Review: “Break Your Fall” by Malynda Schlegel

Series: Bellsby Beach, #2

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥

Release Date: July 22nd, 2021

Add to Goodreads | Amazon.in (Available on KU)

Basketball.
Reyna Stokes.
The two loves of my life, and I’m losing both.

The first—the sport I’ve dedicated most of my life to—has been slipping from my head and my heart since spring.

Setting foot on a college court, playing college ball, has been my dream since I was a kid. It’s bad enough that my dream is dying, but I literally can’t afford to not play ball. If I don’t play, I’m out. Everything I’ve worked for is gone. I keep telling myself it’s just a funk, because if I lose this for good? My future is done.

The second—the girl of my dreams—I’ve never really had.

I’ve loved Reyna for as long as I can remember, but I’ve been firmly planted in the friend zone. Julian’s the guy who got the girl. In the case of our friend group, he got both girls.

He hurt me by hooking up with Reyna, but he deceived Reyna by trying to love her when he knew he couldn’t, then let her go to be with the girl he could.

Julian and Camille broke her and left me to pick up the pieces.

As much as I’ve tried to play referee, friendships have been shattered. Sides have been taken. Lines have been drawn. And I’m now all Reyna has. She needs a friend. A line made deeper by the loss of two. A line that’s going to be harder for me to cross. But I’d be a fool not to try. A complete moron not to show her that I’m the guy for her. That I’ve always been the guy for her.

It’s our last summer together, and I have but a short time to turn everything around before I leave Bellsby behind for good.

First? Salvage friendships.
Second? Reignite my love for basketball.
And third – the biggest one of all? Get the girl.

 

After being introduced to the Bellsby Beach gang last year, I was looking forward to seeing what would happen with Tommy and Reyna and here is their story! It’s important that you read Bring You Back before this one, since the book picks up where the first one leaves off. I don’t think this can be read as standalone and needs to be read in order to understand friendships, relationships and all other dynamics. In Bring You Back, we saw the reunion of Julian and Camille and the falling apart of everything else that happened around them. Tommy and Reyna are tossed aside for something bigger and it was hard watching that friendship crumble the way it did. We finally get to see how Tommy really feels about everything and how things falling apart changes his entire life.

Tommy and Reyna’s relationship is one that has been building for so long! I have a soft spot for best friends to lovers, because it’s always so interesting to see how two characters with so much history shared can overcome all of that to be together. And that’s exactly what happens with Tommy and Reyna. Everyone has always been aware of Tommy’s feelings for Reyna, except her. And they’ve been waiting for the moment when he’ll take that chance and tell her how he feels. But with the way everything hit the fan after Julian and Reyna broke up because of Camille, Tommy’s been holding himself back. 

“It never hurt to love Reyna. She’s the best feeling I’ve ever had. But now, with her in my arms like this, as we’re touching this way, I feel the ache in my chest, a hole in part of my life where she should be.”

These two characters are so broken and beautiful. I loved just how even though it was painful on so many levels, they held onto each other and made it work. Tommy is especially a great character and I even loved him in Bring You Back, because he was always the level-headed one, the guy you lean on when things get ugly and the one who will always be there to help you. Tommy could have just dumped everyone – Reyna included – when their lives were tossed upside down, but he stuck around and he worked his butt off to make sure that everyone was happy and in a good place. Also, his love for Reyna is so pure and deep. I enjoyed watching him fight his desire and battles, but also how he never stops helping Reyna, even when she’s pushing him away and doing her own thing. Tommy also standing up to his parents was particularly special, because that was so important to witness and for him to do.

My feelings for Reyna were very unclear in the first book, but in this one, I found that I loved her so much. We get to see a better understanding of her relationship with her mother and why she is the way she is. She’s so beautiful, but damaged and broken. Her heart and soul is full of love and care, but she’s been used and tossed aside too many times to fully give in to anyone, especially Tommy. I loved how much about her we got to learn and how we got to see her struggle coming to terms with the fact that she’s always been Tommy’s first choice for everything even if Julian didn’t choose her the same way.

“You’re happening to me. You’ve kept me grounded, while at the same time helping me fly.”

Much like Julian and Camille’s relationship, this one is also a slow burn. There were so many moments when I wanted to scream KISS because they were right there, but given how complicated everything is, I loved that they just didn’t jump into bed together. Their friendship is the crux of the book and even though you know they’re going to end up together, I loved just how much we got to see their reliance on each other. Tommy and Reyna need each other so much and they’re not afraid to admit it to each other, but it’s still really complicated when there are feelings involved. And yet, they make it work. And even though Tommy is constantly defending Reyna, I loved that she was absolutely capable of doing it herself too.

I enjoyed this story and was so happy to see the Bellsby gang back together, plus all that Banks excitement. He’s such a wild character and the thought that he might get his own book excites me even further. I do feel like the story could have been a little shorter, but I understand why it was longer than usual because of all the big steps these characters had to take. The first half of the book moved slowly, but then suddenly picked up speed, which wasn’t bad, I just wish a lot of the revelations came towards the middle of the story instead of at the end where everything falls into place at once.

Break Your Fall is a best friends to lovers, slow burn, summer romance filled with interesting characters, family secrets and finding yourself.

Thanks to Malynda Schlegel for an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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