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Crashing Back Down

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Author: Kristen Hope Mazzola

Published: November 4th 2013 by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Format: Paperback , 218 pages

Isbn: 9780615908830

Language: English


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Book #1 in a two part series! Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy's best friends and p Book #1 in a two part series! Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy's best friends and parents. Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down. **18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.***

30 review for Crashing Back Down

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kristen Mazzola

    I am in love with this story and had an amazing time writing it. My heart and soul went into those pages and I cannot wait to share that with the world. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much I did writing it!! :)

  2. 4 out of 5

    Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen

    Book – Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1) Author – Kristen Hope Mazzola Publication Date – November 4, 2013 Type – Part of Series Genre - Romance Rating - 4 out of 5 Stars Review I am on the fence with my rating for “Crashing Back Down”.  In the beginning, I found myself rolling my eyes on how much this story revolved around alcohol and crying. I trudged on and continually the characters were either drowning in shots or sobbing uncontrollably. Everyone cried continually – no one was saved in this book fr Book – Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1) Author – Kristen Hope Mazzola Publication Date – November 4, 2013 Type – Part of Series Genre - Romance Rating - 4 out of 5 Stars Review I am on the fence with my rating for “Crashing Back Down”.  In the beginning, I found myself rolling my eyes on how much this story revolved around alcohol and crying. I trudged on and continually the characters were either drowning in shots or sobbing uncontrollably. Everyone cried continually – no one was saved in this book from tears cascading down their cheeks. Another irritating thing I found about this book is how quick a fight started and then ended – we didn’t experience any angst or build-up/let-down.  I understand that the whole book revolves around the angst of Mags dealing with her husband’s death and the guilt of forming a new relationship, but I think the fight scenes along with the outcome were a bit rushed. Take away the alcohol, crying, lack of depth and this book could have been rated an outstanding “5” in my book.  I loved the storyline and by the time I got to the last 25% of the book – I was hooked and in love with Walker. After reading the synopsis on the book and the first 50% of the book, I swore up and down that the “crashing” part was going to (view spoiler)[revolve around Walker having to go back to the war. (hide spoiler)] The cliffhanger?  Wow – just freakin’ Wow.....I was floored, I was dumbfounded, I was surprised, I was devastated, I wanted more.....The way the author put the spin on the ending shows the talent she is capable of writing.  And for that fact alone – I can’t wait to read the next book to see how the drama unfolds. Re-Cap Mags is dealing with the pain from losing her husband during the war.  Her network of friends from College along with her husband’s parents play a major role in her recovery from depression. She finally makes the choice to try and start living life again – but what are these feelings she is suddenly having for Walker?  It never seemed during all this time as friends, and being her husband’s best friend, that he looked at Mags with love and lust in those eyes.  Why the sudden change? We experience Walker and Mags try and build a relationship based on friendship and later on love while dealing with the guilt of living life without their “other-half”.  When it finally looks like others accept the relationship and most importantly they both love and accept each other.....things take a turn for the worse. I know the most important question you are asking yourself right now is......what the fuck happened at the end? Hmmm....let me give you some of my scenarios I guessed at-----Walker gets stationed overseas-----Randy really didn’t die and returns------Walker comes clean and admits the only reason he wants a future with her is due to a promise he made Randy----Walker gets into an accident and is teetering on the edge of death just after professing his love for Mags. Did I guess right?  Well, that’s up to you read the book and find out! Wrap Up If you can get past the drinking and crying.... this is such a powerful read.  Live through a young war widow’s grief and fight to enjoy life again. CLICK BELOW TO GET YOUR $.99 COPY For More Reviews, Free E-Books and Giveaways  

