THE FALL (Reluctant Romantics, #1) by Kate Stewart

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Synopsis

Dallas
He was the beginning of my heart . . . and the end of it.
I was only fifteen years old when he claimed it and twenty when he took it with him.
They say what is meant to be will find a way. But when you have changed to the point of no return, how can anything ever be the same?
Seven years later, Dean Martin waltzed back into my life in hopes of resuming what I had fought so hard to forget, but he was in for a wake-up call.
I was no longer the naïve woman he had left . . . and I was no longer his.
I met the love of my life and my soul mate when I was fifteen. I knew that; he knew that. He wanted that girl back. I wanted to forget she ever existed.

Dean
What I thought was my pre-destined path was very much an illusion. Living seven years with regret, I realized too late that I was broken, and that I only had myself to blame.
I thought love could wait . . . but it didn’t.
We’d had it all those years ago, and then I foolishly left it behind.
She was all that mattered. She was all there ever was.
There was no life without Dallas, no reason . . . except her.
No matter how hard she tried to convince me, I knew I had to once again make her mine, to make her remember . . . the fall.

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Excerpt

It was three long years before I heard three words that would forever change me. I was walking across campus toward the Marshall Hall building when the voice sounded. “Dean, Dean Martin?” A smile was already on my lips as I looked in the direction of the voice. Dallas’s laugh was unmistakable as she walked toward me. What I wasn’t expecting was the mere sight of her would leave me scrambling to regain basic fucking motor function. My smile quickly faded as she flew at me in a hug. All the breath left my body as I inhaled her scent. I gripped her to me tightly as she laughed and hugged me back. When she pulled away, my arms were still securely around her. I knew I had to be grinning like an idiot as she beamed back at me.

“How the hell are you?” she asked, a little Texas twang in her voice.

“Better now,” I said, still refusing to let her out of my grasp.

We spent a little longer than we should in our embrace, neither of us willing to pull away from the other. In that instant, I felt the pain of missing her ease slightly. My chest tightened at the return of a familiar stir.

It was just that damned easy.

“Let me look at you. Damn …” My voice was hoarse as I let her go to take her in. She was wearing tight jeans, knee high, rider boots and a tight fitting red sweater. I took in every curve as I whistled slowly.

“I know.” She waggled her eyebrows up then down and did a little turn for the full effect. She was a far cry from the skinnier version I left. She had a small amount of curve on her hips and her long legs remained one of her best assets. This was no longer the tempting Lolita that I had left. This was the young woman I had always pictured but even more beautiful than I could have imagined.

“Still dressing like every day is a Sunday at church,” she said, poking fun of my clothes, as usual.

“I don’t hear anyone else complaining,” I pointed out, still overwhelmed with the sight of her in front of me. “And you are still a pain in the ass,” I noted as she laughed.

“You have no idea. So did you miss me, Dean?”

“You know the saying ‘Don’t know what you got till it’s gone?’ Well, I can’t stand most of the girls at this school,” I assured her.

“Well, don’t tell me the infamous Dean Martin has changed his ways,” she teased.

“No, I still sleep with them. I just run like hell after,” I chuckled. “Anyway, what about you?”

“What about me?” she asked her eyes meeting mine. I let them stray and sweep down her body slowly bringing them back to her. “Dean, you wouldn’t be checking me out, would you?”

“Yes, I absolutely fucking am,” I said pointedly, giving her pause. She gave me a wary glance as she looked around campus. She seemed more relaxed than when I had left her, more comfortable in her own skin. Her confidence radiated off her in waves. My mind drifted back to the kiss I had left her with as I studied the slow curve of a smile forming on her lips.

We quickly made up for lost time and spent the rest of the day stuck together, holding hands and laughing as I gave her a full tour of campus. I was on my last year and would be leaving for Columbia next fall and I was again a senior to her freshmen. I refused to dwell on that. I felt completely relaxed for the first time since I had left her three years ago.

We were inseparable our first few weeks of school as we stayed busy, getting reacquainted. When we were not in class, we spent our nights either on the phone, walking on campus, going to parties, or hanging out at my frat house. My friends seemed to like her right away, a little too much for my liking. I caught their hungry eyes on her and glared at them openly as they shot a game of pool at the table in what was supposed to be our dining room. The minute her back was turned, I was bombarded with the inevitable question of who she was to me.

There was no mistaking my straight answer to Casey, the newest member of my fraternity. “Don’t even fucking look at her,” I barked.

“Okay, bud, all right,” he said, backing away to grab the pool stick from Rob—another brother who was a senior—and eyed Dallas suspiciously. It wasn’t common practice for me to bring girls back to the house other than to my bedroom. I had fallen into a bad habit my first few years at school but had slacked since then, concentrating more on my grades.

