Tucked away at the base of the Rocky Mountains lived a little boy with one singular dream: leave this broken and battered home and become someone.
Be somebody’s hero.
That boy was me—Colby Brooks. Except I’m not that same little boy anymore.
My dreams might still be the same, but my reality isn’t.
I’m smarter. Stronger. A man.
And I learned a long damn time ago, the only way to achieve my dreams was to avoid distractions—at any cost.
Focus. Resolve. Determination.
But all it took was one single night. One night and my entire life…changed.
One night had me colliding head first with the biggest distraction of my life; Rory Oaks.
Smart. Charming. Beautiful.
Rory changed everything.
Quickly, my one-track mind started to bend.
Each kiss faded decade-long dreams.
And with one single incident, I fly off course.
Head turned down, pushing the sleeves of his white Henley up his arms, he swaggers toward me. His jeans hang low on his hips, held up by the same brown belt he wore the other night. His narrow waist directs my eyes to the center of his jeans, and I can’t help wonder what might be behind the crotch of his pants.
And then there is his chest. Barrel like, broad and prominent. His thick biceps showcase his strength, and the fabric of his shirt stretches over his shoulders and forearms. Having spent a lot of time at the gym, I’ve seen every body type, but Colby’s is different. He’s strong, built, but not like a body builder. His body seems to suggest the only kind of weight he’s been lifting is his own body, pushup after pushup. I can’t imagine there being barbells in his workouts, but I can imagine logs, cadets, and heavy machinery. He has working muscles, the kind you earn from hard, dedicated work on the field. In a word? Impressive.
Walking up to Stryder, he grips his friend’s shoulder and says something into his ear. A smirk crosses Stryder’s face before he moves over to our side of the bowling alley and takes Colby’s place.
Is he leaving? Already?
Might as well at this point. It’s not like he’s going to talk to me, not after my pathetic attempt at a bet. I should have known I was going to hang out in the gutter all night. It’s where I usually am when I’m bowling. I blame the ball. The thing has a vendetta against me.
Sighing, I prop my chin in my hand and watch Stryder expertly toss his ball down the lane, getting a strike . . . once again. And just like every other strike, he pumps his arm up in the air and celebrates. We get it, you’re good, no need to—
That voice . . .
Stunned, eyes wide, not able to move, not wanting to scare him away, I keep my eyes trained forward, soaking in that beautifully deep voice of his for a brief moment before saying, “Hey.”
“Can I sit here?”
Still keeping my eyes trained forward, I say, “Sure.”
My body tingles with awareness of how close he is to me, that fresh laundry scent invading my senses, prickling the little hairs on my arm. My body leans toward his, wanting a little more, searching for anything else he might give me. I don’t know why he’s choosing to engage me in conversation, but I’m sure as hell not moving while he does.
“Sorry about tonight,” he says and he actually sounds sincere.
“Why are you sorry?” I mumble.
Reaching around, he takes my cheek in his hand. The callouses on his palm rubbing against my skin is a welcome sensation. As I’m turned toward him, I steady my breathing. I’m having a hard time slowing my heart rate because of his close proximity, and the unexpected touch shooting a wave of heat through my veins.
“I’m sorry you didn’t get to ask me any questions. I didn’t think you were going to suck that bad.” A playful smile tugs at his lips, and my heart sinks to the floor. Oh God, he’s so gorgeous, especially when he smiles.
Matching his smirk, I say, “I didn’t think I was going to suck that bad either.”
“I feel bad.”
“You should.” That garners a laugh, deep and throaty, the sound cloaking me like a shield, protecting me from the outside world, bringing me into a little bubble where we are the only two that exist.
“Ask me a question.”
Shocked, I swallow hard and say, “Really?”
He nods and holds up his fingers. “You get three.”
“Oh, three? Wow, I feel like you just gave me the key to your soul.”
Rolling his eyes, he adjusts his stance on the barstool and leans back, giving us some space, our knees still knocking into each other. “Easy killer; it’s just three questions.”
“Yeah, three questions I didn’t have before.” Tapping my chin, I try to think of good questions, but now that I have him willing and waiting, nothing comes to mind. I wasn’t prepared for this, he caught me off-guard, and now I feel I can’t be strategic about my probing. “Hmm . . . what do you like to do on the weekends?”
“Jump,” he answers.
Searching his eyes, lips quirked, I say, “Uh, you’re going to have to be more specific than that. What kind of jumping are we talking here? Like jump roping? Because that seems kind of weird to do on the weekends, and if you tell me you’re in some kind of jump-roping club at the academy, I’m not going to believe you.”
His lips curve up as he scratches the side of his jaw. “Jump out of airplanes.”
That’s . . .
Uh, that’s really hot.
