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Audio Book Review-Fall by Kristen Callihan

by | Jan 12, 2022 | Audio Book Reviews, Book Reviews | 8 comments

This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.

About The Book

The first time I met Jax Blackwood things went a little sideways.

In my defense, I didn’t know he was Jax Blackwood—who expects a legendary rock star to be shopping for groceries? More importantly, a blizzard was coming and he was about to grab the last carton of mint-chocolate chip.

Still, I might have walked away, but then he smugly dared me to try and take the coveted ice cream. So I kissed him. And distracted that mint-chip right out of his hands.

Okay, it was a dirty move, but desperate times and all that. Besides, I never expected he’d be my new neighbor.

An annoying neighbor who takes great pleasure in reminding me that I owe him ice cream but would happily accept more kisses as payment. An irresistible neighbor who keeps me up while playing guitar naked–spectacularly naked–in his living room.

Clearly, avoidance is key. Except nothing about Jax is easy to ignore—not the way he makes me laugh, or that his particular brand of darkness matches mine, or how one look from him melts me faster than butter under a hot sun.

Neither of us believes in love or forever. Yet we’re quickly becoming each other’s addiction. But we could be more. We could be everything.

All we have to do is trust enough to fall.

“I fell straight into the abyss. My want of her isn’t just physical; it is soul deep.”

My Review

First Impressions

I have discovered that this series has been such a highlight for me over the year. I have just adored these books and they are hands down my favorite books from this author. There is such a fun feel to them. Even though they are labeled contemporary, I definitely feel they are borderline romantic comedy and this book just had me laughing so hard all the way through. There are so many fun antics within this one. You never know what to expect with this series because each book is so different from the other, and yep Fall is definitely very different from the first two books and I really love how dynamic this author has been with this series, it keeps us readers on our toes. In this one though we see a story that blends some serious issues with some light humor that brings such balance to the story. I truly loved the focus on mental illness though and felt like it was represented so well within this story. I also love seeing the close-knit ties within this found family of the band members. Its such a delight to see how strong of ties they have with each other.

The Summary

In this story we have a book that begins with our hero and heroine having their meet-cute at a grocery store, fighting over some mint ice cream. It seems like great minds think alike and that definitely holds true for these two. They both have a craving and some quick-witted bantering and a shocking kiss turns into something they never expected. Stella is about to lose her home until she is offered a deal, to house sit and take care of some pets for someone in high profile, and she knows that this is definitely a silver lining for her. But what she doesn’t imagine is that the sexy man from the grocery store happens to be her neighbor. Stella and Jax go from flirting with each other to developing a deep-founded friendship where they connect in the most unexpected of ways. Neither Jax nor Stella ever imagined that they would find love within these circumstances and are not fighting too hard within their newfound relationship. They both, however, are dealing with demons in the past, and they can only fully embrace this relationship by shedding those demons and accepting themselves as they are.

“I don’t need you to fix me, Stella. I need you for everything else. I need your smiles, your laughter. I need you to be my best friend, my lover, my all. I need to take care of you, touch your skin, make you dinner, give you pleasure whenever you’re in need.”

I lean in, emotion clogging my throat. “You are the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I’d happily spend the rest of my life trying to be the best thing that has ever happened to you too.”

What I Liked

There was so much I fell in love with here. So many various elements that really brought this story together so well. I highly fell in love with this book from the very first scene and it was such a fantastic setup for the story in seeing these two find each other in such a normal relatable way. I mean grocery store meet-cute is such a classic form of flirting. I honestly couldn’t stop laughing in this scene. I really enjoyed seeing their different personalities seem to blend so well together. You don’t really expect these two to make such a good match with each other but they truly do. I also enjoyed seeing the truths of sexual safety practices and how easily STDs can be transferred and how vital it is to be safe in sexual encounters and I felt like the author really portrayed this factor so well. The romance that we see built between Jax and Stella was so beautiful. I just couldn’t get enough of seeing these two find each other in such a way and CONNECT. It’s truly remarkable in seeing how this author developed their story. It offered so many depths that are unexpected. I also respected how the value of mental health is such a focus in this book. And seeing how your mental well-being is so vital in order to have a healthy relationship. My heart just went out to Jax and Stella in this book because they have both been hurt so badly in different ways but it’s in these moments that they unite in such a vital way. This book had me smiling all over the place and I truly give ALL the credit to the author in being able to capture such a story that worked so well

“We can’t protect the ones we love; we can only let them know we’ll be there to pick them up when they fall.”

