Friday, December 11, 2015

Blog Tour: The Fall by Kate Stewart

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He was the beginning of my heart . . . and the end of it.
I was only fifteen years old when he claimed it and twenty when he took it with him.
They say what is meant to be will find a way. But when you have changed to the point of no return, how can anything ever be the same?
Seven years later, Dean Martin waltzed back into my life in hopes of resuming what I had fought so hard to forget, but he was in for a wake-up call.
I was no longer the naïve woman he had left . . . and I was no longer his.
I met the love of my life and my soul mate when I was fifteen. I knew that; he knew that. He wanted that girl back. I wanted to forget she ever existed.
What I thought was my pre-destined path was very much an illusion. Living seven years with regret, I realized too late that I was broken, and that I only had myself to blame.
I thought love could wait . . . but it didn’t.
We’d had it all those years ago, and then I foolishly left it behind.
She was all that mattered. She was all there ever was.
There was no life without Dallas, no reason . . . except her.
No matter how hard she tried to convince me, I knew I had to once again make her mine, to make her remember . . . the fall.
The Fall Teaser

4.5 Stars by Jen Skewes

I have read all of Kate Stewart’s books and this was by far her best one yet and my favorite.  I loved this book.  The Fall is a very beautiful, emotional and at times heart breaking read that had the right amount of drama and angst.  This book broke my heart at times and made me laugh and smile at others.  It is a second chance love story between two people who have been in love with each other since they were teenagers.  Their road to happiness is filled with a lot of pain and hurt, but so worth it all in the end.  Dallas and Dean were made for each other.  Two people who are so drawn to each other  that they no matter how hard they try, they cannot resist the pull that they feel towards each other.

Dean and Dallas met in high school and quickly became the best of friends.  They both had feelings for each other but due to the age difference and how young Dallas was, Dean swore that he would not go there with her.  She was too young and as much as he wanted and needed her he couldn’t be more than friends with her.   They were best friends in high school.  Separated for a few years before they dated in college.  But when it came time for Dean to move on to the next stage in his college career, the relationship they had ended in a very bad way, leaving behind two broken hearts.

It is seven years later and these two are reunited.  Dean has moved back to Texas and has every intention of getting Dallas back.  No matter how much time apart from each other or how much he may have screwed up, Dean is determined to win back Dallas' heart.  But she is not so quick to give it back to him this time around.  If Dean really wants Dallas back he is going to have to fight hard and prove to her that he is here to stay and begin his future with her. 

Dean and Dallas had this love that was so intense.  They both loved each other so much.  But sometimes the heart doesn’t realize just how much you love, need and want someone until they are no longer there.  Dean has always loved Dallas and no matter what happened in the past 7 years, no matter how much he has accomplished in his career, there was one thing that was missing.  And that was Dallas.  There are times when it doesn’t really matter how much you have done or accomplished, if you don’t have the love of your life by your side, it seems like it was all done for nothing.  In the end you still aren’t happy, and I think that Dean realized this.  Even if it was a little too late he knew that he had to make it right and he needed Dallas back in his life.  He wanted her heart back and was not going to give up.  And that is what I loved about him. 

Yes, Dean made some mistakes when it came to their love but honestly I don’t think he was completely at fault.  I hated some of the decisions that the both of them made but I understood why it all happened the way it did.  When it comes to Dean I was completely drawn to him from the beginning.  I loved him.  I saw how much he hurt without Dallas in his life.  I felt his pain but I also felt how much he loved this woman.  I wanted him to win her back.

Dallas was a tough character to open up to.  But regardless I still loved her. She became a bit wishy washy when it came to Dean and wanting him back.  But I completely understood why she was holding back.  She was protecting her heart from the one person who had the power to destroy it all over again.  I certainly sympathized with her when it came to Dean.   I loved the back and forth between the two of them.  There was this pull that no matter how hard Dallas tried she could not resist.  

Kate Stewart blew me away with this story.  The Fall is one of those books that I could not put down and was so sad to see it end.  She made me feel so much with these characters.  Ms. Stewart made me feel the pain and the hurt with these two beautiful characters but I also felt the strong love and bond between them.  I hurt with them.  There were some real tough and emotional scenes but that is exactly what I loved.  The words that Ms. Stewart wrote made you feel like you were a part of this story and going through it with them.  

Dean and Dallas’ road to happiness was a real tough one.  There were so many road bumps along the way that you weren’t sure how they could get past it all.  But in the end it was worth the drama, the angst, the tears, the frustration, the hurt and pain. I was rooting for them all the way.  

Oh and I cannot forget about the twist in there that made me curse Kate Stewart.  Well done!!  This is one of my favorite reads of this year and I cannot wait for Rose’s story. 

