Review: Falling Down by Eli Easton

Josh finds himself homeless at eighteen, but he has a plan. He’ll head north on the bus to New England and spend October there for his mother’s sake. She always talked about going to see the fall leaves someday. And when the leaves are done and the harsh winter comes, Josh plans to find a place to curl up and let go. It will be a relief to finally stop fighting.

Mark spent his life trying to live up to the tough swagger of his older brothers until he pushed himself so far against his nature that he cracked. Now a former Marine, he rents a little cabin in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he can lick his wounds and figure out what to do with the rest of his life. One thing was clear: Mark was nobody’s hero.

Fate intervenes when Josh sets up camp under a covered bridge near Mark’s cabin. Mark recognizes the dead look in the young stranger’s eyes, and he feels compelled to do something about it. When Mark offers Josh a job, he never expects that he’ll be the one to fall.

The snow is coming soon. Can Mark convince Josh that the two of them can build a life together before the flurries begin?

Trigger Warning: Suicidal thoughts

Eli Easton's writing hits me right in the feels. Whether it's lighthearted or angsty, I know I'm going to be right there with the characters in the story. Falling Down is on the angstier side and I felt all the things.

After his mother died and his step-father refused to accept that he was gay, Josh left home and found himself homeless again. He and his mother had a rough patch when Josh was younger, but things turned around. Then after her sudden death, things only got worse for Josh. He decided to head north to see the beautiful Autumn colors that his mother always talked about. He was going to take his mother's ashes to see the changing leaves and when the snow started to fall, he would lay down in the snow and go with her.

That was the plan. Until Josh happened to find himself a bridge right next to Mark's house. When Mark saw the young man sleeping under the bridge in the cold, he couldn't let it go. He hired Josh to help him with a painting job and part of Josh's pay was food and a room. 

I loved the slow build of their relationship. Josh wasn't open to trusting Mark right away, but through the time they spent together Mark was able to get through. Mark was so generous and genuinely kind to Josh. Now, Mark definitely wasn't perfect. He had his own struggles to deal with and made his own mistakes along the way. But he and Josh fit so well together.

Josh's pain is a palpable thing. The loss of his mother hit him hard and reading his coping mechanisms was heartbreaking. He struggled with depression and had a sense of defeat. He was done with the things life threw at him. I appreciated the slow-burn romance between him and Mark. Anything else would have seemed disingenuous.

Yet another hit from Eli Easton! I swear, this woman can do no wrong. Falling Down is an emotionally charged romance that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

A copy provided in exchange for an honest review.

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