and guilt. She meets Coltan, Kyle's older brother, at the the funeral and they seem to have a connection. They meet again a couple of years later and they are drawn to each other as they understand each others pain. This sounds simple and like something you've read before, but the author manages to make it fresh and the use of specific words so you get emotionally involved with the characters. The dialogue between the characters was so well done, that you understood them better and their perspective to the world. I liked that she developed the characters and they formed a bond and they continue to struggle with their emotions, there was no quick fix which made it more realistic somehow.
I really enjoyed this story and the two narrators did the book justice. I loved the song at the end of the book.
"when you least expect it, there's a HEA."
i almost didn't purchase this. a while ago, when it first came out, i downloaded the sample on my kindle. i never bothered to open it up. all the online reviews kept talking about the sorrow in this book and how you'd need tissues the entire way through. i'd been on a Laura Kinsale kick (omg. love her stuff.) so Falling Into You kept getting pushed further and further down my list.
then it came to audible.
and i decided to give it a chance.
from the start i loved it, the characters, the story and the narration was great, too. i kept waiting for whatever tragedy to befall these two young lovers and when it finally came i was standing in my kitchen washing dinner dishes and sobbing. my kids came in and worried what was wrong and i had to gently tell them that i was wrapped up in a book. i think they were actually worried something was physically wrong with me...maybe i should have told them the dishes were hurting me? haha. next time....
so i can't tell you that all the reviews here are favorable, and i can understand some frustrations. the male narration isn't as easy as the female, but it wasn't horrible so don't let that stop you from downloading it. also, some of the sex scenes, even when they were under-age, were quite graphic but honestly? i didn't think much of that, either. i felt like i was RIGHT there with them and feeling each emotion and wanting to figure out a way to keep the tragedy from happening. sigh. but it comes. and life goes on.
there are some surprises here and there, each one catching me off-guard. love that. sometimes i can see a twist coming from a mile away, but not with this one, so that's why i've already downloaded the second book. yeah. i'll start it today. maybe while washing dishes? you bet.
take a chance. it's a tragic story that has a HEA that it so desperately needed. thank you jasinda. loved it.
"The author is amazing on this one!"
No not really,
Can't say, this book is a make all on it's own.
Oh my goodness they were amazing.. Gabriel's voice is amazing.. Had my attention.. that's for sure.
I cried mostly thru this book. A LOT.. but for good reasons. It was necessary to cry but understanding why is the bigger question. If you don't. then you have not lived a moment of loss or know true love.. a true love.
I only wanted a little more at the end.. And the song at the end. Amazing.. Great work.
"Rips your heart to pieces"
So I cried allot while I listened to this book. It's crammed with so much heartache but strength too. This book really moved me and it was stunning in the depth of heartache that the author and the narrators conveyed. This definately is not a light feel good listen. It rips you up and spits you out. Colton and Nell are very damaged but they understand each others pain like no one else can. With both of them so damaged though, will they survive? I'd like to think so. With such intensity I'm sure to get the next book and see how this story continues.
Worth a credit? YES! Just make sure you have a kleenex nearby.
"Incredibly moving story...have Kleenex ready!"
Yes, but I would give myself a little time to get over the emotional upheavals that this book erects in the way of its protagonists. They can be down right brutal.
It is in its own way, it is as emotionally heart breaking and goes even farther in the emotional aspects than the Shades of Grey series with the depths Nell and Colton each show the other and us the reader.
There were actually three scenes that would go into my favorite categories. I cannot tell you though, because this is not a spoiler alert! Go ahead, you will find them yourself.
I wanted to but needed a little emotional break, but the entire read was worth it.
Just read it!
"Painful, with some bright spots"
I enjoyed this one, but I didn't. It's hard to explain. It was dark and even when the HEA comes about, I still didn't feel peace and satisfaction. I guess I don't feel like the H/h are really happy but are just coping. Kind of co-dependents of pain and hiding pain.
The book starts with a scene with Nell and her boyfriend Colton Calloway. then a blast to past takes us to young Nell, and her best friend Kyle Calloway (Colton's younger brother)...and I thought "Uh oh".
So the love story started in high school. It was very emotional, sweet and sad. But like I said, I don't feel satisfied or at peace with where they are emotionally.
The narration was good and the song at the end was sweet.
"A Good Listen"
I liked that it was narrated by a man and woman. The overall story was sad but it stayed interesting and kept we wanting to listen to see how it turned out.
They both had great voices and Gabriel's voice fit the character of Colton perfectly.
It did make me cry but happy that they found each other and learned how to keep on going.
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