August 23, 2013

Spotlight on: A Graceful Mess by Nacole Stayton

Title:   A Graceful Mess
Author:  Nacole Stayton
Genre: Contemporary Romance/Erotica
Publication Date:  August 27, 2013
Photographer: Toski
Cover Designed By:  Perfect Pear Creative
Event organized by: Literati Author Services

Hiding behind the anguish from my past, my coyness seeps off of me like an aroma. I have felt like a stranger in my own skin, trying to claw my way out for far too long, allowing very few people to see past my façade…until my eyes met with his. I felt a sudden rush of energy all the way to my core. It jolted me in ways I never thought possible.

Never in a million years would I have expected to be in the mess I am today. It all leads back to the night Parker Porter turned my world upside down. The night his hazel eyes undressed me, peeling away the layers of the woman I tried so hard to be. He awoke desires that burned deep within me and changed me in one quick glance, leaving me vulnerable and exposed, picking up the shattered pieces of my carefully constructed life…a life I should not be living…a life I was not born into, but placed into by the state of Maine.

Parker opened a door that I am far from closing until I have answers and am able to face the life I was destined to live. I just have to decide if his love is worth the mess.

“They say be careful of the quiet ones.” –Grace

Warning: This book is intended for readers 18+ due to explicit language and sexual encounters.

A Graceful MessA Graceful Mess by Nacole Stayton

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book started off really slow for me. I was just fixing to give up hope and write it off for good, and then all of a sudden it drew me in. The first part of the story came across as very immature. I'm not sure if it was from the writing itself, the portrayal of the main character Grace and her friend Mia, or a combination of both. Whatever it was, it didn't work for me. However, the story picked up momentum whenever Grace meets Parker Porter, the private investigator who has been hired to tail her, and they have an immediate connection and a subsequent sexual encounter. From here, the story really found its rhythm and got good.

Grace Clearwater has just graduated from four years of college and is fixing to head directly back into three more years of law school. She has focused exclusively on school for the last four years and pretty much closed herself off to anyone except her immediate family and her best friend. However, she has a good reason as she has suffered a very traumatic and horrible past. When she runs into Parker Porter at a local bar one night, she throws caution to the wind and jumps into bed with him - an action that is very un-Grace like. It doesn't take Parker very long to realize that he is falling in love with Grace, which is a bad thing because he is compromised in the worst possible way. He tries to stay away from her, but he's in so deep that he can't stand to be apart. He also can't quite bring himself to reveal the truth about his situation because he knows it would break her heart. As events start to unfold, and lies and deceit start to pile up, Parker knows that he's only digging in deeper, but he can't risk losing Grace. And then things take a turn for the worse and he knows that he has to tell Grace the truth or risk losing her forever.

This book deals with a lot of heavy issues, and there are some parts that will just break your heart. My heart hurt for Grace and all of the terrible things she has had to endure. It is amazing that she was still as trusting and loving toward Parker as she was, and hadn't turned into a bitter shell of a woman. The relationship that develops between the two of them is beautiful to read about, and Nacole Stayton did a masterful job letting it develop naturally and breathe. And Parker is hands down one of the all-time best book boyfriends that I have ever read about. He is unbelievably sweet and romantic and considerate (except for the whole lying thing), and he also has a dominant bad boy side that likes to come out and play in the bedroom. Yummy! I was really rooting for him and Grace to find a way to work things out, even though the odds were seriously stacked against their favor.

I loved the conclusion to the book, and the epilogue was just perfect! I was left feeling fulfilled, satisfied, and extremely happy when I flipped the last page of the story. Overall, I really, really liked it. It was a slow starter, but I promise that if you can push past the beginning, A Graceful Mess is one dang good book!

View all my reviews

About the Author
Christian “Nacole” Stayton is twenty-something years young and currently resides in the Bluegrass state. She spends her days working at a local hospital in the billing department and nights writing vigorously on her current novel. She has a passion for helping others and wears her University of Kentucky gear proudly. While her husband loves all things outdoors, Nacole enjoys the finer things in life like getting pedicures while reading on her Kindle Fire. She is passionate about her faith, family and The Bachelor. Her hair color changes with the seasons and she has a weakness for tattoos, iced coffee, and happy endings.

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