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With their talents developing, their relationships changing, and millions of lives hanging in the balance, can the Cavies find a way to convince the world that they're more than what's been done to them? If they can't, they'll the ones who will spend their lives locked in padded cells Trisha Leigh is a product of the Midwest, which means it's pop, not soda, garage sales, not tag sales, and you guys as opposed to y'all. Most of the time. She's been writing seriously for five years now, and has published 4 young adult novels and 4 new adult novels under her pen name Lyla Payne.

Her favorite things, in no particular order, include: reading, Game of Thrones, Hershey's kisses, reading, her dogs Yoda and Jilly , summer, movies, reading, Jude Law, coffee, and rewatching WB series from the 90's's. Trisha tries her best to honor them, and the lessons they've taught, through characters and stories--made up, of course, but true enough in their way. Buried : The Cavy Files, 3. Trisha Leigh.

Chapter Eighteen.

Be My Downfall (Whitman University)

The emotions ran so deep, and trust me the other scenes didn't get gloss Wow, it took me a couple days to process the epicness that was this book before I could review it. The emotions ran so deep, and trust me the other scenes didn't get glossed over. Every inch of this book seeped with gorgeous language and insanely well thought out plot. I can't remember the last time I was so absorbed in a story that there was no question I wasn't going to be able to put it down. Oct 05, Denise Grover Swank rated it it was amazing Shelves: new-adult , sexy-romance , contemporary-romance , must-read.

Be My Downfall is about broken people--both those you can easily see are broken and others who hide it well. Toby isn't looking for love when he meets Kennedy, yet he's intrigued. But the closer he gets to her, it becomes obvious that Kennedy has issues larger than he's capable of fixing. Kennedy could easily have come across as an unsympathetic character but Lyla slips in scenes that show a vulnerable and broken girl you just want to pull into a hug and say, "It's going to be okay.

Be My Downfall is a beautiful story of guilt and forgiveness, hope and despair, and love and support. Sometimes love isn't about control, it's about believing in someone enough to give them the keys to their own destiny. Aug 08, sparklyunikorn rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites , na-fiction , author-lyla-payne. Quite emotional at that. A part of me died reading this book.

I was close to cry but I didn't because I'm that strong. Although in my heart, I wept. I must say, this one's the best in the series so far. I liked the characters. The connection I had with them was fantastic. I liked the story. It's a kind of story that I will remember for a long time.

The fact that it's from a guy's point of view only made this book's awesome. The writing, it was superb! High recommended b 5 stars This book was heavy. High recommended but be warned, guard your heart. Jan 12, Belinda rated it really liked it. I absolutely loved this story I just REALLY want to know more about Trent as his story, why he got to the drugs and what actually happened to him after he disappeared.

Did he die? Did he continue to live the drug life, if not, did he ever return back to his family? All these questions and no answers. May 07, Betsy rated it really liked it Shelves: romance , new-adult , tough-stuff , addictions , stand-up-guys. I did. That means if you like this genre as a whole, this one will be right up your tree.

Broken at Love (Whitman University, #1)

It's all angsty, emotional and character driven. I sense the rest of this series is not so, because the rest of the side characters are all very college. They drink, they do dumb things, they sometime go to class and they sleep with each other. It felt a bit weird to me in that in the midst of all this d 3. It felt a bit weird to me in that in the midst of all this debauchery we had these two brooding, tormented people falling in love.

The tone of the love story and the tone of the setting were dissonant. However, I did like it. I wanted to feel like Toby went over board with his issues, all stemming from his brother, the addict who disappeared into druglandia never to be seen or heard from again Toby talks about his issues with his family a lot. At first it felt annoying, but I grew to like him and his family issues by the middle of the book. Toby definitely has some dad tendencies.

He wants to protect, to care for, and to protect. He also sometimes spoke like a forty year-old man. He kept talking about "taking her to bed" and he was way too self-aware about everything from drinking to his prospective career in film. And he did mention his hair gel and outfits more than I thought was strictly relevant for a male narrator.

