Blog Tour and Giveaway: Falling: E.K. Blair

Fading #2
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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’

Other books in this series:

She sniffs and I know she’s crying. Having her like this, in my arms, is an intimacy that’s completely foreign but comfortable. I’m sure she can hear my heart pounding, but I need her to hear it. I need her to feel it as it thuds in my chest because I need her to hear me falling for her, ‘cause that’s what’s happening here—I’m 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. That’s how powerful she is even when she thinks she’s at her weakest. She’s broken. I see it clearly, but whatever it is that’s haunting her, I wanna make it fade. I wanna make it fade and make her fall too—with me.
            When she begins to pull away from me, I selfishly want to tighten my hold on her and keep her like this for a little longer. I worry this was just a random need for comfort from her, that I won’t get this again, that she doesn’t feel what I know I’m starting to. Fuck, this hurts. 

That's how powerful she is even when she thinks she's at her weakest. She's broken. I see it clearly, but whatever it is that's haunting her, I wanna make it fade. I wanna make it fade and make her fall too--with me.

In FADING, we saw Ryan as the patient, caring man who tried to take away Candace's pain. He pushed her and helped her but also showed patience and kindness. And he became very attached to her.
In this book, told in Ryan's point of view, we see into his abusive childhood and what he had to do to survive it. He is now a successful bar owneer but he does not have relationships. One of his coping mechanisms is shutting himself off from attachments. He never wants to risk letting out the monster that he fears lives within him. He is shallow, in control, and selfish.

But one night his life is changed as he helps a victim. It made him think about his own behavior. And then once he meets Candace, and begins to spend time with her and her friends, he begins to see life differently. And he begins to feel things that he never has for a woman. He becomes protective, attached, interested, and wants to know more. But Candace has walls up for her own protection. She has been through an ordeal and now finds it hard to trust or let people in. Ryan really has to work at it. I loved seeing this in Ryan's point of view as he was falling. His vulnerability, confusion, frustration and surprise were endearing. I fell hard for him all over again, and it was more meaningful  knowing how damaged and detached he had previously been.

“I’m scared of falling anymore than what I already have for Candace, but I want to. God, I want to so bad. I want to connect. I want everything I’ve been too afraid of.”
I honestly enjoyed Ryan's point of view more, perhaps because it was not as dark and depressing as Candace's. Also because I really just adore Ryan so much. 

This book showed how much healing they both really had to do.  Ryan was not perfect either. He had his ghosts and his own flaws.  But his heart turned out to be deeper then even he ever imagined. And once he decided to change, he never wavered. He did not fight his need for Candace. He had to fight for her, but he knew exactly what he needed and really what she needed too. 

“You’re everything I never thought I wanted, but when I met you, you were everything I needed.”

It was a heartbreaking and painful journey. My heart broke for Ryan at times. He felt such guilt, pain, fear, and loss. He had secrets he was keeping, but had his reasons. And it ate away at him and made him fearful and insecure. He had so much to deal with himself but was also trying to be strong and support Candace through her painful journey. He really changed through the course of the book from selfish and vacant to protective and loving. He showed such incredible patience, understanding, and kindness to Candace. Many men would not have wanted to deal with her baggage but he faced it with her head on. And he knew that it was worth it to him to have her in his life. He had to face his own demons, help her face hers, and deal with the fall out from both. He thought he was broken beyond repair, but realized that she was more damage. And in helping her heal, he also helped himself. 

“I took it all, and no amount of pain could make me believe that it wasn’t worth the fall because falling in love with her was the best thing I ever did.”

I enjoyed seeing more of his family. The relationship of his mother with both him and Candace was sweet and so beautiful. Ryan's friendships and love of his family also showed what a caring individual he was to those important to him. I loved seeing more into the futures Of Candace and Ryan, and of their friends especially Mark and Jase.  I am such a sucker for epilogues and this one made my heart happy. After so much pain, it was heartwarming to see their healing, friendships, and love. Even though it was mostly the same time frame as Fading and Freeing, it did not feel like a rehash. We were given new scenes from Ryan's childhood as well as a further look into their future.  

E.K. Blair has delved deep into all of these characters and made them real, flawed, and intense. They love hard, feel strongly, and have deep connections. It was emotional, romantic, painful, swoonworthy, heartbreaking, and uplifting. To truly get the most out of this book, I strongly recommend reading Fading and Freeing first. Otherwise, it will not have the same impact and you will be missing crucial details. This was a perfect ending to this intense trilogy.

"Sometimes the things worth keeping are the things things we have to work for."

Thanks to E.K. Blair for providing me with an arc in exchange for an honest review. 

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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