Genres: New Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Publication date: April 18, 2018
Format: eBook, 444 pages
How I got it: Kindle Unlimited
Add it: Goodreads
Buy it: Amazon
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.
Despite never having read an Ella Maise book before, I’d had my eye on The Hardest Fall since it started popping up on social media. I love me some football books, so I was immediately drawn to the cover. But once I read the blurb, I realized I absolutely had to read it. Friends to lovers is one of my favorite tropes. Early reviews talked about the slow burn in this one and I love a well-done slow burn. I put this on my priority TBR and snagged it from Kindle Unlimited as soon as it was available. Surprisingly enough I didn’t binge it all in a couple sittings, but spread it out some because I was enjoying the writing so much I wanted to make it last as long as possible.
The Hardest Fall was a great character-driven book. I absolutely adored Zoe and Dylan. Zoe was a great heroine. I mean, she was a lot to take in the beginning, but as someone who has her fair share of awkward social interactions, I found her kind of endearing. And the more I learned about her, the more I liked her. She’d dealt with a lot in the past and, honestly, was still dealing with some serious crap, but she did it with a smile on her face. I love a strong heroine. And Dylan? Hello, swoony goodness. Who doesn’t love a non-manwhore, down to earth and sweet athlete hero? He was damn near perfect. Plus, he was such a great match for Zoe. I loved reading as these two characters became friends and then more and I relished in the delicious slow burn that came with it.
I don’t want to say anything that’ll spoil the other main storyline in the book — the one with Zoe and the football coach — but I’m the first to admit I was a little nervous about what was happening there. I’m SO GLAD it didn’t turn out to be what I feared it might be. I also felt like that storyline, while it did upset me a few times because of how strongly I felt about Zoe, was done really well. It all added to Zoe’s personal growth and I can’t be all that upset about that.
This was an absolutely delightful book. I’m so glad it fell on my radar. I’m looking forward to reading Ella’s backlist in the near future, too.
When life throws you a wide receiver out of nowhere, what are you supposed to do with him? Try your best not to look at him for too long, maybe? That’d be a good rule of thumb, I thought.
“This is the strangest thing, but I think you’re going to be my best friend, Zoe Clarke.”
“My heart beats differently for you. It feels different somehow. I know this probably doesn’t make sense, but… it beats louder, wilder when I see you.”
It’s hard to explain what draws you to a person, what it is about them that makes them so special that you give them your heart. I believe it’s all about who you are together, how you are together.
Have you read The Hardest Fall?
What’d you think?