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Be My Downfall

(Whitman University #3)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,181 ratings  ·  93 reviews
Toby Wright has always prided himself on being one of the most normal guys at Whitman University. He loves his parents, has a great job lined up after graduation, and with the exception of attempting to cross the unbalanced Sebastian Blair sophomore year, has kept his nose pretty clean.

But the rich never have empty closets, and memories long stashed away come spilling free
Paperback, 308 pages
Published September 20th 2013 by Createspace (first published September 19th 2013)
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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  1,181 ratings  ·  93 reviews

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Jaime Arkin
She’s going to fucking obliterate me, isn’t she?” – Toby Wright
So if you had asked me who the heck Toby at Whitman University was a couple weeks ago I’d have said “Toby who? I know Quinn and I for sure know Cole… but I didn’t remember Toby.” After reading Be My Downfall, I’m pretty sure I’ll never forget who he is. Since I couldn’t remember Toby, I’m going to remind you – he’s friends with Emilie and was the one that set her up with Sebastian their Sophomore year. Now you know who I’m talking
Lyla Payne
Aug 10, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Good morning, lovely book lovers!

Just a quick note to let you know that BE MY DOWNFALL is ON SALE on all platforms for just a couple of days - call it a Halloween celebration!!

Happy reading!! #goowls

Hey readers! Just a quick note to let you know that BE MY DOWNFALL is available on 3 out of the 4 platforms (iTunes marches to the beat of their own drum, you know). Links are below.

As ever, I appreciate your support and your passion for books. A story is never complete until its in your hand
Alessandra Thomas
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An absolutely gorgeous, heartbreaking story. Lyla has a way of making her readers care deeply about her characters at the same time that she makes us doubt a happily-ever-after us even possible - the combination of which makes us care about the hero and heroine desperately. Told in the voice of the deeply wounded Toby, Be My Downfall tugs us along on a journey that will likely break his heart into even smaller pieces - trying to love Kennedy. This book expertly weaves pitch-perfect college exper ...more
Jul 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
I've enjoy this series so much. I absolutely love the way her books flow and I think people should definitely give this author a try.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Yes, I read another one of Lyla Payne's books. Why? I don't know. I guess because I needed something mindless and trashy to read to decompress from school. Weirdly enough, my review of her first book totally works for this one too...

"We all know you can't change people, right? No matter how much you love someone, you can't change them. Especially when they're selfish irreparably broken assholes who do nothing but hurt you over and over yet still feel they have some sort of power over you and you
Tamsyn Bester
When I read ‘Broken at Love’, I fell in love with Emilie and Quinn… when I read ‘By Referral Only’, I fell in love with Ruby and Cole… But when I read ‘Be My Downfall”, I became obsessed and consumed with Toby and Kennedy… Their story was so heart-breaking, that rooting for them to come out of all their trials together becomes a necessity.
Toby Wright is a good guy. He has good grades, he never gets into trouble and he has the respect of his fellow frat brothers. But being the son of a Senator c
Yvette ~ Nose Stuck in a Book
Be My Downfall is the third book in the Whitman University series and it is by far my favorite of the three for many reasons. As much as I loved getting to know the protagonists from the previous books, I formed an instant connection with Toby and Kennedy, almost as if I knew at first glance that theirs would be an unforgettable and compelling love story. These two individuals are lost and broken as a result of unfortunate circumstances and somehow manage to ease their pain by finding comfort in ...more
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I must admit, Toby was not my favorite person when I read Broken At Love. In fact, I wasn't so sure that I'd like this installment of the Whitman series as much as the first two because I didn't know if I could forgive him for being such a D-bag. Then I read Be My Downfall and I was completely blown away by him.

Toby tries hard to keep his nose clean at Whitman because of his dad's political prominence. Part of that includes keeping the secret of his brother's descent into drug addiction, somethi
Oct 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I thought I liked Cole in the second book..but after reading the third book, I liked Toby even better. I'd always wondered about the Toby character in the first book so I was glad when I learned that the third novel was his story.