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debra

    ★★★★ 3.5+ stars! Crashing Back Down is the story of Mags McManus, a twenty-four-year old woman and recently turned war widow. Her late husband died a little less than a year ago and she still finds it hard to adjust to life without him by her side. Slowly but surely, she's learning how to cope with her loss. A huge part of her recovery is the support and company of Walker, her husband's best friend and colleague. He too, is still struggling with the loss of his friend and the guilt he feels of no ★★★★ 3.5+ stars! Crashing Back Down is the story of Mags McManus, a twenty-four-year old woman and recently turned war widow. Her late husband died a little less than a year ago and she still finds it hard to adjust to life without him by her side. Slowly but surely, she's learning how to cope with her loss. A huge part of her recovery is the support and company of Walker, her husband's best friend and colleague. He too, is still struggling with the loss of his friend and the guilt he feels of not being able to save him. The more time they spent together, the closer they become and the more they help each other heal and move forward with their lives. Still, as their friendship starts to develop into something more, Mags is afraid of opening herself up. She feels like she's still betraying her former marriage and the guilt she feels makes it had for her to truly be happy. Something that did bother me while reading this story was how often the characters went out drinking and woke up the next day with "the worst hangover they ever had". It was like all they ever did for fun was go out and drink shots, as though they were newly in college. Since they're in their mid-twenties I would expect them to be a little over the whole college-drinking scene or at least come up with anything else to do besides going to their favorite bar and ending up hammered. Other than that, I quite liked the main characters and their development throughout the story. Walker was a typical man-whore with a softer side and a tortured past. I really felt for him and what he went through towards the end of the story and I was NOT expecting the revelations he made during the final few chapters. I completely understood Mags reaction to them but at the same time I often found it a bit hard to connect with her character. Perhaps the fact that she often changed her mind and her unpredictability made it harder for me to sympathize with her. I do liked the two of them together and the chemistry they had though (view spoiler)[ that's why I'm still rooting for them to get their HEA in book two! (hide spoiler)] . "Just be honest with me, Mags, from here on out. Feel free to scream, whisper, and everything in between, I want to hear it all." I have to warn you though, the story ends with a huge cliffhanger. The last 10% of the story managed to completely take me off guard. I thought it was going to be just another sweet, simple friends to lovers story but the final few chapters sure caught me off guard with the emotional revelations in them. They made the story much more interesting and they made me very anxious to get my hands on the sequel. Overall, I really enjoyed this author's debut novel and I'm looking forward to reading more of her work in the future! **ARC courtesy of the author in exchange for an honest review**

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jessica's Book Review

    Crashing Back Down is the first book in the Crashing series by Kristen Hope Mazzola. I knew just by reading the synopsis I had to read this book because it was going to be emotional. I couldn’t wait to dive in! My Casting: Crashing Back Down is told in the point of view of Mags; a 24 year-old widow who just lost her husband nearly a year ago in an accident while he was serving our country. The prologue starts with a scene of Mags meeting her future husband, Randy and his best friend Walker at a co Crashing Back Down is the first book in the Crashing series by Kristen Hope Mazzola. I knew just by reading the synopsis I had to read this book because it was going to be emotional. I couldn’t wait to dive in! My Casting: Crashing Back Down is told in the point of view of Mags; a 24 year-old widow who just lost her husband nearly a year ago in an accident while he was serving our country. The prologue starts with a scene of Mags meeting her future husband, Randy and his best friend Walker at a college party. Chapter one begins with Mags trying to cope with being a young widow and losing the love of her life. It was heartbreaking to read the scenes of Mags mourning over Randy, it was just so sad. I can’t even imagine what she must have been going through. Mags has a ton of support systems around her; her best friend Cali, her in-laws who she is extremely close to, and even her mother who loves her daughter in her own special way. Then there is Walker. Walker was Randy’s best friend, he is there for Mags in every way and watches over his best friend’s wife. As time moves on Mags and Walker get closer and closer. Mags begins to have feelings for him and starts feeling Walker feels the same way toward her. There was an attraction between the two since day one but now their friendship is beginning to turn into a lot more and the line is finally crossed. There is a long build-up for the two. Most of the book is about Mag trying to deal with losing Randy and how much her life has changed since then. I love their group of friends and the memories they share throughout the book. They sound like they had a lot of fun in college! I wanted Mags and Walker to get together… they would get so close but something would happen sending them two steps back. Once they got together it was hot, sweet, and loving. Both are struggling with their feelings and having guilt because of Randy. I am warning you now; the ending leaves off on a major cliffhanger. Like I wanted to throw my kindle against the wall and send a very nasty email to Kristen because the cliffhanger left me wanting more. Like I need MORE NOW! Nothing in their world is perfect but the ending just left me speechless by what is revealed. I did not see it coming at all and I cannot wait for the sequel book in the series to be released in 2014… hopefully early 2014! Crashing Back Down is full of hot, sexy, tattoo guys with big muscles. Many woman are going to completely swoon over Walker, I just know it. He is a very sweet and loving guy with a giant heart. He is very mysterious and I hope to learn more about Walker in book two. My heart broke for him the entire time. His character is a lot deeper then what appears. I am hoping book two will be in his point of view, at least partly. I would like to know what Walker is thinking now that Mags knows things. I don’t want to say too much and spoil it for you. I really enjoyed Crashing Back Down. Kristen Hope Mazzola wrote a fantastic debut novel that tells a beautiful yet sad story of love and loss. Readers will love the characters, the emotional story, but also fun times they share together in the book. I just wish it didn’t end on a major cliff hanger because now I won’t be able to stop thinking about Walker & Mags! I give Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1), 4 Stars. ARC provided by the author in return for an honest review. Stay connected with my reviews, book news and more: Blog- Jessica’s Book Review | Facebook | Twitter