New York was a whisper away, but Dallas…Dallas was here.

I watched her work the table as she made herself comfortable, shooting off her shit talk at my frat buddies, who happily obliged her. They were impressed, especially Casey.

Casey was notorious on campus, easily one of the biggest players. He had absolutely no good intentions when it came to the opposite sex and though I wasn’t one to preach, he had a rather tasteless way of discarding the affections of his women. He was doing his best to impress her and she seemed to notice, humoring him.

Rob was the next to ask, stepping up and handing me a beer. “What’s the deal?” He asked as he eyed Dallas’s perfect ass as she took a shot and made the eight ball, winning the game. She looked up at me with her knowing smile. She was so fucking beautiful. I cursed my stupidity in bringing her to the house.

“The deal is any woman I bring into this house is off limits,” I said through clenched teeth. Rob laughed as he eyed me. “Dude, that’s not exactly fair. I don’t think any of us would get anywhere that way,” he said loudly. I ignored him and grabbed Dallas’s hand.

“Nice game,” I said, giving her a wink and pulling her toward the door. The guys frowned as if I was taking away their shiny new toy.

“Bye,” Dallas said quickly as I pulled her out of the house.

“Oh, come on, Dean. You aren’t going to pull the same old shit you did in high school.” She raised a brow. I took a step toward her.

“No, this will be different. I promise.” Before she could question me, I swept her in my arms and hauled ass down the steps of the massive front porch of the house.

“What the hell are you doing?” She laughed as I ran like a lightning streak toward the quad. “Getting you somewhere safe. Couldn’t you smell it in there?” I said, running faster as she laughed.

“Smell what?” she asked, her voice choppy as I kept my legs moving.

“Your pregnancy,” I answered, slowing to a halt. She rolled her eyes as she jumped from my arms.

“They were just curious,” she said, giving me a pointed stare. “I’m sure you don’t bring girls home often to meet the parents, am I right?”

I smirked.

“Whore,” she said without affection. I pushed her down on the grass as she yelped out in protest, flailing her arms before giving in to the inevitable.

“You ass!” she said testily as she wiped grass from her sweater but stayed seated.

“Oh Dallas, always trying to bring out the angry Spaniard in me,” I teased as I joined her on the grass.

She chuckled. “Truth hurts.”

The night was surprisingly cool for early September in Texas. I looked over at her, memorizing the perfect outline of her face, the way her silky hair cascaded down her shoulders and swirled around her as the breeze lifted it. She smiled at me and the unmistakable jolt shot through me, the effect the same. This time, I didn’t fight it.

“It’s not like that anymore,” I said in an attempt to reassure her. I grabbed a stray hair away from her face and tucked it behind her ear. She sobered up a bit, her smile slowly fading.

“Not what I heard,” she said, hugging her knees to her chest, averting her eyes. She wasn’t being confrontational, and I knew that. “They don’t call you the Spanish slut this time,” she said with no humor in their voice.

“Oh yeah, what do they call me?” I said, nudging her, hoping to lighten the mood.

“Dean,” she said looking straight into my eyes. Fuck if I didn’t want to kiss her right at the most inappropriate moment. I didn’t want to aid in what she already probably thought of me. I had wanted to kiss her so many times in the past few weeks but had held back for this very reason.

“You do them a disservice, you know,” she said thoughtfully as she played with the blades of grass, not looking at me.

“What do you mean?” I asked, plucking a piece of grass between my fingers.

“Letting them think that’s all you are good for. They never get to know you. It’s sad.”

I laughed. “They objectify me?”

She looked at me seriously. “Yes, they do.” That wiped the smile off my face.

“Dallas, I told you a long time ago, I don’t care about that shit, never will.”

“No, I guess not,” she said, perking up with a smile I knew wasn’t genuine. “I mean you are the big man on campus again. And what the hell is up with that frat chair in there, anyway?”

“It’s my throne,” I said defensively.

She rolled her eyes. It grew darker as the lamp lights came on around us, our faces covered in shadows. We enjoyed a few minutes of silence before she spoke up.

“Tell me about Columbia,” she prodded. “You are so close,” she encouraged.

“I can’t wait,” I said honestly. “My parents took me to New York when I was ten. I just remember being excited the entire time. I loved the semi-organized chaos. The noise, the culture clash, it was palpable, you know. Even then at that age, I could feel it, and it was everywhere. At least that’s the way I remembered it. I made my decision then, I wanted to be there and Columbia was a big heap of icing on the cake. My father and I spent hours going over my game plan. He always loved the idea of Columbia, especially when I told him I wanted to be a doctor. All these years later, I haven’t changed my mind. I’ve been back a few times since to check out the campus, look at housing, I still love it. Have you been?”

