Title: Ornamental Graces by Carolyn Astfalk
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Christian/Catholic
Publisher: Multa Verba Publishing (Oct. 11th, 2016)
After his duplicitous girlfriend left, Dan Malone spent six months in a tailspin of despair and destruction: emotional, physical, and spiritual. Just when his life seems to be back on track, he meets Emily Kowalski, younger sister of his new best friend.
Emily’s the kind of girl he’d always dreamed of—sweet, smart, and sincere. But he’s made a mess of his life and ruined his chances for earning the love and trust of a woman like her.
Could Dan be the man Emily’s been waiting for? How could he be when every time they get close he pulls away? And will he ever be free from his shady past and the ex-girlfriend who refuses to stay there?
*I received a free copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. A huge thank you to the author and publisher!*
As many of you probably already know, I love Christmas so much! So, when I received Ornamental Graces for review, I was quite excited. I’m a sucker for a Hallmark Christmas movie, and this book sounded just like one. While I ended up enjoying this one just as much as any Hallmark movie, it was so much more than that, too!
There is a lot that goes on in this book. The entire story takes place over a span of two years. Because of this, I really felt like I got to know the characters so well. The author really took her time in growing Dan and Emily’s relationship, and I loved that. It felt very honest and realistic. I also loved reading about Emily’s brother and his family. All the characters in this novel were fully fleshed out, lovable (well, aside from a certain someone…) characters.
Because Ornamental Graces spans over two years, though, I’m not sure if I would necessarily consider it a Christmas book. Yes, there are Christmas scenes in the book, but it also features every other holiday and season as well. Being I read this book in May, I was totally okay with that. That being said, I probably would have been a bit disappointed had I read this at Christmas time. The cover gives the impression that this book will be super Christmas-y, and it’s not. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, I just I wanted to point it out!
This book also covers some pretty heavy topics, including abortion, alcoholism, and drug use. Also, while this book is considered a Christian novel, there is still some occasional curse words used throughout the book. While nothing is overly excessive or graphic, I did want to mention it!
The overall story line was very engaging. I truly enjoyed reading Ornamental Graces. While it wasn’t the best book I ever read in my life, I had still had such a lovely and engaging experience while reading this book. I really think this will appeal to fans of contemporary romance novels.
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