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When the Saint Falls by A.D. McCammon
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Oh Lord in Heaven. This book has me in love with every one of the characters except for the hero -- and it’s not like he sucks. Truth is Thatch is just not as impressive as the others. And boo-hoo for him. I guess that might be a backhanded compliment to A.D. McCammon. I love all her Westbrook peeps, but the hero is Laa-aime.

“We’re told as little girls when a boy is mean to you, it means he likes you, but that’s total bullshit. There must be another explanation. Here’s to hoping it’s not one that makes me want to be homeschooled.” - Violet

Violet is a wallflower, in every way you could mean the word. The only person who appears to be able to see her is her bully, and she wishes she could drop off his radar.

And Thatcher Michaelson is an insecure King of a Crap-pile he’d instead not rule. Wealthy, entitled, and feared, if not respected, because he’s certainly earned his reputation, he is more regretful about it than he is proud. Sadly, someone has to take on the dirty jobs; Thatcher and his best friends: Cole and Arwen have been meting out punishments for years. But Violet is mistaken in thinking Thatcher has it out for her, sometimes you gotta be cruel to be kind.

“‘I’m fine, mom. Jesus.’
‘Oh shit … did I interrupt you? You know that’s nothing to be ashamed of. A little self-exploration is healthy.’
‘Oh my god, mother! Boundaries!’”

The thing I loved most about When the Saint Falls is A.D. McCammon empowers the females in this damn book. Violet is no shrinking … well, violet. Her mom Josie is endearing as hell and seeing her struggle to do the correct mom-thing with a girl who, until the present, never needed a mom figure was sweet and often hilarious. It is hard when the shift happens, and you stop raising your parents.

“Arwen heads down the hall toward her next class, groaning with contempt as I follow behind her. ‘For the love of goddess, Thatcher. Saint is perfectly capable of getting on a bus.’”

And then there is Arwen.

A.D. McCammon, you confused my heart, and somewhere in the middle of this book, I was so very undecided as to who deserved Violet it was chaotically bouncing from Cole to Thatcher to Arwen. I almost needed When the Saint Falls to become an RH quadrangle of complicated love connections just so Violet could have it all. I wasn’t sure Thatch would get on board, and I was all for you, making Violet a romance buffet of yummy options.

“Then the strong, badass Arwen does something I never thought I’d see: she cries, well … it’s only a couple tears, but I’m totally counting it.
‘Great … ‘ She uses her free hand to dry her face. ‘Now I’m getting all emotional. I can be such a boy sometimes.’

And just so reviewers can understand what is so fantastic about Arwen: she is charming, confident, and I think the boys admit somewhere in this book that she taught them how to behave like men. She definitely has the biggest pair out of the three of them.

“Awww …’ I pull her into a hug. ‘You do care.
‘Stop it. You’re getting feelings all over me.’

This story is a medium burn, slightly bully-ish romance. The POV alternates between Thatcher and Violet, which allows the reader a better understanding of the characters, and dynamic in the backstory. I do caution that there are triggering events addressed in When the Saint Falls, and you should go into this knowing that A.D. McCammon writes Violet and Thatcher’s story pregnant with subtext and piped in unflinchingly honest results of sexual abuse.

The end of book comments promises two more Westbrook books for Arwen and Cole, which I can’t wait for.

This book is a rockstar.

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Reading Progress

January 16, 2020 – Started Reading
January 16, 2020 – Finished Reading
January 17, 2020 – Shelved

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