Of the three books, this one's probably the darkest and it's definitely heaviest on drama. I mean, a twisted ex-pro tennis player and actress wannabe who came from new money versus drug addiction, alcohol problems, dealing with death and living the life of a politician'
Alexa L
Jul 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Wow, it took me a couple days to process the epicness that was this book before I could review it. If you only get one thing out of this review it should be that you should buy this book NOW. I cannot believe how absolutely amazing it was. Such a beautifully written novel and so well done I could gush about it for hours. I felt like not only was I reading an incredibly sexy romance NA, but I was getting something out of it. The emotions ran so deep, and trust me the other scenes didn't get gloss ...more
Stormy Udell
Sep 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Best Whitman University book yet! Be My Downfall is the first book that I've read primarly from a man's point of view and it was beautiful. Toby's heartache was my heartache. Toby's fear for Kennedy was my fear. Toby's love was my love. The story dove into some really tough topics for me and was done with such a truth, that it sucked me deeper than I could have thought. Love doesn't cure all things but it can make us want more for ourselves. Toby's growth in figuring out how to love someone thro ...more
Denise Grover Swank
Be My Downfall is about broken people--both those you can easily see are broken and others who hide it well.
Toby isn't looking for love when he meets Kennedy, yet he's intrigued. But the closer he gets to her, it becomes obvious that Kennedy has issues larger than he's capable of fixing.
Kennedy could easily have come across as an unsympathetic character but Lyla slips in scenes that show a vulnerable and broken girl you just want to pull into a hug and say, "It's going to be okay."
While the to
m e r
Aug 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

This book was heavy. Quite emotional at that. A part of me died reading this book. I was close to cry but I didn't because I'm that strong. Although in my heart, I wept.

I must say, this one's the best in the series so far. I liked the characters. The connection I had with them was fantastic. I liked the story. It's a kind of story that I will remember for a long time. The fact that it's from a guy's point of view only made this book's awesome. The writing, it was superb!

High recommended b
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
I absolutely loved this story... I just REALLY want to know more about Trent as his story, why he got to the drugs and what actually happened to him after he disappeared. Did he die? Did he continue to live the drug life, if not, did he ever return back to his family? All these questions and no answers.
May 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

I fought against this one, I didn't want to like it but in the end...I did. This is SOLIDLY new adult. That means if you like this genre as a whole, this one will be right up your tree. It's all angsty, emotional and character driven. I sense the rest of this series is not so, because the rest of the side characters are all very college. They drink, they do dumb things, they sometime go to class and they sleep with each other. It felt a bit weird to me in that in the midst of all this d
Aug 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
*I received an ARC copy in exchange for this honest review*

I go to a lot of different writers for different things - honest characters, exciting premises, a believable and addicting series, steamy love scenes, thoughtful human issues or authentic conflict. But with Lyla Payne and her Whitman University series, I always get it all, and then some!

If for some reason you haven't read the other two books in the Whitman University series, you are really missing out. Go one click the rest, now, go – s
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Find this review and more on my blog...

I enjoyed the first two books in the Whitman University series. They were pretty light and fluffy. There was good angst and some pretty steamy scenes. I was expecting more of the same when I began reading this novel. I couldn't have been more wrong. Sure, it was an easy read and there were some damn steamy scenes, but there was a lot more to this story. It hits on some tough topics, but does so with charming, likable characters and an engrossin
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Original Posting: Gaga Over Books
I was given the opportunity to read this ARC for the third book in the Whitman University Novels. I have read the second installment By Referral Only but haven't read Broken At Love which started all this. Which is Okay. I guess. LOL. As I am kinda scared to read that. I have heard Quinn was very messed up. So...

Back to this installment. I was so happy with the fact that this book was from a male POV- specifically from Toby's who I think has had a bad reputation
Jennifer Wolfel
Sep 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a hauntingly beautiful read. I cried desperately for Toby and Kennedy throughout this book. They are both so broken and drowning looking for something, anything to pull them to the surface so that they can breath easily again. Can two lost souls search for happiness, and find it in a place they weren't even looking?

Kennedy has a horrible past... Nobody really knows her because she refuses to let anyone in. She uses sex, drugs and alcohol to drown out all her feelings and keep her numb.
Chelsea (Starbucks & Books Obsession)
This is my first Whitman University read, even though it is the third book and I can’t believe I haven’t read the other two. It was a deep and inspiring story of love, loss and healing. Both characters have suffered great tragedy and handled their situation in very different ways. While Toby is an over-achiever and Kennedy is the exact opposite, they have one thing in common; neither of them really feels anything until they meet each other.

Toby is sweet, smart, and a really good guy. He’s a bit
Janna ♥ I'm A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore ♥
This review will also be posted at

Toby Wright has always prided himself on being one of the most normal guys at Whitman University. He loves his parents, has a great job lined up after graduation, and with the exception of attempting to cross the unbalanced Sebastian Blair sophomore year, has kept his nose pretty clean.

