Book Review: When Fall Fades

When Fall Fades (The Girl Next Door #1)

 4.32  ·   Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
Sadie Carson is an expert on unfinished business. Five years after the derailment of her dreams she's just barely existing, using her job as a hospice nurse to give others the one thing she can't seem to find-closure. So when her elderly neighbor Charlie, a brilliant conspiracy nut known for harassing the FBI, is murdered, Sadie suspects Charlie might've been onto something and intends to make sure someone solves the mystery of her friend's death, even if it's her.

The feisty little blonde may have found the victim's body, but FBI Special Agent Archer Hayes has no intention of letting some nosy civilian interfere with his investigation. The guilt he feels is bad enough. The last thing Archer needs is another distraction to haunt him. Especially one as beautiful and beguiling as the girl next door.

But throw in a mountain of hoarded evidence and suspiciously coded journals and the case takes a puzzling turn toward a decades old conspiracy cover-up from World War II-one only the victim's closest confidant can help untangle. Sadie and Archer reluctantly join forces to decode the riddle of secrets Charlie carried to his grave. Or did he? Someone is after a dangerous truth. But to uncover it or bury it is a question that leads the unlikely pair on a quest for redemption that lands Sadie in the crosshairs of a desperate killer. And when the dangers of the past and present collide Archer must fight to save the life of the woman he's falling for . . . only to discover he might be the one in need of saving.

TeriLyn's thoughts: **When Fall Fades generously provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.**

This debut romantic suspense novel from Amy Leigh Simpson was quite enjoyable. Told from the third person point of view, Simpson's writing flowed easily and eloquently. I felt connected to the story from the very beginning and my investment in it never wholly faded. The suspenseful and mysterious plot wove through Simpson's words creating an almost haunting sense to the writing while also providing a sweet, romantic charm - a combination that keeps you wanting more. 

When Fall Fades centers around two captivating main characters and an abundance of equally enjoyable secondary characters. Special Agent Archer Hayes and the girl next door Sadie Carson find themselves wrapped up in each other and a murder investigation of Sadie's beloved next door neighbor. Each character stands broken from pasts they can't quite let go of, the intricacies of which run very parallel yet are vastly different. Muddling through their existences and awakened by each other, their chemistry was visceral and the sexual tension and dialogue throughout the book was brilliant. I really liked the slow burn of their relationship juxtaposed against the quickness of their friendship, curiosity, banter, and intellectual musings. Both stuck behind erected walls of guilt and turmoil, Archer and Sadie aren't looking for comfort but are surrounded by it anyway. The secondary characters in the story play up the humor, comfort, and dispense some of the solitude from Archer and Sadie. Two specifically, Finn and Josslyn, brother and best friend of Sadie respectively ooze sexual tension and I can't wait to explore that in the next book. 

With that said there are a few aspects of this book that held it back a bit. Redundancy of the inner monologues and thoughts were noticeable. As much as I found the slow burn and tension between Archer and Sadie a passionate build of two lives together their individual reasoning for it seemed to keep repeating itself. In places I wanted a little more self introspection and depth rather than a repetition of the same thoughts without revealing much as this happened quickly when, it seemed, they were supposed to be slowly unraveling but the repetition limited this. The suspense plot, near the end, became slightly choppy and there were in times through the middle where I felt the investigative jargon became a little too much. And the ending came abruptly. After the investment I felt for the book I wanted something more from these characters regarding their relationship at the end. 

Simpson's writing calls for more to be said though. I really enjoyed her descriptive prose and the overall flow and style of her story. As a debut novel I'm impressed with the story telling skills presented in When Fall Fades. It's good romantic suspense that I enjoyed reading. I'm looking forward to the next book in the series that will feature two new main characters mentioned above. Hopefully we'll get a glimpse into the lives of Archer and Sadie after their own "the end".

Lori L. Clark

She Reads New Adult Admin: Lori L. Clark

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