Review Tour & Giveaway: Before We Fall: Courtney Cole

Before We Fall (Book 3) 
Beautifully Broken Series
Jacey and Dominic's story
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Expected release:  December 3, 2013

Sometimes, one dark moment is all it takes to turn your world black...

For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He's a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn't care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays. 

23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn't realize how much her father's indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn't one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it's an absence of moments. She's like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other... to fill the void that her father left in her.

Until she meets Dominic.

After jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, his secret and her issues create a dark and damaged energy that will soon turn their attraction to each other into an explosive storm.

Even though when the clouds have cleared and the dust has settled, both of them are almost obliterated... they've learned a priceless lesson.

Sometimes, before we fall... we fly.

Until We Burn 
Prequel Novella
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Dominic Kinkaide does bad, bad things.

As a 24-year old actor with the world on a string, not many women tell Dominic no.

In a life where no doesn’t exist, he stretches the boundaries between what is right, what is wrong and what is downright depraved.

Dark and damaged, Dom wants no commitments. He wants no attachments. He only wants to disappear into the taboo, into a place where he feels something.


But when the aching need to disappear into the darkness is the only thing he has left, Dominic flounders. In a world that is hollow and sexual, without a guiding light or a reason to breathe, Dominic is lost and broken.

He knows he’ll never be fixed.

So he makes a decision.

If he’s going to hell, he might as well make it worth it.

Because I'm Dominic fucking Kinkaide and nothing bothers me. Nothing touches me, because I won't let it. 

Dominic Kinkaide is rich, famous, and usually gets what he wants. But he is literally a mess. He lost someone years ago and now just goes through the motions, filling the void however he can. He lives in the shadows in a dark place and isolates himself. He is consumed by pain and guilt. He finds ways to make him feel good at least temporarily, but does not want to truly  feel anything or be attached in any way. He is jaded, cocky, dark, freaky, and an ass.
Jacey Vincent (Gabe's sister from If You Stay) has been through her own hell. Her choices cost her dearly. She just wants to get her life on track and move on. Her brother and his best friend Brand have taken care of her, but they are encouraging her to grow up. 

A chance incident with Jacey, leads to one situation that neither of them can escape from. They have no choice but to deal with it and end up spending more time together. Jacey is tough, sassy, and stands up for those who need it.  She is never going to be used again. He is never going to let anyone get close. They don't even like each other half of the time, but they are drawn to each other. It is one step forward and two steps back. Jacey has no clue what Dom wants and really neither does he (or he does not want to admit it). 

"I won't fall for you Dominic."
"I don't want you to....That's the whole point..."

Jacey has been the good girl who has a wild side and makes impulsive decisions and bad choices. She wants to do better. But Dom is a bad boy and a challenge. He is relentless in his pursuits even though he is not even sure what he really wants to with her. It was like Jacey was some force he could not help but be drawn to, but he did not want to be. I loved Jacey's sass and spunk and how she treated people. She was not dazzled by Dom. She treated him as a real person and called him out on his bullshit. Dom is a dark puzzle of secrets and keeps himself at arm's length. And Jacey is determined to break him down and get down to the real man and not the cool impersonal public facade. Dom is a bit freaky and kinky and fully embraces it. but Jacey is not shy and will try anything at least once.

But all along the mystery is building about what really happened to Dom and the woman he lost that made him this way. Why does he feel so unworthy? Why does he refuse to allow anyone or any happiness in? I was dying to know and I was highly anticipating breaking down Dom's armor and seeing him lose control and show real emotions and feelings. I admit that it took me a bit to warm up to Dom, but as his layers were slowly peeled back, I really started to like him more. 

Jacey really has shown growth. She is learning what her triggers are and how she needs to be strong for herself. She stands up and protects others, but does not always protect herself. She is growing, confronting issues, and realizing that her choices are not always good for her. She wants to fix Dom but he does not think he can be. And constantly reminds her of that making her more confused. 

"Don't love me...Or I'll break you. I won't want to, but it will happen."

They play games and advance and retreat. There are avoidances, confrontations, running, and denial. But finally there is a point where there is no going back and everything comes to the surface. It is raw, intense, powerful, and shocking. Just as I expected it to be. And it all happened pretty quickly. But my feeling is that that due to the fact that this had been festering so long and had been so painful, that it had to all come roaring out so fast and be deal with before Dom would retreat behind his protective walls again. There was so much under the surface with family and friend dynamics and the past to deal with. I admired Jacey for pushing him, understanding him, and trying to help him truly deal with it so he could begin healing. No one had been able to reach him. I think her own issues and healing showed at this point because she could understand and knew what he needed. I liked that she was willing to always fight for him to see the good in himself. She became to Dom what Brand always was to her. Someone to reflect the good parts back and to try to show them that they did have worth. 

