Series: The Fallen trilogy
Genre: Contemporary, Erotica, LGBT, Romance
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 27 June 2014
Length: 270 pages (paperback)
» Book blurb
Sexual assault doesn’t discriminate. Aikido instructor Sean Gallaway learns that when he falls prey to a violent stalker. Asbjorn Lund, a karate sensei on campus and a Navy vet, yearns to teach Sean how to survive. How to overcome. How to recover. Sean feels hunted and alone as the stalker escalates, testing his boundaries. With the entire dojo at his back, Sean resolves to play bait. He will catch the predator stalking him and reclaim his sense of self if it’s the last thing he does. Yet Sean’s hunger for justice clashes with Asbjorn’s protective streak, and their budding romance might not survive their war of wills.
» My Review
Breakfall is narrated in third person and follows two men, Sean & Asbjorn. I’ve been so used to reading individual chapters for each character that this was a welcome change. I found myself stumbling over the name Asbjorn. I still don’t know how to pronounce it. I just went with a silent Y and read it as As-born. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
I don’t recall reading a specific city or town that this book was set in. However, the local martial arts club is located near or on an MIT University campus. To be honest, location isn’t important. The karate, aikido and other martial arts plays a vital role in the book and in their lives. Sean & Asbjorn have learned from masters of their chosen art. They live by it and are passing that knowledge on to others. Martial art language is used in phrases like “extend ki” and ‘kiai shouts”. Some phrases aren’t explained as well as others but you get the gist.
Because of their passion for martial arts, we learn about different styles of falling or breaking a fall. The ‘Breakfall’ isn’t gracious at all. No roly-poly or walk in the park! It’s hard, it hurts and can leave you battered and bruised. But your still alive and you have to learn from it. Both characters experience breakfall in different ways: Asbjorn through the death of a loved one and Sean suffering the sexual abuse. I didn’t really understand the book title until after I had read it.
Breakfall is a Contemporary Romance. I don’t think it’s labelled New Adult fiction, but they are both still in University and Sean fits that age range. This was my first LGBT romance, and it doesn’t disappoint. The sexual aspect of the relationship is new to these characters, It starts in the eyes, longing gazes, then increases to heavy petting and moves towards a life-long romance.
In terms of theme, Sean is dealt a difficult hand with a sexual predator stalking his every move and taunting him with phone calls. The abuse isn’t glossed over, it reads as very realistic. Alongside the martial arts connection, dealing with the PTSD following the abuse really bonds these two men together.
This is the first book I’ve read by Kate Pavelle. She has other romance publications. Steel City, released in 2013 is LGBT and also M/M so I might look into that series. I’m also the kind of person who needs to know the end of the story, and will definitely be picking up the rest of the Fall trilogy as its released.
Breakfall is a truly compelling story, that brings out your emotion. Sexual abuse must be hard topic to write authentically, but Kate Pavelle has written it well. I really liked this book. If you’re big on romance, and haven’t read LGBT before, I recommend reading Breakfall. Read the teaser excerpt below. If it leaves you wanting more, make sure you enter the giveaway below!
» My Rating
Disclaimer: I received an ARC for an honest review.
» Book Buy Links
Book Depository | Amazon | B&N | KOBO | Dreamspinner Press
» An Excerpt
THE QUALITY of silence around him awakened him. Sean strained his ears in vain for familiar sounds. The car traffic of Cambridge was replaced by the gray, early morning stillness of nearby woods. There was no sound of a clock ticking, no popping of ancient radiators, no footsteps of fellow students overhead. The silence was like a blanket of cool, morning fog, comforting and private.
He turned toward the source of breathing to his right. This was Sean’s first-ever opportunity to observe Asbjorn at leisure. His eyes, deep like the ocean blue, were closed, their pale eyelashes stretching down in a graceful arc. It amused Sean to find faded, sun-kissed freckles on Asbjorn’s nose and cheekbones—a testament to his heritage as well as to his lifestyle. The scar splitting his right eyebrow was still angry and red, a reminder of his bout with Don, a fight without a victor. Sean let his gaze travel down the chiseled planes of Asbjorn’s exquisite, sharp cheekbones, his lovely and defined jaw blurred by morning stubble, his stubborn chin. Above his chin, his lips: lush and generous and tinged pink with promise.
Sean leaned forward, sharing his breath with Asbjorn, feeling the stirrings of air on his nose. He brushed his lips against the stubbly jaw with a soft caress.
Asbjorn opened his pale lids. “What time is it, Sean?”
“I dunno. Early.” Sean reached for his cell phone, only to realize it was still in police custody.
“What day is it?” The pressure-cooker of recent events had left him disoriented.
“Uh, Thursday. Thanksgiving.” Asbjorn’s voice was still clogged with sleep.
“Shit.” Sean hit his head back against the pillow. The lab. He never handed in his stupid physics lab report.
Asbjorn reached for him with his large hands. “Shh. Don’t worry about anything right now.” Asbjorn’s voice soothed him. The strength of Asbjorn’s arms filled him with strange awareness as he was pulled in closer. The warmth was comforting, and he did not resist. He felt a cool nose nuzzle his neck.
“You’re not helping.”
“Not helping what?”
Sean blushed. “My morning situation.”
Sharp teeth worried the tan skin of his shoulder. Soon, a warm, wet tongue laved the nibbled skin smooth again. He felt sensuous lips taste of his arm and neck, and Sean felt himself arch. His morning wood was now a fearsome force of nature.
He felt Asbjorn press into his lower back, feeling his heat and the smooth hardness trapped between their bodies.
“Good to know I’m not alone in my predicament.”
» About the Author & Stalker Links
Just about everything Kate Pavelle writes is colored by her life experiences, whether the book in your hand is romance, mystery, or adventure. Kate grew up under a totalitarian regime behind the Iron Curtain. In her life, she has been a hungry refugee and a hopeful immigrant, a crime victim and a force of lawful vengeance, a humble employee and a business owner, an unemployed free-lancer and a corporate executive, a scientist and an artist, a storyteller volunteering for her local storytelling guild, a martial artist, and a triathlete. Kate’s frequent travels imbue her stories with local color from places both exotic and mundane.
Kate Pavelle is encouraged in her writing by her husband, children and pets, and tries not to kill her extensive garden in her free time. Out of the five and a half languages she speaks, English is her favorite comfort zone.
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