Grace for Drowning
Contemporary Fighter Romance
Hope is a dangerous thing. I know that more than most. Everything good I've ever had has been stolen from me — my friends, my fiancé, my innocence, some would say even my sanity. All I have left is the cage. Fighting is the only thing that eases the ache inside me even a little. It’s the only thing that keeps the bottle at bay.
I was content to ride out my life alone. I was done dreaming that things could be better. But then I met Grace, and suddenly, all I could do was dream.
She's battling those same demons, only she's losing. I don’t want to care, but something about her calls to me. That pain in her eyes is so sharp, so familiar. I know it’s only a matter of time before it pulls her below the surface.
I can help her, and maybe, just maybe, she can help me too. For the first time in what feels like forever, I’ve got hope, and that scares the hell out of me.
This is a full length novel with no cliffhanger. There will be a sequel, but this book resolves all the story elements by the end. It is written with dual perspectives, so both Logan and Grace get their say.
She stared up at me with wide, glistening eyes. The fear in that look wrenched at my heart like nothing I’d ever experienced before. You know the saying ‘a deer caught in the headlights’? Well that’s how she looked, only magnified a thousand times. I could almost see the last dominoes of her life tumbling over in her mind. It took every ounce of my willpower not to reach out and pull her against me.
“I know it’s embarrassing,” I continued, “and I know it hurts like hell and all you want to do is get through the day so you can knock yourself out and forget, but this right here, this is your chance to take a step forward. That’s the way to beat this thing. One step at a time. I can’t promise miracles. You’re not going to wake up in a week and feel like a million bucks. But doing something is better than doing nothing.”
She didn’t speak for a long time. “You keep saying you know what I’m going through,” she said eventually, her voice barely more than a whisper. “What do you mean?”
I closed my eyes momentarily. It was easy enough to tell someone else what they needed, but opening up myself was a whole different kettle of fish. I had my own triggers to worry about, and this was diving right into the center of them. But she had to hear it. She had to understand that we were on the same page.
“A lot of us veterans wind up with substance abuse problems once we’re back on home soil,” I said. “You know how if you go on vacation for a while, then come back home and try to do something like drive a car, it takes time to adjust?” She nodded. “Well, imagine that sensation, except you haven’t been in The Hamptons for three weeks. You’ve been in a combat zone for years, with bullets and IEDs and death all around you.”
I leaned back against the wall as images flashed unbidden across my mind. I hated that sensation, not being in control of my thoughts, like someone was playing a horror movie in the back of my head that I couldn’t pause or stop. “That shit leaves scars. And then you come back here to a place with supermarkets and traffic jams and street performers, and none of it makes any fucking sense. I felt like a god damn alien. Some days I still do. You try to explain it to someone, and they nod like they get it, but they don’t. How could they?”
I drew a deep breath, feeling myself getting choked up. I hadn’t talked about this in detail with anyone, not even Charlie. He was a vet too, so words weren’t necessary. He understood. Saying it out loud was painful. It made me feel weak, like I couldn’t handle my shit.
“I drank like an Irishman for the better part of a year, just trying to wash all that away. Looking back now, it’s pretty obvious I was in self destruct mode. A bomb with the timer ticking steadily down to zero.”
Her face was pulled tight, although I couldn’t tell if it was with grief for me or fear for herself. “And Charlie really helped you get that under control?” she asked.
“Yep. I have no doubt I’d be six feet under now if not for him. He’s a family friend. Served twenty years before mustering out to open the bar. He’s one of the reasons I enlisted in the first place. He saw I was circling the drain, and for some reason he decided he wasn’t going to let that happen.”
Her eyes fell to the floor and she leaned back against the wall, her body deflating like a balloon. “You make it sound so easy.”
I shook my head. “It wasn’t easy. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Still is. It never goes away, not completely. I’m probably going to be fighting it for the rest of my life, but at least now I know how to fight it.”
There was a long pause, and when she spoke, her voice was trembling. “I don’t know if I have the strength to fight this.”
We have something new from Maya Cross!! I love me a good fighter book. Definitely give me a fighter book with a damaged hero.
Logan has been through he!! and he survived. Well, barely survived that is. So when he sees Grace for the first time, he knows that she is suffering. He doesn’t have a clue who she is, just that she is going through her own he!!.
Grace was seeking comfort from the bottom of a bottle. She has lost everything she loved and when she knew it was time to find a new job, she had to do it sober. That certainly isn’t easy and Logan knows she can’t do it alone. The more he offers her help, the more she pushes him away.
Another thing they are afraid to face? The mutual attraction they feel for each other. Logan isn’t a good choice for Grace. At least, that’s how he feels. And, Grace doesn’t think enough time has passed since losing her fiancé. She deserves to be alone and is drowning in her guilt.
Grace and Logan have something to fight for now. Their story isn’t an easy one but it is beautiful. They both learn about what real strength is and how to fight for what is important. I truly enjoyed Grace for Drowning! Funny, sweet, heartbreaking and plenty of swooning.
Maya Cross is a writer who enjoys making people blush. Growing up with a mother who worked in a book store, she read a lot from a very young age, and soon enough picked up a pen of her own. She’s tried her hands at a whole variety of genres including horror, science fiction, and fantasy, but funnily enough, it was the sexy stuff that stuck. She has now started this pen name as an outlet for her spicier thoughts (they were starting to overflow). She likes her heroes strong but mysterious, her encounters sizzling, and her characters true to life.
She believes in writing familiar narratives told with a twist, so most of her stories will feel comfortable, but hopefully a little unique. Whatever genre she's writing, finding a fascinating concept is the first, and most important step.
The Alpha Group is her first attempt at erotic romance.
When she's not writing, she's playing tennis, trawling her home town of Sydney for new inspiration, and drinking too much coffee.