"...the best things in life are worth the greatest risk. Falling in love is one of those things. Can it break our hearts? Yes. Most definitely. But more often than not, before we fall, we fly."

This series is about beautifully broken characters. Truly each book stands on it's own and the characters have deep flaws, insecurities, scars, and feelings of unworthiness. Courtney Cole does this amazingly well. She shows us these damaged souls and then gives them the people and tools to find redemption. It is always a challenging process with pain angst, misunderstandings, and heartbreak. She creates couplings that are intense, passionate, challenging, and terrifying for the individuals. Her characters are multi-faceted with barriers and walls built up and deep secrets and fears hidden. But slowly she lets us see below the walls. This makes these books addicting. they draw you in to the dark, twisted , gut wrenching pain and  secrets. They make you feel for these broken people and long to see them find some goodness and happiness in the world and to fully connect with someone. And the journey towards healing and love is always full of trials and tribulations. This book was no exception. It totally pulled me in and made me uncomfortable, angry, frustrated, and annoyed. It made me laugh and hope. It had some kink and steam. It broke my heart and it made me feel. All along I became more invested in these characters individually and together. I am left feeling like I went through all of the ups and downs with them. And I honestly think that is what always grips me with Courtney's writing style. She wants to shock us and make us feel every raw emotion. And she succeeded once again.

I am really hoping for Brand to get his own book. I adore him and have since we met him in If You Leave. I originally thought he would end up with Jacey, but understand why it went in a different direction. This sweet man deserves some passion and happiness. And of course, this is Courtney so I am sure he would get pain as well. And after meeting Dom's rock star sexy and naughty brothers, Sin and Duncan in this one, I would love to see a spin off series for them too.

Thanks to Courtney Cole, Forever/Grand Central Publishing, and Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. Quotes are from arc copy and subject to change. 

I am a literally torn with this review; for the majority, I loved and adored Dom and Jacey. And as always, I devoured Courtney’s writing. Seriously, my girl crush on her knows no bounds. There aren't too many authors or books out there that leave me thinking at some point in the story, “Whoa, did she seriously just go there?” And the answer to that is always, hell yeah, she did! Courtney Cole just lays it out there calling it as she sees it. I would definitely describe her writing style as someone who isn't afraid to get down and dirty. So if your senses are delicate then…

Once again, I was sucked in to a vortex of broken and damaged, except this time we are given an alpha with some major hang-ups, as well as some really naughty fetishes. What I love the most about her heroes is the fact that they are unapologetic, raw, gritty, and most of all so damn flawed! Not to mention, they are always so complex, they never fail to evoke strong emotions. Dom fit this description perfectly; he was dark, aloof, and quite frankly an ass. Despite this, I really liked his character; he had a certain “charm” that just endeared his self to me. The darker the inner turmoil the better. I find with my reads the more damaged and broken the hero is the harder I fall.

I am at a MAJOR crossroads, however. Fricken torn I tell you, TORN! Ugh. I really hate these moments when my mind won’t shut off with its indecisiveness.

Before We Fall held me captivated for the first ¾ of the book. I devoured the pages, couldn't get enough Dom and Jacey. Their fight and flight syndrome was actually entertaining. Usually, that much push and pull annoys the living day lights out of me, but Courtney balanced it well with some swoon worthy moments. Then I hit the 65-70% mark, this is where the book became a hit or miss. It started to move at a much quicker pace. The rush to the finish line left me feeling distracted. I really began to miss the well-developed plot as well as the fun lovable characters that I came to love and expect certain characteristics out of. I found myself shaking my head at their antics and thinking what in the world.

My major issue at this point was the revelation of Dominic’s secret. The scene left me a bit empty from the fast forward progression it took. Courtney did an amazing job recanting his tragic past, the small details allowed the reader to feel as well as live his memories and pain. I definitely felt for Dom, and my heart broke into pieces for him as he revealed the events that turned him into one cold-hearted bastard. Other than that, I felt more anger and disappointment than anything else on his behalf. The disappointment I felt wasn't just with the turn of the plot line; it was also with our lovable heroine, Jacey. I suddenly felt the need to smack her hard and scream at her to stop pushing so damn hard, to slow down, and let this man process. It didn't sit right with me that Dom was forced to deal with and face all his inner demons in what felt like a 24-hour time span of progression.