Taking on the male first person perspective is definitely a risk for any female author in this genre. Though the whole thing might have worked better if he wasn't a rich, frat boy, living in his fraternity's basement. I could have believed that he was one of those people that is just born 40, all sedate and thoughtful if he lived off campus in a pristine apartment and spent his days sipping espresso and reading the New York times, but given his circumstances there were definitely some inconsistencies. I also wanted to feel like Kennedy was another obnoxious, party-girl with more money than sense, but she wasn't.

She was actually a really interesting character and though she did teeter on the edge of woe-is-me at times, there was a sort of raw believability to her struggles with grief and alcoholism. Payne didn't over-write Kennedy. She hit spot on with the sort of messed up, changeable nature of someone with a deep, dark past like Kennedy without writing her into crazy partytown and making her into a caricature.

The only aspect of Kennedy's character tha t pushed it toward the over-the-top dramatic was the cruel grandmother on top of the loss of her whole family as 12 year-old. Was that necessary? Is it plausible that she could have had a nasty gram? Yes, but it felt like one too many buttons that the author was trying push to get the reader to "feel" for the character. The portrayal was done well enough that the reader didn't need that extra awfulness to understand and appreciate Kennedy.

Sometimes a character doesn't need more problems to make their spiral into chaos work, but rather just a bit more nuance. As I was reading there times when I thought this might be a two star book. It was pretty generic in tone as a I said , Toby occasionally bugged me. But the ending pulled things together. Payne finally got to the heart of the idea of addiction and forces her characters to deal with it head on.

Toby does the right thing-- not the romantic, let-me-save-you-beautiful-lady-thing-- but the right thing. And of course we get an HEA, but in the right way. Had the novel gone the other way-- instead of Toby realizing like Kennedy would need to save herself, had he swooped in an banished her demons with nothing but his great abs and strong moral fortitude-- it would have been a two star.

Ultimately the deep understanding that developed between the two characters and their journey to get there pulled it up to almost four stars. There was one thing that drove me banana-pancakes crazy: the therapist. It seems like there is another book that the author is going to write regarding the therapist and one of his patients, Annette, who keeps running out of the office every time Toby shows up looking harried, but anyway! The therapist is described as being only in his late twenties, not much older that Toby it says, yet he talks like some sort of made-for-TV shrink in his sixties.

He refers to Toby as Tobias at all time, even though Toby says he doesn't like, which was irritating by itself. Then, he flat out tells Toby to stay away from Kennedy in the beginning, which didn't feel very therapist-like to me. Therapists are all about listening to you and offering ideas about how things might work by talking through options, or helping you understand the world in which you find yourself.

They don't spend a lot of time telling you who not to date or laying down ultimatums about why something you are going to do is a Very Bad Idea. Aug 04, Emily rated it it was amazing.

A reader of

If for some reason you haven't read the other two books in the Whitman University series, you are really missing out. Go one click the rest, now, go — scoot! This series is tough, mature and sexy but at the same time very playful and irreverant. Warning though, it is insanely addicting. The second you finish one book you wish the next were already out. The characters are so real that sometimes I think Ms. Payne has taken them beyond three-dimensional to some kind of fourth dimension of character development.

Everyone in her books, whether a main or secondary character, is layered and deliciously imperfect. Each book in her phenomenal Whitman University series is lovely, but this one really gets under your skin. It stuck with me and challenged me. Together, their connection is intense and their chemistry is combustible.

Be My Downfall

This book is intense. You know you are hurtling toward a world of hurt but you encourage Toby and are with him and Kennedy the whole way. You breathe this life experience right along with him. He is a fabulous hero and grows so much. He is so visceral, funny, charming and real and he takes the reader to an ending that is just plain beautiful. This installment is edgier than the rest of the series. It is more like the intense book one broken at love than the more playful book two by referral only.

