Title: We Are Fallingwater
Author: Xavier Mayne
Length: 329 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Bisexual Romance
At a Glance: A compelling and complex love story celebrating the unconventional love of wonderfully crafted characters.
Reviewed By: Lindsey
Blurb: Trent Jackson is a single dad, doing the best he can to raise his son Oscar. He hadn’t realized how lonely he’d become until Arlo Wheeler strolls into his life. A devoted househusband, Arlo becomes the friend Trent didn’t know he needed.
The two become fast friends, getting closer than either of them ever expected. So close, in fact, that Arlo’s wife Cara grows concerned; several of her friends consider Trent and Arlo the cutest gay couple in town.
Their new friendship doesn’t seem to have boundaries—finally they admit their attraction for each other, but then they must figure out how to preserve their relationship and Arlo and Cara’s marriage.
Trapped between their love for each other and their devotion to their families, their happiness depends on Cara’s willingness to redefine the very nature of her marriage to Arlo. Is their bond strong enough to welcome Trent to share it with them?
Review: We Are Fallingwater is an exceptional journey with wonderfully crafted characters, and stands out as one of the best stories surrounding multiple partners I have read in a long time.
What made this story stand out? For one, it made me think about so many different gender roles and stereotypes out there that get overlooked. It took on some topics that I know I generally don’t think about, and I had to take a long, hard look at my own misconceptions. Arlo is such an intriguing character, with an open heart and an equally open mind, and through his views on gender roles and fluidity, I had a lot of “Wow, I never considered that!” moments. Books that push me beyond my comfort zone and force me to take a good look at myself are ones that I really enjoy. It challenged me to see situations from a different perspective, and I respect a story that makes me check myself. I realized through this story that although I try to not put people in boxes, without realizing it I still do in certain areas.
I admit there were moments when Trent and Arlo decided to shed certain boundaries and their behavior became emotionally more intimate that I wasn’t a comfortable with, since Arlo was a happily married man. But the thing about relationships is that each one is different; not every relationship functions the same; they all differ and the people involved make the rules and boundaries. Yes, some of the situations were out of my comfort zone. But Arlo respected his wife and their boundaries, so that is what I feel ultimately matters. The big thing? They were good at communicating to each other, all of them. Though Trent was often more scared to express his feelings, since he was coming into an already formed relationship, and he was trying to not be the villain in Cara’s life; he was open with what was going through his head, and admitted to his fears.
I adored Arlo and Trent, how their relationship evolved, and the slow burn it took for them to be together. Their friendship seems to shed boundaries as they connect emotionally and intellectually. Their banter, from someone looking in from the outside, could have been viewed as risky and definitely outside of what most would consider normal. But I enjoyed the humor between the two. Cara and Arlo are amazing people. Their marriage is one of mutual respect for one another, and, ultimately, they cared about what would make the other happy. As Arlo and Trent’s relationship grows from friendship to a bromance of epic proportions—and then more—Arlo’s feelings for Cara do not change. Though Arlo recognizes Trent has begun to occupy a place in his heart, it doesn’t happen by way of pushing Cara out. What Trent provides differs from what Cara provides to Arlo. He needs them both, for different reasons. This is where the waters get pretty turbulent, as all parties begin to recognize what is happening and are trying to figure out ways to be what each other needs, without crossing lines and hurting others. Not so easy to do.
I have deep respect for the author on how well-crafted Cara’s character was throughout this book. Her personality, how she interacts with those around her, her personal strength and integrity, her ability to logically look at a situation and what is best for everyone, and admit her own feelings openly was a breath of fresh air. Cara and her siblings’ conversations provided a ton of comic relief during the really difficult times of trying to figure out how it would all work; they literally had me laughing out loud and getting weird looks from the husband.
The one complaint I can think of is pretty much the entire first half of the book was dedicated to Trent and Arlo bonding while Cara was often out of the picture, traveling for work. I couldn’t get a true feel for Cara, other than through Arlo’s observations and explanations, until much later. Though her being gone so often gave Arlo and Trent the time that was needed to fall for one another, it left her out of becoming more than a secondary character to me for a while. Cara and Arlo were already together, so their relationship was already formed, and then she and Trent’s real interactions didn’t really begin until the last half. That is not to say Cara wasn’t fleshed out, because she was, very much so. But I felt more connected and invested with Trent and Arlo by the end of the story since I spent more time with the two of them and their portion of the relationship.
Though I would have liked more on page with Cara, because she truly is a fabulous character, the rest of the story held me captive. It may not be for everyone, but I personally found We Are Fallingwater to be a compelling and complex love story celebrating the unconventional love of wonderfully crafted characters.
You can buy We Are Fallingwater here: