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Falling Hard – A New Adult Anthology Review

Posted on Sep 6, 2015 by in review |

Falling Hard Book Cover Falling Hard
M. K. Schiller, Aliza Mann, Heather Novak, Shelly Bell, Sage Spelling,
Smash Publishing, LLC
May 31, 2015

From sweet & heartfelt to steamy & spicy, FIVE brand new college campus novellas filled with alpha heroes and tenacious heroines for every romance reader.

This anthology is intended for mature readers, 18 years of age and older.

FORBIDDEN: FRESHMAN YEAR (An Erotic Suspense Novella)
By Shelly Bell

TIN MAN’S DANCE (A New Adult Novella)
By MK Schiller

DARK HEARTS (A Paranormal New Adult Novella)
By Aliza Mann

HIIGH STAKES (A New Adult Novella)
By Sage Spelling

(A Paranormal New Adult Novella)
By Heather Novak

What I Thought


Instead of writing the longest review in history about each book individually I am going to post below the Synopsis of the Five books included in the Falling Hard Anthology for you to know what each book is about, then I am going to post my overall opinion of the collection  together at the end 🙂


FORBIDDEN: FRESHMAN YEAR (An Erotic Suspense Novella)
By Shelly Bell

Rules are meant to be broken…
For one night, Tristan Kelley taught the woman he only knew as Angel to surrender to all her wicked desires. Now his Angel has a name—Isabella Lawson—and he’s not only her professor but her boss. Kisses are forbidden. Touches are forbidden. And f#*king her until neither one of them can walk is most definitely forbidden. Of course, he’s never been one to play by the rules.

But the consequences can be deadly…
When Isabella convinced her cousin to take her to her first BDSM party, she hadn’t intended on meeting someone like Tristan—and she certainly hadn’t intended on ever seeing him again. Now she not only sees him in class three days a week, she shares a cramped office with him every afternoon…and it’s becoming harder and harder to resist the temptation. But Tristan Kelley is the least of her problems. Because her dark past is coming for her. And this time…

She might not survive.

TIN MAN’S DANCE (A New Adult Novella)
By MK Schiller

The one time Lilly Franklin decides to reward herself with tickets to her favorite indie artist’s concert, there is a seat mix-up. Not to mention the tall, cocky boy who claims her front-row seat is all wicked smiles, long legs and tug-worthy hair. Lilly quickly decides this boy is messing with the wrong girl. But as the night wears on, Lily starts to see a softer side of former marine, James “Hutch” Hutchinson. A side that makes her shed her loner inhibitions along with her clothes.

There is a difference between trouble and troubled, but Hutch is both.

Hutch lost more than a leg in the Iraqi dessert. Returning to school on the GI Bill wasn’t exactly in the plans…but plans change. Now he only wants to meet the dancer he saw at the recitals his roommate dragged him to, but he’s forgotten how to talk to women, especially a woman as graceful as Lilly. So armed with a plan that even a twelve-years-old would laugh at, James steals Lilly’s seat.

Only fair since she stole his heart first.

But Lilly has plans, too. As if Hutch’s life wasn’t already a sh*t storm of sacrifice. Now, he has to give up the one thing he can’t get enough of.

DARK HEARTS (A Paranormal New Adult Novella)
By Aliza Mann

Mitchell Rowland wasn’t looking for trouble. Having sworn off crazy girls, he needed to keep a low profile. It wasn’t a good idea to be in the spotlight with vicious Seekers and heartless demons out to kill him. The fantasy of blending in disappeared when he met half-human, half-demon, Aurora Tanner. Gone were the cares of hiding the wolf he was, replaced with an urgency to claim her. Could he help the woman of his dreams avert certain death at the hands of her demon father while maintaining his own secret?

Aurora was simply trying to live a normal life. One where she hung out with her friends, enjoyed campus life and wasn’t being stalked by her deathly father – the demon Alchoe, who vowed to kill her if she didn’t return to Hell with him. In fact, when Mitch approached her at a frat party, she knew she should walk away because there was nothing normal about him – but she didn’t. Instead, she ignored her apprehension. One night of passion left her spiritually bound to him. Fresh with imprint from the werewolf she barely knew, she would have to find a way to save her life, while protecting her heart.

HIIGH STAKES (A New Adult Novella)
By Sage Spelling

Betting on Seduction . . .

College jock Blake Holland never backs down from a challenge, so when his douchebag teammate bets him that he can’t seduce the aloof Catalina Vega by Devil’s Night, his pride gets the better of him—and he finds himself accepting. He thought it would be easy, but the more he gets to know her, the more he falls for the sexy librarian. Easy? Famous last words…

With an illness she hides from everyone, virgin Catalina Vega doesn’t date. Like ever. It’s safer to hide behind her books. But when it comes to Blake, she’s throwing caution to wind. Seriously, how could she hate him and want to kiss him at the same time?

As the chemistry between them becomes too hard to resist, they give into temptation, ignoring the secrets hanging over their heads.
But secrets have a way of coming out…

(A Paranormal New Adult Novella)
By Heather Novak

Here’s the thing about being as goddamn good-looking as me – everyone expected me to be a giant prick…it’s all about knowing your strengths. My strengths? My good looks, my charm, and my ability to destroy witches.

