Badass Hidden Gem: Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone

fallenfromgraceFallen from Grace by Laura Leone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: Jun 1, 2004

While trying to save her spiraling career, Sara Diamond befriends her new next door neighbor, Ryan Kinsmore. A soft-spoken younger man with charm and good looks, Ryan leads a mysterious double life which becomes increasingly hard for him to conceal from Sara as their intimacy grows.

Even after Ryan falls in love with her and stops pretending to himself that this isn’t wrong, that Sara won’t be hurt by their relationship, he can’t give her up or walk away.

As Sara learns the truth about him, trapped in a world of lies, danger, and sex-for-hire, Ryan becomes determined to find a way out of the life he was drawn into as a runaway minor, and equally determined to rescue a street kid whom he finds falling into the same traps which once caught him. But Ryan’s secret life is lived in a ruthless world which won’t easily let him go. Having fallen so far from grace, can he find his way back?

D.G.’s Rating: 4 stars = B+

Horrible cover notwithstanding, Fallen from Grace is one of the best contemporary romances I’ve read in a long time. With a topic like this, you expect the book to be somewhat sordid but nothing farther from the truth. The story was romantic, tender and real enough that I was able to understand the circumstances of a person in the life. How the author was able to balance a real love story and a background of prostitution, rape and abuse is beyond me but she did a great job at it.

The relationship between the hero and heroine was really beautiful. Love came first and expressions of lust second, which I think it was really appropriate given the hero’s profession. This is a romance in the true sense of the word so there’s a lot of internal dialogue about their relationship and feelings, balanced in such a way that there are not overwrought declarations or maudlin dialogue.

The author did an amazing job unfolding the details of Ryan’s life and his reasons for staying in the life. I really cannot fault him for thinking he couldn’t get out. Given where he came from and what he had to endure, his reasons made perfect sense. I was also glad that the author took some time to illustrate why people in his situation are so distrustful of The Man. You may think that a lot of these situations can be solved by involving the establishment without realizing that sometimes the laws of the land have helped create these problems in the first place. It was good to see a different perspective.

The heroine was really a good fit for Ryan. We don’t get to know much about her past except about the problems with her career. I cannot imagine what it must be to lose a job you love but as you can imagine, her issues where not as dire as Ryan’s so they didn’t grab me as much.

I usually don’t talk about the secondary characters in reviews but the ones in this book were really great; enough that they illustrated something about the hero and heroine but not so many that they took over the book.

So please, if you are looking for a great romantic story and don’t mind the tough theme, please pick this one up. Even with that cover (what were they thinking?) it’s a book you wouldn’t want to pass up.BaBR Hidden Gem

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