It was three long years before I heard three words that would forever change me. I was walking across campus toward the Marshall Hall building when the voice sounded. “Dean, Dean Martin?” A smile was already on my lips as I looked in the direction of the voice. Dallas’s laugh was unmistakable as she walked toward me. What I wasn’t expecting was the mere sight of her would leave me scrambling to regain basic fucking motor function. My smile quickly faded as she flew at me in a hug. All the breath left my body as I inhaled her scent. I gripped her to me tightly as she laughed and hugged me back. When she pulled away, my arms were still securely around her. I knew I had to be grinning like an idiot as she beamed back at me.
“How the hell are you?” she asked, a little Texas twang in her voice.
“Better now,” I said, still refusing to let her out of my grasp.
We spent a little longer than we should in our embrace, neither of us willing to pull away from the other. In that instant, I felt the pain of missing her ease slightly. My chest tightened at the return of a familiar stir.
It was just that damned easy.
“Let me look at you. Damn ...” My voice was hoarse as I let her go to take her in. She was wearing tight jeans, knee high, rider boots and a tight fitting red sweater. I took in every curve as I whistled slowly.
“I know.” She waggled her eyebrows up then down and did a little turn for the full effect. She was a far cry from the skinnier version I left. She had a small amount of curve on her hips and her long legs remained one of her best assets. This was no longer the tempting Lolita that I had left. This was the young woman I had always pictured but even more beautiful than I could have imagined.
“Still dressing like every day is a Sunday at church,” she said, poking fun of my clothes, as usual.
“I don’t hear anyone else complaining,” I pointed out, still overwhelmed with the sight of her in front of me. “And you are still a pain in the ass,” I noted as she laughed.
“You have no idea. So did you miss me, Dean?”
“You know the saying ‘Don’t know what you got till it’s gone?’ Well, I can’t stand most of the girls at this school,” I assured her.
“Well, don’t tell me the infamous Dean Martin has changed his ways,” she teased.
“No, I still sleep with them. I just run like hell after,” I chuckled. “Anyway, what about you?”
“What about me?” she asked her eyes meeting mine. I let them stray and sweep down her body slowly bringing them back to her. “Dean, you wouldn’t be checking me out, would you?”
“Yes, I absolutely fucking am,” I said pointedly, giving her pause. She gave me a wary glance as she looked around campus. She seemed more relaxed than when I had left her, more comfortable in her own skin. Her confidence radiated off her in waves. My mind drifted back to the kiss I had left her with as I studied the slow curve of a smile forming on her lips.
We quickly made up for lost time and spent the rest of the day stuck together, holding hands and laughing as I gave her a full tour of campus. I was on my last year and would be leaving for Columbia next fall and I was again a senior to her freshmen. I refused to dwell on that. I felt completely relaxed for the first time since I had left her three years ago.
We were inseparable our first few weeks of school as we stayed busy, getting reacquainted. When we were not in class, we spent our nights either on the phone, walking on campus, going to parties, or hanging out at my frat house. My friends seemed to like her right away, a little too much for my liking. I caught their hungry eyes on her and glared at them openly as they shot a game of pool at the table in what was supposed to be our dining room. The minute her back was turned, I was bombarded with the inevitable question of who she was to me.
There was no mistaking my straight answer to Casey, the newest member of my fraternity. “Don’t even fucking look at her,” I barked.
“Okay, bud, all right,” he said, backing away to grab the pool stick from Rob—another brother who was a senior—and eyed Dallas suspiciously. It wasn’t common practice for me to bring girls back to the house other than to my bedroom. I had fallen into a bad habit my first few years at school but had slacked since then, concentrating more on my grades.
New York was a whisper away, but Dallas...Dallas was here.
I watched her work the table as she made herself comfortable, shooting off her shit talk at my frat buddies, who happily obliged her. They were impressed, especially Casey.
Casey was notorious on campus, easily one of the biggest players. He had absolutely no good intentions when it came to the opposite sex and though I wasn’t one to preach, he had a rather tasteless way of discarding the affections of his women. He was doing his best to impress her and she seemed to notice, humoring him.
Rob was the next to ask, stepping up and handing me a beer. “What’s the deal?” He asked as he eyed Dallas’s perfect ass as she took a shot and made the eight ball, winning the game. She looked up at me with her knowing smile. She was so fucking beautiful. I cursed my stupidity in bringing her to the house.
“The deal is any woman I bring into this house is off limits,” I said through clenched teeth. Rob laughed as he eyed me. “Dude, that’s not exactly fair. I don’t think any of us would get anywhere that way,” he said loudly. I ignored him and grabbed Dallas’s hand.
“Nice game,” I said, giving her a wink and pulling her toward the door. The guys frowned as if I was taking away their shiny new toy.
“Bye,” Dallas said quickly as I pulled her out of the house.
“Oh, come on, Dean. You aren’t going to pull the same old shit you did in high school.” She raised a brow. I took a step toward her.
“No, this will be different. I promise.” Before she could question me, I swept her in my arms and hauled ass down the steps of the massive front porch of the house.
