Saturday, July 20, 2013

Fear of Falling by S.L. Jennings

Fear of Falling

I can’t remember the last time I felt completely safe. Security seemed more like a luxury to me, reserved for those who were fortunate enough to have picture perfect childhoods. For those who didn’t bear the ugly scars that keep me bound in constant, debilitating fear. I’ve run from that fear my entire life. But when I met him, for once, I couldn’t run anymore.

He scared the hell out of me in a way that excited every fiber of my being. It wasn’t the tattoos or the piercings. It wasn’t the warmth that seemed to radiate from his frame and blanket me whenever he was near. It was just…him. The scary beautiful man that threatened to alter 23 years of routine and rituals, and make me face my crippling fear.

My name is Kami and I am constantly afraid. And the thing that scares me the most is the very thing I want.

“Don’t worry,” he smiled, pulling me into the hard warmth of his chest. “I’ve got you. I’ll always catch you when you fall.”

And just like that, Blaine had staked his claim on the untouched part of me that no living soul had ever moved. He had captured every fear, every reservation, and crushed them in the palm of his inked hand.

Author Disclaimer: Abuse is real- verbal, emotional, physical and sexual. It takes place all around us; it doesn’t discriminate against race or gender, wealth or poverty. It affects us all- those of us who’ve had to live through it, or watch it happen, even those of us who’ve only heard about it. We are all affected. We are all forever changed. 

This is not a story for the faint of heart; this is the story of one woman’s very real struggle through a world against her, the people who hurt her, her real life demons and the people who showed her that every gray sky, no matter how dark, has a sun waiting to break through.

***Inspired by true events***

Talem from S.L. Jenning's Blog

“Hey,” I smiled, stepping behind the bar and tying the little black apron around my waist. Dive had just opened and was completely empty aside from the day shift preparing for the lunch crowd.

Blaine turned from his task of refilling the soda dispenser and crooked a grin. I could only describe it as polite, and that fact tore me in two.

“Hey, Kami.” His deep chocolate eyes narrowed. “You change your hair?”

I twirled a lock of my honey blonde highlighted mane and shrugged. “Felt like I needed a change.” I didn’t have the guts to tell him that it was really an attempt at bribery by Angel. She knew I was a whore for spa days at the upscale salon she frequented and used my weakness to try to get me to gush about my feelings for Blaine. It didn’t fully work as she intended but I did throw her a bone: I told her I was attracted to him. It was harmless enough. Even a 90 year old deaf and blind woman would have a raging lady boner for him. 

Blaine gave me the most genuine smile I had seen from him in days and I swear I felt something in my chest swell. “I like it. Makes you look…I don’t know… devastatingly sexy.”

I didn’t try to stifle the blush that I could feel heating my cheeks. I embraced it. It was the first time I had felt anything but regret in days. “Yeah?”
“Hell yeah,” he said, closing the distance between us in three long strides. 

And there it was again. The smell of mint and spice and pure male. The heat that seemed to roll off his body and enfold me like a mink blanket. Those intense brown eyes that made me forget my own name and had me imagining screaming out his. Him. It was all him. Blaine somehow made me forget me. The me that wasn’t allowed to feel all these beautiful, exciting things. The me that didn’t believe in happy endings. The me that was unlovable, and in turn, could never, ever love. 

“You were sexy before…unbelievably so. But the way the golden strands seem to meld with your green eyes, it just… wow. Makes it hard to look at anything or anyone else.”

I sucked in a breath of air and let it out slowly through my mouth, closing my eyes in attempt to regain some sense of composure. “Blaine…” I couldn’t say anymore. His name, occupying my tongue like his skin once did, was enough. 

“I’m sorry,” he sputtered quickly, breaking me from the sweet memories of tasting him. My eyes fluttered open to him looking sheepish, rubbing the back of his neck with a tattooed hand. Shit, even that was sexy. 

“I think I should explain.” He rolled the barbell in his mouth before flashing me a strained grin. “I have this habit of always saying how I feel, no matter how embarrassing it is. A long time ago, I didn’t speak my mind. I didn’t ask the right questions because I was afraid of the answers. And life shitted on me because I kept my mouth shut. So I vowed to always be brutally honest and let the chips fall where they may. I’m sorry if that makes you uncomfortable.”

I looked away, seeking refuge from his penetrating stare. It didn’t make me uncomfortable. His words, his presence, it made me anxious. It made that pesky flutter in my stomach evolve into a full on swarm of butterflies. 

“It doesn’t make me uncomfortable,” I replied, speaking my truth. For once, I didn’t let fear suppress my first instinct. “But you do make me nervous.”
“Nervous?” Blaine asked, crooking a brow.
“In a good way,” I quickly recovered. Shit. Real smooth. 

Blaine chuckled, and that fascinating sound chipped at the wall around my forgotten heart. “I wasn’t aware there was a good kinda nervous. But I’ll take it. Anything to see your cheeks get pink like that. You have no idea how it makes me feel when that happens.”

Speechless. I was rendered completely speechless and my cheeks had taken on a life of their own and complied with his wishes. The smile that spread across Blaine’s lips as he took in my reddened face was undeniable and I suddenly felt completely stripped bare before him. I just wanted to cover myself and hide. But Blaine wasn’t having that. Before my nerves sent me cowering in a corner, his head dipped, placing his lips at my earlobe.

“I know you said you don’t feel anything,” he whispered. “But can you honestly say that you don’t feel this? That this heat, this attraction, is all in my head? Don’t think about it; just answer. Tell me what your heart wants to say and not what your head keeps trying to make you believe.”

I swallowed down the ‘no’ that was already reflexively building in my throat and let Blaine’s proximity push away the fear. His presence did that for me; it got me out of my own way.

“Yes, Blaine,” I rasped. “I feel it.” I did. I felt all of it. I felt all of him.
 Fear of Falling

Jen's Review 
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wow -
Not really sure how to write this review - Most people just talked about how the book is so serious, and the problems in it... And while I agree that the abuse is a serious issue, and happens to more people then we realize, I read the book because I love the falling in love part .....

Kami is messed up - utterly and completely. The things she has had to live with is just beyond my comprehension. I couldn't do it.
As Dom says - she is probably the strongest woman out there. To live what she does and still be able to put a smile on her face, even if it's not real to the world...

But when she see's Blaine - the scary-beautiful man who works in the bar, she feels her walls coming down. She no longer smiles because it's expected, she smiles because he makes her smile. And he takes her fears away. She doesn't know what to do about these strange feelings inside of her! She's never experienced them before, ever - and she's terrified of them. But at the same time, she wants to explore them, because she knows that Blaine is a big part of her life from now on.

Blaine - wow - he has his own daemons - but he has learned from them, and they have made him a better person for it. When he first saw Kami sitting in her car crying, his first instinct was to find out how he can help her smile.
He knew the feelings he had were something he needed to embrace, but when he saw that Kami was a little more fragile then he could even imagine, he wanted to take her and embrace her. He wanted to help take the weight of the world off her shoulders and let her be free of whatever she's struggling with.

But Kami has lived her life holding on to her own fears and her own turmoils. She feels these feelings for Blaine, but she knows she is not worthy of his feelings back...

The chemistry between these two is electrifying - OMG! Every time they lock eyes with each other ... the sparks just fly right out of them...

And Angel and Dom - Kami's BFF's and the most hilarious couple of BFF's anyone would have with their own F-uped lives, truly these guys fit so well together in this story, it just makes it all happen.

I really loved this story - I hope S.L. Jennings decides to go forward with a couple of other characters out of this story - I would love to see both Dom and Angel have an HEA

View all my reviews

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