Title: Secrets & Seduction #4: His Saving Grace
Author: Sharon Cullen
Release Date: December 23, 2014
Genre: Historical, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: Tasty Book Tours
Perfect for fans of Mary Balogh, Sharon Cullen’s captivating novel tells the deeply emotional tale of two devoted lovers facing the ravages of war.
For months now, Lady Grace Ashworth has mourned the death of her beloved husband—until the day a very-much-alive Michael arrives at her front door. It’s nothing less than a miracle. However, Grace soon realizes that this Michael isn’t the same man who left for the Crimean War. She’s stunned to learn that he has suffered a devastating head injury. Putting all her own desires aside, Grace resolves to devote herself to Michael’s recovery and to love him no matter what troubles may come.
Convinced that his wife is wasting her time on a broken man, Michael attempts to shield Grace from a life of inconvenience by driving her away. But Grace will have none of that. Despite every obstacle Michael throws in her path, she stubbornly soldiers on, fighting not only for their marriage but for the love they once shared. In the end, will her determination alone be enough to save Michael from the darkness that threatens to consume him?
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What an amazing tale of a love that was meant to be and two people who cannot be separated by anything but death.
Can you imagine what it'd be like to be the widow Grace, to have the life you've lived for the past year completely upended when your presumed-to-be-dead husband turns up very much alive at your front door? I would've screamed, fainted, maybe even slammed the door in his face. Not Grace. She was shocked, understandably so, but she reacted so...well to Michael's return. It gave visual proof to how much she missed him, how much longed for him, how much she merely existed without him.
I love how Grace dove into Michael's problems, and I love how persistent she was. There were times where I thought she'd give up, give in, admit defeat and leave him be. She didn't. She stuck to her guns and showed him that she not only wanted to be a part of his life, no matter what kind of life it was, but that she loved him regardless of how much the war had changed him.
For the majority of this story, I sympathized for Michael. His frustration with his disability was sincere and bled through the pages. I admired his attempts at keeping Grace away, even though she managed to slip by his defenses a little at a time. But I was fed up with his self-pity by the time Grace left him. It wasn't her choice; he made it for her, just like he made every other decision concerning their relationship and her happiness. His wallowing nearly cost him the one thing he claimed kept him alive and sane while at war. It nearly cost him the reason why he'd come home. He was given a second chance to be with the woman he loved and he almost blew it.
To say I was furious with his shortsightedness would be a huge understatement, because I. Was. Livid.
Thank God that was totally short lived though. Thank you, Ms. Cullen, for not drawing out the last third of the book dwelling on their separation, instead delving into their relationship being repaired and made better.
I've said before that I adore PTSD stories. They pull at the heartstrings, make me hate, sympathize, pity, and love the soldier who suffers from it. Michael and Grace's story did just that while making me sit with crossed fingers hoping everything turned out like it should. Everything did, of course, but that ending couldn't have been more perfect if not for the journey that got these two wonderful characters there.
Sharon Cullen is the author of the historical romances The Notorious Lady Anne, Loving the Earl, and Pleasing the Pirate, as well as many novels of romantic suspense, paranormal romance, and contemporary romance. If you’d like to find out more about the author and her books, you can visit her blog or her website. She is addicted to social networking so you can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Friend her! Like her! Follow her! She’d love to hang out with you and talk about her passion: books.