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November 5, 2014

Loved It: Fear of Heights by Mara White + Giveaway

Series: The Heightsbound Series 2
Format: Mobi
Release Date: September 12, 2014
Publisher: Self
Source: Author
Genre: Romantica 
What are you willing to sacrifice for love?Your family? Your freedom? What about your life?

She’s a wealthy, forty-three-year-old Upper East Sider with a PhD – He’s a twenty-three-year-old Dominican drug dealer from Washington Heights. Kate Champion always did exactly what was expected of her. She was the perfect wife, the perfect mother – until the day she met Jaylee Inoa.

Their journey travels a path riddled with danger, deceit, scandal and loss – where nothing is as it seems. Yet Kate and Jaylee’s passion for one another remains nearly unstoppable.

Will this daring pair of lovers from two different worlds triumph over circumstance? Can they deny the past in their quest to be together? Or is fear the ultimate navigator - a force more powerful than love?
3.5 Cauldrons


A clusterfuck, that's FEAR OF HEIGHTS by Mara White is in one word. It started with a bored housewife who cheated on her husband with a kid barely out of his teens from the wrong side of the tracks. Then it got complicated when the affair turned for the worse with an unexpected pregnancy, a controlling husband, various degrees of blackmail, an abduction, drug lords, and the feds. These are what telenovelas are made of unfortunately most of the characters are shady, their moral compass broken, and nothing is off limits. 

I don't even know where or how to begin because FEAR OF HEIGHTS made a mess out of me. This is one hard novel to read because its so provocative and effectively written I can't help but be fascinated by the story even if I'm seething with anger and shaking my head in disbelief. For a story that started out as an affair, it's now so complex that that aspect of the plot seem so minute compared to the overall scheme of things. So yeah, thanks MWhite for fucking with my head and emotions once again. 

FEAR OF HEIGHTS is told in Kate's POV, the morally conflicted, femme fatale, and borderline sociopath anti-heroine of the story. Kate never had my empathy or sympathy from the beginning but she's proven to be one hell of a trainwreck that's hard to look away from. The chick's a hot mess and I thought she already hit rock bottom in Heights of Desire but it appears there's multiple bottoms and it just keeps on breaking as the novel progress. Whatever happened to shopping sprees and cosmetic surgeries to alleviate housewife boredom? Smh. 

I don't know what to make of Kate now, on one hand she's highly aware of her self destructive and selfish behavior but does nothing to curb her reckless impulses. She continues to endanger her kids and family, cuckolds her husband, Robert, as well as her lover, Jaylee. I'm now taking her word with a grain of salt because I can't help but think that she's "demonizing" her husband and making her "evils" necessary to justify her actions. Even if Robert revealed a deeper connection with Jaylee making Kate some sort of a victim, it still doesn't justify her actions.

As for the rest of the characters, there's nothing about them that I find redeeming, I don't think there's a "hero" here at all, just an unfortunate tale that keeps on unravelling. It's the plot twists and turns that keeps on going for the worse that has me locked in this strange, destructive, and highly addictive tale. There are a few scenes, interactions, and situations that I feel are overdone hence my comparison to a telenovela, in this case a Dominican one, still its enthralling nonetheless. 

FEAR OF HEIGHTS is one of those books that will have your feedback split between the writing and the plot. The former is very compelling while the latter will challenge your principles and morals, quite the conundrum and at times and difficult to get through, Heightsbound series is definitely not for the faint of heart. At this point I don't know how if there's another book in the works, the end has a sense of finality to it. I hope there's another one just to give the readers proper closure. And just in case this is a duology, Kate is certifiably one of those infamous heroines a la Bovary, Anna Karenina, and Chatterley, who brought lots of tears and heartache to those men who made the mistake of falling in love with her. BLACK WIDOW, BABY!




