The closest to being in control we’ll ever be is that moment when we realize…we're not.
Grace Pearson is a wife, mother, lawyer. She’s smart and funny, strong and independent. And maybe a little neurotic. She has it all—except nobody told her having it all would be so hard. All she wants is a little more help from her husband, a little more time for them to have sex, and a little more respect from her mother. She also likes to worry. It gives her a feeling of control. After all, if you worry about something enough, it won’t happen—right?
Grace’s husband Rob teaches Phys. Ed., plays hockey with the guys and has fun with their kids. He’s a great dad and a faithful husband, but he’s not good with money and not exactly diligent about helping out with household duties. When Grace falls down the stairs and breaks her arm, he has to step up and take responsibility for their family.
After her fall, Grace worries there’s something terribly wrong with her that the doctors have missed. She worries that she’ll be disabled for the rest of her life. The one thing she doesn’t worry about, the thing that sneaks up on her, is her marriage falling apart. When Grace goes from having it all to losing it all, she has to look deep inside herself for the strength to fight to get her life back the way it was. But does she really want her life back the way it was?
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Here's an excerpt from Saving Grace:
The first time I went to one of Rob’s hockey games, we’d been going out for about a month, and I really liked him. I mean, really liked him ― on the edge and starting to slide into love. We were both twenty-four, both in college at the time. He was graduating that year but I still had a year to go in law school. He was a big jock, but a smart jock, which appealed to me. He was so much fun to be with ― he loved playing around, laughing a lot, enjoying life.
When he asked me to come watch him play hockey one night, I was curious. I wasn’t prepared for how turned on I got watching Rob play.
I found it so incredibly sexy, so masculine, so physical. Rob is six feet tall and a big, muscular guy, but when he came to the boards to talk to me just before the game started, he seemed more like seven feet tall on his skate blades, and with all that padding and equipment, he was huge.
I watched him play with pride, wishing that everyone in the arena knew I was his girlfriend. He was one of the best players on the college team, the team captain. I was so impressed when he argued with the referee over a call, staying cool and controlled. Of course he didn’t convince the ref to change his mind, that doesn’t happen, but he did a good job of looking after his guys.
I almost burst when he scored a goal, jumping to my feet and cheering along with everyone else. Maybe it was at that moment that I fell over that edge from liking him to falling in love with him. Maybe that seems shallow, to fall in love with someone just because he’s a good hockey player. But it was more than that, although I don’t know if I can really explain it. It was seeing him do something he was so good at, so effortlessly talented, so graceful on his skates, so dominating on the ice. And, like I said, I was so turned on I couldn’t wait to be alone with him after the game.
Then Rob got in a fight. With my heart choking me in my throat, I watched him punching away at some goon on the other team, a huge guy who dropped his gloves and started hammering back at Rob. I sat there on the edge of my seat, afraid to breathe, until the ref split them up and sent them to the penalty boxes.
I watched in horror as the trainer helped Rob stop his nose from bleeding, and the rest of the game I sat twisting a strand of hair around my index finger over and over again. Maybe that was when I fell in love with him.
After the game, I waited for Rob at the front doors of the small arena. I smiled at three other girls waiting as well. Were they waiting for their boyfriends, too? Or were they groupies, puck bunnies, as I’d heard them referred to? I eyed them, hunched my shoulders into my puffy down jacket and shoved my hands into my pockets. They better not be waiting for my boyfriend.
When Rob came out with three other guys, they were all laughing and slapping him on the back, his dark brown hair still damp from his shower, his square-jawed face sporting a few marks, but also a huge grin. They’d even won the game, so he was in a great mood.
Once again I was turned on by the display of masculine camaraderie and physicality. The way his team mates looked up to him told me he wasn’t just a dumb jock, or a big kid playing a game. He was a leader. He was a man. I knew at that moment we were going to have sex that night, for the first time.
We went out for pizza and beer after the game. We sat in a booth and basically had foreplay for an hour. We held hands and played with each other’s fingers, leaned across the small table to kiss. I slipped off my shoe and put my foot on his crotch, feeling his hard-on with my toes, watching his face flush and his eyes grow hot. Then we went back to his dorm room.
“Where’s Joey?” I murmured as we walked into the room. Rob carefully shut the door behind him. Joey was his roommate.
“Gone. He went home for the weekend.” His eyes met mine steadily.
This was going to be the night we finally did it. Our make-out sessions had been heating up to the point of combustion, and after watching him play hockey, I was on fire for him, heat radiating from a tight, achy knot of need deep inside me.