  5. 4 out of 5

    ❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books

    My review and others are also on my Facebook blog (http://tinyurl.com/k7yukmx) A truly sad emotional, hearbreaking read We first met Mags reminiscing about her College years and telling us how she met and fell head over heels for her one!! He was it!! One look and she was a goner!! She never realized that "until death" would come along so soon, one minute Randall was there and two months later he was gone, she knew life as a Military wife would be hard but she never realized she would be a wido My review and others are also on my Facebook blog (http://tinyurl.com/k7yukmx) A truly sad emotional, hearbreaking read We first met Mags reminiscing about her College years and telling us how she met and fell head over heels for her one!! He was it!! One look and she was a goner!! She never realized that "until death" would come along so soon, one minute Randall was there and two months later he was gone, she knew life as a Military wife would be hard but she never realized she would be a widow so soon..Her whole life stopped when he was taken from her..He was her light now she's left in the dark alone with a broken heart that keeps breaking over and over again.. Walker was her only companion, Randal's best friend, the only one who really understood what she was going through, her constant support buddy..Ever Sunday at noon Walker was there beside her going through his own process of grief and loss.. Walker was Randy's right hand man, ever since they pledged their fraternity these two were firm friends.. Walker was handsome, tall and had an erotic stare that could make any girl wet within seconds.. It had been a little over a year since Randy was suddenly taken from her, she was a shell of her former self, the only one she really tolerated was Walker, he'd kind of made it his mission to take Mags under his wing and look out for her..So it was only a matter of time when things would start to change between these two.. You could feel the turmoil Mags was going through, the guilt she felt because of the feelings coming to the surface for Walker.. "Say the word, and I will walk out that door and never talk to you again, I've loved you for a while. And I want to be with you. If it has to be only as friends, I'll handle it, but that's not what I want." "Emotions were assaulting me, lust, passion, hate, loneliness, disappointment within myself and shame for what I was feeling for walker"..

  6. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    I really dont know where to start with this review! This book had many twists and turns and by the end I was sat catching flies because I really did not see that one coming! :-O Mags was great, with everything she went through after what happened to Randy. She got her feelings in order and started to rebuild her life. I could never understand what she was going through but the author captured it perfectly and it broke my heart. Sweet Cali, brilliant BFF to Mags and nothing got past her, she was l I really dont know where to start with this review! This book had many twists and turns and by the end I was sat catching flies because I really did not see that one coming! :-O Mags was great, with everything she went through after what happened to Randy. She got her feelings in order and started to rebuild her life. I could never understand what she was going through but the author captured it perfectly and it broke my heart. Sweet Cali, brilliant BFF to Mags and nothing got past her, she was loyal and there for Mags throughout everything, good and bad. Walker....!! Oh my!! Good looks, Muscles!! TATTOOS!! I can barely form a sentence thinking about him hehe. But then theres secrets that was never ment to be revealed, Walker was broken, messed up, guilty!! Walker - "I want you, I've wanted you, just please don't let me screw this up." This story was a mixture of romance, grief, happiness, sadness and shocking all at the same time, I didnt know how I was going from crying one minute to sitting there with a goofy grin from ear to ear the next! It was brilliant, I fell in love with the story, even though it was a mixture of emotions, it was beautifully wrote. I am looking forward to reading future books by Kristen Hope Mazzola, especially the prequel and sequel to the Crashing Series :-) I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review (Making Connections - New Adult Edition)

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sakura

    Omg, what!? Need the next book STAT! **************************************** Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars Margaret "Mags" McManus is a 24-year old widow. Her husband Randy tragically died after an accident during his military service. Mags is left as an empty shell without her college sweetheart. She finds comfort in her in-laws and friends. Mags has a rough time trying to get back to normal and finding a way to really live again. She tries to suppress many of her feelings, one in particular that inclu Omg, what!? Need the next book STAT! **************************************** Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars Margaret "Mags" McManus is a 24-year old widow. Her husband Randy tragically died after an accident during his military service. Mags is left as an empty shell without her college sweetheart. She finds comfort in her in-laws and friends. Mags has a rough time trying to get back to normal and finding a way to really live again. She tries to suppress many of her feelings, one in particular that includes Walker, her husband's best friend. Kristen did a lovely job at writing these characters and nailing down each moment and emotion perfectly. I never failed to feel Mags' pain as I read her thoughts. There were some moments that she had that absolutely gutted me. While the theme is dark and painful, there were beautiful moments of light that showed through in just the right moments. There was a shocking twist toward the end that really took me by surprise. In that moment, everything truly came crashing down. The pain from both Mags and Walker was so evident that it brought me to tears. The novel isn't left with a cliffhanger per say, but there is certainly more to the story. Luckily for us fans, Kristen is hard at work on the sequel as we speak. I commend Kristen on a wonderfully written debut novel. I'm sure we'll be seeing great things to come from her. I sure cannot wait! *An eARC of this novel was provided by the author for an honest review. This has not affected my opinion/review in any way. ~Cutest Moment~ "But, Mags…" his eyes were pleading as he pulled away just enough so I could look at him, still scathing mad. "You're my true north. No compass would point me in any other direction but to you."

