Length: 11 hours 53 minutes
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Setting: Los Angeles
Narrator: Alexander Cendese, Lidia Dornet
The first time you meet someone, you make eye contact. You smile, say hello. Should be simple, if you’re anyone but me. The first time I met Dylan Reed, I found myself making eye contact with a different part of his body. You see, I’m very good at being shy, not to mention extremely well-versed in rambling nonsense and, unfortunately, rather highly skilled at making a fool of myself in front of a guy I’m attracted to.
At the time, I knew nothing about him and thought none of what I said would matter since I’d never speak to him again. Turns out, I was very wrong. He was the star wide receiver of the football team, one of the few players expected to make it into the NFL, and I ended up seeing him all over campus.I might have also propositioned him, run away from him, attacked him with a cooking utensil…and…uh, maybe I shouldn’t tell you all of it. It’s pretty normal stuff, things you’d expect…from me. Eventually, the time came when I couldn’t hide anymore—not that he’d have let me even if I tried.Before now, he never knew I was secretly watching him. Now that we see each other every day, he knows when I have a hard time looking away. It doesn’t help that I’m not the most subtle person in the world either.
He smiles at me and tells me he finds me fascinating because of my quirks. I can’t even tell him that I think my heart beats differently whenever he’s around.
He thinks we’re going to be best friends. I think I have a big thing for him, and the more I get to know him, the more I don’t care that I’m not allowed to be his friend, let alone fall for him.
The thing is, that’s exactly what I’m doing—what we’re doing, I think.
The Hardest fall drew me in right away with that cover. I am so in love with that cover!! I liked Zoe-she is so strange and quirky it was fun! Then this thing with Mark (the football coach) threw me. And I struggled with her after that. Why did she let him treat her so poorly; Why did she didn’t tell anyone but Kayla and Jared, etc. She was a smart girl and fairly independent so her determination to do everything Mark asked of her for 3 years despite how awful he had been was baffling.
The winner of this book is Dylan! He is hilarious, endearing, and a football player who isn’t a man whore. That bears repeating: footballer who isn’t a whore. I love that Maise wrote a character like Dylan!
Kayla is Zoe’s best friend and her story has a heartbreaking culmination. While it didn’t have anything to do with Zoe and Dylan, I think it was really appropriate in a college based romance. The reality of Kayla’s story plays out on campuses all across the country and I think its important to bring all the attention possible to this struggle.
The Hardest Fall is slow burn for sure! Zoe and Dylan dance around each other for month. As the reader, you know both find the other attractive, but Dylan thinks Zoe has a boyfriend and Zoe feels that she can’t start anything with a football player. This was a great example of how perfect a friends to lovers romance can be!
I have listened to many books narrated by Lidia Dornet and she does a fabulous job! This was my first book narrated by Alexander Cendese and he was good. His attempts at the voice of female characters often came across a bit screechy. That was my biggest struggle.
- POV: dual 1st
- Tears: a few
- Trope: opposites attract, friends to lovers
- Triggers: View Spoiler »Kayla is physically and sexually abused by her boyfriend. There is no details about the rape but there is a scene of physical abuse between the boyfriend, Kayla, and Zoe that could be upsetting to readers who have experienced domestic abuse « Hide Spoiler
- Series/Standalone: stand alone
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »no « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »yes, with epilogue « Hide Spoiler