A major piece of this book that I loved is the sophisticated and unique use of point of view. The majority of the book is 1st person from our hero with highly objective snippets giving us a glimpse of our tortured heroine and her motivations. So often in romance an innocent girl is chasing after the angry tortured man, and this totally turns it on its head, challenging the reader while it challenges our hero.

The book is so evocative and poignant that at times I had to put it down and take a moment before diving back in. The pacing and relationship development is so realistic, Ms. Payne almost makes it look too easy. It is so authentic that it often felt realistic to the point of voyeurism.

I felt like Toby at times, then like I was his friend, knowing I would give him advice to protect his heart while simultaneously rooting these two crazy kids on. Its an emotional roller coaster in the best possible way. They will face a lot when school starts again and I would love to see how they handle it and other people. Besides, a great feature of this series is that everyone's stories are so beautifully interwoven that each book plays on the characters from prior and future books.

This series doesn't just give lip service to a prior couple, they are a part of the action and aid in the growth and development of the other characters - you know, like in real life! So hopefully we will see more of Toby and Kennedy in the future. Sep 13, Kim rated it really liked it Shelves: new-adult , arc , reviewed , read-in Find this review and more on my blog Sep 09, Risa rated it really liked it Shelves: bks-ofread-or-released , sep , arc-tbr , new-adult.

Which is Okay. I guess. As I am kinda scared to read that. I have heard Quinn was very messed up. Back to this installment. I was so happy with the fact that this book was from a male POV- specifically from Toby's who I think has had a bad reputation in the 1st book. I haven't read the first so I dunno what he did but I know it was something shady. I dunno I liked read reading from his POV a lot.

And he didn't seem like a jerk that people were making him out to be. I found him serious, honest and mature for a 19 year old. He was a dedicated student. So kudos to Lyla for doing that. I truly liked this book. From the two books that I have read by Lyla. This took the top spot. Where By Referral Only was a good read. Be My Downfall was a great read. And I don't say that much about NA books. But I was seriously surprised by how much I liked the characters in this installment.

The book majorly focused on Toby's point of view but in between it would have Kennedy's third-person narrative. Those were painful but gave us an insight to why Kennedy was the way she was. I really fell for Kennedy. I liked her a lot. I am so glad Toby was there for her and I was so angry but sad more for her when she wouldn't accept his help because she had to accept her help first.

She was a girl who lost her parents at a young age and then due to her grandma she began to live in guilt. She thought she didn't deserve to be happy. She stopped feeling. Which is just sad. I thought this book was genuine and with NA novels I don't feel this emotion that much I have only felt this emotion with J.

Lynn's NA titles and some H. We have a book with two leads who have a connection. The male lead Toby has had dealt with someone similar from his past with a problem like Kennedy and he knows he should disengage but he can't fail our female lead because he has come to really care for her and also wants to save her from her own downfall but also live with letting her go and living his own life.

This book dealt with deep stuff. Like seriously we have seen such individuals dealing with addiction depicted in TV shows and what not. The ones we love have gone down the spiral and lost themselves forever. We know just like Toby that first they need to save themselves in order for us to save them. Also I am quite pleased that this book didn't focus that much on sexy stuff. There have been other NA books out there that focus more on that stuff rather than the story and the genuine feels. I would have given this book five stars if only it had made me laugh.

And I like to laugh once in a while. But it gets four stars for its genuineness and making me want to finish it even when my eyes just wanted a shutdown. Will I recommend this installment? Teaser: "Like if we live wrong, it means we didn't love them. Sep 23, Jennifer Wolfel rated it it was amazing. This was a hauntingly beautiful read. I cried desperately for Toby and Kennedy throughout this book.

They are both so broken and drowning looking for something, anything to pull them to the surface so that they can breath easily again. Can two lost souls search for happiness, and find it in a place they weren't even looking?

