Title – Crashing Back Down
Author – Kristen Hope Mazzola
Series – Crashing #1
Release Date – November 4, 2013
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**
*A portion of all royalties from Crashing Back Down are donated by the author to The Marcie Mazzola Foundation.
Crashing Back Down is an emotional rollercoaster. From start to finish my heart was in a constant state of flux, continuously swinging from grief and heartache to joy and possibility. This book is the first in a series of two and ends on a cliffhanger. You have officially been warned. This story centers around Mags, a war widow in her twenties who is forced to start over after her husband Randy is killed. Time has passed and Mags begins trying to navigate through her grief and loss to find her way back to being a twenty-something living and enjoying her life. She has her in-laws and Randy’s best friend and fraternity brother, Walker, looking out for her. The joy she and Walker share when they spend time together is palpable. I found myself smiling at their friendship and their ability to be honest and enjoy things when they were together. Their relationship brings levity to this otherwise devastating situation, but eventually secrets are revealed and grief proves to run deeper than I could have imagined.
“Mags, I don’t know how many more times I will have to say this, but here it goes, you’re amazing, you deserve the best and I want nothing more than to be whatever you need me to be.”
Mags hasn’t properly grieved her husband’s death and everything in her life is a constant reminder of the love she once had and the future they had planned together. When she finally starts to confront these emotions she is blindsided by a new emotion: guilt. She has no idea how to handle feeling any sort of happiness when the man she loves is dead. Herein lies her struggle and the driving force for the emotional ride this book takes you on. It was easy to get swept up in her sadness and pain. I often found my heart aching for her and all that she was dealing with. Walker takes good care of Randy’s parents and Mags, appearing to be the unwavering support that she needs to heal. But Walker lost his best friend too and he carries his own measure of despair. He keeps his emotions as hidden as possible, which made me feel a completely different kind of pain for him than I did for Mags. I connected with his need to be strong for everyone else, his ability to put his own healing aside for the sake of others. I desperately wanted him to just let go, to let his pain show so that someone could take care of him too.
“Feel free to scream, whisper, and everything in between. I want to hear it all.”
Just as it seemed like the dust was beginning to settle, Mags world is once again completely turned on its head. I have to give it to Kristen Hope Mazzola I did NOT see it coming. I’m still a little bit in shock, I think. What an unpredictable twist, it left me reeling! I love/hate an insane turn of events near the end of a book. I admire an author who can still surprise me even after so much of the story has played out. This also happens to be the point where I found out that this was the first book in a series (GAHH!). I really enjoyed Crashing Back Down and its ability to emotionally connect me to the characters. It is a great story that will keep you invested and leave you anxiously waiting to see how the story of Mags and Walker continues.
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Don’t miss the rest of the Crashing series:
Crashing: The Wedding (Crashing #0.5)
Falling Back Together (Crashing #2)
Kristen Hope Mazzola is an up and coming independent author from sunny South Florida. Crashing Back Down is her debut into the literary world. Kristen is currently working on the rest of her Crashing Series, which will include a sequel, Falling Back Together, and a prequel, Walking Away. She even has a few more tricks up her sleeve, with more characters to introduce and more twists to unravel, so keep your eye on this talented young author!
When Kristen is not driving a pen into paper, she enjoys reading all different genres and fishing. “There is just something so magical about water and the calm it brings to my life,” says Kristen. Even though writing is not her only career she is pursuing, Kristen hopes to one day be a full time writer. Having a day job and a busy life, makes finding time for writing difficult, but anything worthwhile in life is difficult. Loving life, writing, and fishing basically make up her world.