  8. 4 out of 5

    —ReadAlongWithSue—

    I have made a point of not reading anyone's reviews at the moment as I wanted to focus on what I felt about this author's book and style of writing. AWESOME. I was given this book to read as a gift from Kristen Mazzola and I am so happy that she allowed me to read it. I may have passed it by otherwise and that would have been a loss on my side. Her style of writing is so fluent and easy to follow. The people in this book were so real. Everyone has lost someone in their lives. A husband/wife is so v I have made a point of not reading anyone's reviews at the moment as I wanted to focus on what I felt about this author's book and style of writing. AWESOME. I was given this book to read as a gift from Kristen Mazzola and I am so happy that she allowed me to read it. I may have passed it by otherwise and that would have been a loss on my side. Her style of writing is so fluent and easy to follow. The people in this book were so real. Everyone has lost someone in their lives. A husband/wife is so very different emotions, as you've lost not only your spouse, your lover, your friend and someone who you are or going to spend the rest of your life with. I don't like giving too much away in reviews as I feel its not doing justice to the author, many times I want to say much much more in my reviews, but to show the authors respect I try not to give the 'game' away too much. Kristen Hope Mazzola has either experiences, or talked to someone or is very insightful with the feelings that kept coming to the fore in this book.Whichever way she did it, it worked well. I wish these authors would stop writing cliff hangers for me!!! I need to know what happens next now. I was still turning the pages thinking........where is it......there must be more.....what's happening now. I'm not exaggerating when I say, I NEED this next book, I need to know where this goes next. Beautifully written, beautifully told, beautifully thought out. Lovely piece of work!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Dayna R

    As a beta reader I absolutely loved the story. From the synopsis it seems like just another military widow story but this one is different! Love the twists and turns and the way it kept me wanting to go on and find out what happens next. I definitely didn't expect the book ending but I can't wait for the prequel and sequel! So glad I got to be apart of this book's journey so far! Mag is such a relatable character... I can see myself being friends with someone like her :-)

  10. 5 out of 5

    Staci Bailey

    Luckily, I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. When I read an author’s debut novel, I dive in with an open mind. With so many books on the market, I have learned not to expect perfection BUT I always hope it will be worthy of five stars. As an author, I get excited for every single author that releases a book. However, I always let them know that they will get nothing but my honest opinion when I submit a review. Sometimes I feel bad for criticizing; however, most authors welcome it Luckily, I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. When I read an author’s debut novel, I dive in with an open mind. With so many books on the market, I have learned not to expect perfection BUT I always hope it will be worthy of five stars. As an author, I get excited for every single author that releases a book. However, I always let them know that they will get nothing but my honest opinion when I submit a review. Sometimes I feel bad for criticizing; however, most authors welcome it. Crashing Back Down tells the story of Margaret “Mags” McManus, a girl who marries her college sweetheart, Randy. When Randy joins the military, Mags supports him because he is the love of her life. Unfortunately, Randy loses his life shortly after leaving. Without Randy, she feels lost and numb. Her friends and family give her immense support but even that isn’t enough to pull her out of the dark hole she has sunk into. We follow Mags’ journey as she tries to heal her heart and oh, what an emotional journey it is! Like any other widow, Mags doesn’t think she’ll ever truly be happy again. Luckily, Randy’s best friend, Walker, is there to show her that even without Randy, life can be full of great things. Mags’ story is like a race track. She picks up speed and just as things fall into place, life throws her another turn to slow her down. This story grabbed me by my heart strings and tossed me around. Every time Mags was happy, I smiled; with every road block, I felt her pain. The loss of one’s spouse is never easy. Kristen Mazzola did a wonderful job guiding us through such a deep, emotional story. As soon as each character was introduced, I created my own image of them to go along with the story. I fell in love with every character and the troubles that they face. When I finished my ARC, the only negative thought I had was that I wish Mags and Randy’s back story was a little longer. Then I found out that Kristen plans on eventually giving me exactly what I want. Yes, I said ME. That’s right; I live in this little bubble where I pretend that every book is written just for me and that when authors give us companion novels or prequels, it’s solely because I wanted them to! Just kidding…sort of… I STRONGLY suggest that you click one of the following links and purchase this book! Did I mention that it is ON SALE right now? As I always say, don’t forget to leave a review. Your voice can’t be heard unless you spread the word! US: http://amzn.to/1jhxrow Canada: http://amzn.to/1eeCztj UK: http://amzn.to/1eeCw0t Australia: http://bit.ly/1hT7gcl Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1gZf0rU CreateSpace: http://bit.ly/1b4rrQY

