Grace Doll by Jennifer Laurens
Published Date: July 2012Publisher: Grove Creek Publishing
The Story: Grace Doll had everything a girl could want: Fame. Fortune. Beauty.
Everything except her freedom. So when a powerful movie producer forces an experimental treatment on Grace--one that's purported to make beauty immortal--she stages her own death to escape him. With the help of trusted friends, Grace slips into hiding. She's forever flawless. Forever young, and forever pursued by her past.
But when a stranger arrives on her doorstep, holding the key to a life she thought she'd left behind, Grace must decide between the safety she's known...and embracing the role she was born to play.
Excerpt: Rufus slides into the empty canvas chair next to me, my hand still at his lips. His gaze pins me with black fire. “Jon was touching you.” He kisses each finger one by one.
My heart trembles beneath my breast. “He was greeting me, nothing more.”
Panic flutters in my veins. I grip the arms of the wooden chair. I can’t bear looking into the faces of those around me.
Silently, workers drift down from the rafters overhead. Set dressers, costume matrons, even Jonathan, quietly wind their way around sets, lights and cables.
“Jon!” Rufus booms.
Jonathan stops, turns.
Oh no. No. Over and over the door of the soundstage opens and then thuds closed as the giant building empties.
Tomb-like silence follows. Jonathan doesn’t move.
“I’ve invited a photographer to take some photos, my darling.” Rufus leans close, his cigar-tainted breath filling my ear, nose. I close my eyes, forcing myself not to turn away.
He sets his finger under my chin and turns my face to his. “Grace, look at me.” He smiles at the fear I can’t disguise. “He’s very good, you’ll see.”
I have no doubt the photographer is good. Rufus doesn’t let anyone near me unless they are the best.
“And Jon…” he tosses over his shoulder without taking his gaze from mine. “Do your job. Make sure Grace’s makeup is perfect.”
I don’t dare glance at Jonathan, I’d infuriate Rufus.
A little man dressed in baggy slacks, tweed coat and a lop-sided hat appears. He sets up his equipment at the edge of the set. The long, stick legs of the camera spread out like spears beneath it. The man nods at Jonathan as if he senses the tension building.
Rufus takes my hand, bringing me to my feet. He scans me from head to toe. “Take off the robe.”
My Review: Wow, this wasn’t what I expected! I loved how Grace knew what she wanted, even if it took her life to get it. She didn’t want to be owned by anyone, least of all her “husband”. OK, so Rufus legally is her husband, but he’s a complete jerk. At a young age, he finds her, has her family killed and marries her. Then he decides that he’ll make her immortal. Just a note, no she does not become a vampire! Grace though, has two very close friends, Jonathan and Oscar, and with their help escapes that life.
Now she has to stay hidden, until one night a young man, Brenden, seeks her out.
It’s amazing the strength Grace has, to fake her own death, hide from the evil husband, and to live a “normal” life. The love she develops for Brenden.
Jennifer Laurens' writing style is so beautiful. I 'saw' the whole book in my head. Maybe I was being biased, since I pictured Grace looking an awful lot like Audrey Hepburn. But she did sound that classy. This is definately an excellent book to read!
I write YA books. Whatever my heart desires, I write. I don't have someone over my shoulder, in some office somewhere telling me what I can and cannot write. Or should and shouldn't write. I listen to my heart, the center of my muse, and trust my instincts.
I've written since junior high school. An only child, I grew up writing big stories about big families. I also write YA under the name of JM Warwick. My hometown of Palos Verdes, California figures in much of my work, as does my current home of Pleasant Grove, Utah and other favorite places. I love to travel.
They say "write what you know" and I do. I am a mother, I have six children, five cats and a huge doberman/dane dog. I have a supportive husband and we've been married 25 years. Our lives, though challenging with a handicapped child who has autism, are centered in our family.
My life experiences have worked into all of my novels. Some more heavily than others, but parts of me are in each story. I love stories rich in family drama, where family members overcome obstacles through love and miracles.
Jennifer Laurens' Ten's List on Places to Live:
1. Southern California - specifically Palos Verdes. I'm from there, and trying to move back.
2. Southern California - Laguna Beach. Stunningly beautiful. Second choice.
3. Southern California - San Clemente or San Diego
4. Northern California - San Francisco area
5. New York City - Upper East Side
6. New York City - Upper West Side
7. Astoria , Oregon
8. London, England
9. Brugge, Belgium
10. Cancun Mexico