Title: Fear of Heights (Heightsbound #2)
Author: Mara White
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 276 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars (Michelle) 4 stars (YaYa)
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 at 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?
Michelle: So Mara White I applaud you loudly. This book my was my favorite. Everything comes full circle here, that’s for sure.
Yaya: I applaud her no matter what. I don’t agree on this one being my favorite though. I felt more connected with book 1.
Michelle: Kate, of course, is back to doing stupid shit like in the first book. At one point, I was yelling at the top of head to this woman, get a grip damn it.
I wasn’t sure how I felt with the newcomer “Ideal” pronounced “Ee-day-al”. I was like, oh no, not again with another young thug, what is up with Kate. When you continue reading, you will see the true meaning of friendship. Good looking out Ideal.
Yaya: You can say that again about Kate doing stupid shit. I can’t believe her over abundance of poor choices. Like, how old are you again? Is there a working brain inside that big ass head of yours?
I can say that I understood where she was coming from in the first book. Needy, lonely wife, seeking attention. Got raptured up in the claws of young Jaylee and his swag. Not this time. I lost count on how many times I was yelling at her.
Kate, one mistake, fine, but how many more do you need to keep making to please everyone else? The new guy Ideal, spiced things up a bit and that’s all I’m saying.
Michelle: Robert, oh Robert, Robert, Robert. “Oh what a tangle web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” (Sir Walter Scott). Yes, this quote is very apropos on how I am feeling about Robert. If you read my review for Heights of Desire, wherein I stated I was on the fence regarding him, well that fence is down. All I will say is, I had a feeling from the first book that he was somewhat shady, but wasn’t sure and I will leave it at that.
Yaya: Some might say he’s a Saint. Come on how many times is he going to forgive Kate? Controlling quite a bit but he really didn’t cause any harm. He was fighting for what was his. His wife. His family. Maybe he wasn’t doing it in a kindly manner. He must be really good at his job. Lol.
Michelle: Jaylee – wow is all I can say. My heart broke for him yet when certain truths come out, I really wanted to hate him. Yet, my heart still broke for him.
Yaya: Jaylee from book 1 I easily fell for. Jaylee in book 2 spent too much time in jail. Then what he did to Kate, not forgivable. I did feel some pitty for him but he was out of control. I also felt like Kate swept him under the rug by not caring for his feelings or wishes while he was in jail. He only told you to stay away. Fine don’t listen Kate.
Michelle: Also in my review was I Team Robert, Team Jaylee or Team No One. Well actually, believe it or not, Team Kate. Although she still pissed me off, at the end of the book, you wanted some time of redemption for her.
Yaya: My fellow reviewer 👆👆👆has lost her marbles. I’ll stick to Team No One. Everyone played a part at pissing me off at one point or another. Except Sara. All she wanted to do was smoke some weed. LMAO. She cracked me up. Then there’s Ideal. He was the only one with some type of a brain.
Michelle: There were no winners here. The loser of it all was love. And with that ladies (and gentlemen if you read our blog), I will leave it at that.
Yaya: Now she’s getting all poetic on me over here and ending it just like the Epilogue. Which by the way was a pretty slick move. “Eyes like Gold.”
Michelle: Mara White, wow, I cannot wait to meet you one day at a book signing. You really went there and then some. You had me at moments of despair and anger.
You made my heart race with both books (more so in book 2). You go girl! I cannot wait to read more of your stuff.
Yaya: Although Michelle and I don’t agree in our rating and how she feels towards the end about Kate, we can both agree that we love Mara’s writing and will continue to follow her future work. My advice to the author to translate the Spanish content more for the non-Spanish speaking readers. It is very clear where this takes place and the mention of the Dominican culture. Me as being Puerto Rican I take into consideration that the Spanish used in the book may not be the same as we use in our culture. My rating towards the book was obviously not toward any of the characters but towards the writing of the story. I will be clearly discussing further matter with the author herself. Laters💋
– Michelle and YaYa
*Teasers made by YaYa
*An ARC was provided by the author for an honest review.
What would you like your new readers to know about your series before they begin? What do they need to know?
The Heightsbound Series are not standalone novels so Heights of Desire has to be read before embarking on Fear of Heights. HOD is on sale for $0.99 for another week so readers don’t have to break their budget. The story is a gritty, urban portrait of love in the twenty-first century. It’s a story of forbidden love that challenges accepted norms of class, culture, race, gender and age.
What was the thought process in creating the characters in Heights ofDesire. i.e. Kate , Robert and Jaylee?
