28 September 2013


Title: Be My Downfall (Whitman University #3)
Author: Lyla Payne
Publisher: 310 Pages (September 20th, 2013)
From: the Author
Format: eARC
Add to: Goodreads
Order a copy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, Amazon UK

Check out my review for: Broken At Love (Whitman University #1)
Check out my review for: By Referral Only (Whitman University, #2)
Check out my review for: Be My Downfall (Whitman University, #3)

NOTE: This is a "New Adult" novel. Due to mature content this title is recommended for ages 17+

Synopsis: Toby Wright has always prided himself on being one of the most normal guys at Whitman University. He loves his parents, has a great job lined up after graduation, and with the exception of attempting to cross the unbalanced Sebastian Blair sophomore year, has kept his nose pretty clean.

But the rich never have empty closets, and memories long stashed away come spilling free when notorious party girl Kennedy Gilbert almost dies in his dorm room.

Nobody really knows how Kennedy manages to stay in good standing at Whitman–she never goes to class, doesn’t pretend to care about her future, and as far as people can tell, is never sober. This isn’t her first meeting with a stomach pump, but it is the first time she’s woken up to Toby’s concerned brown eyes. Despite the fact that she prefers life without friends, he gets under her skin with his insistence on playing her guardian angel.

No one knows better than Toby that people can only be saved if they want to be, but the realization that she has no one else draws him back into the shadows of Kennedy’s life–and eventually into her bed. But she long ago came to terms with a truth that Toby refuses to accept: she doesn’t want to be rescued, she only wants to forget.

Unwilling to give up on her, Toby’s dragged under by this broken girl and her dark, twisted Whitman University he never guessed existed. If he struggles to the surface, he’ll abandon someone he loves for the second time in his life. If he doesn’t, it won’t be long until they both drown.

Author Interview:

Hi Lyla! Welcome back to the blog! It’s always great to have you here. I’m so excited to talk with you today about the latest in your Whitman University Series – Be My Downfall.

First off I should mention that while I’m typing up these questions I’m in the middle of reading Be My Downfall and my heart is breaking part of the time, I’m stressing out some of the time and I’m swooning through both. What was the hardest part in writing Toby and Kennedy’s story?

Thanks for having me Lisa, and for the compliments! The hardest part was how fond I grew of Toby and Kennedy, and knowing their journey would be hard for both of them. I wanted to be real about the struggles of the friends and family who love people with addiction issues, though. I just adore these two characters.

What do you hope people will take away from their story after reading?

Hmm. Maybe that you really never know what someone is dealing with behind their façade. People saw a drunk or a stupid party girl when they met Kennedy, but she’s dealing with so much more than that. It’s hard to remember, but important, I think.

If you could wish three things for Toby and Kennedy what would you wish for them?

That they would continue to treat their relationship like something rare and special, and keep working hard to communicate and strengthen their connection. Of all the WU couples I've written so far, I would actually say these two are the closest to maybe getting married after graduation.

Of the Whitman University Series, is there one character above all that you've connected with most? Or that has a special place in your heart a bit more than the others? If so why?

Well, those are two different questions. Ruby is the character that I connected with the most, because she’s just such a real girl. She’s insecure but strong, mouthy but defensive, cynical but dying to believe. She’s a little bit of all of us, I think.

As far as a place in my heart…Toby. Man, I just fell so unexpectedly in love with him. He’s vulnerable, he’s open about what he wants, but he’s strong enough that he doesn't let people walk all over him. I guess maybe he’s the kind of guy I’m looking for.

Could you ask Toby and Kennedy to describe each other in 3 words?

Toby: Kennedy is…enigmatic, funny, and honest.
Kennedy: There are so many words! My top 3 would have to be affectionate, frank, and intuitive.

And lastly can you tell me us who’s up next for the Whitman University series? Who’s the boy we’ll all be swooning over next? Also.. since we’re talking about characters.. when is Sebastian getting a book? I mean I can’t stand the guy, but I’d love to see what happens when he meets his match! 

The couple in the next book is going to be Sam Bradford and Blair Paddington! You’re the first person I've told, so…that’s exciting! As far as Sebastian, he is going to get the 5th Whitman U book. I already know who his love interest is, and I’m excited to write it. Incidentally, you also know her already. wink

Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule Lyla! I’m a huge fan and will be forever waiting for whatever you write next. Feel free to stop by anytime!

Thank you so much for reading!!! #GoOwls



Lyla Payne Bio: 

I’ve long had a love of stories. A few years ago decided to put them down on the page, and even though I have a degree in film and television, novels were the creative outlet where I found a home. I’ve published Young Adult under a different name, but when I got the idea for Broken at Love (my first New Adult title), I couldn’t wait to try something new – and I’m hooked.  In my spare time I watch a ton of tennis (no surprise, there), play a ton of tennis, and dedicate a good portion of brain power to dreaming up the next fictitious bad boy we’d all love to meet in real life.

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