If I Fall by S.J. McCoy

If I Fall Cover

Lovely, opposites-attract, contemporary-romance novella

If I Fall (Hope Falls) by S.J. McCoy

Reading Level: Adult Romance
Release Date: December 14, 2018
Pages: 106 pages
Publisher: Xenion, Inc
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Reviewed By: Kate McMurry

After years of faithful service in the FBI, Special Agent James Sullivan (Sully), is feeling confused and rather burned out. He has taken three weeks off from his job in Sacramento, an extremely rare event in his hectic career, because he is mourning the recent death of his most trusted mentor and friend, which occurred within weeks of retiring from the Bureau. His friend’s last advice to 30-something Sully is still ringing in his ears: Avoid making my mistake of sacrificing the possibility of a fulfilling personal life due to living entirely for your job.

Gorgeous, robustly fit Sully has never had a serious relationship because, as the saying goes, he is married to his job. As a case in point, his most recent dating attempt dried up and fizzled out from sheer neglect. Therefore, looking for love is the farthest thing from Sully’s mind when he decides on a whim to visit his college roommate, who is the police chief of the small town of Hope Falls in the upper Midwest.

Beautiful, 30-something Jess Archer is a nature photographer who is successful enough to fund a carefree, footloose lifestyle. She has never had a long lasting romantic relationship, and her most recent attempt ended in disaster when, while temporarily living in Tucson, she discovered her recently acquired boyfriend in bed with her roommate. She immediately purchased a motorhome and hit the road. While wandering around the country, on a sudden whim, she decides to visit a fellow photographer whom she met professionally years ago and became friends with. Her friend is currently married to the local police chief in the small town of Hope Falls in a beautiful, scenic, mountainous area in the upper Midwest. Jess she figures she can both catch up with her friend and take some lovely nature photographs while in town.

When Sully and Jess meet in Hope Falls, their connection is immediate and soul deep, above and beyond the intense physical attraction that the two of them experience. For each of them there is a sense of safety and coming home that feels both utterly unfamiliar and intensely right. But how can two people so completely different in their approach to life, with the only real thing they have in common a fear of commitment, be anything more to each other besides a temporary fling?

This is a lovely, heartwarming novella. I really liked and admired both Sully and Jess. Though this novella is short, the arc of the romance between these two extremely sympathetic romantic protagonists is believable and well-motivated, with a very satisfying HEA. It is the highest ideal of a romance story to convince readers that its two lovers are soulmates, a goal that far too few romances manage to achieve. This story accomplishes that feat extremely well. I was personally completely convinced that these two attractive lovers are made for each other.

This is not a G-rated story, but the sex scenes are never crude. They are both passionate and very tender.

This story is part of a larger, extensive series set in the town of Hope Falls. I have not read any of those other stories, but this novella stands on its own very well. There is no cliffhanger.

I rate this book as follows:

Heroine: 5

Hero: 5

Subcharacters: 5

Romance Plot: 5

Setting: 5

Writing: 5

Overall: 5

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