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Thicker Than Water: Book 3 of The Grayson Trilogy Kindle Edition
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Though I've read the entire series -- A Single Step, Before the Dawn, and this one, Thicker Than Water -- I am leaving my review here because my perspective is about the trilogy as a whole (rather than any one of the three books), which would accurately be described as "Parts One, Two and Three" of an unfolding narrative, rather than three standalone books. But I urge readers to start from the beginning with the first book, necessary to getting the full arc of the story, and certainly the most enjoyable way to experience it.
Georgia Rose is a skilled, engaging writer who pulls you into the story immediately, without an overabundance of hyperbole and fluff, which I particularly enjoyed. Her protagonist, Emma Grayson, is a young woman brought up in foster care, who's lost her only child by illness, her marriage by affair (her husband's), and her entire sense of self due to the critical mass of these devastating events. She takes a job as a stable master at a large and somewhat enigmatic manor out in the English countryside, looking both to find solitude and detach from life as she's known it, and this is where the story unfolds.
There is the requisite cast of characters that inspires immediate laying of bets as to who will be become her romantic interest (I guessed correctly!), but despite that unavoidably predictable element (these ARE romance novels!), Rose finds a way to roll out her story with a depth and detail that is unexpected. I particularly enjoyed the specificity with which she describes Emma's job as a stable master; the arcane details of caring for horses and their environs was not only educational and interesting, it contributed a very visceral backdrop for the plot, which was expertly interwoven throughout.
Another touching and thoughtful plot element was the emotional and very relatable journey Emma experiences in continuing to mourn her daughter. As readers, we could feel the loss and agony along with her, and Rose does an excellent job of bringing this in and out of the story without making the topic maudlin or manipulative. The impact of losing a child becomes a very salient part of Emma's character and the journey she's on, impacting the choices she makes, both good and less good, and we are always led to feel both empathetic and hopeful that she will traverse that loss to allow herself a happy life once again.
The other characters in the book, from the man she falls in love with, to the "noble couple" who own the Manor, to the other Manor staff, are individually defined, with specific character traits and compelling roles in the drama, and, again, Rose shows her skill in fleshing those out in ways that are rich in detail and personal narrative.
The thriller plot line (which I won't give away!) was unexpected and initially struck me as a bit larger-than-life (certainly the life we're set up to believe Emma will be living!), but once you hop on board and just decide to take this wild ride-- inclusive of international espionage and some nefarious characters up to no good--it's darkly suspenseful and quite the page-turner. Rose's imaginative twists and nail-biting turns are exciting and visual, and here is where a reader is obligated to read all three books to get the full spectrum of that storyline and its denouement.
Which is also true of the romantic side of this tale. Emma's slow opening up, of her heart, her trust, her willingness to once again embrace life and love, is tender and affecting, and we WANT her to get there. Rose pushes her character, sometimes to uncomfortable places, to force her face all the corners of her life, past and present, dark and light, allowing her to come into her own as a newly realized woman, and for the reader, it is a lovely journey.
I thoroughly enjoyed this series and recommend it to readers, even those who don't normally turn to romance...because it's certainly more than just that! Additionally, it's written by an author who obviously put a lot of care and attention into creating not only an engaging story, but a physical book put together with a professional touch, from the well-formatted interior to the beautiful covers, something I, for one, always appreciate!
All of the characters we've come to love from The Grayson Trilogy are back as author Georgia Rose sets them off on new paths and also resolves longstanding mysteries. Rose gives us a meaty plot set firmly in Emma's point of view, which allows us to experience events as if we're there living through them. Departing from past installments, though, THICKER THAN WATER features a secondary POV, one which pops up at the most unexpected times and offers a tantalizing hint of rough waters ahead for our friends at the manor. I love how ambiguous this personality is at first. There's a darkness surrounding him, sure, but his intentions are not quite clear. When he does step into the light, not only does the game between Emma and her enemies turn on its head, but a slew of questions dangling from the previous novels are suddenly answered. Yet even these filled-in blanks don't lead to closure for Emma. Instead they free a deluge of pent-up emotions that are almost as big an obstacle to her happiness as the gang of Russian criminals out to kill her.
The other side of the close focus on Emma's POV is that we can get caught up in her day-to-day activities to the point that the pacing of the narrative slows. I think it took a little too long for the suspense/danger element of this episode to come into play, but in return we do get plenty of deep character development. Plot vs. character is always a difficult battle. Throughout The Grayson Trilogy Georgia Rose shows a knack for this balancing act.
THICKER THAN WATER delivers the romance, suspense and, especially, the final satisfaction readers of this series pine for.
The story didn't disappoint. It was the most suspenseful of the trilogy and full of so many twists and turns. It is really very well written, I found myself surprised over and over again with unexpected shifts in the plot.
Ms. Rose knows how to craft a complex web and I highly recommend this. I think this was my favorite of the trilogy, they were all wonderful, but there was something about this that I really loved.
In Thicker Than Water, we are back with Grayson and Trent on Melton Manor continuing on with their romance and daily lives. Suddenly, Trent and Cavendish are summoned to their work headquarters. Trent and Cavendish return to the Manor with two agents. The two agents are interested in Grayson’s past life and mysterious item they received addressed to Grayson that was sent to corporate headquarters in her name. With the trouble from book two still brewing, something bad is about to happen, but Grayson and Trent be able to survive it?
Thicker Than Water is the perfect ending to this trilogy. It was full of twists, turns, surprises, and answers! I admit, I cried at the end of this book as it was such an emotionally charged book. This is one of my all time favorite trilogies and I highly recommend it.
Special thanks to the author, Georgia Rose, for allowing me to review this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My reviews are based on my opinions of the book and are my opinions alone.
of the other characters. There are so many great characters for her to choose from! Definitely buy this trilogy of you are looking for something to read. You won't regret it.
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This is the third book in the Grayson Trilogy by British author Georgia Rose.Read more
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