I didn’t really approach Robert and Jaylee with much of a process they just developed as I wrote the story. With Kate, there was more intent. I had been reading so much in the genre and I’d become tired of the Billionaire alpha male character. So I took a subversive approach when I created Kate and I imbued her with the typical alpha male advantages just to see if it would work. I thought what if it was the heroine that had the upper hand? What if she were the wealthy one, the more experienced one, the one with the sexual demands. What if he was the one who had everything to gain and she was already completely established and he had nothing to offer her? Would that still be appealing to a female reader – would she be able to embrace a women in the dominant role? (The verdict is still out on that one!) In Fear of Heights I took it one step further and took the womanizer attribute that so many alphas have and gave that to Kate. In Fear of Heights, Kate uses sex as an escape and an emotional release.
I am sure many have asked you this before, but why was Kate so frustrating? Was it because of the attention she was getting from Jaylee or needed? Was it because of Robert? We need some help understanding this woman.
I believe Kate is frustrating because she is passive. She spends a lot of time wavering between doing what she wants and doing what Robert (and society at large) expect of her. I think most of us just want her to chose, get it done and move forward, but then we wouldn’t have a story. It’s like the horror movie intro where: The woman is home alone- she hears a noise in the basement-she grabs a kitchen knife- proceeds to walk down basement stairs even though the light is burnt out. While we all sit on the edge of our seats and scream “NO!” We don’t want her to do it but she has to do it so that we can watch and be horrified.
In Heights of Desire, Robert was just a little to easygoing on Kate, especially after finding out about Kate’s affair, was that your intention? What’s making him change?
Well, people react to infidelity in a million different ways and we can’t say that any of them are right or any of them are wrong. Statistics say that 75% of couples deal with infidelity at some point in their relationship, so just imagine how many couples experience it and move past it. In Heights of Desire, Robert establishes himself as someone who wants to win no matter what the cost. So, Robert fighting for Kate is much more about keeping up appearances and about winning the game—not so much about having a healthy, loving relationship with his wife.
In Fear of Heights, we get to meet Ideal. Not going to lie, I was real apprehensive about him in the beginning. The character easily grows on you. He plays a major part in the lives of both Kate and her sister, Emily. Why Ideal? Why did you create him?
Ideal created himself. He was really a force of nature to me. I always intended on bringing him back for one scene, but after I wrote it, he just wouldn’t go away. Every time I sat down to write he kept showing up and inserting himself in the story. I figured I’d better listen to him, because, obviously, he knows better than me. So I let him guide me and I agreed to let him have a big part of the story.
Book 2 had a nice mind fuck of an epilogue. Many would agree. So the question is, will we get more? A little something? Or were those your intentions?
I didn’t mean for it to be a mind fuck! I meant for it to provide a bit of closure. I left the story open because that’s what I like personally, as a reader. HEA endings always start to make me feel like someone is wrapping a giant pink present bow around my neck, pulling it tight and suffocating me to death. Especially if there are bended knee proposals, wedding bells and rice throwing, goo-gawing babies and rocking chair couples holding hands and growing grey together. I like to breathe a little and set my characters free. If the author has created a strong enough character the reader can see for herself what they would or wouldn’t do. So that’s my intention. It doesn’t mean there will be another Heightsbound book.
I really enjoyed Janine and Oscar. Kinda scary for a moment there with Kate’s situation. Would you consider writing their story in the future?
No. I love Janinie and I like her and Oscar together but I write erotica to explore the taboo and to me there is nothing taboo about Janinie and Oscar being together. To me that equals (kind of boring) and I have no interest in writing it. The novel I’m writing now, The Delivery, is about a 25 year-old social worker who falls in love with an 18 year-old juvenile delinquent in her charge. Now that’s taboo and something I’m excited to write about!
Do you listen to the music in your book?
Yes! (And even if I didn’t want to I would hear it all over my neighborhood!)
What are you currently reading?
The Tied Man by Tabitha McGowan. So good!
Who is your favorite author?
(This is a miserable question to answer YaYa and you know it!!! Akin to asking who is your favorite child.) If I can only choose one I’d have to pick Louise Erdrich, because I’ve read her throughout my whole life and she’s definitely influenced my writing heavily.
Favorite romance novel?
Sab by Gertrudis Gomez de Avellaneda
So savage and heartbreaking and for the record- the two lovers never even touch each other because it’s that taboo for them to be together. (Did this book influence The Heightsbound Series? YES!!)
Favorite Batman actor?
I don’t know. Christian Bale? My favorite batman writer is Scott Snyder!
The Vampire Diaries or True Blood?
Unfortunately I’ve never seen either one of these shows. I know of them via subway and bus advertisements though. I don’t have a TV. I live in the dark ages.
Is it Miami Vice?
Or Vice Squad?
Oh, maybe Vice magazine?
Coffee, chocolate, tattoos and romance novels (in that order)
Pepsi or Coca Cola?
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.
Author Website: marawhite.com
Author GoodReads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7372906.Mara_White