Review: When Fate Falls Short by Brooke Edwards

Note: This ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.

When Fate Falls Short is a heartrending M/M contemporary romance novella from author Brooke Edwards and is published by Dreamspinner Press. It's the story of Sean Adams and how almost all of his life has involved having his best friend, childhood sweetheart, and life partner Nathan Maxwell by his side. And then fate does the unthinkable and ends the only life Sean has known for more than two decades. Without Nathan, what else is left for Sean to do than to walk through each day in a haze, lost and aimless. But Nathan's best friend intervenes, believing meeting the recipient of Nathan's heart will help Sean see that the loss of the man many love and miss wasn't meaningless. In Nathan's death, Jesse Lawrence was able to live and no longer have to struggle with his congenital heart defect. Sean hesitantly connect with Jesse and he begins to smile and breathe a little easier again. But even as he makes Jesse a part of his life, Sean is burdened by guilt, while Jesse is unsure if Sean loves him for who he is or for the heart he now has.

This was short but it packed a lot of story in its limited number of pages. We get Sean and Nathan's story as little boys who meet when they're five and six years old, respectively. They become best friends and their families become intrinsically tied together. In their teens, they fall in love and it's a love that lasts until Nathan is taken away at twenty-six and Sean's heart is irrevocably broken. When he meets twenty-three-year-old Jesse, his broken heart belatedly begins to heal, but even if the pieces are put back in place, can a new love, especially one that's complicated by the fact that Jesse was gifted the heart that once belonged to Nathan, ever really fill the gaps and will it truly ever be whole again? My gut clenched  and my heart squeezed repeatedly throughout this heartbreaking tale, both in empathy and sympathy. Sean's struggles are easy to understand, especially if you've lost someone who became or was part of your world for so long. You can't blame him for having difficulty in moving on because Sean's lost his reason to do so.

Nathan and Sean's love story was beautiful, one that was rich in personal history and even with fate playing a role, it was the kind of love that would last both their lifetimes. Does that make sense? I can't go into much detail without spoiling the book for you, but once you read the story, you'll understand where I'm coming from. Now, in the case of Sean and Jesse, I can't help but feel that the odds were somehow stacked against them because, indeed, you can't help but wonder if Sean is with Jesse because of the heart that beats within his chest or if it's truly Jesse that he loves. This isn't the first story that carries the sort of premise or plot that I've read or watched or heard of, but I will say that it's the first one that played out the way it did. Nowadays, it takes something extraordinary to surprise a voracious reader like me and that's exactly what this book did. Maybe When Fate Falls Short ends in a way that some will grumble about or be downright upset with, but I think it came from an honest and real but ultimately hopeful place. Five stars. ♥

Release Date: 03 August 2016

Date Read: 01 August 2016

Learn more about Brooke Edwards.

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