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Take the Fall: Take the Fall #1 by Marquita Valentine with Excerpt

Take the Fall: Take the Fall #1 by Marquita Valentine with Excerpt

Welcome to my stop for the first in the new Take the Fall series from Marquita Valentine. Please read on for my review and excerpt, don’t forget to check the tour stops to see what other readers thought of the title and don’t forget to enter the tour wide giveaway where you could win a Loveswept prize pack including Loveswept and Flirt mugs and a select eBook bundle.

Take the Fall

The first I have read by Marquita Valentine, it most definitely won’t be the last, even though I had some serious issues with the personalities in this one.  Gripping and a serious emotional shredder, the tragic events that led to a very protracted second chance at romance kept me reading even when I wanted to toss my eReader across the room (in the absence of attempting to slap sense into the heroine).

Rowan, Seth and Jase were teenagers, doing what teens do: never fully anticipating or expecting serious consequences from a single stupid decision. A street race that turned into a fight, with both Jesse and Seth going to jail broke up this little triumvirate and the years have taken a toll on everyone. Seth and Rowan really loved one another, they still have strong feelings (what is hate but the inability to let go of strong feelings that were damaged by actions or words or absence?) for one another.

Rowan. Oh how I would have loved to kick her about a few dozen no, make that hundreds of times.  She’s got a hard edge for someone who had her life saved by the boys who took the fall – and she had the support of Seth’s grandmother and her best friend.  But the anger and vehemence and pushing limits to have someone “prove’ their reliability was beyond the pale. After seven years, she should have matured enough to realize that Jase and Seth taking responsibility and keeping her out of it was saving her, and done from love. But no… she wants to poke and prod and push, until it’s convenient for her. Passive aggressive minx… the worst people on the planet.

Jase: he tries, really he did. Tries to smarten up his sister and get her to see sense.  It doesn’t always work, but he completely understands the importance of Seth’s standing up and taking responsibility, and just how much that saved him from a far worse fate. His story will be interesting, because he is trying to assume an adult attitude unlike his sister’s toddler-stomp, and the time wasn’t kind to him either.

Seth: when he went away – he didn’t want Rowan fixating, so he shut her out.  Considering his feelings for her, and his young age, that was an incredibly adult decision, and caused him lots of pain. After jail his recruitment into the Marines was ‘assigned’, and the time away to learn and grow was good for him. And he thought that Rowan was still better off without him.  But now, he wants her back, and will actually do everything, including jump through her ridiculous hoops to make it happen.

Alternating between heartfelt openness and heat-inducing don’t talk just act moments the forward movement in the readjusting of the relationship between Rowan and Seth, with frequent roadblocks thrown up by Rowan.  Intriguing, frustrating and wholly emotional this story keeps you unsettled and unsure until the last page. An interesting start to a series that promises great storytelling with, hopefully, a less bumpy path to resolution.

Take the Fall: Take the Fall #1 by Marquita Valentine with Excerpt

Title: Take the Fall
Author: Marquita Valentine
Series: Take the Fall #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Published by: Loveswept
ISBN: 1101886501
Published on: 21 July, 2015
Format:eARC
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 175
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One FlameOne FlameOne Flame

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About the Book:

Fans of Abbi Glines and Katy Evans will adore Take the Fall, the first spinoff novel from Marquita Valentine’s New York Times bestselling Boys of the South series. In this emotional new romance, passions run hot as a rugged, brooding Marine rekindles an old flame. 

As a teenager, Seth O’Connor went to jail for a crime he had nothing to do with. He took the fall to protect the girl he loved, but the cruel realities of prison hardened him. After doing his time, Seth shuts her out and enlists in the Marines—until his grandmother’s funeral forces him to come home and face Rowan Simmons once again. The woman she’s become puts all his high-school memories to shame, and Seth wants her more than ever. Can he be honest about why he denied her for so long?

After Seth pushed her away, Rowan swore that no man would ever hurt her again. But the boy who broke her heart has become a sexy Marine, capable of fulfilling her every desire—and now that he’s back in town, old feelings are simmering to a boil. Rowan wants to stay strong, even as her body surrenders to his expert touch. She only hopes that by taking him back, she can finally help heal the wounds that drove them apart

See the Take the Fall Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 18 years of age due to drug and alcohol use / violence and/or sexual content in a genre not specified as Erotic.
Tasty Excerpt

 

I’m sitting in the holding cell with Seth. He’s wearing a standard orange jumpsuit. His face is swollen on one side, the skin around his eye on his good side is mottled purple and green, and his lip is busted. Every last injury is due to a paperwork error that had put him in the general population. The stupid guard took great pleasure in telling me how much a pretty boy like Seth caused a ruckus.

Bile rises and I force it down, taking a deep breath. I can’t imagine the horror he’s been through, or how he must feel right now. Only, while his feelings matter to me, the rest . . . I don’t view him any differently.

He’s still the guy I love. The guy I want to take home with me. The guy I gave my virginity to, and the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with.

