*I received a free copy of Forever Grace from Michem Publishing via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *
When injured police officer Sean McKittrick heads to his cottage, he’s planning on some much needed rest and recuperation. But the idyllic peace he expected to find is shattered by…children?
It’s not that Sean dislikes kids, he just isn’t interested in having any of his own. Or in settling down, for that matter. Ever. Unfortunately, the woman in charge of his young neighbors has an unsettling way of making him forget why.
Grace Daniels is attractive, single, and despite her brave face, overwhelmed by the responsibility of caring for three nieces and a nephew. When she helps Sean out of a jam, he feels obliged to return the favor, but he soon realizes there’s more to this cobbled-together little family than meets the eye. Grace is hiding something, a secret that piques Sean’s cop suspicions—and stirs his protective instincts.
As Sean digs for the truth, however, the line between professional curiosity and personal interest becomes increasingly blurred. A family might not be quite what he had in mind for his future, but he’s beginning to wonder if he can live without this one…or if he wants to.
I needed quite a bit of tissues while reading Forever Grace, because while this is a romance, it was also filled with sadness and fear. Beautifully written, with strong characters, it will stay with me a while.
My Forever Grace review:
Forever Grace is set in the same universe as Gwynne Ever After, and there are some short appearances of the characters that inhabited that story. A part from them, there are only a few characters present during most of the story, Grace and her three nieces and nephews, and Sean. At the beginning of the story, it was clear that both Grace and the children were afraid, and their fear didn’t have anything to do with being in a cabin away from civilisation. And those children were so well-behaved most of the time it was quite clear they had gone through a trauma that made them very careful about how they acted, and what they said.
As the story moved on, there was a lot of tension between Sean and Grace, and Forever Grace showed that they were both keeping something back, that they both had preconceived notions about what was or not appropriate when meeting someone new they were attracted to. I enjoyed that Sean especially realized that all the rules he had made for himself about not ever being involved with a woman who had kids was based more on the way his mom had acted when he was a kid than with what he himself thought of children.
Danger was always looming on the horizon in Forever Grace… as the story unfolded, we learned more about why Grace was taking care of her sister’s children. How her sister had ended up in the hospital. And of course, why they were hiding out there in the wilderness jumping at the slightest noise that seemed out of place. And all of their intricate stories were heart-breaking in their own ways. I had my heart beating so hard in my chest towards the end, when what Grace had kept the children hidden from showed up to annihilate everything Grace loved.
Written in third person, past tense, the story unfolds quite slowly, at a pace that is like the rhythm of nature in fall. Captivating characters and a strong story made Forever Grace one of my favorite reads of this summer.
Some of my favorite Forever Grace quotes:
He shook his head at himself. Those lapses were so out of character for him. He wished he cold blame it on her situation – the whole damsel in distress thing – but he couldn’t even do that. First of all he’d never had the slightest inclination to rescue someone before – not outside his job, anyway – and second, as overwhelmed as Grace might be, she was far too strong to want or accept rescuing.
Grace wiped her face dry and stared into the mirror at her reflection. Hell, her under-eye circles had circles at this point. She’d never looked – or felt – so tired in all her life. Or so helpless. Or so completely overwhelmed.
COYER Scavenger Hunt item #20 Read a book with a couple (two people) fully clothed on the front. (2 points)
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: