10 August 2014

Grace For Drowning by Maya Cross

 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, I couldn’t not 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.

I feel like I need to start this book off by making it clear that I love Maya Cross.  I have loved all her books I have read so far.  They are deep.  They are sexy.  They are just done well and it’s always a pleasure to be sucked into the worlds she creates and the characters that live within them. 
This is a super dark read.  Grace is a very dark place and has had a lot of tragedy in her life.  She is not just depressed and self-medicating with alcohol, she’s basically at her rock bottom and ready to just give up on life all together.  Graces’ dark world is bathed in light by an unlikely source, our hero Logan.  Unlikely because the demons he fights and the tragedies he has lived through are comparable to Grace’s.  The only difference is that he’s learned to channel those feelings into his MMA career.  When he meets Grace, he understands her and wants to help her.  The problem is that the only way to help her is to let her know him…and he doesn’t want anyone to get that close.  But the chemistry between these two, with their shared pain, is undeniable.  They become friends and then it blossoms into more.  The real question is if they can make what they have last on such a shaky foundation.
This book was a whole lot darker than I thought it would be, but I thought Maya handled some really serious topics very delicately and well and with a lot of respect.  Grace and Logan are truly two characters that just got each other, and they were so well constructed that even though I have not had similar experiences in my own life, I got them too. 
The whole storyline, save the end, was really up my alley.  I love the slow build of trust and attraction between characters, and we are given this in spades in this story.  I felt that the pace was realistic and not too crazy over the top.  What WAS crazy over the top was Logan and his alphaness.  I mean, I appreciate a good alpha male but there were a few points that just left me thinking “ok, too much” and quite frankly if I experienced them in real life with a man it would definitely freak me out.  But, I guess Logan is just….Logan.  And if I had to take him as he is or leave him, I’d definitely take him.
Overall, I did really enjoy this book.  I was REALLY wrapped up in it and finished it very fast.  The end I found to be a bit disappointing.  I felt that we had gone through sooo much with these two people, all the pain and drama, that rolling it into another book just seemed a bit exhausting.  So, yes there will be a book two, and because I’m a masochist I will read it and hope against hope that it ends well for these two characters.  4.5 stars.

Grace for Drowning is an emotional rollercoaster ride of a read and I loved every freaking minute of it. It is not a sappy romance. It is not heart and flowers. There is no charming billionaire to sweep a naïve young thing off her feet. This is not a boy meets girl, falls in love, and they live happily ever after tale either. This is the story of a broken boy meeting a broken girl and their attempt to find happiness despite the odds stacked against them. And above all else, it is a story of hope; while Ms. Cross does not give Logan and Grace a neatly written, tied-up-with-a-bow happy ending, she does give them hope.

Because of the ways in which Grace and Logan are broken, their characters felt so real to me. I connected with Grace and understood her loss, the accompanying depression, and the desire to numb herself to the pain. Although I don’t have a personal experience that compares with Logan’s, I can empathize with his feelings of being lost and how his PTSD has affected him since leaving the service. The way in which their alcoholism was presented by Ms. Cross merely added one more layer to making the characters seem so real – at least for me. That the story was told from both Grace and Logan’s point of views made the story that much more enjoyable as it gave me insight into their feelings and actions.

Ms. Cross has penned a beautifully written story that made me laugh and made me cry; she made me fall in love and she broke my heart; and she gave me a book that I know I will read again many times. Grace and Logan’s story is beautiful. And I have to say that I adore Joy and want a friend just like her. Well done Ms. Cross.   


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