Elisabeth Staab's Acts of Creation @ElisabethStaab
Acts of Creation (Evergreen Grove Book 2) by Elisabeth Staab
He's living a lie.
Dante Ramos: Champion. Ladies' man. Party animal. Women want him, and men either want to be him or put his lights out for sleeping with their girlfriends. It's all an act. Inside, he's so full of self-loathing he's on a fast-track to self-destruction.
She's living in the shadows.
Meeting Michelle at a support group for assault survivors shows Dante a new world of possibilities. Finally, someone in his life might understand him, and she creates in him a fierce need to protect. Trouble is, Dante lives his life in the spotlight, and the only thing Michelle wants is a place to hide.
Elisabeth Staab blows me away: with her characters, with her story, with her poignant writing style. That being said, this is not an easy read. For those who read the first installment of Everygreen Grove, Dante is introduced in Cassie's book. By the author's own admission, the story of an male abuse survivor had to be told. To tackle the story of not one but two abuse survivors, to watch them traverse life and love, takes some serious chutzpah. And yet, she does manage it beautifully.
Both Michelle and Dante are scarred, flawed, broken inside as only they know. And yet the pair come together, building a friendship that navigates precariously through the seas of intimacy to find love and strength in themselves and each other. That Staab does not hide or dance around the pain they suffer, nor does she allow them to wallow in their misery makes for the seeds of inspiration. And they are an inspiring couple - and if there's one thing that's better than love conquering all, it's well deserved love conquering all.
I highly recommend this tale of survival and romance.
RATING: Four Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries. This book was given to us by the author. Many thanks.