Be My Downfall (Whitman University, #3)

Kennedy has a horrible past Nobody really knows her because she refuses to let anyone in. She uses sex, drugs and alcohol to drown out all her feelings and keep her numb. She goes through the motions of life without truly living. She's a survivor and nobody will be her downfall That is until she meets Toby Wright.

Be My Downfall (Whitman University Book 3) by Lyla Payne | BookSliced

However she fights against it all and at times I wanted to smack her upside the head and tell her to wake up that life was going to leave her behind if she didn't grab it by the horns. My heart hurt for her, wanting nothing more then to break through that armor she built up around her heart Yeah I know they are fictional characters but this book grabs and you makes you feel completely invested in their lives, emotions and their future I fell in love with him right away.

After hearing his pain and his story my heart broke for him. His words and his feelings were so raw and open and so unlike most men Toby was haunted be a failure he took claim too, but in reality isn't his fault When he meets Kennedy it's like he has a second chance to right the wrongs he thinks he did in his past, but she is so much more to him then he plans for, he's drawn to her and no matter how hard he tries he cannot get her out of his head Toby mostly does what is expected of him, gets good grades and keeps his nose out of trouble And Kennedy is trouble with a capital T.

The worry is that she will drag him into the darkness far beyond what he understands. Toby was in a good place with his past until she brought up all those old feelings and worries. I felt for Toby I wanted him to let her go at times and just move on with his life Sometimes it's just not worth the heartache it causes Toby's internal struggle between what is right and what he wants and needs almost tears him apart As I was reading through this book the title made me think of one of my favorite bands Matchbox 20 and there song Downfall Lay it down I've always been with you Hear me now With all that's within you Be my savior And I'll be your downfall I can't tell you what happens in the end you'll have to read it to find out but I will tell you that you will enjoy this read, it will frustrate you, make you want to scream, make you cry sad and happy tears and at then end the emotional journey will be worth every minute I was impressed with the writing and story development the characters are very strong and the story will still leave you wanting more There were just a few things that I would have liked to seen explored further in the story line and a few loose ends I kinda felt like I wanted wrapped up, but I was completely satisfied with the ending.

I give Lyla 5 stars for this beautiful read and I hope that everyone takes the time to read Kennedy and Toby's journey It was a deep and inspiring story of love, loss and healing. Both characters have suffered great tragedy and handled their situation in very different ways. While Toby is an over-achiever and Kennedy is the exact opposite, they have one thing in common; neither of them really feels anything until they meet each other. Toby is sweet, smart, and a really good guy. He has casual sexual encounters but never holds a relationship because he feels nothing for any woman he meets.

Kennedy is messed up. However, I think she is way too hard on herself. She has no reason to feel guilt but she does and it propels her into a mess of alcohol and rough, punishing sex. Both Toby and Kennedy are just going through the motions of life but never really living or feeling any real emotions. When they meet, there is this instant connection that neither one of them expects. Both Toby and Kennedy feel something magical with each other and they really start to build this beautiful relationship and Kennedy finally opens up to Toby and it seems he is making real progress.

I was so mad at Kennedy for running when things got real and my heart hurt for Toby because he was really falling for her and letting her go was really hard for him. However, he was always there for her and the way he protected her, even from afar was amazing. I really felt for both Kennedy and Toby and found them perfect for each other because they seemed to be exactly what each other needed. Kennedy needed someone who really, truly cared to show her that she deserved to be happy and she had a life worth living. Kennedy motivated him to find himself and be who he really wanted to be.

Despite the turmoil of their relationship and the way Kennedy pushed Toby away, I had faith that she would find her way back to him and he could help her reclaim her life and happiness again. View more of my review and others at my blog: www. Alcoholism is a serious subject and it has affected my family so reading about it hit me in the heart a bit. It was a little weird emotionally while reading this, but all of that View more of my review and others at my blog: www. It was a little weird emotionally while reading this, but all of that aside this was a pretty interesting romance.

