When Fall Fades (The Girl Next Door #1)
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".