ARC Review: Before We Fall by Courtney Cole

Before We Fall (Beautifully Broken, #3)
Before We Fall
by Courtney Cole
Book 3 of the Beautifully Broken Series

4 stars

*deep breath* Oh gosh. What can I say about this book... let's see, if I were to sum it up in several adjectives, I'd say it's emotional, twisted, dark, annoying, heart-wrenching, weird... and I'm looking for a single word adjective that says "it makes sense". My descriptions may seem inclined towards the negative, but I actually mean them as a compliment.

This book is one of those types that puts your mind and emotions in a blender, and even though you don't like that feeling, that is ultimately what makes it so good. I mean, girls have heard from reviews and Nicholas Sparks readers that A Walk To Remember is going to hurt, but they watch it anyway. In Before We Fall, I didn't have any warning whatsoever. I hadn't read the first two books in the series, so I had a clean slate for the main characters, Dominic and Jacee. But my gosh, someone should have warned me about this book...! lol

Okay so.. what I mean is, this book is highly emotional. We have two people who are not AT ALL the most ideal book characters.

Jacee: I'm needy. I'm fucked up
Dominic: I'm sorry. Sometimes I'm an asshole without meaning to be. Sometimes, I do mean to be. It's true. But I'm sorry that I was an asshole to you. 

Jacee... my first impression of her was she didn't have any direction in life. It has been implied and expressly said over and over throughout the story how much she sucks in making decisions. One example? She is working as an events waitress, or something, and didn't actively look for better opportunities. She just settled. At night she dresses up in skimpy, provocative outfits and gets called to serve drinks at the houses of their clients. Needless to say, her job puts her and her colleagues into sticky situations more often than not. It was in one of those house parties that she meets Dominic.

Dominic is introduced as a very popular actor who's on break and is staying at the house of his rockstar brother. Said brother is notorious for his orgies parties. Dominic himself is no saint. In fact his very first scene in the book is with a friend-with-benefits. He is such a contradiction. One moment he is a voyeur watching a waitress and a party guest doing the nasty out on the grass, the next he is rescuing the girl from the nasty man she's with. After that he speaks harshly to the same girl, then returns to friend-with-benefits to get his "benefits".

And right after that, he meets Jacee.

The night was supposed to end with both of them no longer expecting to see the other again. However, fate (or could it be somebody else?) intervenes and keeps the two of them stuck together for the next three months doing community service at a boxing gym for teenage boys.

Although there is a strong attraction between them, Dominic and Jacey are both too screwed up at the moment to make their relationship work--if you could even call it a relationship. The moment they acknowledged the attraction, they enjoyed each other's company. Nothing is official between them though. And while both had issues, Dominic's is definitely the bigger obstacle they had to face.

Honestly, I thought it was just so-so during the first 2/3 of the story. When Dominic's past started to unravel though and we finally learn why he is the dark, distrusting a**hole that he is (because seriously, he IS an a**hole), I was already sitting up straight in bed and clutching at my pillow.

Dominic's past is not pretty. It is so.. URGHH! It was a collection of bad, impulsive decisions and stupid mistakes! I teared up, I was that hurt for him, because at that point I was just so sorry for all that he experienced even though I also wanted to smack him sideways for his past actions. But past is past... and what these characters needed to do was to move forward.

Jacey spent a long time restraining her feelings for him though because she knew he is someone he could easily fall for, and then later hurt her.

One thing I've definitely learned in life is that you can't make someone love you. Or like you. Or want to be with you. It's a lesson I've learned hard and well, but it doesn't take the sting out of the rejection.

In fairness to her, she was the first to "man up" about their relationship. Dominic's lucky that for someone who cannot seem to make right decisions, she made the right one where he is concerned. She stood by his side and supported him through his emotional recovery.

I have to give it to Courtney Cole, for bringing a whole new level to "broken hero". I always found that description cheesy, but in Dom's case it is very apt description.

And so. After enduring the last third or quarter of the book with a hurting chest (and I mean that in a good way! hahaha), I am just thankful that it ended with Dominic and Jacee finding closure with their respective problems. Whew!

Lastly, I must say that the secondary characters are scene-stealers themselves. Gabe seems like an awesome big brother! Brand... oh, my heart went out to Brand. I hope he finds the one meant for him. And Sinclair! I'm not sure how I feel about him. I'm surprised that Dominic forgave him because me? I want to punch him so hard! Grrr....

Before We Fall is already out (release date: December 3, 2013). If you need an angsty, emotional read with a beautiful ending, you can buy your copy at these links:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

Thank you very much to the author and Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy for review!



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