Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: Fall from Grace (Mad World #1) by Christine Zolendz

Release Date: July 22, 2012
Publisher: DarkRoad Designs
Genre: PNR, Angels
Pages: 232
Purchase: Amazon 

 I'm finally home after struggling through my brother's illness and death. But, home is definitely a bit different. My best friend (the only person alive now that knows my secret) has a new boyfriend; and he has a friend. Shane Maxton: bad boy, tattooed rock god, eye candy extraordinaire. He is also New York City's most arrogant, self-serving, son of a, well, a definite one-night stand kind of a guy. But, it doesn't matter to me because I've spent my existence looking for the love of my life, my angel. And, there is nothing that Shane Maxton can do to change that.

Review:  Fall From Grace is the book that took me back to those messy, not-sure-what-to-do-with-yourself post college days.  Up-and-coming Indie author Christine Zolendz has written an excellent story with  layered characters that kept me laughing!  On the flip side, this book also had its share of angst and anxiety that kept me racing through the pages.  This story gives the reader a heavy dose of flirting, hot characters, drunken mistakes and jealousy, all tied with a paranormal ribbon!

The beginning of this book truly read like a contemporary romance to me.  The paranormal aspect was always there - it just didn't completely surface until the end of this book.  We begin by learning that main character, Grace, has been away from her friends and her life for the past six months because she has been taking care of her terminally ill brother.  Her brother, Jake, dies immediately, and Grace makes the long journey back to her life in New York City.

Grace is a kick-ass heroine.  She is twenty-four-years-old, and is an old soul.  She has suffered through many losses in her life, including her entire family.  Grace is musically talented, although she doesn't make a living from that talent.  She is beautiful and sure of herself, and is completely unwilling to compromise herself and what she wants from a man.  She is in no way open to one-night stands, and has been saving herself for a certain angelic soul that she has almost given up on finding.  There are many times in this book where Grace sticks up for herself, and sends the hot guy packing because she is wary of his "player" past.  She doesn't take shit from anyone.  On top of it all, Grace is hilarious.  Her inner dialogue with herself, and the things she says to other people that irritate her, had me laughing out loud.

I gave the blonde a serious face.  "Yeah, listen you should really stop now, because I'm betting the smartest thing that ever could come out of your mouth is a penis."

The hot guy I referenced above is none other than Shane Maxton.  Shane is the uber-gorgeous lead singer of Mad World, a local NYC band.  Grace meets Shane and the rest of the band through her roommate and best friend, Lea, who is dating a close friend of the band.    Shane is tattooed, sexy-as-sin, and the biggest man whore in New York.  Shane always has some bimbo on his arm, which is a warning sign to Grace to stay away from him.  However, from the first moment that Shane lays eyes on Grace, his interest in other women is pretend. Although Shane does plenty of things to make Grace jealous, or to hurt her for damaging his ego, Shane cannot get Grace off of his mind.

His lips touched mine again, breathing me in like I was his air, then he tore his mouth from mine, panting.  "Please, Grace, whatever it is you're going after, please try to find it here in me.  I will try my best to be the man you need me to be."

The relationship between Grace and Shane has a slow build up with many bumps along the way.  Grace won't believe that Shane wants her for more than a one-night stand, and Shane does everything he can to make Grace think twice about him, including making her jealous.  There are lots of drunken nights with make ups the next morning - and not sexual make-ups.  Grace steadfastly refuses almost all sexual advances, although there are some scorchingly hot scenes, including one with tequila shots that I just can't stop thinking about!

He stuck his pinky into my shot glass, slid his wet finger over the back of my hand, and then salted it.  I watched his hands on mine.  This is going to go from bad to holy crap in a minute. My eyes rose to meet his.  I licked the back of my hand and tilted back my drink.  "I bet you make that taste like heaven," he said.

Grace's best friend Lea is a great character, as well.  She is super protective of Grace and is always ready to stand by her side, in any situation.  She is a perfect example of what a best friend should be.  Although Lea is the first to warn Grace away from Shane, Lea is also the first to realize that Shane has deeper feelings that Grace seems to be oblivious to.  

The other band members are fun to read about and I can't help hoping that Zolendz will write spin off books about some of the guys.  Ethan, Alex and Brayden are all yummy in their own ways.  They are great characters who come to really care for Grace, all in their own ways.  The only character that I couldn't stand was Tucker.  Like Lea's boyfriend Connor, Tucker is not in the band but a very close friend to the band.  He is a hot lawyer that immediately tried to squirm his way into Grace's pants.  He tried to woo Grace with expensive dates, but that doesn't work, and she soon tires of his disgusting behavior.

"Do you like it?" he asked.  "It tastes lovely, thank you."  "It's Gaston Chiquet Brut 1er Cru 2002.  It's $150 a bottle.  Drink as much as you want," he winked.  Oh, I fucking will.

At the end of this book, we learn more and more about the paranormal aspect of Grace's life.  It turns out that a psycho paranormal entity is trying to steal Grace away from her human life, and has been manipulating her for a very long time.  Grace finally learns the truth about her angel that she has been searching for, but she suffers a grievous injury and this book ends on a cliff hanger.  When this book ended, I promptly downloaded the second book in this series and began reading it immediately.  

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this book, and at $1.50 a download, it is more than worth it to give this book a try.  It is available on Amazon, and the author is trying to publish it for the B&N Nook, too.  There are some issues with editing, but they are not enough to turn anyone away from this story.  If you want a quick, hot and angsty read, go and download this book now.  I don't want to compare this to Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster, because there are so many differences, but if you enjoyed Beautiful Disaster, you will probably enjoy this book, too.  Go on - give this talented Indie author some love!  I think you'll be happy you did!

Keep your eyes peeled, Addicts!  Next week I'll be posting an interview with Christine Zolendz and a giveaway of this series.  You don't want to miss out on this one!


Christine Zolendz said...

Thank you Jamie for that awesome review!

Courtney Knudsen said...

This book sounds AWESOME! Is it available in hard copy format, or just e-book?

Jamie said...

Right now, it's only available in eBook. It's available on Kindle, and Christine is trying to make it available on B&N Nook and Smashwords.

It's a great story!

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