Jaded and hardened by the ultimate of betrayals, Clearwater Falls Sheriff Gage Dennison is content with his simple, detached life.
With only his loyal dog at his side, Gage has successfully maintained the walls he’s built around his life and heart for eight years. From his secluded house at the end of a private road, to the solitude of a small town sheriff, he has no trouble keeping everyone just where he wants them – at a distance.
But Gage soon learns his walls are not as solid as he thought them to be.
Despite all his efforts, and against his will, Gage’s new neighbour Delaney Collins threatens to crack his once-impenetrable walls.
Unprepared for the constant verbal sparring, and growing physical attraction to Delaney, Gage is suddenly fighting an internal war he never expected. His brain and reason insist he keep his distance, but his body refuses to listen. Especially when the lure of her warm, willing body soothing his bruised and battered soul is too much to resist.
As the demons of his past are revealed, will Gage crumble under the weight of his fear? Or will he find the strength necessary to tear down his walls and hold on to the only woman that offers him a second chance at love? (Goodreads)
Afraid to Fall started off strongly, with two characters that were interesting and complex. Coupled with a plotline that I hadn’t read in a while, I found myself zipping through it. However, by two thirds of the way through the book, I found it difficult to press on.
Like any romance book, the build up to both Gage and Delaney recognising the fact that they are attracted to each other and actually doing something about it is brilliantly written. Both are fully dimensional characters each with strengths and weaknesses that makes them human. For much of the book you are given little hints about the relevant people who have caused such deep seated pain in both Gage and Delaney. Even when the truth is revealed about their pasts, you do hope that this will be the first step in moving forward into the future.
As the book progresses, it does seem to appear that both Gage and Delaney are making progress. Yes, there are a few bumps along the road, but it seems that they are well on the way to having their Happy Ever After.
It was at this point, nearly three quarters of the way through, that I felt there was an out of the blue obstacle. It concerned Delaney and the biological father of her son. Though, we find out how the relationship broke down, there was no hint about the fact that she was still in contact with him. Like Gage, we are led to believe that she wanted a fresh break away from everything, so the surprise appearance of Delaney ex just seems off.
This isn’t the biggest issue I had with the book, for if this was just the only obstacle, I would have brushed it under the carpet. No, my bigger issue was Gage and his over-reaction to Delaney’s supposed indiscretion with his former best friend. There is a lot of history and though it is understandable that Gage may have trust issues, due to the way his marriage broke down, but basing his suspicions purely based on Delaney’s past, when she hadn’t shown any hints of repeating her past. At that point, I lost some of my affection and sympathy for Gage. He went from a broken Alpha male to a pig-headed Alpha male and not the good kind.
Normally, I would either give up on the book or score the book lower than I ended up doing. The saving grace to the book has to be Gages brother’s, Reed and Hunter. Both of these characters, especially Hunter seem to have interesting back stories that are screaming to be explored further.
I think this is what I really liked about the book; the close nit relationships between all of Gage’s family. Watching how they care for each other is just a joy to read.
Afraid to Fall is not a bad book and Ferraro really does have a gift with writing interesting characters and a plot that at first was compelling. Whether it was because of where I am with regards to my reading favourites, I’m not sure, but I found that the book seemed to lose some steam near the end of the book. I found that obstacles were thrown in to draw out the plot or to allow Gage to make some big declaration of love.
This book really does show a lot of promise for the rest of the series and though I just “liked” the book, I have feeling that Ferraro will produce a brilliant series. So if you do want to read a contemporary romance, where there is a love/hate relationship, I do suggest giving this a go.