Thursday, February 1, 2018

Closing Grace by Trisha Grace

Please note that since I've read this book it was included in the Ghosts of the Past Series as book 2. 

I received this book in exchange for an honest review.

When I read the teaser chapter in the back of Moving On (Book 1 in the Series) I wasn't sure that I wanted to continue. But curiosity got the better of me and I opened Closing Books. The part that was bothering me was the "out of no where" new problem that Evelyn suddenly had. The book picks up where Moving on left off. Tyler and Kate are back but this story centers on the relationship between Dan and Evelyn.

Evelyn is a survival strong type of person. She wears her mask to hide feelings, because her childhood taught her that feelings were not something that should not be shared. Dan is perplexing. He's the older, and often ignored, sibling to the unforgettable Joanne. Yet he's not bitter about his sister getting pampered. He comes across as friendly but shy. And he definitely has his hands full with trying to manage any sort of relationship with the queen of "no second dates".

The story quickly pulls you in and I ended up reading the whole book in a few days. (Note: I read fast and can devote several hours to reading at a time). While the whole series is Christian based these two characters are not devout. Evelyn would probably classify as more Atheist than anything. Dan is pretty non-committal. That may be the reason that this book seemed a more preachy in sections than the previous book.

There are sections where Kate is trying to explain God, and His love and His plan. It was borderline "if I wanted to hear a sermon I'd go to church." Most of the time when I get to these types of sections I just stop reading. The one reason I didn't is because it really did fit with the characters. There is no magical "you've accepted God and now life is perfect," but Kate's harping got old. Evelyn's first encounter with the Bible is because she needs something to bore her to sleep. Which I had to laugh over because it is so her character.

Because the story is really a continuation of the previous book, it wraps up the loose ends that I wasn't to happy about in my review of Moving On. There were a lot of "Didn't see that coming" moments. But there were also some "Really? That was it?" moments. I suspected Evelyn's secret to be worse than it was. The loose ends of the previous book were wrapped up with the drama in Evelyn's life which seemed contrived.

The best part of the book, by far, was the interaction between Dan and Evelyn as they figured out their relationship. I could feel how conflicted Dan was. I could feel how Evelyn struggled with her desire to be loved and her belief that no one would. Watching the two of them struggle with their own insecurities and issues made the final few chapters that much more rewarding.

The writing was very well done. Even when Kate lost her temper, she did so in a way that only worked for her character. The mystery, the suspense and the love story were all very done. I would recommend this book, but strongly encourage readers to read Moving On first so that the back story makes sense.