An Unexpected Grace-Kristin von Kreisler

An Unexpected Grace
Kristin von Kreisler
Kensington, Dec 31 2013, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758291943

In a heavy rain, her BFF Cristina drives Lila to work in downtown San Francisco. In the car, Cristina shows Lila a photo of Grace the abused Golden Retriever who needs a home. Lila refuses to adopt Grace, because twenty-five years ago a dog attacked her leaving her afraid of canines.

They call a canine truce and head to their different floors in the Crockett Building. At Weatherby and Associates Public Relations, Lila begins a typical day until she hears a fellow employee pleading with someone when shots are fired. Rampaging janitor Yuri Makov kills seven people and wounds three including Lila before committing suicide. At San Francisco General, Dr. Lovell tells Lila she was lucky as she received only flesh wounds, but psychologically she cannot get rid of Yuri pointing his gun at her.

After leaving the hospital Cristina takes Lila to her home in Mill Valley where the other roommate Grace frightens her as much as the newcomer scares the dog. Neighbor Adam visits Grace who is elated every time he shows up. As Lila slowly emotionally recovers so does Grace with each soon learning to trust the other; while Adam hopes both heal quickly so they can become a loving trinary star.

An Unexpected Grace is a poignant contemporary due to the mentally wounded lead female and a very wary canine; while the male protagonist’s romantic role feels more of a distracting requirement. The moving character driven storyline focuses on the changing relationship between the hurting leads with Adam and to a lesser degree Cristina acting as the connectors between the troubled woman and the anxious dog. Readers will appreciate Lila and Grace helping each other heal.

Harriet Klausner

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