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Genre: New Adult | Contemporary Romance | College
My Rating: 4.5 stars!
Release Date: April 16th, 2018
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Description: The first time you meet someone, you make eye contact. You smile, say hello. Should be simple, if you’re anyone but me. The first time I met Dylan Reed, I found myself making eye contact with a different part of his body. You see, I’m very good at being shy, not to mention extremely well-versed in rambling nonsense and, unfortunately, rather highly skilled at making a fool of myself in front of a guy I’m attracted to.
At the time, I knew nothing about him and thought none of what I said would matter since I’d never speak to him again. Turns out, I was very wrong. He was the star wide receiver of the football team, one of the few players expected to make it into the NFL, and I ended up seeing him all over campus.
I might have also propositioned him, run away from him, attacked him with a cooking utensil…and…uh, maybe I shouldn’t tell you all of it. It’s pretty normal stuff, things you’d expect…from me. Eventually, the time came when I couldn’t hide anymore—not that he’d have let me even if I tried.
Before now, he never knew I was secretly watching him. Now that we see each other every day, he knows when I have a hard time looking away. It doesn’t help that I’m not the most subtle person in the world either.
He smiles at me and tells me he finds me fascinating because of my quirks. I can’t even tell him that I think my heart beats differently whenever he’s around. He thinks we’re going to be best friends. I think I have a big thing for him, and the more I get to know him, the more I don’t care that I’m not allowed to be his friend, let alone fall for him. The thing is, that’s exactly what I’m doing—what we’re doing, I think. Falling. Hard.
Oh my gosh!! I was completely not expecting this book. I’m going to be completely honest, I went into this month of Kindle Unlimited Reads with fairly low expectations. I use this subscription to sate my guilty-pleasure reads, and this will be one of the first months I actually have to pay for it, and I’m using this month to decide if it’s worth it. I kinda thought that I’d find some good smut to enjoy, and then be done. But holy crap, this book went so far beyond my expectations!!
The Hardest Fall follows college student Zoe Clark in her junior year, when the last person she ever expected to see again is suddenly her roommate in her apartment. That man would be Dylan Reed, a senior football player who she … propositioned her freshman year on a dare, and accidentally saw his man-parts in the process. The same man she made a fool in front of her sophomore year when they made eye contact in her mad dash to get away from his recognizing-eyes (even though he caught up and it was all for naught). But this third time, their eventual friendship is unavoidable, now that they’re roommates (aka, one of my favorite tropes ever!).
Zoe herself was a super fun character. She’s pretty shy around Dylan, but she also has a strong (albeit rambling) personality and doesn’t excuse her own behavior. She may be shy, but she’s very unabashed about herself and her quirks. Girl loves pizza and hilariously hoards peanut butter M&Ms, but is unquestionably, undeniably, entertainingly Zoe in every way, and she kept me laughing. Normally when authors write a shy-but-ramble-y character like Zoe, they make these long monologues that jump from one topic to the other like hopscotch, which can be a bit exasperating, depending on the monologue, but Zoe wasn’t like that. Don’t get me wrong, she rambled and bumbled and pretty much everything else… but it was quirky and attractive on her. She was honest and real, such a genuine, sincere character that I couldn’t get enough of!
“Zoe,” I said, my voice lower since we were now closer. “You’re rambling again. It’s too cute, and it’s completely okay if you think of your friend as hot. I think you’re hot, too.” […]
“I didn’t say you were hot.”
“I’m pretty sure you did.”
Then there’s Dylan, who was honestly so precious to me. He was an absolute perfect match for Zoe! He’s a football player – wide-receiver – who takes a full class load and has a job. His schedule is so full, it’s crazy, but he works hard to make things work and to make time for Zoe, even if she doesn’t ask for it. Especially when she doesn’t ask for it, because she never does. He falls hard for her, and it was honestly so endearing watching this man fall to his knees for his buddy who he thinks is unavailable. Unrequited love is a fast-favorite of mine for a reason, hon. He’s also a very sincere, genuine character, which made their chemistry just go off the charts. He struggled through this whole book and I was right there with him, feeling the feels and going to battle right along with him. He went through an emotional gauntlet and I lived for it.
This was honestly such a good book!! I’m shocked!! Which is kind of rude for me to say, but it’s how I feel. This book was such a gem of a find and I can’t wait to go back and read Ms. Maise’s whole backlist *rubs hands together in anticipation*. This book had so much heart and emotion behind it, really keeping me invested until the bitter end. The plot flowed so freaking well and I’m so excited to read another fantastic book like this!! It really felt like less of a series of plot points, and more of a story unfolding in front of me, which is kind of new! I guess I didn’t realize that the books I’ve been reading lately have such clearly marked lines of this, then this, then this in the plot where I can just go “check, check, check,” but this was such a treat.
I read this book mostly in one sitting (late into the night), but kept the last 35% until the next day, where I absolutely couldn’t wait to get back to it. This is a toe-squirming, tummy-curling read, and not necessarily because of the sexy scenes, but because of the sweetness that poured out of this one. I swooooned my way thorough this one 💕✨ Their banter was so enjoyable and such a pleasure, and I already miss them!
This book is part of the Kindle Unlimited program, a reading service that I am dedicated myself to for the month of November. In short, almost all of the reviews during the month of November will be Kindle Unlimited books. Click this link to view other books I’ve reviewed that are available under the Kindle Unlimited Reading service.
For more information, please visit my announcement post here.
* Note, these posts are not sponsored by Amazon in any way, other than I use Amazon Affiliate links, whereby I get a kickback of any book purchases any links of mine you click, at no extra cost to you.
Other reads you may enjoy…
Do you have a Kindle Unlimited Subscription? What are some of your favorite friends-to-lovers romances? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!