BLOG TOUR: The Harder We Fall by Rebecca Raine (Excerpt & Giveaway + Q&A with Author)


Book Title: The Harder We Fall

Author: Rebecca Raine

Cover Artist: Bec Rivers

Release Date: March 29, 2021

Genre: MM Romance

Trope: Hurt/Comfort

Themes: Grief, Penance, Personal Growth

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 70,000 words

It is a standalone book.

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Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK


For years, I’ve been bound by sleeplessness and sorrow. His voice threatens to set me free.


Insomnia. It’s part of the penance I pay for my greatest mistake. But when an ill-timed doze behind the wheel of my car nearly introduces me to a pole, I know something has to change.

Sleep with Me, a locally-made meditation app, promises a cure. I don’t expect it to work. Nor do I expect to become enthralled by the voice of its creator, Sam Stephenson. His ability to coax forth my nightly surrender is unnerving. I have to meet this man and learn the secret behind his techniques, so I can evict him from my head—and still get a good night’s sleep.

In person, the quiet and reclusive Sam is his own kind of complicated. He needs my business skills as much as I need his meditation skills and we forge an unlikely partnership. But the attraction between us soon flares into passion and, as we grow closer, I start to long for more than my guilty conscience will allow.

I have no right to love, not after the damage I’ve done. How can I give Sam all he deserves, when our chance at a happy ending was ruined before we even met?



“We’re running out of time.”

“So, we are,” I say with a false show of surprise. “It’s my fault, of course.” I pause, trying to figure out how to word the next part without making it obvious this was part of my plan all along. “I could always email you the questions. Then you can take as long as you like to answer them. After you send them back, I’ll write up a plan and we can meet again to discuss it.”

He looks aghast at the idea. “That’s a lot of work. I don’t want to take up too much of your time.”

“Actually, Sam, I’m the one asking for more of your time.” I brandish my most charming smile. It’s worked on men in the past, though I’m not usually trying this hard for the win. Desperation may have knocked the polish off.

Sam’s mouth drops open and somehow he manages to look panicked and thrilled at the same time. “You want to see me again?” he asks. “For the quid pro quo, I mean.”

“If you don’t mind.” I try to look calm, but my pulse is roaring like an express train. If he says no, I’m screwed. “I know this is all a bit odd, me coming to you the way I have. I suppose I hoped, once we met, you might be willing to give this whole process some more time.”

He shifts in his chair again, his gaze dropping. There’s no sign of his earlier trepidation, though, only a subtle wariness. “This was never going to be one hour, was it?”

“Not really, no,” I say, surprised at my honesty. “Not if we’re both going to get what we want from this.”

I can feel his attention all over me, even with his gaze glued to the table. “What exactly do you want from me, Tristan?”

It’s the voice. Right there in front of me. Coming from his mouth. Holy fuck.

Hearing that voice say my name, after all the ways I’ve used and abused his—in curses and moans and whispered pleas—is a goddamned fantasy come to life. Lust surges through my veins and I want to growl in frustration. This infatuation has to end. “I need to stop sleeping with you.”

His head snaps upright and we both gasp.

My right hand slaps over my mouth. “Fuck, I didn’t mean it like that.”

Looking away again, he releases a shaky breath. “It’s all right.” He runs absent hands along his arms, soothing a severe case of goosebumps. Sam is responding to my voice, my words, the same way I inevitably respond to his.

How would we respond to each other’s touch? Stifling a groan, I shift clenched fists into my lap. That’s not what this is about. I’m obsessed enough without learning the texture of his skin and the taste of his—

Sam starts to laugh, really laugh. “That stupid name,” he manages to say between breaths. “Sleep with Me. It wasn’t even my idea, but it certainly does get a reaction.” There’s another peel of laughter, as if he’s releasing all the tension from his body, and I find myself joining in. Every time we look at each other it gets worse and before I know it my stomach is sore from laughing. It feels good to laugh at myself. Weird, but good.

“Let me rephrase,” I say as we start to regain our composure. “What I mean is, now you’ve succeeded in getting me to sleep, I want to figure out how to do it on my own.”

“Should be easy enough. It’s probably something in the phrasing.”

Reality seeps back in, killing off the last of my amusement. “No, it’s something else.” Sam isn’t the first person to tell me to let go of my guilt. My mother used to say it constantly. It wasn’t your fault, Tristan. You shouldn’t blame yourself.She didn’t believe her words any more than I did, but she tried. “I don’t know what it is about you that’s different. I don’t think it’s necessarily something you can teach me, but whatever it is, I need to figure it out.”

“So, what’s the plan?” he asks with a baffled expression. “Are you going to hang around me until you get your answer through osmosis or something?”

“Maybe? I don’t know.” I drop my head into my hands. “Honestly, I’m making this up as I go along.”

