Published by Loveswept on 6/16/2015
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance
Buy on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, iTunes
Fans of Jasinda Wilder and Colleen Hoover will adore this emotional new small-town romance—a smoldering tale of first love and long-awaited redemption from USA Today bestselling author Tina Wainscott.
Raleigh West works in an auto shop day and night, trying to put his broken past out of mind. It’s been seven years since the fiery crash that landed his teenage sweetheart in the hospital . . . and him in jail. In an instant, he lost everything: his passion for racing, his hope of escaping his father’s shameful legacy, and the only girl he ever loved. Raleigh hasn’t seen her since that awful night. Never got a chance to apologize. And never forgave himself, either.
When brave, beautiful Mia Wentworth returns to the Florida coast for the first time in what seems like forever, it’s not to see Raleigh. Even so, the moment she arrives she can feel his presence like a gust of wind that gives her goose bumps. Opening her heart to him again seems impossible. But staying away? That might be harder still. Lucky for them both, Mia’s never been the kind of woman to take the easy way out.
I knew the instant I started reading that I would adore Raleigh and Mia. Both are very headstrong characters that don’t like to accept help from others. I haven’t read many second chance romances, but I’m glad I picked this one up.
Mia is a definite favorite. She’s had to overcome some awful things as a child, and even more crap as a teen. Her parents continue to treat her like a frail little girl, and she has a hard time getting them to stop. I’m not a big fan of her mother, but her father definitely deserves some respect after a while. Mia has to decide whether she wants to stay on the path that leads to her heart not being broken or live in the moment and experience life. I think I would have a hard time deciding in her situation as well.
I love Raleigh. He’s strong and capable. He does have a habit of letting guilt over things out of his control take over him. He was infatuated with Mia when they met as teens, and that doesn’t die over the years. He still cares for her just as much as he did then. He carries so many burdens on his shoulders and doesn’t think he’s worthy of love, or that he’s as good a person as everyone believes him to be. That fact right there breaks my heart.
There’s an event that might tear them apart again, and it’s nerve-wracking. You don’t know what’s going to happen between Mia and Raleigh. Falling Fast is a quick read, and will leave you wanting more from the characters in this small town setting.
Raleigh looked up, and his eyes softened in a way she knew, and felt, right down to her bones. He didn’t smile, but he stood, his body tensing as he took in her approach. Friendly or hostile? He was no doubt trying to figure it out. She tried to smile, to let him know that she wasn’t here to yell at him, but her face felt frozen. Paralyzed. Hell, was she going to freeze up again?
She tried to utter a greeting, but her dry throat prevented the words from emerging. She waved instead.
Raleigh stepped out from behind the stone, coming toward her. His eyes hungrily roamed over her, skipping from her face down her body, then quickly back again. Not lustily but as if sating a deep thirst. And there, beneath the question in his eyes, lay a hint of a smile. Suddenly she was transported back to that first time she’d gone into the garage just to see him. To ask him more about the races. He’d looked both pleased and surprised.
“Mia,” he said, her name loaded with more than she could interpret.
For a moment, she forgot about the scars that would be visible in the bright sunlight. She forgot to breathe. “Raleigh,” she said. She thought she was smiling, but it might look more like a grimace. Gawd, get hold of yourself. You’re just here to let him know you don’t hate him. “I—”
“Mia! We have to go!” Her mother’s voice pounded harshly from behind her.
Mia turned, spotting her mother duck-walking over in spiked heels that kept sinking into the earth, hands fisted at her sides. She turned back to Raleigh. “I just wanted to say . . . I don’t —”
“Mia,” her mother ground out.
“Blame you,” Mia managed, and quickly walked toward her mother, not wanting her anywhere near Raleigh. He would probably think she was still that timid seventeen-year-old who was afraid her parents would find out that she was sneaking out at night. But she wanted to protect him from all the angry, imprudent things that would gush from her mother’s mouth.
“What are you doing?” she hissed as Mia hooked her arm through hers and spun her back toward the casket.
“It’s called closure, Mother. The last time we spoke, he’d called to see how I was doing, and I hung up on him.”
“Well, he deserved it,” she shot back, flicking a glance backward.
Mia fought not to do the same. She didn’t want to see what expression he might have. Disgust. Sympathy. Regret. Or, even worse, just dismissal. “No, he didn’t.”
“She was talking to him,” her mother said when they reached her father. “She went to him.”
Mia met her father’s curious and disconcerted expression. “I just wanted him to know I wasn’t angry at him.” Though, dammit, she hadn’t gotten that part out.
“Why do you care what he thinks?” her father asked in his low, emotionless voice.
“Or do you care?” her mother asked. “You’re not still—”
“Of course not.” Even uttering the words in love was preposterous. Mia couldn’t help herself, glancing toward Raleigh. He was kneeling in front of the stone again, but his eyes were on her. “It was just a summer romance. Teenage hormones.”
They seemed gratified by that last declaration, even though it sounded hollow to her ears. “We should go,” her father said, nodding toward the people now milling by the limousine.
Once they reached it, she shot one more look toward Raleigh. She wanted to believe her recent declaration, but she felt exactly like that girl who had fallen fast and hard for the boy who’d made her a woman.