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Jake has finally found peace and a family with the man he loves. But when the unimaginable happens, Jake finds himself on the run with his greatest enemy and the man who betrayed them both.

If he can’t find a way to bring down the man who now wields the power of an emperor, he’ll lose not just his own life, but his daughter’s as well.

451 pages, ebook

First published March 25, 2014

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About the author

Leah Petersen

9 books65 followers
Leah Petersen lives in North Carolina manipulating numbers by day and the universe by night. She prides herself on being able to hold a book with her feet so she can knit while reading. She’s still working on knitting while writing.

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5 stars
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4 (19%)
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Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews
Profile Image for Michelle.
Author 7 books9 followers
July 21, 2014
Impact Velocity, the third in The Physics of Falling trilogy by Leah Petersen, takes us back into Jake’s life five years after the birth of his daughter, Molly, and his adoption of then two-year-old Owen Blaine, now seven. After a moving opening and transition showing the ups and downs of Jake’s life as the emperor’s husband and the father of two children, Leah Petersen blows us away with a death that drives Jake and his family underground.

Impact Velocity by Leah PetersenOne of the impressive aspects of The Physics of Falling is the way that Petersen takes us through most of Jake’s life, spanning decades between his teenage self, marriage, and parenthood. Because of this, each book has a different feel reflecting Jake’s increasing maturity and shifting perspective, from slum rat to scientist to emperor’s husband. Yet through it all, Jacob Dawes retains his identity as a scientist and reveals himself a man who cares deeply about his loved ones, enough to painstakingly teach himself how to live better for and with them. This is what makes the series an astoundingly successful romance, with a follow-through and time span often lacking in the romance genre.

Character development and descriptions of trauma, including post-traumatic, also help make The Physics of Falling an exceptional trilogy. It may seem as if no trigger is left untouched in these heart-wrenching pages, so readers beware. Petersen also explores the better side of emotions, from pure joy to bittersweet nostalgia, with equal eloquence. Each chapter of Impact Velocity is headed by a recollection, such as a journal entry or instant message exchange, many of which highlight the depth of Pete and Jake’s relationship and relevant events from the previous novels.

Yet what impressed me the most was the presence and importance of children in Impact Velocity. The Physics of Falling is even more of a hard science fiction trilogy as a romance, and here again it departs from genre tropes by including parenthood and children. Molly, who was carried by a surrogate for Pete and Jake, is a fierce 5-year-old who looks out for her older brother Owen as much as he protects her. Owen, for his part, is Jake’s adopted son, whose birth father and villain Duke Blaine plays a vital role in the novel along with Owen. Unlike most genre novels, the children are neither the main characters nor play things of casual mention, but rather play proper roles as secondary characters with appropriate power and scope for their age. And most importantly, even when they are not in the room, they are always on Jake’s mind, their very existence affecting his ever decision to the point where he will even consider working with Owen’s father to protect Owen.

Lastly, Duke Blaine himself deserves a mention, since he was a principal villain in the previous book and plays an intriguing, inextricable role in Impact Velocity. In Cascade Effect, Duke Blaine came up against Jake because he took offense at Jake’s lowly birth and marriage to the emperor. In Impact Velocity, Duke Blaine must face evidence of the illogic of social stratification first hand as well as fallout from his actions in the previous book. While I wouldn’t exactly call him a good guy, the Duke definitely brings moral ambiguity to the plot as he represents the larger societal prejudice that Jake and Pete strive to improve, and another villain rises above Blaine as the uniting antagonist of the novel.

The Physics of Falling is an amazing trilogy that no science fiction fan should miss. Leah Petersen delivers on romance, character development, plot and political scheming, and love of science – in no particular order. Each novel is as strong as the first and each offers a different flavor while presenting united themes and plotlines. Leah Petersen has earned my trust as a novelist and I would gladly pick up whatever she comes up with next, even if it be outside my comfort zone, as was a homosexual romance when I started reading Fighting Gravity. Come for the m/m romance or the strong science fiction, and leave with the full plate of a well executed series.
1,148 reviews24 followers
April 22, 2014
An amazing trilogy that no sci-fi or fantasy fan should miss!

This profoundly poignant, beautiful novel that’s reminiscent of Orson Scott Card or Ursula K Le Guin, contains all the social science aspects of a substantial storyline. The entertaining, character-driven plot is wonderfully wrought and brilliantly realized and presents a new perspective on people’s sexuality and orientation. The scientific achievements are fascinating as too is the cleverly complex plot that contains strong themes including love, passion and dangerous/ dysfunctional relationships. This riveting read took me on a roller coaster ride of enlightenment, both powerfully impacting and full of rich imaginative concepts. Impact Velocity is an impacting read and a truly touching, exquisite love story that pulls at the heartstrings of human emotion. Sat on the edge of my seat throughout, I was swept away into a world of wondrous delights and electrifying tension.

