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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Cate Beauman’s Eight Years Gone features the lives of Grace and Jagger. The evening Jagger found Grace’s brother with a gunshot wound altered the trajectory of everyone’s lives. Dr. Steve Evans blamed Jagger for Logan’s death. He told Jagger to stay away from Grace, or he would prevent her from pursuing her career. Jagger disappears, leaving Grace devastated. Eight years later, Grace is working for her aunt at Simplicity Florist and Gifts while freelancing for Travel Magazine. After Jagger’s sudden appearance at Simplicity, Grace refuses to listen to him because of him abandoning her. However, Dr. Evans’ actions have proven to complicate their lives as Jagger and Grace rekindle their love. While going through her mother's journals, Grace discovers something shocking about her parents' relationship.
Cate Beauman gave Grace and Jagger characteristics that were relatable. Their actions on the night of Logan’s death were proof of how impulsive young adults act in response to trauma. Jagger buried his pain by facing danger overseas, while Grace blamed her father and fell into a deep depression. I felt sympathy for Steve because he lost both his children in one night. The alternating viewpoints between Grace and Jagger showed their feelings and thoughts. It was easy to see every moment from each person’s perspective. The transitions were smooth, and I had no issue understanding their motivations. I was engaged by the story’s realistic depiction of the characters’ thoughts and mistakes. The twists in the unpredictable plot added complexity to Jagger and Grace’s relationship. Eight Years Gone will appeal to readers who enjoy second-chance romances built on a life-altering event.