But the rich never have empty closets, and memories long stashed away come spilling free when notorious party girl Kennedy Gilbert almost dies
Jessica Buwalda
Oct 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: book-tour
View more of my review and others at my blog:

This story was definitely an emotional one, and one that hit home. Alcoholism is a serious subject and it has affected my family so reading about it hit me in the heart a bit. A lot of people’s experiences with alcoholism are different and the one that affects my family is not like this, so I guess I could somewhat relate and somewhat not relate. It was a little weird emotionally while reading this, but all of that
Karla Mae (Reads and Thoughts)
Jul 17, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013-reads
Be My Downfall is the best by far from this series – book cover and story wise. It has the depth with the complications and feels. It has the toughest set of characters. Though the storyline was already used plenty of times and the way things were settled was pretty abrupt for my taste, the overall story was tugging and beautiful.

Before I started reading this, I’ve undergone a thorough investigation as to whom this story will be about. I honestly can’t remember who Toby is from the previous book
Autumn Review
Jul 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: review, arc, blog-tours
I really enjoyed Be My Downfall. I will say that it was the darker of the three books in the series, in my opinion. The issues both Toby and Kennedy face are intense, emotional, and a bit heartbreaking.

I liked Toby from the first book. I'm happy with the way things worked out for Em, but Toby is a really good guy. I had hopes that he would find someone worthy of him. In this book, he meets the campus nutcase, Kennedy, at a party he's hosting over break. It's clear from the start that this girl
Heather (Heather Hearts Books) Kilpatrick
4.5/5 HEARTS REVIEW from

Be My Downfall was one of my most-awaited and most-impatient-for fall 2014 titles. I received it just a few days before I got diagnosed with leukemia and everything in my life became a blur of chaos. Be My Downfall was a welcome escape from the reality I was living in that moment.

The third installment of the Whitman University series focuses on Toby Wright and Kennedy Gilbert. Toby has had a minor role in each of the first two books in the serie
Eileen Proksch
Aug 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“She had taught me about real love – and that it had to be selfless.”

This book left me speechless and broke my heart a million times. This is one of the most emotional books I've read lately. Lyla Payne has a way with words, and if you consider that the story was only told from the male character's POV, Toby Wright, it gives you even more reasons to be speechless.
It's not only about love. It's about loss, pain, finding yourself, accepting who you are and mostly about living life.

Toby Wright is
Sep 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Be My Downfall has to be one of the most emotional book I've read this year. You go through so many emotions throughout this book that when you get to the end, your eyes are puffy, nose is burning red, yet you have the biggest smile on your face. Lyla Payne has yet to disappoint me.

Toby Wright has always prided himself on being one of the more normal guys at Whitman. He's always been somewhat in the spotlight. With his dad in politics he's always had to keep up good appearances. Of course he's
Jaime Fiction Fangirls
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
First off let me disclose that I haven't read any of the previous books in the Whitman University Series so I went into this book without much backstory. I don't think that made that big of a difference that I wasn't familiar with a lot of the characters but I could change my mind after I complete the first two, because I will be going back to read them!!

This story covered the topic of addiction, loss and guilt in the most honest way possible. It wasn't in your face dramatic but it was powerful
Kimberly Stewart
Sep 10, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh Toby, Toby, Toby, Toby!! Be My Downfall is certainly my favorite book in the series. I was elated to really get to know Toby's character ever since the situation with Em in Broken at Love. Here is a little recap to emphasize the awesomeness of this book:

Toby is indeed the typical "Golden Boy" that has the biggest heart known to mankind. Toby is so compassionate, selfless, and so loving even though he is hopelessly grieving on the inside. Toby was always cautious about his image and continuous
Jul 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, new-adult
One of the better NAs I've read at this point. Points deducted for overuse of "soul" and "emotions" (when actual emotions could have been talked through). And honestly, those are just pet peeves.

Kennedy Gilbert engages in self-destructive behavior. She's an alcoholic, and she never sleeps with a boy more than once. She prefers strangers, when they're available. But it's mentioned casually that she likes her sex rough. She likes it to hurt.

And Golden Boy Toby Wright needs to save her.

So I read th
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I've been publishing New Adult romance novels for a little over a year, starting with Broken at Love and continuing with the rest of the Whitman University series. I adore telling stories, discovering the little reasons people fall in love, and uncovering hidden truths in the world around us – past and present.

In my spare time I cuddle my two dogs, pretend to enjoy exercising so that I can eat as

Other books in the series

Whitman University (5 books)
  • Broken at Love (Whitman University, #1)
  • By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)
  • Staying on Top (Whitman University, #4)
  • Living the Dream (Whitman University, #5)

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