I liked how put together Toby was. Granted I have not read the first two novels in this series and obviously I should , but I found Toby refreshing. He seems pretty normal. But, Toby is good an appearing normal on the outside while his insides are all messed up-thats the life he leads as a political son. But, the romance between them is pretty awesome. I love that he can bring her out of her darkness and he refuses to give into her, instead he shows her what it means to live. It was kind of weird. But, the book was still a good emotional read about two characters that were trying for each other.

Good: The romance between Toby and Kennedy, especially their first night together, but including ever one of their nights together. It threw me off a bit.


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The lack of happiness--Generally when reading why empathize with the characters and what is happening to them, we smile when they smile, we hurt when they hurt. Overall Writing style, story line, and general : Overall it was still an enjoyable read. I still like the characters and the serious situation they go through and really did enjoy the romance and they way the responded to each other. I received an ARC copy, so any of the timeline of grammatical issues are hopefully corrected in the finished copy.

This review will also be posted at www. But the rich never have empty closets, and memories long stashed away come spilling free when notorious party girl Kennedy Gilbert almost dies This review will also be posted at www. Once again Lyla Payne has shown us an aspect of what goes on at every college campus across the nation…drug use. Toby was trying so hard to help Kennedy, while dealing with his own demons. He wanted to help her and love her. He knows how destructive the life she is living can be to not only the person using but to those who love and care about you.

She honestly began to trust Toby and have real feelings for him, but her demons made her doubt herself. I felt a connection with Toby, my uncle was an addict and lost his battle with addiction years ago but even know thinking back on it still hurts. I could feel his pain and frustration when trying to get Kennedy help but knowing until she wanted it for herself his effort was useless. I hope that there will be more books to this series as I have enjoyed each book immensely so far.

Be My Downfall is the best by far from this series — book cover and story wise. It has the depth with the complications and feels. It has the toughest set of characters. Though the storyline was already used plenty of times and the way things were settled was pretty abrupt for my taste, the overall story was tugging and beautiful. Kennedy is one of the toughest characters I have encountered. She has the most twisted thinking and twisted life. Be My downfall is simply not about that.

Seeing their relationship develop is wonderful. Lyla Payne keeps getting better and better into building this superficial world of these college students. I enjoyed every twist, turns and sweet nottings that this book offers. A highly recommended read!


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Will he get his own story Ms. Jul 15, Autumn Review rated it really liked it Shelves: review , arc , blog-tours. I really enjoyed Be My Downfall. I will say that it was the darker of the three books in the series, in my opinion. The issues both Toby and Kennedy face are intense, emotional, and a bit heartbreaking. I liked Toby from the first book. I'm happy with the way things worked out for Em, but Toby is a really good guy.

I had hopes that he would find someone worthy of him.

In this book, he meets the campus nutcase, Kennedy, at a party he's hosting over break. It's clear from the start that this girl I really enjoyed Be My Downfall. It's clear from the start that this girl has some very serious issues. Not only does she seem to party hard, but there is obviously something else that she's battling with. Toby feels drawn to her. He wants to help her. See, Toby had a brother that struggled with drug addiction. It was devastating to his family and still haunts them. So, I think Toby saw that Kennedy needed help, but he didn't fully understand the depth to Kennedy's issues.

But, he wanted to be there to help her, understand her, and show her love. Toby proved, once again, that he's one of the good ones. Oh my, poor Kennedy. I won't discuss the reasons why Kennedy is the way she is in detail, but I will say that she struggles with two very serious issues. My heart broke for Kennedy. She was so lost and lonely. There was something about Toby that made her feel.

Like Toby, she was drawn to him. He seemed to give her peace and hope that maybe she could be ok with being happy again. Throughout the book, there are flashback scenes that tell the story of what happened to Kennedy. I liked getting those chapters, but the time sequence was a bit all over the place. I don't have a problem going back in time, etc, but these scenes were a but jumpy to me. The other thing I felt like I wanted more information about or feel was unresolved was this issue with Toby's brother. I was curious to know what happened with that situation.

