Review: “The Opposite of Falling” by Jillian Liota

Book Title: The Opposite of Falling

Author: Jillian Liota

Series: Cedar Point, Book 2

Rating: 5⭐

Release Date: October 5th, 2020

Goodreads | (Available on KU)

Synopsis: Being back home in Cedar Point after a failed relationship is not how Briar Mitchell saw her life going. She never wanted to come back to her hometown or get stuck there in the first place. But it’s the only safe haven she can think of. And then Andrew Marshall walks back into her life and this cosy little temporary home she’s created becomes a whole lot more complicated. Because what do you do when your childhood crush suddenly wants to be with you?

Review: In The Trouble With Wanting, we briefly met Briar through her incredible relationship with her big brother, Boyd. Briar is the second of the Mitchell kids and she’s truly such a beautiful character. Seeing her through Boyd’s eyes was one thing, but to have an entire book to dig into her head and see her life was a treat I didn’t expect.

Jillian Liota takes us back to Cedar Point and the Mitchell family, where we get to see more fun antics with the family and really get to experience another side of the town that the Mitchell ancestors founded. The story is filled with so much heart, with incredible characters who hook you right from the start. It’s got great friendships, a second chance romance, a whole lot of steam and two amazing leads who totally won me over.

“Andy might not be a person I think about often, but he can still cause a pretty hefty swoop in my stomach when he comes to mind, that sensation you get when you accidentally step off a curb.”

Briar Mitchell and Andrew Marshall have known each other forever. Andy grew up with Boyd (Briar’s brother) and Briar stood on the sidelines and crushed on him, hard. But unlike Andy, Briar didn’t want to stay in Cedar Point. She believed she was destined for bigger and brighter things, so she went after her dreams and she didn’t let anything hold her back. But even those dreams were a bit of a struggle, not that Briar held back or anything. She even met a man she thought she was going to marry. A man who didn’t let her shine or be her true self. Andy, on the other hand, is a Cedar Point boy. He’s lived there his whole life and he doesn’t want to go anywhere else. He runs the grocery store in town, one that was started by his grandfather, and takes care of his widowed and ailing father. For Andy, there is nothing outside of Cedar Point that he wants. And he’s never found anyone in town to complete his life either.

But when Briar and Andy are reunited, suddenly all the things that they’ve been holding back with themselves brings everything to the surface.

“Maybe it’s ridiculous of me to pick this moment to fall in love with Briar Mitchell, but I don’t know that it’s really something you can choose. I think it just happens.”

Briar is such an interesting character! As the quietest of the Mitchell siblings, she’s always been happy with her own company. Briar has never been loud and out there like everyone else in her family, or in her life for that matter, and she’s okay with that. She’s always been okay with other people taking the spotlight and being the centre of attention, so much so that she didn’t even realise she was being suppressed by her ex till she’s out from under him. While Briar might not see it, Andy definitely sees all the incredible things she’s capable of and he wants only the best for her, even if she doesn’t believe that she deserves it.

“Falling in love isn’t scary when the man at the bottom has spread a net so wide there’s no way he won’t catch you, a net woven entirely out of what I’m realizing are the best parts of love. Trust. Intimacy. Respect. Sacrifice.”

I absolutely loved how Andy and Briar come together. At first it’s all snark and scowls, then when she takes a job at the store to keep herself busy, things between them change a little. And then Briar makes a decision that is so unlike her and suddenly there’s colour in her life. Their friends with benefits scenario is complicated, but it’s also so damn good. And in a small town like Cedar Point, you can’t really keep secrets from people or hide the truth.

As always, the Mitchell family are a riot. I love the siblings and their love for one another. I love their parents and how supportive they are, but also how human they are in their depiction. While Briar and Andy are the best part of this book (obviously), some of the other relationships that build through the course of the book totally won me over. First, Briar and Abby. Friends from school, they haven’t seen each other in a while and when they reconnect, it’s almost like no time has passed. And Abby brings out a different side of Briar, which is even better. But the one relationship that really did it for me was Briar and Bellamy. I can’t wait to see what her life is going to be like one day, because she was such an interesting character!

“My world wasn’t dissolving into flames. It was sitting beside me, holding my hand.”

Seriously, though, Jillian Liota’s Cedar Point series is so heartwarming and comforting. It’s got all the things that make up a great small town romance. And the characters, the dialogue, the humour, the angst and let’s not forget the steam – it was all so well crafted. I can’t wait to get lost in Cedar Point with another Mitchell sibling!

Thanks to Jillian Liota and InkSlinger PR for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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