Falling Down by Eli Easton: Review by Lost in a Book
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
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Mark- 24yo, in the closet, former Vet, lives in a New Hampshire cabin for many reasons including trauma witnessed in Afghanistan, lives away from family that do not know he’s gay, and a handyman working odd jobs in a new city.
Josh- 18yo, homeless, ran away from his stepdad after he found out he was gay, mother’s passing and being homeless sent him spiraling into severe depression which led to suicidal thoughts and planning of his own passing.
Josh has the perfect place in mind to end it all, to peacefully slip away into a blanket of snow in New Hampshire. He finds the idyllic bridge and pond that he day dreamed about with his mother and makes his way there. Mark finds him sleeping under this bridge and coaxes Josh to eat and help him paint a large house while he’s in town. Josh reluctantly agrees but he has time since the leaves haven’t fully turned colors and there’s no snow to help him follow through with his plan… yet.
Josh seemingly comes back to life as he brings the old Victorian house back to life with each stoke of the paint brush (or sprayer). Mark offers Josh a place to stay while he’s working on the house. Both men grow closer each day and become intimate while in close quarters as they claw their way to an HEA with many bumps along the road.
I liked Mark and Josh… I think? Mark more than Josh. I didn’t fully believe their chemistry when they first get together. To me, it seems more like convenience and Josh finally being fed, warm, and well rested that led to these supposedly intense feelings. The lead up to the *big moment* and the actual event seems to be just a means to an end.
Josh needs help and although this isn’t the case of magic peen to the rescue, I wish Josh got a little more help than a “couple/few months.” I mean, he was suicidal, came up with a plan, started executing his plan… *shrug*
I listened to the audio for Falling Down and Michael Stellman did a pretty good job conveying Josh’s voice. The other voices were hard to distinguish at times. There were also random noises throughout like something clanking on the recording desk or movement in the studio. The first I noticed began in chapter four and then here and there throughout. The transitions between the end of the chapter and then saying the next chapter (ex. Chapter 6) is way too fast with zero breath making it seem like a run on sentence. On the opposite end, the transitions between POV in the same chapter were way too long and interrupted flow.
I adored Ms. Fisher because everyone needs a fully accepting grandmotherly figure in their lives and she fit the bill. I liked this story but it surely wasn’t love. Trigger Warning for suicidal thoughts. Recommended to fans of Eli Easton.
Copy provided for honest review.