Jacey and I are balancing on a very thin line between a façade and reality. We’re treading on a very thin ice. In real life, when people walk on ice for too long, they finally break through.
I’ve been waiting for this book. Obviously, if I loved Pax and I loved Gabriel, there was a high chance I’d love Dominic.
Fair warning in advance: this is going to be a looooooong post. I’m participating in the Release Day Blog Tour for Before We Fall and I’m including an interview with Courtney, as well as my review and an excerpt. Oh, and a little giveaway, way down there at the bottom.
Side note: Courtney Cole is adorable. Now get reading…
For 24-year old Dominic Kinkaide, that moment took place on the night of his high school graduation. One dark incident changed him forever. He’s a hardened actor now, famous in the eyes of the world, but tortured in his own. He doesn’t care about much of anything, except for losing himself in the roles that he plays.
23-year old Jacey Vincent doesn’t realize how much her father’s indifference has affected her. She is proof that sometimes it isn’t one specific moment that wrecks a person, but rather it’s an absence of moments. She’s like a bird with a broken wing-strong yet fragile, as she tries to float through life, finding acceptance in the arms of random guys, one after the other… to fill the void that her father left in her.
Until she meets Dominic.
After jaded Dominic and strong-willed Jacey are thrown together, his secret and her issues create a dark and damaged energy that will soon turn their attraction to each other into an explosive storm.
Even though when the clouds have cleared and the dust has settled, both of them are almost obliterated… they’ve learned a priceless lesson.
Sometimes, before we fall… we fly.
Are you feeling warm yet?”
I watch his lips as he speaks the words, husky and low. His lips are full, yet manly and suddenly I ache to lean over and press mine to his, to touch them in any way that I can.
But I don’t.
Because I’m not a girl who gets used. Not anymore.
“No, not at all.”
But Dominic takes that as a challenge. He’s not used to hearing the word no and he’s not about to start now. I see that in his dark eyes a scant moment before he dips his head and consumes my mouth.
I say consume, instead of kiss, because that’s what he does.
He consumes me.
His lips are fiery and hot and he kisses me with a fierceness that touches a secret part of me; moist, hot, firm, sexy. I want to inhale him, to suck him down. I vaguely feel his hands on my back, his warmth emanating through my clothes, his hardness pushing into my softness.
I’m breathless when he pulls away.
“What about now?”
For the life of me, I’m afraid to answer that. Instead, I pull away, just a bit, just enough that there is some space between us, but I can still absorb his warmth. As my teeth chatter, both from the cold and from the suddden absence of his lips, I answer.
He laughs, a husky, low, naughty sound.
“Oh, I’m sure of that.”
And just like that, I’m drawn back in… in toward his sexy smile, his arrogant gaze and his knowing smirk. He’s bad for me. Very bad for me. I’ve got to remember that.
He will decimate you, I tell myself.
But my problem is, every time I look into his dark eyes and see the mysterious things that lurk there, I forget that. I forget everything that is supposed to matter.
Now to my review, followed by an interview with the author in which Courtney indulges me and my silliness.
I loooooove Courtney Cole’s words. And I looooove Dominic Kinkaide. Want to know how I knew that even before I started reading BWF? Dominic has his own prequel novella (Until We Burn) that was released early November as a serial story on Wattpad. Or available in kindle format on Amazon. Go read it and come back, because there’s a big chance this review will contain spoilers.
* Any quotes in this review were taken from the advance copy and are subject to change prior to publishing of the book.
So we know Dominic is a famous movie star, gorgeous, dark and distant, and we know he… likes… to… watch!
Before We Fall opens a few days after Until We Burn ends, at Sin’s party in Chicago. We get another glimpse at Dominic’s sexual preferences and his dark side, but we also get a very big glimpse into what he truly is inside at that party, where he saves a girl, and meets her best friend, Jacey, who will in time – change his world.
But first, Dominic Kinkaide. We are talking the ultimate sexually deviant bad boy. This guy is damaged, though we don’t know why. Dom is successful, gorgeous, dark and mysterious. He is kinky, he is cold and he is very very sad. He’s been that way for the last 6 years. The life altering is revealed about 3/4 into the story, after clues are strewn throughout the story.
