Series: Grace Trilogy #1
Author: Autumn Grey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Cover Design: Okay Creations
Release Date: September 24, 2018
There are angels and demons at war inside my head.
I had it all figured out: finish high school, attend seminary and finally answer my calling of becoming a priest. What I hadn’t counted in the equation was her.
The girl who was always out of my reach. The girl who still makes me lose my breath with just a look.
Little did I know she would become my temptation and vice, and quite possibly, my ruin.
Now I’m standing at a crossroads, and my head is a battlefield. How do I choose sides when it means losing a part of who I am?
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© 2018 Autumn Grey
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“Can I ask you something? It’s totally fine to say no.” She adds the last part quickly. She smiles and looks at the spot over my shoulder, her fingers tapping a quick beat on the table. She looks vulnerable, her eyes wide, allowing me to see how nervous she is. I mean, how can I say no to her?
“Sure.” I settle back on the seat and stretch my arms along the back of it.
“Can I . . . can I kiss you?” Her eyes snap back to mine, and she hurriedly adds, “I know you’re heading to Boston in a few weeks and—” She sucks in a deep breath. “I really want to kiss you. I promise I won’t try to do anything else. Just kiss you.”
I take a deep breath, letting her words sink in, and realize I’m breathing faster than normal. My gaze falls on her mouth, and I literally stop breathing because that mouth, God help me. It’s like a gateway to a whole new galaxy where secrets and wishes are waiting to be unveiled.
I need to kiss her. I want to discover the universe beyond those full lips. I’ve been fighting the need to kiss her since I walked inside the diner and saw her wiping down the counter. But my brain is telling me it’s a bad idea and kissing her will irrevocably change me. Change my life. I know I won’t be able to come back from that. But the other part of me, the part that has a hopeless, desperate crush on this girl, just wants to drag her onto my lap and let her do whatever she wants.
“It’s getting late. We should probably lock up and leave,” she says in a small voice when I take too long to reply. She pushes her hair back before standing up and starting to stack our plates together. Her gaze meets mine briefly. “Look, I’m sorry I made this awkward. It’s not fair to you—”
I reach out, curling a finger through the belt loops on her jean shorts, and tug. But she doesn’t move toward me. Instead, her grip around the plates grows tighter, and she turns to leave.
“Gracie.” I tighten my hold, forcing her to set everything back on the table and look at me. “Come here.”
I pull her close while placing my other hand on her hip. Then, I slide both hands in the back pockets of her shorts, pulling her closer until all I can see is her face and her lips—so close to mine.
Her chest rises and falls quicker than before, and I realize mine’s doing the same. We stare at each other. I wonder if she regrets asking to kiss me. That thought makes my chest ache. Right now, in this moment, with my face inches away from her boobs, I’d do anything for a chance to know what she tastes like. My fingers skim along her arm and bury themselves in her hair. She trembles against me, so I know she wants this as much as I do.
Earlier today after leaving work, I drove home. My mind was preoccupied, and I was restless, so after taking a shower, I got into my car. And somehow, I found myself parking the truck outside the diner. Maybe this is why I came here; I don’t know. But I really want to find out.
“Do it.” My voice is a whisper. I’m almost breathless with want. I want to yank her down and kiss her myself, but she looks like she’s about to flee. So I let her come to me. “Kiss me.”
She sinks her teeth in her bottom lip as she comes closer. I’m glad I’m sitting down because my knees are shaking with anticipation. Then her lips touch mine, her eyes on me the whole time. Need has my fingers tightening in her hair as she presses her lips more firmly to mine. Her tongue peeks out, running along the seam of my lips. I groan and shift on the seat to ease the discomfort in my pants. My mouth opens, and the second her tongue touches mine, my body rattles with a shiver. This moment feels sacred. Like a blessing. It feels blasphemous and holy all at once. It scares me.
Tugging her into my lap, I fist her hair in my hands as I incline her hear further, fusing our lips together more firmly. But our noses are in the way, and we have to find the right angle to stop bumping into each other. It’s frustrating at first because I want her lips on mine and her breath mingling with my breath. Our heads finally slant in the right positions, and our lips fit perfectly. We both exhale in relief and groan at the contact.
Something in me breaks loose. Suddenly I’m pulling at her hair frantically, and my kisses become hungry and aggressive. I’m trembling and desperate and all I can think is I’ve never felt anything like this before, and I don’t ever want to stop or let her go. I don’t need to wonder if she’s enjoying this kiss too. Her hands fisted in my hair, yanking me closer and closer are all the answers I need. She’s pressing her chest into mine, and I swear I can feel her heart hammering. Neither one of us wants it to end.
We break apart and gulp for air, and my hands leave her hair, greedy to explore other parts of her, but they end up on her hips, pulling her further into me.
“More,” I beg, because right now, that’s all I can do.
Beg like my life depends on it. At this point, I feel like I’m about to go up in flames.
reviewed by emma-louise on behalf of kff
This isn’t your usual priest taboo book. This is the story of the battle of wills that is Solomon Callan. From a young age he had his life mapped out. Finish school and then join the seminary and become a priest, which was all going according to plan until he sets his eyes on Grace Miller. The girl who helped him through his darkest times with just one sentence filled with lightness and hope.
Solomon’s determination to join the priesthood is constant throughout. For someone of eighteen to have their life mapped out as he does is a testament to his character.
‘…my hands are shaking on the wheel.
There are angels and demons at war inside my head, and I’m not sure which is winning.
I wanted God. And I wanted Grace.’
Grace is so much like and yet so very different from Solomon. She has yet to figure out which direction she wants to go in and what she wants to do by herself.
Desolate is a slow burn romance, everything takes a very long time to move forward. Given who the characters are and their backgrounds this can be understood. The way the relationship is set up by the author has a good dose of realism. Tension and frustration give the reader something to grip on to when things do not go the way we wished they would. Solomon and Grace become emotionally involved very early on and is set out in such a way that the reader drifts along with them, through the ups and the down.
‘Sitting here in Sol’s truck, leaning into him like he’s my anchor, I feel the heaviness that has been following me for three long years slowly melt away. Having Sol’s large hand cupped around my nape protectively breaks me and eases the pain in my at the same time.’
With the age of the main characters, there is a lot of uncertainty and insecurity. The love scenes are very real life and sweet. And just like real life, as they become familiar with each other the heat gets notched up.
‘All he needs to do is light the fuse, and I’ll go off like a bomb. When it comes to Sol, my body has only one reaction—combustion. And from the way he’s hungrily kissing me as though he’s about to go to war and might never come back, its obvious how much I affect him in return.’
Desolated is not an easy read. Both Solomon and Grace make mistakes and from my way of thinking even the town good boy can get dirty and lose some of his shine. For me, he lost some of it in this book. His attitude at times wasn’t always as I felt it should be. I felt less towards him and my empathy by the end of the book was lower than at the beginning. Maybe that’s what the author was going for and if it was, she really outdid herself. I need to be invested in a book when I read and at times I just read kept reading because I felt like I had to. There was no chemistry for me at times.
I remember what it was like to be eighteen and after this book, I so don’t ever want to be that age again. Saying that though, I still very much want to see where these two go. Will Grace return to being a doormat and will Solomon finally pull his head out of butt and make a decision? Fence sitting only works for so long and he can’t live in both worlds; even if he wants to.
Disgraceful is marked as coming out this year and I will be getting my hands on it. I want these characters to sort it out and find happiness.
Autumn Grey writes sexy, angsty contemporary romance that always ends with a happy ever after. She loves reading stories with flawed and quirky characters, broody alphas and sassy heroines.
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