I hadn’t realized she was watching me closely, a small smile on her lips. “No, my parents and I vacationed a lot, but mostly to Colorado and then California to see my aunt and uncle. We never really made it out east.”

“It’s incredible and nothing like it is here. It makes our corner of the world seem so small. There is so much potential bursting out of it. I think you’d love it.”

“Maybe…probably,” she said, lost in thought.

“Then again, you are a true Texan. So damn proud to be from this fucking state with no plans of ever leaving,” I teased. “Even your name suits you.”

Before she could attack me for that, I lifted her to her feet. “Come on, I’ll walk you home.”

“Are you going to do this every night?” she asked as she leaned in close and I played with the tips of her long hair as I trailed my fingers down her back, pulling her closer to me. “Maybe, if you want me to.”

“Hmmm, kind of a boyfriend type thing to do, isn’t it?” I avoided her question, leading with mine.

“Coming to my toga party tomorrow night?”

“Maybe,” she said, glancing my way with a smile.

“You should, Dallas.”

“Why is that?”

“’Cause I will be there,” I said, slowing to a stop at her dorm.

She turned to me playfully. “Oh, well, when you put it that way, meh…and change clothes would you, you look like a bible salesmen.” She hurried up the steps as she chuckled.

“Just come, okay? We can tilt a few beers back and I want to talk to you.”

“About what?” she asked as I admired her from the bottom of the steps. She had on a sweater dress that outlined her curves perfectly and tight black leggings that I dreamt of ripping off her all day.

“There’s just something I want to talk to you about.” She heard the hint of seriousness in my voice. “It’s important.”

“Okay, I’ll be there.”

The Fall Teaser 2

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About the author

Kate Stewart, a native of Dallas, now resides in Charleston, S.C. She moved to the city three weeks after her first visit, dropping her career of 8 years, declaring the city her creative muse. Since her move in 2010, she has published two novels, the third coming July 2015. She lives with her husband of 8 years, Nick who is featured on the cover of the novel, TITAN. (Set to re-release some time in 2015.)

Her other novels include Room 212, Never Me, and Loving the White Liar which are all available now.

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REVIEW – THE FALL (The Reluctant Romantics, #1) by Kate Stewart

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SYNOPSIS:

Dallas
He was the beginning of my heart . . . and the end of it.
I was only fifteen years old when he claimed it and twenty when he took it with him.
They say what is meant to be will find a way. But when you have changed to the point of no return, how can anything ever be the same?
Seven years later, Dean Martin waltzed back into my life in hopes of resuming what I had fought so hard to forget, but he was in for a wake-up call.
I was no longer the naïve woman he had left . . . and I was no longer his.
I met the love of my life and my soul mate when I was fifteen. I knew that; he knew that. He wanted that girl back. I wanted to forget she ever existed.

Dean
What I thought was my pre-destined path was very much an illusion. Living seven years with regret, I realized too late that I was broken, and that I only had myself to blame.
I thought love could wait . . . but it didn’t.
We’d had it all those years ago, and then I foolishly left it behind.
She was all that mattered. She was all there ever was.
There was no life without Dallas, no reason . . . except her.
No matter how hard she tried to convince me, I knew I had to once again make her mine, to make her remember . . . the fall.

*****Patty’s Review*****

*****FIVE+++++++++”WAY TO GO MARTIN STARS”*****
{ARC Generously Provided by Author in Exchange For an Honest Review}

This was my second Beta for the lovely Kate Stewart!!
I feel so blessed that she entrusts me with her works of art!
This BOOK!! OMG! I CAN’T FREAKING WAIT FOR YOU ALL TO READ IT!!!!

I have a new book boyfriend and his name is DEAN!
This man is GORGEOUS. A sharp dresser!! And a MASTER at the SEXY TIMES!!! All I kept thinking was how much I wanted to live in the pages of this book and make Dean my own!!

Well I decided HE’s MINE!!!!

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This is a story of friends who turn into lovers, but then life gets in the way, which ultimately tears them apart. And after all the pain and regret, can two people who were always meant to be, overcome their insecurities and get that second chance at love?

Dallas and Dean meet while in High School. She is a freshman, and he is a senior. From the moment they lay eyes on each other, they feel a strong connection. This is definitely a case of love at first sight, but Dean thinks their three year age difference is too much at that point in their lives, so he decides to become Dallas’ best friend instead.

