Candace was forever changed the night she was violently attacked in an alley. A lifelong dancer, she’s lost her passion for it, and she’s quickly becoming a shell of the person she once was. Leaning heavily on one friend and avoiding another, by chance she meets someone who doesn’t spark her anxiety, and a slow-budding friendship becomes so much more.
When he heard a woman screaming in the alley behind his bar, instinct kicked in. Scaring her attacker off, he found her broken and bruised, but all he could do for her then was call for an ambulance. Through mutual friends, he meets Candace, and while she’s nothing like the women he’s casually dated, almost immediately, she’s everything he wants. Earning her trust takes forever, but he knows she’s worth every patient second.
I only meant to glance at this book, figuring the story would be a little too dark for my tastes, so I was really surprised when I found myself unable to stop reading. Candace’s anxiety and attempts to forget encroached upon denial, which seemed utterly realistic, despite not being the most logical actions. Her disconnection from her roommate and her reliance upon Jase and his boyfriend Mark was sad but seemed to ring true. And Ryan… I kept wondering when he’d put the pieces together, or if he already had, and that added suspense that played throughout the story.
I’ve seen all kinds of mixed reviews, and even my blogging partner flounced it, which makes sense now that I’ve finished the story. Instead of the grittier, darker journey that I (and I’m guessing a lot of people) expected, Fading is more of an emotional journey filled with grief over a lost sense of normalcy. Candace is, aside from one horrible experience, a typical college student who is just trying to get through each day, and Ryan is laid back, patient, and understanding — even when he doesn’t completely understand her. Their relationship is slow and sweet, and when truths come out, Candace is exactly the emotional wreck I expected. Overall, though, it’s a good read for anyone who an ultimately simple romance between complex characters.