Saturday, August 10, 2013

FEAR OF FALLING by S. L. Jennings

FEAR OF FALLING by S. L. Jennings
Published:July 15, 2013, S. L. Jennings
My rating: 5 of 5

~"You can do this," I whispered to the reflection staring back at me. "It's ok. You're ok. It had to be done. You have to keep going. You can do this, Kami Duvall. You will not break. Not today."~

Every day is a struggle for Kami. Just getting up in the morning can be a challenge. Her two best friends are the only family she cares to have, the only ones she allows to see the real her. The Kami without the protective shields, the Kami who needs to be held contained with like a collection of fears, tucked safe in a jar. She's tried so hard to separate herself from the scars her childhood left behind, but when you're taught that love is ugly, where do you go?

~They seemed to pierce right through me, making it impossible to tear my own gaze away. Eyes that had witnessed grief and pain. Eyes that glazed over and tried to push all the hurt away.~

 Blair is instantly pulled to Kami. His instincts are warning him to tread gently, that this is a girl whose pain runs deep, but he has determination that runs wide. He battles his own demons and wants to battle Kami's as well. 

~"I'm not looking through you, Kami," I said only for her ears. I didn't need an audience; I just needed her to really hear me. "I'm looking into you. I'm standing here, wondering how the hell a girl so beautiful could hold so much sadness in her gorgeous green eyes. And I'm asking myself why I want - no - why I need to know what's made her so sad. And what I can do to take away every ounce of that sadness. I need to know what it will take for you to let me in, so I can just do that."~

All of her twenty-three years, Kami has run from fear. But here is this man,  a gorgeous inked, compelling, frightening and yet protective man, who is trying to pull down all her security walls. Blaine scares her, he makes Kami feel things, he makes her want the impossible. And she doesn't know if she can stop him.

~"I know you said you don't feel anything," he whispered. "But can you honestly say that you don't feel this? That this heat, this attraction, is all in my head? Don't think about it; just answer. Tell me what you heart wants to say and not what your head keeps trying to make you believe."~

Love is not something Kami does or wants. Letting go is terrifying. But every time she runs away from her feelings, they -or Blaine- find her again. When she tries to make a last stand, her past catches up with her to remind her.

~"You don't have to be afraid of falling. Just close your eyes, let go, and know that I'll always be there with arms outstretched, ready to catch you."~


Wrung out, emotionally drained, red-eyed, yet content ...............ohhhhhhh, what a book! I need a hug, and a nap!

First of all, a word of caution. This book deals with serious issues of abuse. In fact, the story is inspired by true events. 
Despite the fact that I have been fortunate enough to never have to endure abuse of any form in my life, Kami's story ripped into my heart. It wasn't difficult, even for me, to empathize with her, although I have never 'walked a mile in her shoes'. 

Be prepared to be turned inside out. The incredible way author S. L. Jennings was able to translate and convey the devastation, coping mechanism, and struggle to overcome the horrors of abuse, is so poignant, so vivid, it had me pulled in every direction.

I cannot tell you how much I appreciated the double point of view in this particular book. We hear from both protagonists. 

Kami, of course, allows us to follow along with her inner struggles, the world as it plays inside her head. The inner dialogue that pitches her mind's need to control childhood memories, against the desires of her heart. The constant self-doubt and self-flagellation that makes her want to disappear, only to have her strong mask come up and make her function in the 'outside' world. The way trust is her highest commodity. 

Blaine, whose point of view is as imperative to the story as Kami's is. It shows the determination he has, and the level of understanding he gathers into Kami's issues, from just a few words and a keen observation. We also find some context necessary, to frame Blaine properly into the role of 'rescuer'. A bit of a controversial concept, one he doesn't want to believe in, but holds truth. He has his own demons.

I could also sell you on the heat factor in FEAR OF FALLING, and believe most definitely is there..... in spades. But although part of the story, it is not the story, if you get my drift. Let's just say the author's descriptive abilities are very powerful here as well!!

I purposely used few of my own words in the description of the book, and utilized some quotes instead. This book really just needs to be read. There isn't much more I can say or add to make the outline of the story clearer, without either going too deep into it, or messing with something beautiful that I have no business messing with. I'd rather leave that to the professionals.......hence S. L. Jennings' quotes. She really is a brilliant writer. 

✨An exquisite, spell-binding, emotional and inspiring story of strength in letting go.✨

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Suffice it to say, I most highly recommend this book and I would like to give a big thank you to Brandi of the DirtyGirl BookClub who gifted me FEAR OF FALLING and suggested I read it! Thanks Brandi, you rock!!!

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