Prologue
 Jaylee

Rikers Island, East Elmhurst, New York

My stomach growls from the shit lunch of bologna and American 
cheese. I’ll die before I’m twenty-five in here from all the crap they been feeding me. I need more calories because of my workout routine, and the commissary just don’t cut it. Half the time I probably burning muscle, but what the fuck you gonna do about it? You can’t change this fucked-up machine. What I wouldn’t give for some Spanish food—just a goddamn plate of my grandma’s rice and beans.
I flip the pen around and around in my hand, trying to think of what to say. It brings me right back to being eight years old, the school-assigned social worker jabbing at me to “write him whatever you please!” I pick at a popped blister from going at the weights in the yard. Soon enough it’ll get hard and callous—just like everybody who been up in here too long.
“He’d love to hear anything about you. Why don’t you tell him about basket-ball?” As if it was easy, when you hadn’t talked to him in years. An’ my ma bent over the kitchen table with cried-on love letters to my dad, praying on lighted candles and over special oils to Dios Santísimo, that he don’t get sent to Sing Sing.
We couldn’t afford the trip up there, so we saw him less and less. The sound of his voice just became a memory to me, and when we did get up there, I pitied the man I saw. Couldn’t get past the fact that he fucked up. I felt like he let them put him away. I swore to myself if I ever got there, I’d be smarter than he was. That I’d get revenge before I’d let ‘em make me live my life behind bars. Now look at where I am.
At least I got a plan.
            Love letters. Kate wrote me one once. There’s a trick to them, right? You gotta try to convince a woman that you’ll love her forever. It’s not just about the first time she reads it, she’s gotta see it every time she looks. Try doing it on jail-issued stationery. I had to earn the privilege to use a pen. How the fuck you tell someone they everything you got—when all you got is a page? How do I tell her how much I want her to have my kid? I love knowing that he’s inside her, that there’s part of me with her. Thing is, I can’t control the lies she’s being fed; she’ll choose the lawyer over me.

How do you say all that on paper when all you ever got through was public school?   She got everything she needs—or at least that’s how it’d seem to anybody looking in. But I know—I know—how much Kate needs me.
I crumple up the last sheet of the ones they gave me and toss it onto my bunk. I don’t know how to put my heart on paper. I can’t make her understand why I did what I done.    

            On Friday they call me out for a visit, though I’m not expecting nobody.  Mamá, Janinie, and everybody coming next week—or that’s what we said on the phone.  I’m never expecting Kate again.  I have no idea what she decided to do with the baby.  I don’t know if he still here with us or gone already.  The baby’s the only thing I ever cared about more than her, but I’m not gonna let myself hate her for it.  She shouldn’t a’ had to go through it by herself - either way. If I’d watched my back, I wouldn’t a’ ended up here.
            I stick my hands out the drop door in the cell so they can cuff me.  The corrections officer calls me “Dorado,” ‘cause that’s what they called my pops when he was here.  I try not to get involved, but it ain’t easy when your ties run deep like mine do.  My old man spent a minute in Rikers; he up the river now in Sing Sing. He’s spending his days at the big house, but he got connections all through the whole system.  He got his reputation too, and I’m expected to keep it.
            Probably an ex or somebody I was messing around with before Kate who come to see me.  Girls got something about visiting guys in jail.  They love the drama.  They love the attention they get from everybody else.  Girls that won’t even give you the time of day on the outside start writing you letters about how much they miss you when you in the box.  It’s bullshit.  But I admit—it do make the time go by faster.  And right now I got nothing but time.  
I get stuck in the hall for the count—which means whoever waiting for me is stuck too.  The guard I’m with lets me do wall push-ups after he cuffs me to a door. I go at it, hard as fuck, until I’m dripping sweat and my muscles are burning.  Working out helps me not to think about her—or the baby.  The burn is good.  It shuts up the furia.  There ain’t shit I can do anyway, so why make myself crazy playing it all over again in my head?
The count takes forever and I’m betting whoever’s out there waiting is regretting this.  First and last visit.  Nobody want to see me that bad.  
When we finally walk into the visiting room, my eyes catch her before anything else, even though the place is packed.  I’m a homing pigeon.  I can’t see nothing else.
She’s Kate, but she ain’t Kate.  Same black hair, same pale face.  Same scared blue eyes.  Her body is slamming too, less hip, more tit, and she a little taller.  Maybe it’s the heels.  She looks good. But I know who she is.  
It’s the sister.  Arriving like the grim reaper.  She come repping for the other side.  I gotta smile that this mina got herself into Rikers.  I can tell she’s shitting herself, even worse than Kate.  She ain’t never been in no place like this before, that’s for sure. All dolled up to come see a criminal like me.  
There’s some part of me that wants to run to her just ‘cause they family.  And then another part that wants to refuse the goddamned visit.  I know Kate feel like she ain’t good enough for her own family.  Makes me fucking hate ‘em. Kate is good—that’s her main problem. It’s something she won’t let herself see.
 Now she’s starting to work her hands like she in full-blown panic mode.  I guess I take pity on her.  She looks too much like my girl.  Shit, it’s messing with my head—and my dick.
I pull out a chair and sit down, drilling my eyes into the back of her head.  She spinning around, looking across the whole room.  She don’t know who the fuck I am.  She turns and stares, her eyes taking everything in.  I can practically hear her heart pounding from over here.  She like a baby bird—ready to flip out and fly into the fucking window.  She looks at me and I gesture to the chair across the table.  Relief hits her whole face and her shoulders relax.  She smiles quick and then it disappears and she look scared again.  She marches over to the table and sits down fast.
“Jaylee?”
Why she gonna ask me after she already sit down?  I’m tempted to say no, but I just stare at her instead. I can see how much they look alike, but I can also see how they different.  She got doubt all over her face.  She wanna fly the fuck out of here.  That makes two of us.
“Emily,” I say not giving anything away.  I’m gonna make her work hard for it.
“Oh, Kate told you about me?”
“She didn’t tell me much.  ‘Nough to know you exist.  Otherwise I’d think I was seeing ghosts.”
“Have you talked to her?”
“Pfft. Naw, not since she came in here to tell me she was pregnant.  Not that it’s your business.  They send you to come tell me she got rid of it?”
“I came on my own, Jaylee.”
She stops and looks down.  
“Kate’s missing; I was hoping you could tell me where to find her.”