Jake married his emperor, but happily ever after is only for fairy tales…

Jake finally finds peace with the man he loves, but when the unimaginable happens he is on the run with the greatest enemy who betrayed them both. Swept into a sea of uncertainty, he must now find a way to bring down the man who wields the power of an emperor without losing his life or that of his daughter’s

I really enjoyed reading this refreshingly original, unique novel and 3rd final instalment within a spectacular series. The physics of falling trilogy is a supremely singular story that focuses on Gay relationships* and the male strong bond between the two main characters. Like nothing I have read before this brilliant book was a satisfying, highly imaginative read of multi-layered depth and meaning. I was so impressed by Impact Velocity by Leah Petersen, which I won a copy of through a Goodreads, first-read giveaway.

4.5 stars
Profile Image for Jeanne 'Divinae'.
984 reviews18 followers
November 1, 2014
So did this story take me a while to read, Yes. Why? It wasn't because it was bad. It was so SAD! Tears! The tragedy happens early on in the story. I was in denial until about 45% when it was confirmed without a doubt. I could no longer be in denial. I had to face the truth. was really dead. No coming back. It was a faked. (queue sad gif) <--- I don't know how post them, so imagine it!

The story is about Jacob and is mostly told from his POV. He is on the run with his family. People we thought gone, are back. Alliances we didn't think would ever happen would come to be. We finally find out who is the mastermind. This man has no good qualities. None! He his a murderer!!!

It is all about how to play the game! Everyone is a player, regardless if they want to or not. Who can Jacob trust? It isn't just his life at stake. It isn't even his children, though they are his top priority, but the 'life' of the empire!!

Then we have Blaine, yep he's back. He isn't the same man as he was before. Now he is aware he is just a pawn and his isn't expendable. Plus, he really wants to rekindle with his son, Owen.

One thing really put me off, which is probably the main reason I gave 4/5 stars. When Blaine game into the story, we also read from his point of view(POV). It was very confusing at times WHO the 'I' was referring too: Blaine or Jacob. It was very off putting to me. Another thing, was at the end of each chapter was a tidbit of 'inner thoughts??' Maybe? A diary? It was confusing and really still trying to figure out what it was all about.

There were a few questions I wanted answered in the 'epilogue'(if you want to call it that).
Profile Image for Tex Reader.
465 reviews20 followers
October 20, 2014
3.5 of 5 stars – A Satisfying Series End with Some Intriguing Twists
(I'm excited to have won this as a Goodreads First Read – so thanks, Leah!)

I love gay romantic sci-fi, and the situation, plot and characters in this one are very intriguing. I had not read the previous two Physics of Falling novels, but no need – this one can stand alone as an entertaining story of two men, the hero Dawes (from the “unclass,” gay and a father of two), and the antagonist Blaine (from nobility, straight and a father of the same son).

I would call this sci-fi lite, it’s not heavy on the sci-fi, just enough to make it interesting. Instead, this is carried more by the characters and plot, of which the political intrigue is reminiscent of our medieval times, and sadly today as well – political scheming, surveillance, spying, unknown loyalties, assassination attempts, the attempted rise of a populace against rulers. It all makes for a well-paced, uncomplicated plot with some twists in the details here and there.

The two MCs are well developed and grow through their experiences, with chapters effectively alternating between their POVs. I liked how Leah Peterson depicted in a positive, touching, and even normal way the marriage of Jake with the emperor Pete and their relationship to their two children. My guess is it may have helped if I had read the previous two novels, but there seemed to be more potential meat to explore that would have made for a richer experience – deeper nuances in the characters and relationships, the class struggle, maybe more world building, even more to the political scheming that was indeed interesting but pretty straightforward.

Even as a stand-alone read, it is a credit to this one that like many good gay sci-fi romances, I am left wanting more because it is indeed such a pleasure to read.
Profile Image for PaperMoon.
1,326 reviews52 followers
April 2, 2015
Impact Velocity is a significant improvement on the previous instalment. The action pacing is still consistently well done but there's much less ANGST between the MCs relational dealings. Jake seems to have finally grown up and better able to control his impulsive tendencies. I was very startled at the loss of a major character a third-way into the reading but I could see why it had to done to give shape to remainder of the tale. The character development for the bad-guy character Blaine was organically done and I was pleased the author did not try to remake the relationship between Jake and Blaine into something unbelievably sappy. And Jonathan ... thank goodness he's back - I love his character the most. 4 stars from me.
Profile Image for Chrissy Dyer.
371 reviews16 followers
August 4, 2014
The final book of the Trilogy. As for Trilogy, this one has the best ending. This one cleared up all loose ends and didn't leave you asking questions. As I said in the beginning, I'm not one for Sci-Fi books, but I really enjoyed this Trilogy. It gives you all the emotions that good books should give you.
Displaying 1 - 8 of 8 reviews

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