Monday, May 16, 2011

Fallen From Grace by Laura Leone

This is an amazing story, and not at all what I thought it would be. For whatever reason – and I can’t recall how or where I came by this idea, I was expecting another run-of-the-mill erotic read. Well, I was wrong, and not just a little wrong, but completely wrong.

Fallen from Grace is a contemporary romance novel, and one of the best I’ve read in a long while. This isn’t a light, carefree story but even though it does show some of the harsher sides of reality, it’s not dark or depressing. In fact, given the subject matter, it’s pretty inspiring. In addition to a great story, the characters are wonderful people who are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but they are the kind of people I’d like to have as friends and neighbors, because they’re honest, good and caring people, men and women who struggle to make the best of their lives.

The very nature of this story is controversial, but Laura Leone did a fabulous job tackling the issues that Ryan and Sara had to face in this book, without copping out and ignoring the harsher aspects of life on the streets for a teen age boy. Abuse, hunger, rape, prostitution… it’s all in there and done with no-holds-barred honesty, yet with a depth of compassion that had me nearly weeping for what Ryan had endured. She didn’t glamorize the life, nor did she try to make excuses for Ryan’s choices. What she did do, though, was prove why we mere mortals have no business casting judgments on each other because without having all the facts, we can’t possibly understand why someone like Ryan would make the choices he did, and Ms. Leone did so without being preachy! No small accomplishment, that.

So, the bottom line? If you’re looking for a thought provoking contemporary romance that isn’t shaped from the same cookie-cutter that so many in this category are, I’d strongly suggest giving Fallen from Grace a try. I bet you’ll be as pleasantly surprised as I was.

A big hug and thank you to my friend, Autumn, for this wonderful birthday present. This story will stay with me always!


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