Publication date: March 3rd 2015
My rating: 4 stars
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Stay focused. Get a job. Save her father's life.
Beth Lamont knows far too much about the harsh realities of life her gilded classmates have only read about in class. She'll do whatever it takes to take care of her father, even if that means tutoring a guy like Noah - a guy who represents everything she hates about the war, soldiers and what the Army has done to her family.
Noah Warren doesn't know how to be a student. All he knows is war. But he's going to college now to fulfill a promise and he doesn't break his promises. Except he doesn't count on his tutor being drop dead gorgeous and distracting as hell. One look at Beth threatens to unravel the careful lies Noah has constructed around him.
A simple arrangement turns into something neither of them can deny. And a war that neither of them can forget could destroy them both.
I’m addicted to Jessica Scott’s writing. Her romances are realistic, beautifully written and passionate! Before I Fall was no exception.
Noah is back from military service and attending college. His lieutenant pulled strings to get him into school and he doesn’t want to squander his opportunity. Stats class is like a different language to him so Noah takes his professor’s advice and hires a tutor, Beth. She’s beautiful and driven, and not at all friendly when they first meet, but after they get to know each other a little there’s no denying the intense attraction they feel. They have immediate chemistry, and Noah is definitely drawn to Beth, but more than that he’s in awe of her strength of spirit with all she faces and deals with on a daily basis. The more he falls for Beth the more Noah’s worried about her reaction when she finds out that PTSD and injuries have made prescription pills necessary to cope, especially since more and more are needed just to get by.
Beth is focused on finishing school and getting a job that can provide health insurance to her father, an injured veteran. Her father is in severe back pain, reliant on heavy prescription drugs. The way the VA (Veterans Affairs) has categorized her father’s injury makes it so they won’t completely cover his meds or the back surgery he desperately needs. Beth spends countless hours fighting with them, hours she doesn’t have when she works to support them in addition to going to school. Understandably, Beth is angry at the government and everything the war did to her family. Beth has no desire to tutor a soldier, but can’t refuse the money it will bring. However, Noah is nothing like she thought he’d be. He’s sweet, sympathetic and irresistible, and soon she finds herself falling hard.
Before I Fall was not only a romance, but a poignant look at the life of a soldier after he comes home. I felt terrible for Beth who had to deal with her father’s pain and addiction on her own since the age of sixteen, and unfortunately the powers-that-be made their lives even more difficult. If this is what happens in real life, I feel for the men and women who’ve served and then come home to find limited support. Noah’s presence and support lifts a little of the crushing weight off of Beth and I was happy they found each other. Noah had his own demons thanks to the war, so he understood her situation better than most people would. Beth is like a balm to Noah’s soul, a calming influence when the war has made him feel edgy and out of place in the civilian world. She sparks his desires, and motivates him to get control and embrace life.
Their romance stole my heart! It was very hot and sensual, but also tender, and I longed for the happy ending both Beth and Noah deserved. While I got my wish, I would love to “see” Noah and Beth a little further in the future and find out how they’re doing.
Jessica Scott writes realistic feeling relationships beautifully, making you truly care for the characters and the problems they face.