Ready to Fall
Ready to Fall is an example of tropes done right. There are a ridiculous number of them on display in this eighty-five page novella, from the librarian looking for love to the damaged-by-previous-relationship hero, but the story uses them so well – and with a big dash of humor – that it all works.
Sarah is an elementary school teacher and a part-time librarian. Tired of having men dump her because she’s too exuberant, too outgoing, or too exhausting, Sarah has set her eyes on one man – the happy (if boring) gym teacher at her school. He’s the kind of guy who just goes along with things, and is generally as outgoing as Sarah, so there’s no way he’d dump her, right? Now for the seduction plan! Mr. Gym Teacher has signed up for a bike ride with colleagues before classes start up again in the fall, so Sarah is joining in! Now she just has to learn to ride a bike in about a week. And stop being terrified of them. And stop thinking they are possessed (though really, bikes just seem to be out to get her, so a good, solid exorcism can’t hurt, right?)
In steps Chris, bike repairman and small business owner. Chris has recently come out of a relationship, and is 100% certain he’s not ready for a new one. So of course he is captivated by the woman standing in his shop, asking for bike riding lessons (he can think of some other riding lessons he’d give her, but unlike Sarah, Chris can keep his mouth shut. At least for now). He’s not too happy that the bike lessons are for the benefit of another man, but he’s 80% certain he’s not ready for another relationship, so it’s fine. Well, maybe 75% certain.
And so hijinks ensue. Chris and Sarah spend a lot of time together over the course of just a few short days, and both find themselves undeniably and inexplicably attracted to the other. But Sarah is still determined to chat up Mr. Gym Teacher, and Chris is still 50% certain he’s not ready for another relationship.
All in all, it’s pretty darn cute.
If I had to find something wrong with this story… it’s fluffy? There’s not much actual drama going on. It’s basically an excuse to see a cute story with a cute couple doing cute things as they fall in love. There’s not much of a setting – it’s a small town, and there are a few places they visit – but it’s really more a light backdrop for this short and sweet tale.
Really though, that’s what I liked about it. This is a short story that actually told an entire story in the amount of time and space given. I haven’t read the others in this series, but I may have to go back and check them out.