Fading (Fading #1)
(summary from Goodreads)
Sometimes it takes someone else to show us what we are truly capable of becoming.
Suffering from years of violent abuse, Ryan Campbell has learned how to keep people from getting too close. But when you shut yourself off, people get hurt along the way. Never caring much about others, Ryan creates a world in which he doesn’t have to feel.
When Ryan meets Candace Parker, all of his walls slowly begin to crumble. Not sure of the truth of who she is, he feels his mind is playing tricks on him. Unable to force out the thoughts that consume him, Ryan is haunted by visions that torment him every time he looks at her. He finds himself swallowed by guilt and blame, but he’s unwilling to turn his back on the one person that could possibly save him.
You’ve heard Candace’s story in Fading, now hear Ryan’s.
Fading was from Candace’s story, Freeing was Jase’s story and now Falling is Ryan’s story. Told in the same time period as both Fading and Freeing, Falling gives us the chance to see Ryan’s point of view of the events that broke our hearts, whilst also giving us the insight into his life that we have been pining for every since reading Fading!
First and foremost, massive praise for E.K.Blair for her ability tell the same story 3 times without it feeling repetitive or boring. Candace, Jase and Ryan all have their own back story, their own secrets. But all three books are centered around one main event and how that effects the characters lives and relationships with each other. You could read these books in any order and the story would still make sense, but I very much advise, no beg(!) you to read them in the order they were written.
In Falling we finally learn the secrets of Ryan’s past. The pain, the guilt, the fear and the worthlessness he has been made to feel after years of abuse from his drunken father. After his dads death Ryan falls into a routine of sex and alcohol to numb the pain, and refuses to let himself get close to anyone, feeling he isn’t worthy of love, and fearful that he will one day turn into his father.
Reading this story again but from Ryan’s point of view just makes me love him even more. He knows something traumatic has happened to Candace, but he has no idea what. Without needing an explanation for the nightmares or her fear of being touched he feels a pull towards her and very easily becomes a massive part of her life. He is patient, understanding and supportive throughout everything and seeing his love and desire to help make her happy again from inside his head was simply beautiful.
You really see how much Candace is able to give Ryan as well from this book. Making him feel worthy of being loved and showing him that he had nothing to fear and was nothing like his father.
I also really want to mention Ryan’s relationship with his mum here. They went through a lot together, surviving the abuse of his father, and their relationship really became something special. We also get some see some more of Ryan’s family in this book, and learn a bit more about their background which was great because I absolutely loved his family!
Definitely though, the best thing about this book is that it doesn’t stop at the same point that Fading stops, we get more … a whole lot more. And to end, an epilogue that really was the cheery on top of an amazing series. I think I even cried, but they were most definitely happy tears as we are given ending worthy of all of the characters and the emotional journey that we have taken with them.
This series was incredible and never have I felt so much heartbreak and love from a group of characters before. Also, on a final note I have to say how much I adore the covers in this series. They are raw and honest and just so powerful.
Re-Readability: Hell Yes!
I would recommend this book to fans of: NA romance, healing romance, books with real life issues, same sex couples
I got the chance to ask E.K.Blair some questions about her new book and the series as a whole. See what she said below:
1) Where did the idea for the Fading series come from? Did you always know that you were going to write it from 3 different points of view?
Fading was always supposed to be a stand-alone book. It started with Fading, Candace’s story, but when I reached the half-way point in writing that book, I thought, ‘Hmm . . . Ryan is a really complex character that is burying a lot.’ I knew that his books wouldn’t simply be a retelling of Fading, he was too deep for such a simplistic book like that. And at that point, the idea for Falling started to manifest.
Freeing was born through the fans. They loved Jase—LOVED HIM! I always loved him too, but he was just a side character for me and I didn’t fully know his story. I started receiving Facebook PMs and emails asking for his book. I was scared to write it. After all, what do I know about the depths of a gay man? But I thought to myself, ‘This fear I have is exactly why I should write his story.’ And so I did, and Freeing, Jase’s story, is the one book I am so proud of. He’s a beautiful man who stands next to another beautiful man. It’s an in-depth look inside of a person who struggles with acceptance—something that all of us do—and I think that is what has made it such an easy book for people to read and connect to.
