Here I am, back with my review for On Solid Ground, as part of the blog tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! I reviewed the first book in this series, In Too Deep, yesterday, and now you can see what I thought of it’s sequel!
On Solid Ground by Michelle Kemper Brownlow
In Too Deep #2
Published by: Self Published
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Format: eBook, 353 pages
Source: Xpresso Book Tours
Genres: Fiction, New Adult, Realistic Fiction, Romance
Gracie survived an emotionally abusive relationship that wrecked her. Her ex, Noah, systematically chipped away at her self-esteem through intimidation, humiliation and infidelity which left Gracie unable to trust her own perception of his intentions. But after falling head over heels for Jake, her best friend and the man who stood by her through it all, she is ready to experience life in the way it was meant to be lived. However, Gracie may find it impossible to simultaneously heal from the trauma of abuse while navigating a relationship with Jake. Can she put her heart on hold in order to heal her soul?The sequel to the five-star debut novel, In Too Deep, chronicles Gracie’s steps toward healing as she falls deeper in love, reaches out for help, stands on her own, steps out of her comfort zone, faces her biggest fears, and reconnects with a sensual, talented soul from her past all in hopes of finding herself on solid ground.
While In Too Deep broke my heart, this sequel patched it right back up. Mind you, the end of In Too Deep was already starting to get there, but this was so much more.
On Solid Ground starts soon after In Too Deep ends, and this time around, the book is written from both of their points-of-view, which I loved because it gave me a little bit of insight into what was happening from both perspectives, instead of just having the story be one-sided. In Too Deep was Gracie’s story, and On Solid Ground belongs to both of them, so it really sets the tone for the book.
I have to say that Jake and Gracie are H-O-T as a couple. They really make sparks fly, and I loved getting to know them individually as well as a couple. Jake is incredibly sweet and almost the perfect guy. He was romantic, while being supportive and patient with Gracie as she healed. It was truly mesmerizing to see Gracie blossom like she did throughout this book. She was so broken when the story began and by the end she had turned into a confident, happy woman and I was thrilled for her. I loved Gracie’s new-found creative outlet, and how her new friends pushed her (gently) to come out of her shell.
It seemed in places to be a little less realistic, mostly because she managed to do this transformation in such a short amount of time. She had her moments when she would totally fall apart, but she was able to quickly pick herself back up, dust herself off and move on…where I would have seen those events as things that would be set-backs to her emotional healing. Also, while Gracie and Jake are on their break, all the talking about love and their souls and everything got to be a little bit much for me – I understand that it was a romance, but it was almost like it was being beaten into my head that love each other *that* much.
The few twists that there were in the story weren’t really surprising – I could see them coming, but they added to the story and I always wondered how everything would work out once the plot got there. Mostly, it was a great follow-up to In Too Deep, and I think that they should be read one after the other to get the full impact of Gracie’s growth. The story itself was heartwarming and beautiful overall, and I think if you enjoy the New Adult genre, then you should give both of these books a try – it doesn’t start out pretty, but what it turns into will make you smile!