Book Review: A Graceful Mess by Nacole Stayton

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Hiding behind the anguish from my past, my coyness seeps off of me like an aroma. I have felt like a stranger in my own skin, trying to claw my way out for far too long, allowing very few people to see past my façade…until my eyes met with his. I felt a sudden rush of energy all the way to my core. It jolted me in ways I never thought possible.

Never in a million years would I have expected to be in the mess I am today. It all leads back to the night Parker Porter turned my world upside down. The night his hazel eyes undressed me, peeling away the layers of the woman I tried so hard to be. He awoke desires that burned deep within me and changed me in one quick glance, leaving me vulnerable and exposed, picking up the shattered pieces of my carefully constructed life…a life I should not be living…a life I was not born into, but placed into by the state of Maine.

Parker opened a door that I am far from closing until I have answers and am able to face the life I was destined to live. I just have to decide if his love is worth the mess.

“They say be careful of the quiet ones.” –Grace

Warning: This book is intended for readers 18+ due to explicit language and sexual encounters.


4 star review-2

Grace Clearwater has a past just like most of us but for her, her past is something she has tried to forget. Her past has changed the once happy go lucky, energetic, free spirited girl she once was to the closed off, shy, empty girl she is now. Living her life day to day trying to keep her past in the past has taken its toll and all that changed when her eyes landed on one Parker Porter.

Parker Porter has never been shy about what he wants and he goes after it with everything he has. When he laid eyes on Grace he knew that no matter what he was suppose to do he couldn’t stop his body from craving her touch. He needed her like he needed his next breath and going against everything he knew was right he went after her and he wouldn’t stop until he knew what she felt like pressed up against him.

When Grace’s past starts to unravel in front of her eyes it takes everything in her not to lose all the sanity she has left. Can Grace overcome the past that she never really dealt with and survive it? Will Parker walk away after finding out the skeletons that are in her closest? What happens when something from your past has already crossed paths with your future? Is Grace and Parkers connection strong enough to overcome the lies and betrayal?

Nacole brought us a beautiful story about 1 girl who was put through hell and back and still managed to come out in one piece. Grace is a strong and beautiful character that endured things nobody should have to endure. She was lied to and betrayed so many times that I wondered how she wasn’t more of a mess than what she currently was.

They say to be careful of the quiet ones. A statement I never truly understood, to be honest. What is wrong with being quiet or a little on the shy side? It’s a demeanor I use as a mask to hide myself from a world I don’t feel like I fit into. In one false move, the life I’ve so carefully constructed could crumble, leaving me vulnerable and exposed. – A Graceful Mess

When Grace and Parker first meet there is something between them that pulls them towards each other. Something about Parker that lights a fire deep within her soul and slowly she starts to find the girl she once was. She holds onto that dearly even though a part of her is scared of having her heart broken again. She has trouble with trusting people because of her past but Parker is determined to break those walls down that Grace has built and make her his.

The reflection of the girl staring back at me has a glimmer in her eye, one I don’t recall ever noticing. I am sure it has to do with the hunk of a man in there on my bed. The thought makes me want to jump up and down like a little girl excited about her first pony ride. – A Graceful Mess

Parker is steamy hot and very sexy. He carries himself with a confidence that will draw you in and keep you there until the very end. He knows what he wants and he gets it. He is strong and passionate. He protects what is his with everything he has and will do whatever he can to put a smile on Grace’s face. But the secret he is keeping from her is eating away at him and he doesn’t know if he should tell her ask risk losing her and keep his secret in hopes of after time together the truth won’t make her turn and walk away.

And oh lord can I say when these two get together things are very hot. Parker is very sweet but likes to dominate in the bedroom, which I love. He knows how to work Grace under she is about to break knowing that it will be a pleasure she will NEVER forget.

“Parker, I swear to God, if you don’t tell me to come in the next minute I am going to kill you!”


A simple word.

A simple instruction.

A simple tremor of my pelvic muscles and the juices that had been building inside of me are finally released.

“Holy shit, baby, you taste so good. God.” Rubbing my core in his face, my body goes limp on top of him.

My heart was breaking for Grace when her world started crashing around her. She was finally getting her old self back and then everything changed. Secrets from long ago come out and demons from her past make an appearance and everything she has worked for changes in an instant. She finds out the ones she has loved and trusted her entire life have lied to her, and the new loves in her life have lied as well. Her heart is breaking again and she doesn’t know if she will survive it this time.

“…Make me forget about all the bad, Parker. Help me forget, please.”

I can’t believe all the hell one person could go through, it was like a domino effect and everything that ever haunted Grace and everything that she was unaware came out in a ripple effect. She was strong enough to endure it once, would she be strong enough to endure it again? Or will her past consume her and create a graceful mess?

……Please baby, come on. Just stay with me!”

I loved this story. It was beautiful and honest. The characters were real with real fears and real emotions. I found my heart breaking when theirs were and found my face smiling when they smiled. I think Nacole did a beautiful job and I can’t wait to read more of her work.