2) A lot of authors say they get the inspiration for their characters from people in their lives, did you? And who is your favourite character?
I only drew inspiration through one person—myself. Everyone else is their own character.
Candace is me. She is my personality 100%. Timid, strong, silly, deep, clingy, and likes to hide. The way she dealt with her attack is how I envisioned myself reacting. As weak as it may sound, I think I could possibly fade. To come out of what she went through I believe takes an amazingly strong person with a drive to persevere against all pain. But to drown in that pain I think would be so easy to do. So that’s the story I wrote.
My favorite character? That’s so hard. I have lived in everyone’s head while writing this series, and I love them as if they were real. But I think it would have to be Ryan. He’s just an amazingly mature man. But Mark would be a close second with his vibrant, carefree personality. He has a beautiful heart for the people he loves
3) Who was your favourite character to write as? Who was the hardest?
My favourite to write was Ryan. His transformation was bigger than I though when I sat down, nestled myself inside of his head, and began to write. Getting to know him inside and out showed me that he was more flawed that what I even knew when writing Candace’s story, so to see his progression was pretty wonderful.
The hardest to write was Jase. Having to write someone who hates who they are was heart breaking. And writing the dynamics of a gay relationship was a huge challenge. Writing a Male/Female is easy; the dynamics are already engrained. But writing two men, who stand as equals, was very difficult.
4) Favourite part of Falling?
I love the way Ryan probes Candace to talk. That he wants to understand what’s going on inside of her head. The scene where they discuss Candace’s feelings about being touched is so sad, but probably one of my favorites. The two of them don’t have your typical intimate relationship that we have become accustomed to reading. He doesn’t heal her. He doesn’t free her from what haunts her. She doesn’t take touches with ease, but the mere fact that he sees her try—for him—settles him. I love that about these two people—their maturity.
5) Favourite quote from Falling?
“We’ve taken our slow time getting to know each other, but now I feel like she’s different, and I don’t know what to do with that feeling. I feel like I can’t touch her. Like I can’t be the same with her.”
I love the honesty in that. That even those he loves her, he isn’t being some macho man. That this will cause a struggle within him, one that he can’t hide from.
6) Best compliment you have received as an author?
I have been privately contacted by a few book reviewers who thought I was a seasoned published author who was now writing under a pen name and publishing independently. It made me laugh when I tried telling then that I wasn’t, but I was beyond flattered that they felt my writing was that moving and polished. It’s very humbling!
7) If you could invite any 5 authors to dinner who would you chose?
Ilsa Bick (Author of my all-time favorite book ‘Drowning Instinct.’)
Leah Raeder (Beautiful lyrical writer. I’m in awe of her technique.)
Raine Miller (Because I’d like more time to get to know her on a personal level.)
Kate Avelynn (I love when authors can blur the lines between right and wrong.)
Anne Rice (She’s seasoned. She’s smart. She’s stubborn. And she is there to help people getting started in this business. I’d love to spend some one-on-one time with her and pick her brain!)
8) If you were a superhero what would your name and powers be?
Oh Lord! I have no freakin’ clue what my name would be, but I’d love to be invisible! I am such a nosey person and this would make it possible for me to eavesdrop on anyone I chose!
9) If someone wrote a book on your life what would it be called?
A former first grade teacher with an imagination that runs wild. Daydreaming and zoning out is how she was often found in high school. Blair tends to drift towards everything dark and moody. Give her a character and she will take pleasure in breaking them down, digging into their core to find what lies underneath.Aside from writing, E.K. Blair finds pleasure in music, drinking her Starbucks in peace, and spending time with her friends. She’s a thinker, an artist, a wife, a mom, and everything in between.