Jacey, whom we’ve met in If You Leave, Gabe and Maddy’s story is Gabe’s little sister. She is beautiful, light and fun, and generally irresponsible, though she’s doing her best to turn her life around after having been burned by her ex time and again. She is pursuing a better, more stable life for herself, but she’s still drawn to the bad boys, to parties and the fun aspect of life.
It’s like he saw me. He saw that someone died because of me. He saw that there’s something so fundamentally wrong with me that my own parents don’t want anything to do with me. That I’m flawed.
He saw all of that. He looked into my eyes and saw it. And then he turned away and left me to rot in the jail cell alone.
He’s a fucking asshole.
However, Jacey has a beautiful heart. She is caring and loving and has a good sense about people. And she she’s thrown into a 3 months community service right alongside our bad boy – we get to see both their souls.
“Don’t love me,” he says simply. “Or I’ll break you. I own’t want to, but it will happen.”
I’m stunned at the utter bleakness of his words, of his voice, of the heart-wrenching expression on his face. I don’t know what happened to him to put it there.
When push comes to shove and Dominic won’t open up to Jacey about his past, he is faced with losing her forever. All over a secret that has wrongfully eaten his faith in himself, of his capacity to love and be loved.
Again, as with the first two novels in the series, the supporting characters set the stage for next novels and support the storyline beautifully. One of them is Brand – Gabe’s best friend and honorary big brother to Jacey. I had several flaily moments over him, and his role in the story is so crucial to Jacey’s journey, I’m demanding he be the next protagonist. *hint hint, shove shove, Ms. Cole*
Before you fall, you’ll fly.
As if we need more.
Courtney Cole takes no prisoners in her writing and is not afraid to tackle dark situations and somehow combine them with sexy, swoony, broken and awesome situations.
I’m aware that this review is somewhat jumble-y and a little all over the place, but I think it shows that I loved it enough to be a total idiot when trying to convey my feelings and thoughts.
Get Before We Fall here
Here’s what I had to ask Courtney Cole (and what she answered)
If You Stay is about post tragedy drug abuse. If You Leave is about severe battle related PTSD. And Before We Fall… I’m not going to say since it’s part of what is revealed in the story. How do you choose the issues that the Beautifully Broken books deal with?
I don’t really know. The characters just sort of come to me. I chose Pax because someone close to me had a drug issue. Gabriel…. Well, I used to work with a team of retired military officers who I greatly respect and admire- and so I wanted to write something to shed some light on combat PTSD. And Dominic? He just came to me. I can’t remember what I was doing… but I remember watching a celebrity on TV, and thinking that their worlds are very different from ours…. That they can have anything and anyone they want—and how hardened that must make them to life, how bored they must get with the ‘normal’. And then I started playing with other things that might’ve broken Dom in the past.
Before We Fall deals with a very pained individual. How would you describe Dominic Kinkaide?
Dominic is tortured. Dark. Sexy. Vulnerable, but he doesn’t realize it, and hardened at the same time. He’s an enigma.
Cast Pax, Gabe, Brand and Dominic. And who is your favorite? And no, I’m not accepting they’re all my children and I love them equally. Pick one. #IAmEvil (Yes, I know Brand’s story is not out, but he’s important enough to cast him. Also, he’s awesome, okay?)
This is a very evil question. But first—the easy part. Pax is Alex Pettyfer, Gabe is Nick Bateman, Brand is Chris Hemsworth and Dominic is Jensen Ackles (when Jensen’s hair is darker, not when it’s blond). (Side note, last week Darcy F. submitted this picture of Rodrigo Guiraro Diaz to Courtney as part of her pre-release Be the First to Fall challenges. Can I say UNF!?)
Who is my favorite? That’s so so tough—because I love specific aspects of all of them and it usually depends on my mood as to who I love the most. But. If I had to pick, right now, I would probably say….Dom. Because he’s my latest and I’m fickle like that.
Dominic is complex enough to warrant his own prequel. Until We Burn is Dominic’s novella that has been posted serially on Wattpad. What made you decide to publish it that way?
