Review: Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding

Confronting the past is never easy.

Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.

He never expected her father.

Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.

This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.

This book is not helping the author crush I have on Meg Harding. Not one bit and I love it.

Cole Whitaker is in a good place in life. He’s a kindergarten teacher with a passion for animals and attempting to manage decent culinary skills to create edible food for himself and his current boyfriend. When a new student in his class starts behaving along the lines of bullying, he makes a note that he needs to meet with young Savannah’s father as he has learned from the little girl, her mother left. Cole is used to meeting with parents of his students but is so unprepared for who shows up as Savannah’s dad.

Time had done nothing to dull Cole’s memories of Zander Brooks, though he wished it had. He was supposed to be over this.

Zander Brooks is a local firefighter, a position he’s taken after leaving the military and receiving a child on his doorstep with a note telling him she is his daughter. Zander had no idea that a one night stand with a now faceless woman resulted in the creation of a child and now Zander is floundering with learning the process of becoming a parent to a five year old girl with a stubborn streak as wide as the day is long. When Zander decides to finally man or rather dad up and have a conference with Savannah’s teacher, his past comes rushing back to him in the form of Cole and with that, a level of regret disguised as mistakes.

Oh but I am a sucker for a second chance romance and when you add in Zander and Cole being teenagers meeting on a Military base, being each others first and everything for months, back when feelings were involved and hearts were broken and we are now 17 years later? GAH! My heart just aches for the story, for the backstory of what happened now and how will these two navigate the present as the waters of their past threaten to drown them in a tide of emotions.

Oh boy. The angst and UST in this were so damn good!

I have to throw this out there… I LOVE how Cole is with his animals and I am totally jealous of all that land he has. Le freaking animal sanctuary sigh, Cole. Le Sigh.

So, Cole has a boyfriend but while Patrick has become comfortable and safe in his life, he’s never felt the emotions and love he did and still does for Zander. When Zander literally rescues Cole and then they are forced into more interactions with Savannah and class field trips, the men start to remember what it felt like to be with one another and we start to get flashbacks of them together.

This has been… things have been weird since I walked in here months ago. Maybe it’s all in my head, and maybe it’s just me, but we’ve got tension. Our chemistry… it’s still there. I was, in my own roundabout way, trying to tell you that I don’t think we’re in the past. I don’t know that I can pretend we don’t have a history.

I was beyond happy that we get both POV’s in this story. So happy.

Zander has always believed that if you don’t get attached you don’t get hurt, it’s why he ended the relationship with Cole almost two decades ago and why he’s reluctant to care for anyone now. But with Savannah’s introduction into his life and the surprise of Cole reappearing in his life, it’s hard for Zander to stay aloof and unattached. He has the feeling that all he needs to do is fuck Cole out of his system and I wanted him to do it so so so bad because I just knew he was going to fail. A love, even a young love like Zander and Cole had that ended without closure, doesn’t disappear when the one you loved, is standing right in front of you wanting the same damn thing.

Kids in books are never a problem for me. I guess having kids and being one of those kids who was always told they were “four going on forty”, I know that kids don’t always act their age nor their shoe size for the general public. Savannah hasn’t had an easy life in her few years on this planet and she uses what she’s learned to her advantage. It’s a good thing Cole recognizes issues with problem students as something deeper and gives Zander some options to help his daughter. It’s natural for Cole to feel affection for his students and his relationship with Savannah was sweet but OMG watching Zander fall in love with his daughter was nothing short of gorgeous.

Now I mentioned Cole has a boyfriend in this book but for those who need to know, there is no cheating. Cole is a good guy and so is Zander and while both men feel a pull toward one another, neither crosses the cheating line.

What happened between them seventeen years ago hadn’t been teenage lust or infatuation. Everything he’d felt then, he felt now. Except now… now it was so much stronger, though no less confusing.

There is fate and there is serendipity and I believe Cole and Zander truly are the targets of both. Throughout the book the men are thrown together in situations outside of school that would seem contrived if they weren’t so genuine. Once they decide to give what they have between them a second chance I was a goner. Good lord. I love a slow burn romance and this was done so damn well that you feel it. It gives you all the feels you need and they smolder from the heat.

Phew… yeah. This one was good and it was so down to earth and real. There was no need to suspend any sort of reality because all that Cole and Zander have is real and once they open up and trust – again – it’s perfect.

You want to know what else was perfect? That epilogue. Goodness me that was beautiful and everything I could have wanted for everyone involved.

First loves are so important, they can either make you or break you but they are always remembered. When you have a first love like Cole and Zander, one that ends but it’s never had closure, it’s hard to let go of. When that love comes around again, with a second chance of a new ending and a happily ever after, there is nothing else to do take that leap and accept the fall.

An ARC was provided.

Don't miss the Accepting the Fall release blitz + giveaway HERE

1 comment:

  1. Hey, great review, it made me feel like I'd read the book & was remembering it before I was about to read it again, yay! On a serious note, I got my email today, read the start of the review, followed the link to read the rest, saw the competition, went to enter & found the competition was over.... what's up with that?