The cover of the German edition caught my eye immediately. I fell in love with the different shades of blue, the elegant style, and the motive. Oh yes, this is the perfect cover. This book is the well-written sequel to All In. This time, it is all about Alexander de la Grip, and the plot is somehow darker, the passion is more erotic and you will see a female protagonist with two gorgeous sides within her personality. Oh yes, this novel is very close to an erotic novel and contains some very graphic scenes.

Ein Einziges Geheimnis*
by Simona Ahrnstedt
High Stakes #2
English Title Falling
Publisher LYX/INK on April 7, 2016
Genre Love-Women-Erotica
Pages 669
Format Softcover
Source Publisher

They couldn´t be any more different. Alexander de la Grip, Sweden’s Jet set-Prince, who´s known for only two things: his good looks and his women stories. And Isobel Sørensen, a passionate doctor who risks her life in dangerous crisis regions to help other people. They live in different worlds. And there is nothing that connects them. But when Isobel´s help organization Medpax all of the sudden faces the financial collapse, their ways cross. Because now Isobel needs what Alexander has abundant: Money. The closer she gets to know Alexander, the more it becomes clear, that behind the façade of the rich playboy hides another man. A man who spends his nights with sex and parties to escape the cruel emptiness inside him. And soon it is impossible for Isobel to stay away from him.
Alexander tries to flee the demons of his past and the callousness of his family by partying and with his alcohol excesses. The picture he shows to the public that way is perfect for him since it distracts nevertheless from his real work and it the only way he can think of to keep his family from having any expectations in him. But all that is about to change, when he meets Isobel and has to realize that he wants her more than anything in his life. But Isobel doesn´t approve of his lifestyle, though she needs his money very badly to keep her organization alive to help those in need.

In this second part of her trilogy, the tone is a lot darker, more profound, and more restrained. The reader sees things he could only guess in the first book. Despite that the writing style is fresh and the reading speed is fast. The tone scale goes from cynical over ironic up to sarcastic. A very charming mixture with the dark atmosphere and very interesting to read. Through an invisible narrator, the reader gets involved in a story that goes from the superficially New Yorker party life to very promising lunch in Stockholm to very explosive fight scenes in Chad garnished with hot sex scenes. One thing I liked was that I could also see what had become with Natalia and David, the main figures from the first book All In. And to see how Peter de la Grip is doing was also a bonus. As I said earlier, there are some graphic scenes in this novel. Isobel is a character who prefers to have a certain kind of sexual activity and with Alexander, she is able to live her dark sexual fantasies to the fullest. 

But I have to admit, that this second book wasn´t as much haunting and thrilling as the first one was. Sure, I had a great time reading it, and to see two worlds clash together was fascinating but the first book is still the best of this trilogy to me.

The de la Grip family has changed – a lot, to be precise. And you can see that in this novel. The human cold of a family, which almost suffocates in traditions and old fashion values and finally breaks apart because of all that, is shown by the author in a decent and very sensitive way. Okay, it is weird to read the things from this a bit different perspective. Because in this novel it is mostly the male species that is insecure and holds themselves back and doesn´t know how to handle real life.

Isobel is a tough doctor, with the panic fear that she´s seen by the others as a piker. So she pushes herself always beyond her limits. She can look straight into the mouth of a gun, but she can´t show any backbone against her mother. And when it comes to Alexander she is a helpless wreck and reacts like a stubborn child every time he isn´t acting as she thought he´d be. Instead of asking him about it, she jumps to conclusions and they are mostly wrong. That started to annoy me very soon since it seemed to be a bad habit of her.

Alexander is a rich man who doesn´t need his family. Not the family fortune and for sure not the approval of his father. He is independent and likes to show the world a completely different face. But behind that is a man hidden, who uses the drinking and the parties to hide from the dark shadows his childhood has left. A really profound and fascinating character in my eyes.

Not as great as the first book was, but this second book has its own wonderful moments and knows to entertain the reader. Read.

Happy reading

*I read the German edition new release April 7, 2016, by LYX/INK. This book will be published by Kensington on July 25, 2017, with the title Falling. 

Simona Ahrnstedt
Simona Ahrnstedt ©Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin

Simona Ahrnstedt was born in Prague and is a licensed psychologist, a cognitive behavioral therapist, and most importantly, a bestselling author. As her novels have swept bestseller lists in her native Sweden, she has become a spokesperson for books by women, for women, and about women. Her provocative women´s fiction has been sold in multiple languages as well as audio format. She lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her two teenagers.


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