When they both end up at the same college a few years later, things get serious between the two. Dean can no longer hide his feelings for Dallas and after a bit of angst the two seem to be inseparable and heading towards a promising future. I must say that there’s some pretty amazing sexy times here and I wanted so desperately to be Dallas! Dean is half Spanish and ladies when he starts speaking in his native tongue, I melted into a puddle every time!!

Towards the end of their first year together as a couple, Dean is graduating and going off to NYC, to med school. Dallas, in my opinion, makes a big mistake here and so starts the heart break and what seems to be the end of their relationship.

This story is told from the present day where both Dallas and Dean are doctors and will end up crossing paths again, seven years after having broken up. But we do get many flashbacks so we become fully invested in these two characters and you can’t help but root for them to find their way back to each other. Wow the angst, it was at times unbearable. BUT, I am a sucker for angst, so this fed my addiction perfectly!!

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Did I mention already how incredibly STEAMY the sex gets??!!! Well let’s just say Dean gets even better in the sex department when the two meet up years later. I was fanning myself, and definitely in need of a long cold shower as well!!

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What I love about Kate’s writing style is that she’s also great at creating some amazing secondary characters. I loved Dallas’ parents, whom you will meet in her book titled Room 212, and her younger sister, Rose along with her boyfriend, Grant. I am so excited to get to their book!!

The first time I read this book, I was out at the laundromat, and I got to a part so horribly heart breaking, that I was crying big fat ugly tears, and I didn’t care if anyone saw me! I was destroyed!! Seriously didn’t see that coming and let me tell you, I don’t cry often while reading, so when a book invokes those kinds of emotions from me, well, then I am THOROUGHLY IMPRESSED!!!

I really don’t want to go too much into detail about this one because I want you all to be able to enjoy it. I have to warn there is a cheating element, but it never bothered me because I knew that Dean and Dallas were ALWAYS meant to belong to each other.

I loved Kate’s last book, Loving The White Liar, but I gotta say this one right here, is HANDS DOWN, her BEST book so far!!! I am not even embellishing a little. I seriously am in love with this story! I begged Kate to get this baby published as soon as possible because I feel that this has to be out there for all of you to read!

I think you all may have just a short month to wait for this bad boy to go LIVE!! When it does, I hope you will one click!!!

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*****Dee’s Review*****

******5 Beautiful Stars*****

(ARC kindle provided by author in exchange for an honest review)

I fell for Dean and Dallas’ love story. Fell for the beauty of the words in this novel. And lastly, I fell for the way Kate Stewart gave life to these characters and through their great pain and immense love she put me inside of the story, making me able to feel it all.

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Dean and Dallas met when they were both in high school and quickly became best friends. Dallas had a big crush on him and so did he but their age difference was something Dean couldn’t get over so he kept things on the friend zone.

A few years later they both end up at the same university, also both trying to become doctors. The chemistry between them was as strong as it ever was in the past if not more, so this time around they decide to give love a try but just when everything is going great, life turns upside down and a terrible heartbreak will be inevitable.

Seven years later, Dean still feels the pain in his heart by just hearing Dallas’s name. He became the successful doctor he had set out to be, in the city he wanted to live in, but even after seven years, he still feels a big void inside his heart and so he goes back to look for the one that got away, Dallas.

Dallas has a job she loves, big plans with her sister to open up her own practice and a hot boyfriend. Life is good for her. But the moment Dallas sets eyes on Dean again, her world comes crumbling down and she remembers what it was like to belong to him, to be loved by him, and also to be left by him.

Dean proposes a friendship, they were always good at that. Truth is, no matter how much time has passed or how much heartache has separated them, they can’t turn their backs on each other. A loyal friendship is the one thing that will never disappear between them.

Friendship is the link that takes them into something more, a love that was so painful and is surrounded by so many secrets. Will these lovers be courageous enough to confront the truth that broke them apart and left their hearts bleeding all those years ago? And more importantly can they survive a second chance?

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The funny banter, the steamy sex, the unbreakable love, was just some kind of wonderful. I was hooked on this story and just like every other reader had said, I simply couldn’t put it down. I cried, I yelled and I swooned with these characters as they fought their way through to their happy ending.

If you are a hopeless romantic, who likes well written novels by all means do not waste any time, and pick up this book today! Dean’s enchanting and soft Spanish words will make you fall and dream of him for days to come.

Kate Stewart added a gorgeous playlist at the end of the book that totally enhances the readers experience, be sure to check it out on Spotify. Here are some of my favorite songs from her music list:

*Jealous by Labrinth
*I’m On Fire by Bruce Springsteen
*Trust Issues by Beatrice Eli
*Explosions by Elle Goulding
*All We ever Do is Say Goodbye
*High by James Blunt

 

 

*****Mel’s Review*****

5 It Will Always Be You Stars!
(ARC provided by author)

“I’ll still love you in a week, in a month, and in three years. I’ll still love you for the rest of my life.”