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    A wild ride of twists and turns from start to finish. The second half blew me away! I did not see any of that coming! Awesome debut from this indie! Cannot wait to see where this author goes in her career! I went from sad for the main character for her tragic loss: To hopeful and happy when her life started to turn around and the gorgeous Walker can into the picture as a romantic relationship instead of just friends: To shocked by the ending! I did not see that coming!! Awesome Job!! And now I need t A wild ride of twists and turns from start to finish. The second half blew me away! I did not see any of that coming! Awesome debut from this indie! Cannot wait to see where this author goes in her career! I went from sad for the main character for her tragic loss: To hopeful and happy when her life started to turn around and the gorgeous Walker can into the picture as a romantic relationship instead of just friends: To shocked by the ending! I did not see that coming!! Awesome Job!! And now I need the next one, like now! My Walker and Mags:

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kristen Mazzola

    I am in love with this story and had an amazing time writing it. My heart and soul went into those pages and I cannot wait to share that with the world. I hope you all enjoy reading it as much I did writing it!! :)

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    Surprisingly entertaining for a genre that I do not typically find enjoyable. Well thought out and the flow was perfect. The characters were raw and evoked emotion well. Wonderful debut novel by this young indie author.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nat

    engaging... heartfelt... emotional! One that you will not be able to put done! A must read!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Theodora Catalina

    Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1) by Kristen Hope Mazzola  Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy's best friends and parents. Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to Crashing Back Down (Crashing #1) by Kristen Hope Mazzola  Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy's best friends and parents. Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down. This is the author's debut novel! **18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.*** My thoughts (Theo~): I have had received a copy from the author in exchange of an honest review! I do not even know where to begin. I am at loss for words or facial expressions right now. I do not think that I will make this right, but I will try my best! Mags is your hard-working typical woman. Barely twenty four she has already everything. A nice job, a loving husband and the life she always wanted for herself! But what happens when everything is ripped apart from you? You lose yourself and succumb to the numbness because it is easier to cope with life, to make things as bad for you as ever. When her husband Randy dies in a tragic accident in the army, Mags is simply torn apart and left bleeding right there with him even though she was miles apart! Her heart is left to be shattered by words that will never be spoken by the soft velvety voice of her beloved husband! She is losing not only her husband, but her best friend and survivor. Randy was everything to her and life simply does not matter anymore if you only light is being turn off and you are left to wander through a darkness that you are not sure you are ready to face! Her demons are coming back for her every night, her life is miserable and everything is just another breath until she will find herself dying of old age! But not everything is supposed to die alone and left for the wolves to be fed from! Her salvation comes from the only person that she has been with since she met Randy: his and her best friend from college – Walker! He is also an army player and someone with a lot of rough edges, but he is now her only constant and person to talk to! She sees him as her best friend and person to talk to when the days are just passing by in slow motion! What she does not expect is her life to be lifted upside-down again! She is thrown right at the concept that everything is being played against her! Walker does not only have feelings for her, but she also starts to reciprocate them somehow! But she is still so full of guilt and so ashamed that she is questioning her every step! Cali, also her best friend from college, is there to support her, show her the sunshine again, but she is getting more and more sucked by the man that once was her best friend. Mags starts to see a therapist and everything starts to drive slowly to a happy ending! I have had grasped her suffering, her guilt even her continuous “not being sincere with myself thing”, but at the end I’ve lost it! I was so ready to seek the future and everything was being ripped away from me! And that totally blew me away! I was not sure what to do with myself from there on because I was seeing the pages closing to an end, yet the story was in full swing! I was not prepared and that made me contest my ability to understand the characters as well as I thought I did! I coped with her despair, I cared and longed for Walker to be the chosen one, but my fantasies had been ripped apart with a twist that left me breathless and confused! I just do not seek the point in running over a reader with a truck and expect him or her to still breathe after the impact! I recommend this book to all of you ready to cry, ready to long for Walker, those of you ready to shallow every last drop of shame you can get or for those of you ready to drawn in self-pity! Happy readying everyone~!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ky Grabowski