“So you just casually jump out of airplanes?”
“I’m part of the Wings of Blue, the academy’s parachute team. We jump every day, at least two to three times a day after class and before dinner, depending on wind and ceiling limits. On the weekends, some of the guys, including Stryder and me, go to Springs East Airport and do civilian jumps. The more jumps we get in, the higher the chance we’ll be considered for big demonstrations, like parachuting into football games and major sporting events for the Rockies and Broncos.” Ummmm. Did anyone else just hear how many words he gifted me? And seriously? Does the man have no clue how incredibly sexy he is when he talks about something he loves? The expression on his face . . .
“Wow, that’s . . . that’s really hot.” I chuckle. “Sorry, I don’t mean to fangirl over your parachuting, but I guess I wasn’t expecting that answer. You just jump out of planes?”
He slowly nods. “Every day.”
“Anything to get you up in the clouds, huh?”
“Yeah,” he answers shyly, rubbing his jaw. “Okay, next question.”
5 ++++ STARS
A Top Read of 2018
At the beginning of the synopsis, it was written that the Upside of Falling was “gripping, heart-stopping, and an incredible epic journey with a twist you’ll never see coming.” That statement is 100 % accurate. My heart certainly pounded, and it kept me up well into the night. And the ending….holy cow….never in a million years did I see that one coming.
Meghan Quinn had me in the prologue with Colby. I knew then he would grow into an incredible man, and he did. Granted, he was pretty rigid, but he had to be. Routine kept him stable and kept him on the road to his goal of becoming a fighter pilot. That one dream kept him going during the trying and dark times in his life, and he wants no distractions to get in the way. He has made sure he has none until Rory. He knew he was in trouble the moment he saw her,
There is an air of exuberance surrounding her, a bright beacon in the dark night. Her smile, her laughter…It lights up the night, drawing attention to her from everyone around her. There’s no denying her beauty or the way she so easily captures people. But I’m not sure she’s aware.
This one moment will completely turn his world upside down, and he will be faced with some life-altering decisions.
Rory was a character I really liked and respected. She was a young woman who had a dream as a young child, but life threw her a curveball. She had to give up those dreams, but instead of being bitter, she tries to live a life that will make her happy. For the most part, she is. However, she wants love just like everyone else. She spends times caring for others, and she wants someone to take care of her. So far, she hasn’t had much luck until she meets Colby. Just like with him, she knew in that one moment, her life is changed.
Colby is different. He’s commanding with the strength in his step, the stiffness of his broad shoulders, the mysterious searching of his cautious eyes, and the strong set in his carved jaw. There is an air about him that sucks you in the moment you make eye contact, taking you on a stomach-dropping, heart-stopping journey.
Her life is complicated, and as she and Colby begin falling in love, the direction of his life will impact hers, and she will also have to face tough life-altering decisions.
Oh my gosh, I don’t think I have enjoyed watching two people fall in love as I did these two. It brings back memories of falling in love with the man who was “the one for me.” Quinn created such complex and relateable characters in Colby and Rory which helped me connect with them on such an emotional level.
This book is much different from the books I normally read from Meghan Quinn, but it is just as good! I still saw a little bit of Quinn’s trademark humor in the banter between Colby and Rory and their relationships with their friends, but this one is much heavier. As other readers are saying, I never in a million years saw that ending coming, so I’m incredibly anxious to get my hands on the next book.
THE DOWNSIDE OF LOVE – Coming July 5th
This isn’t a story about a love triangle. There is no triangle involved.
This isn’t a story about an accidental pregnancy. Although having a baby with her . . . I would.
This isn’t a story about lies and deception, even though at times I’ve lied to myself.
No, this is my story.
A story about sacrifice.
A story about a man who fell in love with the wrong girl.
A story I wish I never had to tell.
This is a story about the true meaning of the downside of love.
Born in New York and raised in Southern California, Meghan has grown into a sassy, peanut butter eating, blonde haired swearing, animal hoarding lady. She is known to bust out and dance if “It’s Raining Men” starts beating through the air and heaven forbid you get a margarita in her, protect your legs because they may be humped.
Once she started commuting for an hour and twenty minutes every day to work for three years, she began to have conversations play in her head, real life, deep male voices and dainty lady coos kind of conversations. Perturbed and confused, she decided to either see a therapist about the hot and steamy voices running through her head or start writing them down. She decided to go with the cheaper option and started writing… enter her first novel, Caught Looking.
Now you can find the spicy, most definitely on the border of lunacy, kind of crazy lady residing in Colorado with the love of her life and her five, furry four legged children, hiking a trail or hiding behind shelves at grocery stores, wondering what kind of lube the nervous stranger will bring home to his wife. Oh and she loves a good boob squeeze!