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This is the story about two soulmates who are destined to be together, but find each other at the wrong time in their lives. Dallas Whitaker finds the other half of her heart in Dean Martin when she is only 15. She’s a freshman in high school, & he’s a senior. They both fall hard for one another, but the timing is never right. Dean won’t act on his feelings because of her age, so they become the best of friends always longing for more. He leaves for college & they are separated for three years until Dallas graduates high school. Once they are reunited at college they are inseparable. Dallas is now 18 & they can finally confess their feelings & act on them. They have one magical year together that’s everything they’ve both been dreaming of, & then Dean leaves again, this time for medical school in New York. They both make promises to stay together, but their goals take them in different directions.

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Seven years later Dean is still in New York & Dallas is still in Texas. They’ve never fully been able to give their heart to another because they each gave it away years ago when they were teenagers. They have both felt empty & broken for years. Dean is drowning in a fate he created. He put his career first & has worked his whole life to become a doctor. He has now accomplished all his goals, but realizes that without Dallas in his life, it all means nothing. He has many regrets, & wishes he could go back in time & do things differently. He decides to take action & finally go after what he wants.

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Dallas Whitaker is starting her second year residency at Dallas Memorial Hospital & finally getting her life in order when the man who completely shattered her heart seven years ago shows up out of the blue. They haven’t spoken in years, but her traitorous heart loves him as if no time has passed. Dean doesn’t waste any time making his intentions clear & letting Dallas know he’s back to stay & he wants to win her back. He’s returned to claim the other half of his heart, & will do whatever it takes.

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Dallas is terrified to let Dean back into her heart. He was the love of her life, but she feels it’s too late & so much has changed. She isn’t the same young girl, & she doesn’t think she could survive that kind of heartbreak a second time. She has a life she is content with, & she doesn’t want to put her trust in Dean again, just to be let down. Loving Dean nearly destroyed her the first time around.

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Dean & Dallas continue to be around one another & they just can’t control their pull toward each other. What they feel is this all consuming love that is so intense & so powerful, they can’t deny it any longer. They are simply meant to be. This was such a beautiful story about second chance romance. It was my first book by this author & I can’t wait to read more by her! This book just makes you feel EVERYTHING & reminds you we don’t always get another chance, so when you find love, hold on and never let go! & of course I MUST mention the gorgeous, sexy Dr. Dean Martin! Oh my lord, this is one hot, delicious, Spanish swoon worthy man!!! Enjoyed every single minute of Dean sexy time! THANK YOU Kate Stewart!!! ;))

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-“Being his, with him, it was the best time of my life.”

-“He made me feel loved and beautiful and wanted.”

-“We just fit and neither of us could stay away.”

-“The best I have ever felt in my life is when I lose myself in my love for you.”

-“I know when I’m speaking to the other half of me. I’ve always known, my love.”

TEASER – “The Fall” by Kate Stewart

TEASER for the upcoming release of “The Fall” by Author Kate Stewart! We were lucky enough to get an advanced copy of this FANTASTIC book! It’s a “friends to lovers / second chance romance” story, filled with Angst, Steam, and Heartbreak! Make sure you have some tissues handy while reading because you will have some ugly crying moments!! Mark your calendars! It releases on November 28th!!

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COVER REVEAL – “THE FALL” (The Reluctant Romantics, Book 1) by Kate Stewart

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Dallas

He was the beginning of my heart . . . and the end of it.

I was only fifteen years old when he claimed it and twenty when he took it with him.

They say what is meant to be will find a way. But when you have changed to the point of no return, how can anything ever be the same?

Seven years later, Dean Martin waltzed back into my life in hopes of resuming what I had fought so hard to forget, but he was in for a wake-up call.

I was no longer the naïve woman he had left . . . and I was no longer his.

I met the love of my life and my soul mate when I was fifteen. I knew that; he knew that. He wanted that girl back. I wanted to forget she ever existed.

Dean

What I thought was my pre-destined path was very much an illusion. Living seven years with regret, I realized too late that I was broken, and that I only had myself to blame.

I thought love could wait . . . but it didn’t.

We’d had it all those years ago, and then I foolishly left it behind.

She was all that mattered. She was all there ever was.

There was no life without Dallas, no reason . . . except her.

No matter how hard she tried to convince me, I knew I had to once again make her mine, to make her remember . . . the fall.

 

 

We are so excited for this book!!!
To  be released towards the end of this month!

This one is not to be missed!!!