By Meg Harding
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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.
Accepting the Fall was a pleasant surprise, and I looked forward to picking up where I left off each time. It was such a natural and authentic second chance love story. There was simply no part of it that dragged or hung awkwardly, was rushed or illogical – it was complete from start to finish, and it was always easy to closely identify with both Cole and Zander.
I detest angst, so I appreciated how the author effectively wove flashbacks in throughout the book to provide backstory, and it’s through these memories that the drama unfolds. The reader doesn’t have to suffer firsthand through the main characters’ trials and tribulations, heartbreak and heartache, but instead is allowed to share the couple’s second chance journey at discovering true love.
Cole’s capacity for forgiveness was accented by his previous heart-crushing experience with his one true love, Zander. Cole refused to allow himself to rush things this second time around, even though he knew – as it goes with true love – that he’d be unable to fend off his feelings, still burning just as strong after 17 years.
Zander owned up to his past mistakes and regrets, even though it took looking into the mirror through his daughter’s eyes to finally acknowledge and speak the words out loud. He was willing to be introspective and realize what had led him to make his past mistakes and own them, to try to make it right.
Major secondary character Savannah, Zander’s daughter as the result of a one-night stand, was a rebellious, independent, and feisty match that helped to reignite the flame between Zander and Cole. Through her eyes, so much became evident to Zander, and he devotedly committed to not allowing history to repeat itself – there was no way he was going to become his father.
The epilogue flashes ahead 13 years, and is a heartwarming and fulfilling HEA, told through Savannah’s perspective.
Accepting the Fall is an extremely well written book with a solidly crafted storyline, strongly developed characters, authentic and witty dialogue, and realistically portrayed emotional expression that progressed naturally throughout the book.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader’s Copy of Accepting the Fall.
Review originally posted on Amazon and Goodreads on June 23, 2017.