STATE OF GRACE
Money makes the world go round - that's what twenty-something Grace Reeves is learning. Stuck in a grind where everyone's ahead apart from her, she's partied out, disillusioned, and massively in debt. If she's dumped by another rock-band wannabe, squashed by anyone else at her cut-throat fashion job, or chased by any more bailiffs, Grace suspects she'll fall apart...
GRACE UNDER PRESSURE
So when older, sexy and above all, wealthy art-dealer Vaughn appears, she's intrigued against her will. Could she handle being a sugar daddy's arm-candy?
Soon Grace is thrown into a world of money and privilege, at Vaughn's beck and call in return for thousands of pounds in luxurious gifts, priceless clothes - and cash. She's out of her depth. Where's the line between acting the trophy girlfriend, and selling yourself for money? And, more importantly, whatever happened to love?
With every book of Sarra Manning's I read, I know more confidently that she can do no wrong as far as I'm concerned. This is her first adult book from a few years ago but it was still full of her humour, her great prose and incredible characters.
Grace was adorable and damn realistic with her money problems, complaining about her job and her annoying boss. She did have a great job but it didn't pay well and with her shopping problem, she had some serious debt piling up. So when Vaughn comes along with his suits, his money and his contract, Grace is beyond tempted to accept. What I loved about this arrangement was that Vaughn was portrayed as he expects to be seen: powerful and unmoving. And this makes Grace even more confused and out of her element. Vaughn was, in a word, complicated. Older, used to getting his way, quite annoying but also suave, sexy, weirdly caring in a roundabout way.
The world that they worked in was all about art and fashion, and Vaughn was in his element where he can flaunt the power and importance of his money brings him. But in between the swish parties and hosting art functions, Grace and Vaughn grow surprisingly close. They relationship might have started as unorthodox but I think both of them needed those straight rules because neither was used to opening themselves up to another person, leaving themselves vulnerable. All in all, it was very funny, surprisingly sweet, awkward and rather hot.
Published 2nd August 2012 by Transworld Digital.