Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding
Publisher: Oceanside Press
Length (Print & Ebook): 62k
Subgenre: Contemporary Romance
Confronting the past is never easy.
Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.
He never expected her father.
Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.
This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.
Author Meg Harding’s take on Accepting the Fall: “Not everything is perfect, and it’s not always going to go right the first time around. It’s not any less special because it was flawed.”
Praise for Accepting the Fall: “A character driven, second-chance romance. Recommended for anyone craving a low-angst, tender, contemporary story stuffed to the brim with feels and sweetness.” – Piper Vaughn
“I’ll handle this,” he said. He fished around in the backpack he’d brought along and withdrew a small pill bottle. “Ibuprofen. Take one.” He held it out.
Zander glared. There was a drop of sweat beading at Cole’s temple and his hair—what could be seen of it poking from the hat—was curling. Zander simultaneously wanted to see Cole looking similarly hot and flushed while underneath him and to tell his upbeat ass to fuck right off with his ibuprofen and sunny attitude.
Cole shook it, his lips twitching. “On second thought, take two or three. Your eye’s started to twitch.” Whatever restraint Cole had been using must have escaped him, and he let a smug smirk takeover his stupidly handsome face.
Before common sense was able to get a word in, Zander stepped forward. The animal instinct part of him had one goal in mind: kiss the smirk till it went away. Their past didn’t matter in the present. Cole was here and everything about him tugged on parts of Zander he didn’t know what to do with. Only Cole had ever made Zander’s brain go blank with need. Cole turned Zander into the kind of person Zander didn’t know how to be, and much like in the past, it was irresistible.
Unlike his seventeen-year-old self, the adult Zander did now—deep down—possess the tiniest inkling of self-control. It was this iron will that enabled his common sense to kick in right as the tips of his shoes brushed the tips of Cole’s. Cole’s hand, bottle covered by his curled fingers, pressed against Zander’s diaphragm. Zander could feel the jut of Cole’s knuckles through the thin fabric of his shirt. Cole’s eyes were wide saucers, the blue almost entirely swallowed by the expanding black of his pupils.
It was the same look he’d given Zander on the bus.
Zander sucked in a shaky breath and on legs that felt wooden, took several steps back. He held his palm out and Cole let the bottle fall, landing dead center. “Thanks,” said Zander, far too huskily.
About Meg Harding: Meg Harding is a sucker for things on four legs and works as a pet sitter when she’s not writing. She’s an editor and a lover of fanfiction. She enjoys the theatre, concerts, and lazing about in front of the TV. Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF and Anglia Ruskin, with a bachelors in Psych and a masters in publishing. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes. In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.
Let’s talk a little bit about Cole…
A: He is adorable and I’ll love him forever, like I probably would’ve anyway, but his love of animals just makes it worse. It’s…just too much. He’s a dream, for sure, but yet he has his flaws. Like settling…no one should ever settle.
L: I agree, Cole definitely has his flaws. I can see where he’s coming from, playing it safe and ending up in a rut. His love of animals is definitely something I relate to, and I adore all of his dogs and cats.
A: I think it’s also worth noting that I have a major thing for teachers, I don’t know what that says about me. I should say, caring teachers. Teachers who are not jerks. Also he’s very 3 dimensional as a character, very relatable. Extremely well written.
L: I definitely agree that he’s wonderfully written. He seems like the kind of guy I would want to hang out with and grab a drink with or something. I also like that he cares about his students.
And now, what about Zander…
A: I love him too? It sounds silly. I love them both for very different reasons. Zander is…hot…which seems weird to say because he’s a firefighter. Seems trite but I’m going to say it because that was my first impression of him. He’s beautifully imperfect, if I can be flowery. Hell, I’ll be flowery anyway. He’s perfectly imperfect in every way!
L: Oooooooffff, Zander, where do I begin? I don’t think I can express how much I love him. He’s trying so hard. He knows he comes from a screwed up background and he has no idea what the hell he’s doing but he doesn’t give up. I mean, he may think about giving up, but ultimately, he sticks it out. He’s extremely well written too.
A: I know, I know. I just want to hug him, hold him close, give him a pat on the back. He’s great, and he’s not scared (well eventually) to admit when he doesn’t know what he’s doing. He grows a lot throughout the book, and that is awesome. Character growth is something forgotten, for plot, and that’s not what happens here.
L: Exactly. Half the fun is watching the character development and growth along the way, and watching them realize and admit their feelings.
And now…the plot…
A: I know a lot of people don’t like this type of book. I am not one of those people. I love a good romance, I love a minor struggle and a strong resolution. The background between the two characters is well-written, the journey they go through together is as well. I’m amazed I managed to keep it together just to write that, because, let’s be honest, my reaction to a good majority of this book involved pterodactyl screeching and a whole lot of flailing. It’s a good, warm, fun, romantic story with a tint of heat thrown in for good measure.
L: I could’ve stood a little more heat, but that’s just me. I did like the struggle and the question of “will they get back together or not?” Sometimes these types of books can feel forced or played out or rehashing the same old, but I think this had a refreshing take on it. And I’m a sucker for a self-proclaimed tough guy showing his softer side.
A: Definitely a book I would recommend having people pick up, or that I would give to others. Like, here, have a book that doubles as a warm hug. That’s what it feels like to me. A big hug. I think I will definitely be looking into Meg Harding in the future to read some of her other books. Especially if they are as good as this one.
L: I hadn’t thought of it like that, like a warm hug, but you’re right. Yeah, I would absolutely recommend this book to others. I wouldn’t mind checking out more of Harding’s books too.
A: So if you’re reading this, and we haven’t driven you away, go pick up this book. Do it. Do it now. The link to buy it is above. You won’t regret it, and if you do, well don’t blame us.
L: I mean, you can blame us if you really want to, but we’ll just shrug and grin. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