    Crashing Back Down by Kristen Hope Mazzola is a New Adult Romance. The Book **18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.*** Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy's best friends and parents. Rising from Crashing Back Down by Kristen Hope Mazzola is a New Adult Romance. The Book **18+ for sexual situations, cursing, and adult content.*** Mags McManus has just become a war widow in her mid-twenties. Her late husband, Randy, left for the Army right after their wedding. Instead of celebrating his homecoming and living in marital bliss with her soulmate, Mags finds herself living in constant agony. Dealing with the guilt of still living without Randy, are Randy's best friends and parents. Rising from the ashes of this tragedy, Mags starts to learn how to love and trust again, finally being able to find happiness. But sometimes things really are too good to be true and again Mags learns how cruel the world can be as she crashes back down. The Characters & the story Mags MacManus is a widow who’s love for her husband and pain from his loss is making her future difficult. After Randy’s death Mag shuts down and her friends and family try to bring her back. She’s a young, successful woman with a good best friend Cali there to support her. Walker is a long time friend of Mag, he was Randy’s best friend until his death. He’s come from a hard life and after Randy’s death tried to live a better life. He does a lot to help Mag and all while trying to not let his love for her ruin their friendship. There are a lot of small plots like old flames, wild spring break trips, and fights. I enjoyed reading all of these because it gave the story something else; it was more real with these plots involved. Kristen was able to keep the main plot going with the small details. You were kept entertained but not distracted from the end game. My favorite character is probably Mitch. I like that he was able to call people out on their bull, not afraid to speak his mind on any issues and that he was a good person overall. He had his flaws but while only a secondary character in Crashing Back Down. I liked him. I can relate to how he would feel over certain situations. He was a very great addition to the cast of other characters and I look forward to seeing more of him. Final Assessment Crashing Back Down is a great, medium length read. I read it over a few days and looked forward to seeing where the characters would end up next. The small plots were some of the best parts – I liked when they involved Cali and her husband. I’m still very interested into knowing more about that situation. My favorite part of the book would be the ending. I screamed, yelled, told Kristen she was a jerkface in a loving friendshippy way and am now sad I have to wait to read the sequel. I am not easy to surprise when it comes to plots, events, etc whether it be a TV show, movie or book. I tend to figure out things before they happen. While some things I thought would happen – one passage that shifted the entire story threw me off. I never ever thought that would be there – let alone change the entire book I just read. It really shifts things for me as a reader and I’m torn with feelings. Rating: 4 / 5

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jamie Roberts

    Visit Reading Eating & Dreaming to read more reviews by Jamie, Dana, Morgan and Rhonda! "This book was kindly given to me in exchange for an honest review.” This is a book about a 24 year old widowed young woman named Mags. She is struggling with getting by day-to-day. Her wonderful husband tragically died while overseas in the military. She has a pretty solid support group surrounding her, but she still feels alone in many ways. Walker, a mutual friend of both Mags and her late husband Randy, soo Visit Reading Eating & Dreaming to read more reviews by Jamie, Dana, Morgan and Rhonda! "This book was kindly given to me in exchange for an honest review.” This is a book about a 24 year old widowed young woman named Mags. She is struggling with getting by day-to-day. Her wonderful husband tragically died while overseas in the military. She has a pretty solid support group surrounding her, but she still feels alone in many ways. Walker, a mutual friend of both Mags and her late husband Randy, soon becomes a central part and main focus in her new life. Walker initially comes off as a bad boy with hot tattoos and a reputation of going through women like they are going out of style. Little does Mags know, Walker actually has a secret crush on Mags. He desperately tries to win her heart through friendship first. Mags has so much guilt when she thinks of Walker as anything other than just a friend and this hinders their friendship from turning into something “more” for some time. She slowly starts to learn how to cope with her feelings of loneliness without Randy through counseling. Her therapist, Candice says something to her that really hit close to home. "I would like for you to try and forgive yourself for wanting to be happy. I would like for you to try to understand that your vows were fulfilled and he would want you to move on. I want you to know you deserve happiness and to be loved again.” Over time the relationship between Walker and Mags finally start to heat up. Along with their new relationship comes challenges of its own that they both must to contend with. One of my favorite quotes in this book is said to Mags from Walker. "You’re my true north. No compass would point me in any other direction but to you.” I don’t want to give away anything juicy, but the ending of this book downright floored me. This is a series with a HUGE CLIFFHANGER! As I was reading the story, I thought that this book was going to be an average 4 star story. I was so very wrong! The last 10% entirely blew me away. I was not expecting the story to turn like it did. I am now desperately and anxiously waiting for the sequel in this series. The ending of this book has entirely changed my rating to 5 OMG STARS! Anyone that likes to read NA/Contemporary romance stories with broken characters finding love to heal, will absolutely love this book. Its angsty, emotional and just UTTERLY AMAZING! For a debut novel, I was completely blown away and I can’t wait to read what Ms. Mazzola writes next! Reading Eating & Dreaming