I was happy with my West Coast life, 24-hour pizza delivery, and bikini-clad bodies as far as the eye could see. Now I’m in the small-ass town of Hayvenwood to extract the ransom to save my little brother’s life. And that ransom is locked inside of the sexiest witch I have ever met, Hazel Evanora. I need her powers, and I have less than a week to steal them.

Why do I ride a motorcycle?

Because brooms don’t really fly. It’s the only thing that makes me feel alive…beside Grayson Lynch.

But I cannot let a human get close to me. I can’t risk having any more blood on my hands, no matter how magical it feels when he’s near me. Did I just really use the word ‘magical’? Clearly, I’m selling off my brain along with my powers. But the suffocating bills from my mother’s addiction rest on my shoulders. And if I’m late again, they’ll come after everyone I care about.

Including Grayson.


Before even the first story we read the Foreword. Twin witch sisters, Rosemary and Hazel Evanora, putting a spell on a bridge. 

“When souls look upon the bridge and make a wish, they will find their path to love.”

FORBIDDEN: FRESHMAN YEAR (An Erotic Suspense Novella)

I found myself thinking of Fifty Shades Of Grey whilst reading this one. Tristan is very authoritive. Proper dom material. Isabella wants to get her life back on track. Two people hurt by people from their pasts, not wanting the uncertainty of a relationship, maybe their mutual interests could aid them in healing together. This novella is of the erotic suspense genre. It’s written from the male and female point of view. The story was descriptive and steamy in places, although I did find the odd scene a little rushed.

TIN MAN’S DANCE (A New Adult Novella)

Here we had a contemporary romance, also from the male and female perspective. This story was adorable. I thought the romance between Lilly and Hutch was so cute. Hutch tries to be the manly marine, keeping his life on track after losing his leg, but really he’s a big sweetie. He really made me smile. Straight away he was attracted to Lilly and felt a little protective of her.

“You drop her, Aladin pants, and I’ll kick your ass.”

This had me giggling. A novella of Lilly and Hutch wasn’t enough for me!

DARK HEARTS (A Paranormal New Adult Novella)

I was a bit mixed emotions about this paranormal novella. I liked the intensity of Mitch and Aurora’s feelings for each other. Hearing from both points of view, helped to understand Aurora’s reasons for holding back at first. Like Aurora did in the story, I loved Mitch’s potty mouth and how he just says what he’s thinking. The erotic scenes were hot and i did have a little giggle when Mitch and Hazel were talking spells.

“I hope it’s not like the last one, I had hair on my neck for two weeks.”

” It’s called a beard Mitch.”

“Only if it’s on the front of your neck. On the back, it’s a sure-fire sex repellant.”

What made me feel mixed about this story, was that even though the paranormal aspect was mentioed throughout, the paranormal action aspect was a bit lacking until towards the end, where it amped up and it was great! 

HIIGH STAKES (A New Adult Novella)

Hiigh stakes was by far my favourite book out of the five. This is my favourite genre to read, New Adult. Blake the rich, play boy jock finally falling for a girl. Not a cheerleader or the most popular girl in school, a quiet girl who works in a library. Their was a connection between Blake and Cat, that was evident from the begining. 

Cat bought out Blake’s tender side. How much he seemed to care for Cat and then was there for her when he found out about the illness she was keeping secret, it gave me butterflies and big time made me smile. Almost fell for Blake Holland myself 🙂

The pace of this story was great, even though it is only a novella, it was jam packed but it wan’t too much and it wasnt rushed. It was just too damn short. I want more of Blake and Cat!!

(A Paranormal New Adult Novella)

So anyone who follows the blog knows books of the paranormal genre aren’t my top read but occasionally I get lucky and really enjoy one. This was one, unfortunately it was only in the form of a novella. Luckily this is just the start of a series so I can read more 🙂 

It was quite an intense storyline, Grayson was extremely attracted to Hazel from the beginning but he was there for a reason. His head wanted to help his brother but his heart wanted Hazel. 

I thought the author, Heather Novak, had a beautiful writing style……….

What had started as a frenzied first hookup, turned into the sensual passion when two souls find a home in one another, the movements of long-time lovers whose biggest desire was to bring pleasure to the other. Toes curled, lungs gasped, and fireworks exploded. Sweat-slicked bodies collapsed, our hearts entwined by more than ever imaginable.

I will definitely be following this series!

Overall thoughts on the box set………..

I loved that although these five novellas were written by separate authors, they were all linked together by the characters and the setting in which they were written, and the characters feature as secondary characters in each book. Shelly Bell, M.K.Schiller, Aliza Mann, Sage Selling and Heather Novak all worked really well together on this box set and their writing styles and storylines compliment each other greatly!

We have hot sex scenes, Even hotter men, Heroes and adorable relationships. What more do you need!! This box set has a variety of everything that makes it a fun read that has you hooked. Furthermore…….everything links back to the foreword, right at the very beginning, and then at the end, I LOVED that all the characters came together for Halloween on the bridge where it all began! A brilliant finish to the set! 

It was great that the books were of different genres to, it kept the box set interesting and made you intrigued to get to the next book to see what happens next. A great read that has brought five new authors to my attention!! 


Sweet Score

4 sweets




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