I’m a reader, a writer, and a lover of all things romantic. I’m also a coffee, hot sauce, ink, telenovela and Bikram Yoga enthusiast. I live in New York City with my husband and two children, and I spend a lot of time on the playground.

Stalk Mara





Mara is giving away a Kindle Voyage to one lucky follower,
good luck!









34 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I am most sorry this post is late! Just been swamped lately. Is there going to be another book?

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  2. I can't say I like those kind of heroines

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    1. Nobody does I think but I do love a good challenge

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  3. I give you credit for reading this and sticking to it, just the fact that there is cheating involved already makes me run for the hills.

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    1. Have you ever seen an episode of dateline or snapped or any of those true crime shows? Well it's something like that so you know it's fascinating in a twisted kind of way

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  4. Holy crap this sounds like madness but in a (sort of) good way.
    Wonderful review!

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    1. That is a great way of putting it. Thank you for checking it out!

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  5. I kept thinking of Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction while reading this. It sounds like a freaky read.

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    1. Yeah it's kinda freaky like that, Kate is just messed up like she needs medical help of the head kind

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  6. I think I might enjoy Fear of Heights quite a lot, Braine! First of all, the MC is my age (no, I'm not bored, and I don't think I'd fall for a 20-something... but still) and it sounds like it's intriguing and unexpected.
    Thanks for sharing, and for hosting the giveaway.
    Happy reading :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

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    1. It sure is entertaining and one of those odd books we all need once in a while

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  7. Okay so...I don't think I'm ready for this jelly. The relationships sound messy. Too messy for my poor little mind to comprehend. Keep.

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    1. LOL that's okay, this series is definitely not for everyone.

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  8. i got a recommend for the 2nd book in one of my FB groups. I'll add both to my wishlist...hey sometimes a little crazy and messy is good ;D

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    1. Oooh I'm excited! The first one is on sale, I do want to know what your thoughts are about this

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    2. got the first book, I'll be reading it soon.

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  9. Hmmm I haven't read one of these before, like the idea that it's sort of like a telenovela. But it might be too much for me.

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    1. I understand, I'm sure the theme won't appeal to everyone.

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  10. Sounds intense. I'd probably like this book, might have to check it out. Great review Braine.

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    1. Thanks!

      Grab the first one while it's still on sale :D

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  11. Ha, oh man, this sounds like a crazy ride. A ride I want to go on!

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  12. arrghhh I know I have book 1 but I really need to get into it. Why don't I have more time? I really need that! I'm glad this one was really good again.

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    1. Yeah you won it here, get to it, lady!!

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  13. Jeeze, this seems intense. So much shit that seems so wrong. But I am oddly intrigued.

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    1. So true, I know you have a strong stomach, I'm sure you can read the books.

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  14. I remember wanting to pick up Heights of Desire after reading your review of what a twisty story it was. And this story continued?!? I love that you love this story where there are no heroes - the story and characters are so screwed. That says a lot for the writing. :) Love, love your review, Braine!

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    1. I so love you, Brandee, I love that you're getting on my crazy train! First Consequences then this!

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  15. Okay, the clusterfuck has me a little hesitant, especially the drug lord stuff. BUT. I do like the idea of the older woman - younger man - surprise pregnancy. Thanks for the great review!

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    1. This is a challenging read, in case you want to break up your contemporary romance streak, you can add this wild card to the list.

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  16. Gahh books like this are great but make me crazy! I love a anti-hero done right and this sounds like that kind of book.Kate sounds like a crazy POV to read from. Great review!

    Teresa @ Readers Live A Thousand Lives

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    1. If you do decide to read this, let me know if you need a hand to hold. But as you've read a lot of angsty NA, you just might be more ready for this than I think.

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  17. The way the character just keeps on making mistakes and vilifying herself sounds insane, it would be a really gripping read I reckon. Wonderful review Braine!

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