“How are you?” I ask and immediately want to smack myself. How do you think he is, Rowan? He’s in prison!

“How do you think I’ve been?” he says, his gaze sharp.

I shrink back a little. “I’m sorry—I didn’t think.” Taking another breath, I try again. “I miss you.” Since he’s been here, my life has gone to crap. And Jase . . . Jase is here at Western Prison, too—serving time for attempted murder.

God, if I could go back and shoot Tony Johnson myself, I would. The two men I love the most are behind bars because neither of them would listen to me.

Neither of them would let me take the fall.

Guilt overwhelms me, so my gaze lowers and I stare at the table, then the floor . . . anywhere but at the man sitting across from me. He doesn’t look at me like he used to. . . . In fact, I think he hates me.

A full five minutes of silence pass before I finally speak again. “Why won’t you talk to me?”

“What do you want me to say? Thanks for making me go down for you and your brother?”

“That’s unfair, Seth. Jase has to serve seven years. That’s a hell of a lot longer than nine months,” I snap and then take a breath. This hasn’t been easy on Seth; he’s not like Jase. I have to remember that.

When Seth was sentenced, it was like the boy I knew faded away. He wouldn’t talk to anyone, including me, afterward. He let the guards handcuff him and lead him away, without looking back.

“But he didn’t get the shit beat out of him, did he, the first night and every night for a week until a paperwork mistake was corrected?” Seth blows out an angry breath. I bite the inside of my cheek so hard that blood spills into my mouth. “He doesn’t have to join the fucking Marines and get sent off to war to reduce his jail sentence, does he?”

“You could always get your lawyer to contest it,” I say softly. “Everyone knows Judge Smith gives creative judgments.” But because he’s been on the bench so long and has accumulated so many friends in high places, no one dares to question him.

“Yeah, right, Rowan. Keep dreaming.”

“I’m only trying to—”

He pounds his fist on the table and I jump. “Quit trying to do anything but listen to me. I got a death sentence from some crackpot judge who wanted to make sure I never pulled something like this again. I’ve never been in trouble in my entire life, Rowan. Who’s going to take care of my grandmother now? You?”

Miserable and helpless, I nod as tears spring to my eyes. “Yes. I’ll take care of her. I’m already living with her. Miss Myrtle took me in after . . . everything,” I say quietly.

“Good.” The fierce look on his face fades a little, and I ache to take him in my arms. I want to make him feel better. I want to assure him that everything will be okay. “Promise me you’ll take care of her,” he says.

I reach out, grab his hand, and squeeze it tight, but it’s entirely one-sided. “I promise. I swear I’ll take care of her, Seth.”

Finally, finally, his hands cover mine as he lifts them to his lips. He breathes in, eyes closing. “Promise me one more thing, sweetheart.”

“Anything.” I mean it. I’ll do anything for him if it means he’ll keep loving me. If it means he’ll stop being this guy I don’t recognize.

His eyes open and my breath catches. They’re like obsidian. Hard and cold. “Don’t ever come see me again.”

A cry escapes my mouth before I can stop it while the rest of me is frozen and hard, like a statue. Only on the inside, I’m crumbling. I’m dying.

“Please don’t be this way,” I whisper brokenly. “Please. I’ve already lost Jase. I can’t lose you, too.”

He rises to his feet. “You already have.”

I watch as he calls for the guard to come get him, as he’s handcuffed once more and led away.

Jumping up, I run after him, but another guard puts out his hand.

“Don’t you fucking touch her,” Seth barks, jerking back and putting himself between the guard and me. Hope springs in my chest. If he didn’t care about me, why would he bother to say that? “Unless you like going to prison for a crime you didn’t commit.”

Stunned, I stare up at him. Seth’s dark eyes search my face, like he’s trying to memorize it. This isn’t the boy I love, but he’s in there. I know it. Finding my nerve once more, I take a step toward him. “Seth, I—”

The guard clears his throat. “You can’t go with him, Miss.”

My lips tremble as Seth turns away without another word and walks out the door. “I love you, Seth,” I cry, right before the door closes.

My knees give, and I crumple to the floor, sobbing. This isn’t over, I silently vow. I’m not giving up on us.

If Seth won’t let me visit him in prison, then I’ll find another way to keep in contact and let him know how much I care. I won’t let his change in attitude toward me drive us apart.

All I have to do is remember who Seth really is. Who he’s been since we were children. Who he’s been since he first told me he loved me.

Wiping my tears away, I stand and then grab my purse. When I leave Western Prison, it’s with a sense of purpose.

I’ll get Seth back, no matter what.

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About Marquita Valentine

Marquita Valentine is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Holland Springs and Boys of the South series, having sold more than a quarter of a million books around the world. She’s been called “one of the best new voices in romance” (Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews) and her books have been praised as “sexy, fun, and slightly addicting” (The Book Queen). When she’s not writing sexy heroes who adore their sassy heroines, she enjoys shopping, reading, and spending time with her family and friends. Married to her high-school sweetheart, Marquita Valentine lives in a seriously small town in the south with her husband, two kids, and a dog.