Genre: Contemp/Fighter Romance
Publication Date: 6/29/14
Rating: 4 stars
Hope is a dangerous thing. I know that more than most. Everything good I've ever had has been stolen from me — my friends, my fiance, my innocence, some would say even my sanity. All I have left is the cage. Fighting is the only thing that eases the ache inside me even a little. It’s the only thing that keeps the bottle at bay.
I was content to ride out my life alone. I was done dreaming that things could be better. But then I met Grace, and suddenly, all I could do was dream.
She's battling those same demons, only she's losing. I don’t want to care, but something about her calls to me. That pain in her eyes is so sharp, so familiar. I know it’s only a matter of time before it pulls her below the surface.
I can help her, and maybe, just maybe, she can help me too. For the first time in what feels like forever, I’ve got hope, and that scares the hell out of me.
This is a full length novel with no cliffhanger. There will be a sequel, but this book resolves all the story elements by the end. It is written with dual perspectives, so both Logan and Grace get their say.
Hope is a dangerous thing, but now it's a risk that I'm willing to take.
Grace For Drowning was a deeply introspective story of two "broken" people, struggling, and finding redemption in one another. I use the word broken lightly in my reviews these days, because it is so common and I find myself desensitized to the issues. I think a lot of other readers have this problem, as well. But in this book, I think it's an accurate description.
Logan and Grace are both brought down by real problems. For Grace, she's struggling with guilt and depression after losing a loved one. She's struggling to move forward, but it is so very hard. For Logan, the effects of life as a soldier, along with troubles re-acclimating into society have played havoc on his mind and heart. When the two meet at Grace's lowest point, they set off on a path to a better future.
Here's the deal: I really admire author Maya Cross's take on these characters, and how she develops their story. The fact that both have had issues with alcohol dependence and how this plays into their story, was well-done. I think it is very important to point out that Grace and Logan are not "healed" by each other or sex. Yes, they have a very sexy relationship, and it could be extremely steamy and playful at times. But, that's not what fixes them. And the simple fact they're together doesn't fix them, either. Logan's struggles with PTSD will likely never disappear entirely. Grace will always feel some guilt over her loss. But the strength they provide each other, the advice, simply listening, being there, can all have a healing impact on another person. What Grace and Logan give each other are the two most powerful feelings of all: hope and peace.
I feel like I'm being so vague with this review! I know I am. What I will say about Grace For Drowning is, in a sea of books filled with exaggerations, melodrama, Band-Aid-covered issues, this book does not fall into that pattern. It is a sexy, angsty, emotionally-driven story that I devoured, and I do recommend it.
A sense of peace began to descend on me, and it wasn't just the peace of seclusion and silence, it was something deeper. Something that seemed to seep through me all the way to my bones. That constant undercurrent of tension that underlined everything I did felt more muted than it had in years.
"Will you sit here with me for a while?" I asked.
"As long as you want."
We were two broken halves making something that vaguely resembled a whole. Well adjusted Grace and decorated soldier Logan didn't belong together. She'd never get me without the shit she'd been through, and I'd never get her without mine. Pain has a way of stripping you down, burning away your masks until it's just the core that's left. We found each other because of that, and so I couldn't begrudge it, no matter how much I might have wanted to.
About Maya Cross
Maya Cross is a writer who enjoys making people blush. Growing up with a mother who worked in a book store, she read a lot from a very young age, and soon enough picked up a pen of her own. She’s tried her hands at a whole variety of genres including horror, science fiction, and fantasy, but funnily enough, it was the sexy stuff that stuck. She has now started this pen name as an outlet for her spicier thoughts (they were starting to overflow). She likes her heroes strong but mysterious, her encounters sizzling, and her characters true to life.
She believes in writing familiar narratives told with a twist, so most of her stories will feel comfortable, but hopefully a little unique. Whatever genre she's writing, finding a fascinating concept is the first, and most important step.
The Alpha Group is her first attempt at erotic romance.
When she's not writing, she's playing tennis, trawling her home town of Sydney for new inspiration, and drinking too much coffee.