Immediately upon finishing this book, I had to talk with my girls. My mind was all over the place, my initial emotions in over drive, and I was ready to combust. I loved the fact that their valid points allowed me to view the Dom and Jacey situation from different standpoints. They both explained what they thought Jacey's reasons were for pushing him so hard, as well as the probable reason it happened so fast. I could see their points, but still for my peace of mind, it felt rushed. I’ll admit Jacey was good for him; she was made to be his better half. Her actions showed this on multiple occasions. She was definitely a force to be reckoned with when it came to helping Dom open up and begin the healing process. I loved this about her all the way up to that moment his truths were revealed. For just a few minutes, she slipped in my eyes. Something in that moment, with her, really rubbed me wrong. Nevertheless, each new detail they pointed out allowed me to view this couple in a different light, breaking them down a bit more, and giving me food for thought. The only thing I really don’t agree with is Kim’s thoughts on the pacing of said scene being true to Dom and Jacey’s personality and relationship. Unfortunately, I didn't feel that, I actually felt the exact opposite.

Looking back over my review and even after chatting with Rachel and Kim, I am still extremely torn over my thoughts. There was so much I did agree with them on and loved, but this one section just really threw me off. Courtney revealed some pretty heavy-duty truths and to me none of it felt thoroughly explored, nor did it feel as though Dom was given the time or chance to process properly. After some heavy processing myself, I have to go with my initial gut instinct. Not going to lie, it just felt unnaturally fast for a man who was otherwise extremely cautious to expose his self like that. Dom’s secret as well as the aftermath was pretty much a go home or go big moment for me. And in my opinion, everything between the 70-90% mark felt fast moving, I was barely given the time to process everything that went down between the big reveal and the epilogue.

Overall, I truly did love this book. Dom absolutely stole my heart; I know others struggled with him, not me. I adored everything, kink and all, about him, even the moments when he wasn't always my favorite person. Although, in his defense, he did warn Jacey away, repeatedly. As with every book Courtney writes, I found myself utterly and completely engaged, charmed, and rooting for that oh so deliciously crippled bad boy to find his happily ever after. Dom and Jacey were, both, beautifully damaged, and very well written with lots of depth and character. 

I also want to mention the epilogue! She nailed it, shocking the hell out of me with that outcome. I was not expecting her to take that route. Perfect touch on tying the book together.

So…I guess the big question is would I recommend…hell yes, I would! It’s Courtney freaking Cole; I would highly recommend any of her books in this series. As I said earlier, I was all over the first ¾ of the book, and then again, when I hit the last 10% or so. In retrospect, I really only struggled with about 20% of the book. If it wasn't for that small bit I would have given Dom all kinds of five stars. I loved his character that much! 

Thanks to Courtney Cole, Forever/Grand Central Publishing, and NetGalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review.

This is my first time reading Courtney Cole, and yes, I jumped in to the third book of a series. Because each book centered on a different couple I wasn't overly worried about being lost. I figured there would be character references I would miss and when I go back to read the first two books I will have some spoilers, but I was okay with that. This was an easy one too pick up mid series. I wasn't lost about who was who or what was happening at all. 

The characters were flawed, but real. I fell in love with Jacey almost from the beginning. Dominic took some warming up to, but only because he was so distant and then hot and cold. 

Jacey is finishing school, with one class remaining before she earns her business degree while working as a waitress at private parties. She is still getting her life back together after her boyfriend landed himself in jail by killing someone. I briefly wondered if this was something that came up in an earlier book because it isn't explicitly described, but the passing details Jacey gives are really all that are needed to understand where she's coming from in this one.

Dominic is a Hollywood actor, but one who does not draw undue attention to himself. He is dark, detached, and full of buried hurts. Though the narrative perspective alternates between him and Jacey, this feels more like his story than hers. He is hurting. Something in his past fills him with guilt, and the only thing Jacey knows is it has to do with an old girlfriend.

The story arch was a little unexpected. Neither Jacey or Dom are looking for a relationship when they meet, and they start out looking to each other for reasons other than love. With as many secrets as are being hidden by each of the characters the story took some twists I didn't see coming. The prologue felt disconnected from the rest of the book and I spent most of the time thinking it was one set of characters involved in the scene only to find it was not who I thought. It was a sweet little twist that made for a touching conclusion to the book. In hindsight I love the circle that one little scene created, though it took getting to the epilogue for the connection to become crystal clear.

As I read, I found myself on an emotional roller-coaster. The ups and downs seemed to come from every side. But ultimately, I loved everything about this book. I didn't feel like I was missing anything by jumping in to the series mid-way, and I will have to make time to pick the first two books up soon. 

Thanks to Courtney Cole, Forever/Grand Central Publishing, and Netgalley for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 
Courtney Cole


Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.

Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.

Grand Central Publishing: Website/Facebook/Twitter

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