It was a spur of the moment idea—I really wanted for readers to get a taste of Dominic early because I was so excited by him. I also wanted the novella to be free. So, the Wattpad idea was born, along with posting it on exclusive blogs. I was posting the chapters literally as I was writing them. But then readers started emailing me, asking for it to be put on Kindle or Nook so that they had the chapters all in one place. We could do that, but unfortunately, I couldn’t finagle a free price on those platforms, so we’re charging the lowest amount possible- $.99.
Did you write Until We Burn as part of ground working his character and then decided to publish it or was it intentional so that the readers get a better understanding of him? (Readers, you want to read UWB, it’s not crucial and you’ll love Dom anyway, but you want to.)
UNTIL WE BURN was an afterthought—I wrote it after Before We Fall. Before We Fall ended up being so long—over 100,000 words. I had to cut a lot of Dominic’s backstory and I really wanted readers to get a feel for how his lifestyle was before he met Jacey.
Who is the next victim on your list? *chants Brand… Brand… Brand…* I’m sorry, it’s just that after BWF, I think he deserves his own HEA.
Hehe. Brand will be getting his own book, as will Sin. In fact, I’m playing with the idea of giving Sin his own series.
Jacey’s character has a great arc; she seemed to me like while she’s made significant progress in putting her life back together after Jared, she still easily slips back old behavior. Like she tells Gabe: “two steps forward, one step back.” But what’s beautiful about this is that her final step towards changing her way is meeting Dominic and needing to save him.
I think that when you have behavior engrained in you (the need to search for affection and acceptance because you’ve always been lacking it), it’s difficult to change that fundamental behavior. Jacey tries. Her head knows that her behavior is wrong, but her heart sometimes overrides logic. Her need to feel love has gotten her into a lot of trouble. You’re right- and it’s a very good observation— her need to save Dominic was cathartic for Jacey, as well. In trying to help him, she helped herself.
I’ve noticed that while your heroines are somewhat broken (Maddy, Jacey and even Mila were not whole individuals) they are still the ones saving the boys from their demons. Is that intentional?
Yes. It’s my opinion that women have an innate ability to want to help people. We’re nurturers, so it’s more in our nature to want to “fix” someone we love. But I really sort of try to have my main characters save each other. To me, it seems like it is often the case that simply in putting yourself out there and loving someone, that itself helps heal you—particularly if you have trust issues. If you can overcome your own trust issues to love someone, that gives a person hope. And sometimes, hope is all you need.
If you could go anywhere in the world to research for a destination oriented plot bunny… where would you go?
I really want to go to Malta. One of my other series, The Minaldi Legacy, is set there and from all of my research, it’s a beautiful place. I want to see it for myself. J
Now for some inane, somewhat silly questions:
Where do you write? In my office- or in front of my fireplace with my laptop.
Favorite food? Mexican
Favorite dessert? Chocolate
Greatest weakness? My kids.
Cats or dogs? I have two of each, but I’m more of a cat person.
If not a published author, what would you most like to be? Ahhh. This is all I want to do—it’s my dream life. But if I had to choose something else…. Hmmm. I would be a doctor. The way the human body works fascinates me.
Best and worst qualities about yourself?
Uhhhhh. Best: I think I’m pretty insightful. I like to look at a situation from all angles before I form an opinion.
Worst: That same thing. Because sometimes, I can be judgy without meaning to.
Thank you Courtney, for being kind enough to play along.
Thank YOU for having me. These were great questions!
Click the image on the left for a Rafflecopter giveaway! Click, click – the prize is one you want.
I hope that if you enjoyed this post, you’ll go get yourselves this great read. You’re bound to love Dominic as much as I did.
* My thanks to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for the early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Grand Central links:
About the author
Courtney Cole is a novelist who would eat mythology for breakfast if she could. She has a degree in Business, but has since discovered that corporate America is not nearly as fun to live in as fictional worlds. She loves chocolate and roller coasters and hates waiting and rude people.
Courtney lives in quiet suburbia, close to Lake Michigan, with her real-life Prince Charming, her ornery kids (there is a small chance that they get their orneriness from their mother) and a small domestic zoo.