Feels Like Falling
Series: Dangerous Love #5
Publisher: Elle Keating
Release date: November 13th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Source: Barclay Publicity
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Trigger warnings: drug addiction, child abuse, and rape
Luke McGinnis is the responsible, quiet older brother. The loving son who enjoys working side-by-side with his father at the winery they co-own. At twenty-nine years old, Luke is a success story, the rags-to-riches kind. That’s what people see. Not the ugly past he fights to keep buried... a past that keeps him from really living.
Peyton Matthews is a household name. As a model, her face has been on the covers of countless magazines and she now has more money than she will ever know what to do with. But that smile she flashes for the photographers and the media is just an illusion. That pretty package everyone envies has been her armor, her protection, and she doesn’t want anyone to find a chink in it... especially not the winery owner who looks at her like he knows the dark secrets she keeps.
The Faerie Queen’s review
Well that was a lot more angsty and messed up than I was expecting. Before I get started, this book comes with a massive trigger warning – and I don’t care if this is spoilery because it needs to be – for child abuse and rape. The instances are described and explored in enough detail to (hopefully) make the most sheltered, blessed-with-a-perfect-life reader squirm uncomfortably.
That being said, I did enjoy reading this book. Enjoy doesn’t really feel like the right word, actually… I felt compelled to read it is probably more appropriate. Even with all the darker parts bringing things down, I needed to know that Luke and Peyton made it through ok. Luckily, the connection between them was strong, the heat palpable. While a lot of scenes upset me, there were plenty that made me feel uncomfortable…in a good way.
A few things did bother me, however. At times, I felt the triggery content was a bit gratuitous. I don’t know if things had to be as dire as they were to achieve the same effect. Or rather, it might have helped if they weren’t so dark so as to make this feel more like a romance novel and less like a horror story in places. I also didn’t like some of Luke’s behaviour at the start, when he behaved in a very creepy, controlling manner. Now, I know he tried to explain that this wasn’t typical behaviour for him, but it still made me feel a bit iffy about him as a romantic hero. I’m glad, at least, that consent was such a major theme in this book, and something Luke sought out explicitly. And one last thing: the book was a bit too long. It felt like they kept being on the precipice of their HEA when they had to go on another trust adventure. Now, I get why that happened, but it did start to drag a little towards the end.
Am I glad I read this? Yes. Do I need to now read some fluffy romance? For sure. But if angst-filled romances are your thing, and you can stomach some horrible, dark pasts, then pick up this fifth instalment in the Dangerous Love series!
Peyton looked back at the bar, but Luke was nowhere to be found. Pissed, she continued her trek to the bathrooms anyway and was just about to enter the door marked MNA when someone grabbed her hand and pulled her down a hallway and into some back room which housed a pay phone and a rack full of coats. Like the rest of the tavern, the lighting wasn’t great, but she was able to focus on the man who still gripped her hand and stared at her like he was either going to yell at her or take her against the wall in the most primal of ways.
“What are you doing here?” she asked.
“Who is he?” Luke asked through gritted teeth.
It pissed her off that he completely ignored her question and asked her one instead, one that truly left her perplexed. “Who are you talking about?”
“The man who felt it was okay to touch you here.” He released her hand, but she instantly felt his fingertips at the small of her back.
The heat of his touch made her anger fade, at least for the time being and she said, “He’s a friend of Walt’s.”
“Are you leaving with him?” His eyes darkened and he drew closer. His hand fell away from the small of her back, which thankfully broke the trance her body seemed to be under and her fury was reignited.
Who the hell did he think he was? She didn’t owe him anything. Not even responses to questions that made her hot and furious at the same time.
“Did you follow me here?” she asked. Her voice shook a little, but it was better than submitting to his questions.
“Yes. Now, are you going home with him?”
“Do you have any idea how messed up that is? That you fucking followed me…again?”
His jaw clenched and he looked away. Peyton was prepared to continue, to lay into him and tell him that he was a stalker and could go to hell, but then he glanced back at her and she saw the shame in his eyes. “Yeah…it is fucked up. I’m…fucked up,” he said.
She wasn’t even going to try to pretend that his words didn’t shock her. He knew what he was doing wasn’t normal. That he wasn’t normal. Luke roughly raked a hand through his hair as he paced the small coatroom. He reminded her of a caged animal, one that was anxious and willing to chew through the bars to get free. Shame, worry, pain, fear, confusion. He seemed consumed by each emotion all at once and all she could do was watch him suffer. What happened to him? Why did he look so…broken?
Before she could ask, Luke shook his head, told her he was sorry and left.