What I Struggled With

To be honest there really isn’t that much that I struggled with, although I do feel like this book was dragged out in some moments, and could have been cut out and didn’t need to be such a long book. Because it’s almost 500 pages. So I mean MUCH longer in length than any of the other installments.

The Narration

I absolutely adored this narration, it’s duo narrated and done SO well. Both Nelson and Maxine were a great blend together as the various POVs in the story were rotated out. And they really captivated on the personalities so well here. Definitely going to look for more books with these two narrating together because they did such a superb job in showcasing this story.

“I don’t know where this will go, or if I’ll be any good at it, but I want to be on this road with you.”

Overall View

I am overwhelmed by the power of this story, it’s a romance of fighting your demons, and finding love in the unexpected. It’s a story that will lift your heart, add hidden depths you won’t see coming, and an emotional roller coaster that blends the joy of life with the heartaches of the soul. TRULY A JEWEL OF DELIGHTS

“It’s an endurance race. You endure. You keep moving forward. But some days, Stella…Some days I get so fucking tired.”

“Then rest,” I whisper. “Rest with me. Let me be where you lay your head for a while.”

Book Details

Title: Fall

Author: Kristen Callihan

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy

Format: Audiobook

Source: Hoopla Digital

Length: 14 Hours

About The Narrator

Nelson Hobbs lives on the sand with a classical guitar in one hand and a glass of sangria in the other. His villa on the beach is lined wall-to-wall with a coveted library of romantic classics. His voice resonates in this paradise which has led to the natural transition to audiobook narrator.

Maxine Mitchell is passionate about animals, traveling, coffee, a good bottle of wine, and great stories. Raised an Army brat, she had a mobile childhood (affording her the opportunity to meet people from many different backgrounds) that she would not trade for anything. She still gets the itch to move every few years, but for now is settled in Los Angeles with her guy and her dog.

Book Links

Amazon| Barnes and Noble| Kobo| Audible| Anyplay| Goodreads| Storygraph| Literal Club

Book Evaluation

Storytelling Quality: 4

Story Itself: 4

Character Development: 4

Writing Style: 4.25

World Building 4.25

Feels + The Romantic Heart 4

Pacing 4

Plot 4

Cover Art 4

Ending 4

Book Ratings

Rating of the Book

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Steam Level

Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy

Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.

Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.

Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.

Series Order

Idol– Pub 2016 (339 Pages)

Managed-Pub 2017 (344 Pages)

Fall- Pub 2018 (452 Pages)

Exposed- Pub 2021 (313 Pages)

About The Author

Kristen Callihan is an author because there is nothing else she’d rather be. She is a RITA winner and three-time nominee and winner of two RT Reviewer’s Choice awards. Her novels have garnered starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and the Library Journal, as well as being awarded top picks by many reviewers. Her debut book FIRELIGHT received RT Magazine’s Seal of Excellence, was named the best book of the year by Library Journal, best book of Spring 2012 by Publisher’s Weekly, and was named the best romance book of 2012 by ALA RUSA. When she is not writing, she is reading.

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  1. Deanna (A Novel Glimpse)

    There really were so many things to fall in love with in this book. Such a great read and a great review.

  2. Ann Lorz

    This sounds like a fun read or listen in this case.

  3. Sam@WLABB

    I enjoyed this series too, and loved the way Stella supported John with his mental health issues

  4. Rachel

    I’ve never tried this author but I’ll keep this series in mind if I get around to her in the future. Glad to hear it was a hit, Renee!

  5. Sophie

    I love that series but my favorite will always be Managed!!! grumpy/sunshine always works perfectly for me!

  6. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    It’s been so long since I’ve read anything by Callihan but I really enjoyed what I have read from her. This one sounds amazing, and I love Maxine Mitchell. She is so, so good.

  7. Nadene

    This Is an author I wanted to try. The story sounds amazing.


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