Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Can't Help Falling by Courtney Walsh: Book Review

 *Book received for consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Sometimes all it takes to start a fire is a single match. . .

Owen Larrabee is not my soulmate.

He wasn't when I confessed my love to him on his wedding day, and he isn't now. I should probably say that I wasn't the bride when that happened. I don't have the best timing.

He’s got a temper, he's moody, and he has a history of being misunderstood and making big mistakes.

I, on the other hand, make pumpkin cupcakes, spend my Friday nights curled up with a beloved romance novel and long to be kissed in the rain.

Owen is my best friend’s older, off-limits brother and the only boy I ever thought I loved. Which is laughable because he only ever saw me as his kid sister’s dorky friend.

But that was a long time ago. And I’m over him.


Until he comes back to Harvest Hollow like some kind of hero, showing up just in time to pull me out of my burning house and make me feel all the things I told myself I’d never feel again.

But I have questions. Why is Owen back? And does he remember our secret friendship or the day I’ve spent the last eight years trying to forget?

I know better than to get hung up on Owen again. Especially now, when he’s sworn off relationships and thinks romance is a farce. And I’m something of an expert—at least to the people who listen to my podcast, The Hopeful Romantic.

Never mind that nobody would guess their local bookshop owner is the one doling out popular weekly relationship advice.

Never mind that I’m basing all that advice on the hundreds, (thousands?) of romance novels I’ve read over the years and not on personal experience.

And especially never mind that Owen is making me question everything I believe about all of it.

Can’t Help Falling is a best friend’s brother, childhood crush, opposites attract sweet rom-com with plenty of sizzle but none of the steam.

Courtney Walsh is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author of sixteen novels. She writes small town romance and women's fiction while juggling the performing arts studio and youth theatre she owns and runs with her husband. Courtney is a Carol award winner and Christy Award finalist who has also written two craft books and several full-length musicals. She lives in Illinois with her husband and three children and a sometimes naughty Bernedoodle named Luna.

Connect with Courtney online at her website ( or on any of these social media platforms:

Can't Help Falling is the third book in the Sweater Weather series. This series is written by various closed-door romance authors, all set in the same small town of Harvest Hollow. They can all be read in any order or as standalones. 

Oh my goodness... this book! 

Best friend's brother is a trope that I absolutely, positively adore... perhaps because it's one that I've lived myself. Throw in opposites attract, a firefighter male lead, a bookish female lead, and disability rep (dyslexia)... and I couldn't help but fall head over heels with this book.

I loved all the talk about romance in this story. Emmy has a podcast on the topic, and so there are many references to different romantic movies and books which I really enjoyed. This book in many ways felt like such a celebration of the romance genre, and being an avid reader of such, I absolutely loved that about it! 
But I also loved that reminder that romance doesn't always look like the grand gestures in the novels and that sometimes it's a little more subtle than that.

It was such a beautifully done story, and I found myself not wanting it to end. And the pining... oh. my. This was definitely a slow burn romance, which I'll admit isn't always my favorite... but it felt so right for this story and this couple that I found myself not minding one bit. THIS is exactly what a slow burn romance should feel like! I loved every single minute of it! Owen's struggles with
dyslexia and not feeling good/smart enough added another beautiful layer to the story that took it to the next level for me. (I have to say that as the mother to an autistic child who is absolutely brilliant but doesn't always do well in a typical academic/testing setting, I definitely found myself tearing up a few times at this!)

Seriously, I cannot put into words just how much I adored this story... simply put, it's a must read!


  1. I enjoyed reading your review of this book. This sounds like a book that I would so enjoy. I am going to add this to my list of must reads this fall season.
    heather hgtempaddy


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