Fallen from Grace (Five Star Expressions) Hardcover – 8 Dec 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
I was surprised that I thoroughly enjoyed the book and that it gripped me to the end. In fact, I read the book in one sitting; I couldn't put it down.
I thought that the central characters were very life-like and believable.
It is a sad reality that a lot of the events in this book are non-fiction and that Ryan is clearly a representation of many.
I loved the story and the way all loose ends were neatly tied together. I also loved that the author thought through many of the details and understood the character's emotions very well.
I would highly recommend this book, it will leave an impression, that's for sure.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
But Ryan hasn't been totally open with Sara, and before they get too serious he has to tell her that he's a high priced prostitute. Ryan ran away from an abusive home when he was young and was rescued from the streets after being raped; his rescuer was a madam, who trained him to be just what women want. He sees sex as business, completely different from making love.
Sara obviously sees it another way. She loves him and wants him, but can't stand the thought of receiving him from another woman's bed.
That's the main conflict between the two. The wonderful thing about this novel is that when I heard the premise I thought it unbelievable, but in reading the characters Leone created I completely fell into the story and believed it. Sara and Ross were real people, with real feelings between them, too strong to ignore. And their conflicts weren't contrived, but part of who they were.
This is probably the best romance I've read this year - not just because it's original, but because it's genuine. There are no secret babies, no uber-villains, no big misunderstandings, just two people who really need each other and all the problems they have to work through before they have a life together and love. How they do that is one of the more romantic stories I've read.
Ryan Kinsmore is a handsome young yuppie from initial appearances and his new neighbor Sara Diamond is impressed by his gentle nature, big heart and warmth. She is shocked when she finds out he was a teenage runaway who ended up a male escort- something he stil is 10 years later. Ryan as "Kevin" is a highly paid prostitute and even though he loves Sara he feels unworthy of her love and has little true self-value. His madam Katherine saved him from the streets and groomed him into the suave man he presents to the world but on the inside he sees himself as a scared kid who did anything for money.
This book is very much a book of discovery and finding the courage to make a big change as it is a romance. I found Ryan to be an empathetic character and believable. Most stories with prostitutes are women- few are men, yet more and more men work as sex workers today servicing men and women ( watch Law and Order SVU any episode to verify this) and the whole objectification of the service provider and the way they see themselves was done well here. Sara is an interesting woman- she is a writer who is in the midst of her own career turmoil so these two meeting at a critical crossroads is no accident.
The love making between Ryan and Sara is sweet once it happens- the emotions and trust issues rule their heads and hearts and bodies.
This is an adult story with very adult themes- not for the faint of heart. Story is set in San Francisco and there is a secondary subplot involving Sara facing that someone close to her is gay and her having to accept this. Again- if you are offended- read something else. If you are open to what is in a person's heart and body- this is a great read with many unexpected touches of humor as well as driving pathos as Ryan finds a way out of the life he has lived for so long.
First off, the book starts really good, with the point of view of "Kevin" or, in reality, Ryan, as he is doing a "trick" with a woman, since his job is to be an official "escort". He is only aiming to please, and we get his feelings on his job and the fact that he is not in it for his pleasure.
Then we meet Sara, who is very sad that her career is not as stable as it used to be and she feels as if she has to start from scratch (even though she has been writing a successful mystery series) since her publisher doesn't want her anymore.
As the story unfolds, we start to see that Ryan and Sara have feelings for each other, but Ryan holds back, not wanting to get too close to her since he knows that once she finds out the truth, that he is a male prostitute, she will never see him the same way.
So, eventually, when things get hot and heavy, he tells her. I don't want to reveal too much, but, she accepts him, regardless of his choice of career that he can't seem to get away from (since everytime he does, Catherine makes him feel guilty and reminds him that she is the one that taught him everything and saved him after he was brutally beaten and raped by a man). We get to see the pain he lived through, as a child, adolescent and now as a man. Leone did a great job in depicting the broken and desperate lives kids of the street live and the struggles that they have to endure and face. She even introduces Adam, a child that pickpockets, lives off the street and was lucky enough to steal Ryan's wallet, only to have him find him, get it back and help him live a better life. I actually cried or got teary eyed a couple of times, especially right after Ryan and Sara have mind-blowing, all-night sex and he gets a call from Catherine.
Great book! I just bought Fever Dreams by her, hopefully it's as good as this one, the excerpt given at the end of this book sure was.
The main plot is a romance story of an apparent washed-up writer and older woman, Sara, and a handsomely sexy younger male prostitute and truly tortured hero, Ryan. The subplot deals with a distressing look at the dark humiliating actions inflicted by successful people who exploit less than fortunate males (particularly for this story) who are in dire need to survive on the dangerous streets of San Francisco. Ryan was one of these young males: a runaway who would do just about anything to obtain money to eat. However, sadly enough, one night after performing a `highly paid' intimate act on a man, his `trick' brutally rapes him and leaves him for dead in a dark alley. Alas, his only true friend comes to his rescue - a high class female "solicitor" who takes personal interest in grooming him for a career in prostitution; thus, giving him the name of "Kevin".
Years later Ryan meets a new next door neighbor, Sara. During the beginning of their budding relationship, Sara believes Ryan is a professional "model" and is away from home so much due to his photo shoots. Eventually Sara finds out his true occupation, Kevin, and is morally and emotionally challenged to accept or reject him. She is in an emotional whirlwind because now a family secret is about to be revealed, which will cause her to struggle even more with or compromise her deeply rooted social beliefs and unconditional love in acceptance of others.
This is an emotionally stirring and compelling read vs romantic. Although it was a tear jerker for me, it has a happy ending which ties together both of the main characters rather nicely.