  18. 4 out of 5

    Thomas

    To be honest I don't read books in the New Adult / Romance genres, but occasionally I like to stray away from my comfort zone and try something new. Crashing Back Down tells the story of Margaret "Mags" McManus, who marries her college love and doesn't get to live happily ever after when a military accident makes her a widow. Now she lives alone, and her only comfort is that of her friends, especially Walker, her late husband's best friend. If you enjoy New Adult or Romance, or you're just looki To be honest I don't read books in the New Adult / Romance genres, but occasionally I like to stray away from my comfort zone and try something new. Crashing Back Down tells the story of Margaret "Mags" McManus, who marries her college love and doesn't get to live happily ever after when a military accident makes her a widow. Now she lives alone, and her only comfort is that of her friends, especially Walker, her late husband's best friend. If you enjoy New Adult or Romance, or you're just looking to put your feet in the waters of the genres, I think you'll really enjoy this book. I have to applaud Kristen for tackling such a deep, dark theme for her debut novel. Losing a loved one and trying to recover isn't an easy task. It's a perilous journey, one that I think Kristen succeeded in telling. Throughout the book we see Mags trying to get her life back together. In certain chapters you'll read about her feeling better, starting to feel like herself again, but then the memories come crashing down and leaving her terrified and depressed. Kristen wrote the character very well. I certainly felt happy whenever I read about Mags getting back on her feet, but then felt bad for her when she broke down. It's always a compliment to the author when they are able to convey the emotions of the character to the reader. I felt that the characters and dialogue were all very sharp. Each character had a face to me, their own unique personality, and no discussions between them felt forced or unnatural. The story is a winding road of anger, happiness, sadness, and love, with twists and turns you won't see coming. The ending wasn't something I expected, not a huge cliffhanger, but certainly left open for the next novel, which if you follow Kristen on any social media, you know is currently being written. I think Kristen Hope Mazzola has done a wonderful job with Crashing Back Down. I may not be a huge fan of the genre, but the endearing characters and solid plot leave me wanting more of the series. I think this is a promising start to a talented debut author.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jodie Squelch

    WOW….this book took me along a very heartfelt twisty road and the ending hit me hard!!!! I did not see it coming at all and need the prequel and sequel like now ….. Just prepare yourself for a cliff hanger ending people…….. This story follows Margaret McMnaus (Mags) and her heart breaking journey of rebuilding her life after she become a war widow at the tender age of 22. Mags is left completely broken after her husband Randy dies in a tragic accident at war. With the support network of great frie WOW….this book took me along a very heartfelt twisty road and the ending hit me hard!!!! I did not see it coming at all and need the prequel and sequel like now ….. Just prepare yourself for a cliff hanger ending people…….. This story follows Margaret McMnaus (Mags) and her heart breaking journey of rebuilding her life after she become a war widow at the tender age of 22. Mags is left completely broken after her husband Randy dies in a tragic accident at war. With the support network of great friends Cali, Walker and Mitch plus her mother and in-laws…..Mags begins to slowly heal and enjoy life again but with that comes the guilt of living without Randy. Walker….HOT, SEXY, MUSCLES, TATTOOS and Randy’s best friend….feels like it’s his job to take care of Mags…..OH MY there is sizzling chemistry between them both which they struggle to admit. This story will have you crying, laughing, smiling along with Mags but all the twists, turns and secrets will keep you gripped and wanting more……… I feel in love with Mags and Walker….. I cannot wait for more of their story. I highly recommend this book but just be prepared with tissue  A fabulous debut novel…………..

  20. 5 out of 5

    Magic Within the Pages

    Reviewer: Liz I had the opportunity to read an ARC copy of this fantastic book. This book kept me going, it took me on a rollercoaster of emotions and my heart rate spiked in a lot of places throughout this book. I fell in love with all the characters they all had their unique personalities Mags a widow after her husband was killed in a military accident, and she is trying to build her life again, there is Cali her best friend, who is always there for her and these two girls love a good girlie day Reviewer: Liz I had the opportunity to read an ARC copy of this fantastic book. This book kept me going, it took me on a rollercoaster of emotions and my heart rate spiked in a lot of places throughout this book. I fell in love with all the characters they all had their unique personalities Mags a widow after her husband was killed in a military accident, and she is trying to build her life again, there is Cali her best friend, who is always there for her and these two girls love a good girlie day/night with lots of drinking. Then there is Walker, oh my goodness muscular and tattooed, just yummy! Enough said. This story had me guessing all the time there is surprise after surprise which I really loved. The story is very well written, although it will leave you hanging with an ending you just didn’t see coming at all! I look forward to the next book, I cannot wait!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Courtney

