Published: June 28, 2018
Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again.
After fifteen years together, he walked away from me, and into the arms of another.
I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t know my worth. I didn’t know how to exist without him by my side.
All I wanted was for him to come back to me.
Then, Jackson Emery appeared.
He was supposed to be a distraction for my mind. A summer fling. A confidence boost to my bruised heart.
We were perfect for one another, because we both knew we wouldn’t last. Jackson didn’t believe in commitment, and I no longer believed in love. He was too closed-off for me, and I was too damaged for him.
Everything was fine, until one night my heart skipped a beat.
I didn’t expect him to make me laugh. To make me think. To make my sadness somewhat disappear.
When our time was up, my heart didn’t know how to walk away.
Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again, yet slowly my prayers began to shift toward the man who wasn’t right for me.
I prayed for one more smile, one more kiss, one more laugh, one more touch…
I prayed for him to be mine.
Even though I knew his heart wasn’t destined to love.
First and foremost, Disgrace is the story of a woman who has suffered horribly in her marriage – going home to find herself. After multiple (seven, to be exact) miscarriages, gut-wrenching betrayal, and an impending divorce, the heroine, Grace, doesn’t really know who she is anymore. She’s lived her life as the perfect daughter, the perfect community member, the perfect wife, and where has it gotten her? Going through a divorce at 30 with nothing to show for her marriage but damaged self-esteem and a douchebag ex.
What I loved most about Grace was that even though she was struggling to find herself and still kind of wanted to be the people-pleaser she’d been raised to be, she wasn’t ever weak. Confused, sure. But not weak. She never turned her back on Jackson, the hero, or his family, even though doing so would’ve made her life considerably easier. She was broken, but not beaten, and when push came to shove, she was a good person and a solid friend to Jackson. Her strength of character was nothing short of inspirational.
And Jackson…oh, honey. My heart just broke for him. He’d lost his mother, his dad was the town drunk, everyone called him a monster, and he was stuck in a town where charity and kindness seemed available to everyone but him. And worst of all, he couldn’t leave because he’d promised his mom (on her deathbed, no less), that he’d take care of his father.
The ‘Prologue’ is where we first meet ten year old ‘Jackson Emery’ as he learns one of life’s heartbreaking lessons when he sees his mother walking out the door proclaiming that she’s not in love with his father any more. Life from that point onwards forever changes him and his father.
So, here’s this (inwardly) sweet, gentle man stuck living a miserable lonely life in an awful town and pretending to be a complete asshole so that no one would ever know just how much their cruel nicknames and petty gossip really hurt him. He’s exactly what Grace says he is: a gentle monster. I loved every single word written from this gentle monster’s point of view. He was FLAWLESS.
Did he treat Grace badly in the beginning? Yes, he said some awful things to her. But his actions contradict his words, and it didn’t take long for Grace (and me as a reader) to see what a good man Jackson really is. Jackson is officially on my list of all-time favorite book boyfriends. (His former manwhore ways are completely forgiven)
There are so many other things I could say but I don’t post spoilers. There is sadness, frustration, a huge surprise twist and redemption.
So, long-story-short, if you love an emotional, deeply touching romance that’ll make you cry a little because it’s all so beautiful and so REAL, give this one a go. You won’t be disappointed.