Overall, I really enjoyed it. I've enjoyed all of the couples in this series, but I think Toby and Kennedy touched me just a little bit more. Likely because they made me feel the most. It was great to see all the characters again too. I was curious to see how they would all tie together considering the way Toby and Em's friendship stood. I had a smile on my face every time yummy Cole came into a scene. He makes me smile. I'm really enjoying the Whitman University Series and look forward to what's to come. Definitely check this one out! I've been watching you since we met in St.

Moritz, and the saddest part is, you want to be happy. We have to figure out how to that okay. I received it just a few days before I got diagnosed with leukemia and everything in my life became a blur of chaos. Be My Downfall was a welcome escape from the reality I was living in that moment. Toby has had a minor role in each of the first two books in the serie 4. Toby has had a minor role in each of the first two books in the series and I was looking very forward to the day when he would get his own book. Of all the guys in the Whitman University world, I've found him to be the most human and the most introspective, even though he initially came off as having a harsh side.

Kennedy Gilbert was an entirely new character, known for her penchant to party and notorious for her truly death-defying moments while imbibing. She chooses alcohol over friends and attachment to any people. Toby is facing the pressure in his future professional life from his parents who don't support his dreams to be a writer and wish he would pursue the business-side of filmmaking, if he pursues it at all.

Each of them are so broken in their own ways that the odds that they should be able to come together seem extremely slim, yet they seem drawn to each other. Against those odds, they manage to be for each other the one person who can help them heal their wounds. Lyla dealt with a really difficult topic in the form of alcoholism, especially considering the degree to which Kennedy is affected by it. At the beginning of the novel, it seems like death by alcohol poisoning is Kennedy's future.

Lyla handles it in a really authentic manner -- she doesn't sugarcoat it, glamorize it, or allow Kennedy to suddenly be magically fixed by a boy. She struggles, she relapses, she even disappears for awhile. Broken at Love, the first in the series, was absolute perfection to me. While I loved By Referral Only and I enjoyed the sweeter story of Ruby and Cole, I remained extremely partial to Broken at Love, because I felt Lyla really captured each character so well and wrote the multiple points of view seamlessly. But Be My Downfall was so well done and really dealt with some of the nitty gritty things, making it so unique.

While I do remain taken with with Broken at Love I have a habit of loving the first book in the series the most , Be My Downfall edged out By Referral Only to take the spot of my second favorite book in the Whitman University series -- and it's definitely worth a read.

If you love it as much as I did, you'll finish it in one sitting. Aug 10, Eileen Proksch rated it it was amazing. This is one of the most emotional books I've read lately. Lyla Payne has a way with words, and if you consider that the story was only told from the male character's POV, Toby Wright, it gives you even more reasons to be speechless. It's not only about love. It's about loss, pain, finding yourself, accepting who you are and mostly about living life. Toby Wright is not the typical golden boy.

He doesn't get into trouble, doesn't drink much and is a good student. Kennedy Gilbert is not the typical girl. She's barely ever sober, doesn't plan her future and only takes classes she neither has to work for nor attend. Even though Toby knows it's not a wise idea, he gets involved with Kennedy and her countless problems. Kennedy tries her best to push Toby away, to not feel anything good because she doesn't deserve it, and to piss him off. She has more problems than anyone ever noticed and tries to handle them her way.

Toby failed once but now he wants to do the right thing. After spending some weeks with a notorious party girl and witnessing her ways of handling life he realizes it's not that easy to save her from herself. How do you handle someone who's so willingly throwing her life away? How do you live when the only person left in your life tells you that you don't deserve to be alive?

I already loved the first two books in Lyla Payne's Whitman University Series but this one is by far my favorite. Maybe it's because it's written from the male POV only, or because of the fact that it's not only about young love.