    “I felt bad for trying to live a happy, full life, while my heart was buried in a dead man’s chest.” In Crashing Back Down, Mags McManus is trying to find herself and get past the grief of losing her husband, Randy, after a tragic military accident. The book is a whirlwind of emotion as Mags attempts to get past her own guilt and heartache and move on with her life without regret. Walker is Randy’s best friend. He is there for Mags as they support one another in their grief. Their own relationsh “I felt bad for trying to live a happy, full life, while my heart was buried in a dead man’s chest.” In Crashing Back Down, Mags McManus is trying to find herself and get past the grief of losing her husband, Randy, after a tragic military accident. The book is a whirlwind of emotion as Mags attempts to get past her own guilt and heartache and move on with her life without regret. Walker is Randy’s best friend. He is there for Mags as they support one another in their grief. Their own relationship begins to develop, but the regret and feeling of deceiving Randy plagues Mags. It’s a captivating story of loss, love and emerging from the darkest hours in a person’s life. My heart broke for Mags and her own suffering. Then in a moment, it all comes Crashing Back Down. It is a cliffhanger, but I cannot wait to see what happens next. Wonderful debut for Kristen Hope Mazzola!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    I received an ARC of Kristen Hope Mazzola's "Crashing Back Down" and was very impressed, despite the fact that it is not a genre I normally read. Mags is a widow - a very young widow after her military husband and soul mate is killed in an accident when his parachute fails to open. The two people who help her retain her sanity (mostly) are her best friend Cali and husband's best friend Walker. It is clear from the onset, however that Walker and Mags are destined to be more than just friends. Yet a I received an ARC of Kristen Hope Mazzola's "Crashing Back Down" and was very impressed, despite the fact that it is not a genre I normally read. Mags is a widow - a very young widow after her military husband and soul mate is killed in an accident when his parachute fails to open. The two people who help her retain her sanity (mostly) are her best friend Cali and husband's best friend Walker. It is clear from the onset, however that Walker and Mags are destined to be more than just friends. Yet attraction comes with guilt from both of them. Is it too soon? The book takes a number of unexpected turns and kept me reading through to the end. And I definitely look forward to more and encourage those who enjoy romance, with an edge, to check out Crashing Back Down.

  23. 4 out of 5

    For the Love of Books

    4 stars.. This story tugged at my heart when Mags became a widow at the age of 24. This story is beautifully written and grips your heart by how realistic it is and how you can feel the pain and struggle that Mags is having with losing her first true love. When Mags starts to find comfort in Randy's best friend Walker things start to change. Walker and Mags both have these strong feelings for each other but will guilt keep them apart. This book had me sad, angry and swooning over Walker! I loved 4 stars.. This story tugged at my heart when Mags became a widow at the age of 24. This story is beautifully written and grips your heart by how realistic it is and how you can feel the pain and struggle that Mags is having with losing her first true love. When Mags starts to find comfort in Randy's best friend Walker things start to change. Walker and Mags both have these strong feelings for each other but will guilt keep them apart. This book had me sad, angry and swooning over Walker! I loved reading Crashing Back Down. (Warning Cliffhanger)~Raquel

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Bryan Yarbrough

    Astonished and amazed is how this debut novel left me!!!! This is such a breath taking love story and I can't wait to read what else this new author has up her sleeve in Mags and Walker's journey of secrets and discovery regarding their future!! Yes there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end but you HAVE to read this book!!!! Not only does the author cause you to fall in love with every character in this story but this is the kind of book that you will be thinking about for days after you've fin Astonished and amazed is how this debut novel left me!!!! This is such a breath taking love story and I can't wait to read what else this new author has up her sleeve in Mags and Walker's journey of secrets and discovery regarding their future!! Yes there is a bit of a cliffhanger at the end but you HAVE to read this book!!!! Not only does the author cause you to fall in love with every character in this story but this is the kind of book that you will be thinking about for days after you've finished!!!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kenisha

    Really liked the booked!!! crazy cliffhanger but just makes you wAiting impatiently for the next book. I had some questions reading this though, but I enjoyed the memories of Randy.. it was sad. I thought there should have been more said about him I really enjoyed Walker, The way he took care of Mags and being very protective of her. I have some nagging questions about him also... Cannot wait for their story to continue!!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Full review found at http://kristineandterri.blogspot.ca/2... Crashing Back Down is the debut novel by Kristen Hope Mazzola and I do believe this is a name to watch out for. She does an amazing job of telling the story of one woman's journey through grief after becoming a widow at a very young age. This book is packed full of emotional highs and lows as Mags struggles to survive and function without the love of her life. Full review found at http://kristineandterri.blogspot.ca/2... Crashing Back Down is the debut novel by Kristen Hope Mazzola and I do believe this is a name to watch out for. She does an amazing job of telling the story of one woman's journey through grief after becoming a widow at a very young age. This book is packed full of emotional highs and lows as Mags struggles to survive and function without the love of her life.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maari

    This book grabbed me from the beginning, & WoW at the roller coaster ride that it took me on!! Every character has me rooting for them!! I had no idea what was going to happen next, or the emotions I may feel from one moment to another! Now I am just wishing that it didn't 'end' the way that it did.. because there really was no ending.. just a wanting for one.. This book grabbed me from the beginning, & WoW at the roller coaster ride that it took me on!! Every character has me rooting for them!! I had no idea what was going to happen next, or the emotions I may feel from one moment to another! Now I am just wishing that it didn't 'end' the way that it did.. because there really was no ending.. just a wanting for one..

  28. 5 out of 5

    Doraine Fisher

    This is the authors first book and I think she did a fabulous job. The story draws you in and feels for the girl. I can't wait for the next two books.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Douglas

    Entertaining, engaging, heart wrenching.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christina Greco

    Very engaging read, can't wait for the prequel!

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