“You and me both,” he says with a snort. “I don’t know if I can give you the answer you’re looking for, Tristan. But I’ll try.”

Slumping back in my chair, I release a sigh. “Thank you, Sam.”

He smiles that tiny smile and I try not to drool when his cheeks turn pink. “It’s my pleasure.”

Q & A With Rebecca Raine

When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer?
I began reading fan fiction in my early twenties. Then I started writing fan fiction. A couple of years later, I finished a fanfic that was 30,000 word long I thought, “Maybe I could write a whole book.” That’s when I started to write my first novel. Deciding to become a writer wasn’t a sudden thing for me, it was more of a gradual process… which eventually grew into a major obsession. I’m not sure if fanfic saved me or doomed me. 😊

How many books have you written?
The Harder We Fall is my tenth novel.

How long does it usually take you to write a book?
I’m all over the place with timelines. My first book, Splinter, took 7 years on and off. I also wrote the first version of This Time Forever during that time. Our Little Secret only took about 3 months. The Experiment and The Harder We Fall both took a year from day one to publication. This year I’m focusing on settling into more of a routine. My future publishing dates will tell the tale of how that works out.

How did you come up with the idea for your book?
The first spark for The Harder We Fall came to me when I started using a local meditation app. The instructor on the app was a man and I was struck by how pleasant and soothing his voice was. Suddenly, I had an image of another man who was listening to the app because he suffered from chronic insomnia and he was desperate to get some sleep. When he heard the voice, his reaction was much stronger. He became enthralled by it, seduced by it. Most importantly, it gave him the one thing he needed so badly: sleep.

I knew the man’s insomnia was caused by guilt he carried about a past mistake. To cure it, he would have to deal with that underlying guilt. He really didn’t want to deal with his guilt. But sleep is a basic human need. Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and he hadn’t slept well in a long time. That’s the kind of motivation you want for a character.

Who are your favorite authors?
There are so many authors I love, including Roan Parrish (she’s always at the top of my list), Lucy Lennox, Cat Sebastion, Riley Hart, Eden Finley, Lily Morton and Anyta Synday.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Shutting my brain up long enough to get into the zone, where the words start to flow and the world falls away. It’s a beautiful place to be, but gaining access to it can be a struggle.

Where is your favorite place to write?
On my couch with a soft blanket and a giant pot of tea. Or coffee. Or wine. The beverage is dependent on the time of day.

When you develop characters do you already know who they are before you begin writing or do you let them develop as you go?
I know the basics of them when I begin, but I get to know them in greater detail as I write scenes. It’s like meeting someone for the first time. You can ask them all sorts of questions in that first meeting. But they won’t give up any of their real secrets until you’ve spent time in the trenches together.

Do you aim for a set number of words/pages per day?
No. When I try to set word count goals I end up putting words on the page for the sake of the number. Those words are never good and they usually end up getting trashed. I love to sprint when I’m first getting started. But that can only last so long. Then I have to go back and work on what I have before I can write forward. That process takes as long as it takes.

What is the hardest thing about writing?
The first draft of any scene is always the hardest. I hate getting those initial words down. Once I have something to work with it becomes more fun.

Do you use images to develop your character’s looks?
Definitely. I love to have a person (actor/singer/model/etc) in mind when I get started. But I don’t necessarily stick to that person’s looks specifically.

Do you use your experiences in your books?
Yes. If they’re appropriate for the character’s experience. In The Harder We Fall, Sam suffers from moderate social anxiety. It’s severe enough to have a significant effect on his life, but not severe enough to incapacitate him. As someone who also suffers from a moderate level of anxiety, my experiences informed his to a substantial degree.

What do you think makes a good story?
Characters who have to strive and hurt and change to get what they need (which may or may not be different from what they want). I love to read about characters who are forced to change, not just to attain their reward, but also to keep it in the long-term.

What has been one of your most rewarding experiences as an author?
Every now and then a reader will take the time to write to me and tell me how much they enjoyed one of my books. Or a reviewer will say how much I touched them. As a writer, my job is to say something worthwhile through storytelling. Knowing that something has been heard and appreciated is the highest reward.

Of course, being able to pay my bills is a perk too.

What is your next project?
I’ve just started writing my next book and I’m really excited to be diving in. It will feature a character readers of The Experiment may remember. He loves bright, blue cocktails and has dimples for days. ‘Toni with an I’ is getting his very own happily ever after!

About the Author

Rebecca is a long-time lover of all things romance. Whether it’s a book, movie, or real life, she will always have more fun if there’s a love interest thrown into the mix. She lives in Queensland, Australia with her very own hero husband, two quirky kids and one big, black dog. Other than reading and writing books, her favourite things include loud music, enjoying a glass of wine on the patio, organising everything in existence, and spending too much time on the Internet.

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