Falling: A Flirty Fantasy of Fallen Idols by Cecilia Gray
(Book #1 of the Fallen Idols)
(4 romantic canaries, right here.)
This was a wonderful weekend read–fun, light, with one of the strongest first-person narrators I’ve read in the romance genre in a long, long time.
Our main character, Alexis, isn’t afraid to climb mountains to get what she wants–literally. Labeled The World’s Bravest Woman, she rappels down buildings and rafts rapids. But when her fiancé dumps her for a busty Italian model, she’d rather hide under a blanket on her sister’s couch. Her sister has other ideas, and Alexis finds herself being dragged into the latest all-exclusive club for some post-break-up therapy.
Enter one plotting goddess, a coven of witches, and one immortal Greek warrior with an 184-year-old curse hanging over his head. It’s a night on the town in downtown San Francisco.
So where does this chick flick treat water in the enormous pool of paranormal romance? The story is told from Alexis point of view, and she is an engaging, intelligent narrator who has no problem realizing that instant attraction isn’t exactly real love, and that erratic behavior on the guy’s part calls for the psychiatric ward, not an elopement. I do love me a sane heroine.
At this point, I didn’t even mind Alexis’ hang-ups over her own appearance or the turbo-charged attraction–unavoidable when the plot demands true luv in ten thousand words or less. It was a solid five-canary romance right until the main action hit the metaphysical fan.
Too fast; slow down, story!
The book is one hundred pages. This makes it a quick and enjoyable popcorn read–but it also means there is almost no space for developing characters outside of the heroine and their reactions to having their entire worldview turned upside down. Indeed, they seem to take everything almost impossibly in stride! I would have loved to see the story paced out into full novel-length. So much happens in the span of those twenty-five thousand words that it creates a fissure in my suspension of disbelief.
In the end, I was left feeling that the characters had been all been jipped out of their full potential. Let that hair out a bit more, I wanted to tell the story, give me some breathing room and the characters some elbow space. Indeed, I almost felt that the story had been shoved out of its nest a few weeks before all the emancipation paperwork had gotten through.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that Gray will write the sequel to Falling as a full novel; her writing style is strong enough to pull it off and leave the reader wanting more.
Here’s a taste from the opening:
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