“What the hell are you doing?” She laughed as I ran like a lightning streak toward the quad. “Getting you somewhere safe. Couldn’t you smell it in there?” I said, running faster as she laughed.
“Smell what?” she asked, her voice choppy as I kept my legs moving.
“Your pregnancy,” I answered, slowing to a halt. She rolled her eyes as she jumped from my arms.
“They were just curious,” she said, giving me a pointed stare. “I’m sure you don’t bring girls home often to meet the parents, am I right?”
I smirked.
“Whore,” she said without affection. I pushed her down on the grass as she yelped out in protest, flailing her arms before giving in to the inevitable.
“You ass!” she said testily as she wiped grass from her sweater but stayed seated.
“Oh Dallas, always trying to bring out the angry Spaniard in me,” I teased as I joined her on the grass.
She chuckled. “Truth hurts.”
The night was surprisingly cool for early September in Texas. I looked over at her, memorizing the perfect outline of her face, the way her silky hair cascaded down her shoulders and swirled around her as the breeze lifted it. She smiled at me and the unmistakable jolt shot through me, the effect the same. This time, I didn’t fight it.
“It’s not like that anymore,” I said in an attempt to reassure her. I grabbed a stray hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear. She sobered up a bit, her smile slowly fading.
“Not what I heard,” she said, hugging her knees to her chest, averting her eyes. She wasn’t being confrontational, and I knew that. “They don’t call you the Spanish slut this time,” she said with no humor in their voice.
“Oh yeah, what do they call me?” I said, nudging her, hoping to lighten the mood.
“Dean,” she said looking straight into my eyes. Fuck if I didn’t want to kiss her right at the most inappropriate moment. I didn’t want to aid in what she already probably thought of me. I had wanted to kiss her so many times in the past few weeks but had held back for this very reason.
“You do them a disservice, you know,” she said thoughtfully as she played with the blades of grass, not looking at me.
“What do you mean?” I asked, plucking a piece of grass between my fingers.
“Letting them think that’s all you are good for. They never get to know you. It’s sad.”
I laughed. “They objectify me?”
She looked at me seriously. “Yes, they do.” That wiped the smile off my face.
“Dallas, I told you a long time ago, I don’t care about that shit, never will.”
“No, I guess not,” she said, perking up with a smile I knew wasn’t genuine. “I mean you are the big man on campus again. And what the hell is up with that frat chair in there, anyway?”
“It’s my throne,” I said defensively.
She rolled her eyes. It grew darker as the lamp lights came on around us, our faces covered in shadows. We enjoyed a few minutes of silence before she spoke up.
“Tell me about Columbia,” she prodded. “You are so close,” she encouraged.
“I can’t wait,” I said honestly. “My parents took me to New York when I was ten. I just remember being excited the entire time. I loved the semi-organized chaos. The noise, the culture clash, it was palpable, you know. Even then at that age, I could feel it, and it was everywhere. At least that’s the way I remembered it. I made my decision then, I wanted to be there and Columbia was a big heap of icing on the cake. My father and I spent hours going over my game plan. He always loved the idea of Columbia, especially when I told him I wanted to be a doctor. All these years later, I haven’t changed my mind. I’ve been back a few times since to check out the campus, look at housing, I still love it. Have you been?”
I hadn’t realized she was watching me closely, a small smile on her lips. “No, my parents and I vacationed a lot, but mostly to Colorado and then California to see my aunt and uncle. We never really made it out east.”
“It’s incredible and nothing like it is here. It makes our corner of the world seem so small. There is so much potential bursting out of it. I think you’d love it.”
“Maybe...probably,” she said, lost in thought.
“Then again, you are a true Texan. So damn proud to be from this fucking state with no plans of ever leaving,” I teased. “Even your name suits you.”
Before she could attack me for that, I lifted her to her feet. “Come on, I’ll walk you home.”
“Are you going to do this every night?” she asked as she leaned in close and I played with the tips of her long hair as I trailed my fingers down her back, pulling her closer to me. “Maybe, if you want me to.”
“Hmmm, kind of a boyfriend type thing to do, isn’t it?” I avoided her question, leading with mine.
“Coming to my toga party tomorrow night?”
“Maybe,” she said, glancing my way with a smile.
“You should, Dallas.”
“Why is that?”
“’Cause I will be there,” I said, slowing to a stop at her dorm.
She turned to me playfully. “Oh, well, when you put it that way, meh...and change clothes would you, you look like a bible salesmen.” She hurried up the steps as she chuckled.
“Just come, okay? We can tilt a few beers back and I want to talk to you.”
“About what?” she asked as I admired her from the bottom of the steps. She had on a sweater dress that outlined her curves perfectly and tight black leggings that I dreamt of ripping off her all day.
“There’s just something I want to talk to you about.” She heard the hint of seriousness in my voice. “It’s important.”
“Okay, I’ll be there.”
The Fall Teaser 2

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About the author
Kate Stewart, a native of Dallas, now resides in Charleston, S.C. She moved to the city three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, declaring the city her creative muse. Since her move in 2010, she has published two novels, the third coming July 2015. She lives with her husband of 8 years, Nick who is featured on the cover of the novel, TITAN. (Set to re-release some time in 2015.)
Her other novels include Room 212, Never Me, and Loving the White Liar which are all available now.
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