Reviewed by Susan65
Author: Lynley Wayne
Series: Scars #1
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 300 Pages
Publisher: MLR Press
Release Date: September 14, 2012
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Jace, an injured ex-soldier suffering from PTSD, saves Nathaniel, a nineteen-year-old street kid, from a beating. In doing so, he has no way of knowing that he will find his own salvation.
Jace came home from the war scarred in more ways than one. The physical scars that he carries are nothing compared to the mental ones. Struggling with PTSD, he has closed himself off from the rest of the world. The last thing that he ever thought to do was fall in love… Nathaniel has lived on the streets since he was thirteen. When he wakes up in a strange apartment after being badly beaten, he has no idea how he got there. Little does he know that his rescuer, the large man with scars crisscrossing his face, could hold the key to healing the scars that they both have.
Review: So close, yet so far away. I love the tortured soul, the wounded soldier story, but I also need to have a little more realism in my books. Jace and Nathaniel were just a little too unbelievable to be true. The author did an amazing job of depicting the PTSD that Jace was suffering, and I was totally enraptured by this struggles. Knowing that such a big man could be so tormented is a weakness of mine and it’s what drew me to this story. What pulled me out was Nathaniel, the insta-love, and the family drama.
Don’t get me wrong, the story is good, but you really need to suspend belief..a lot. Jace is the suffering ex-military man and Nathaniel is the nineteen year old homeless youth that saves Jace from himself. Both have horrid pasts but only Jace’s is thoroughly depicted. Nathaniel is just too perfect. Here is an uneducated, street kid who instinctively knows how to ground someone suffering from panic attacks, PTSD induced nightmares, who stands up to Jace’s father without even knowing the man. Maybe it’s possible, but Nathaniel is the epitome of the perfect person and that never works for me, especially when he was unloved and homeless since age thirteen. By all rights, Nathaniel should have needed some kind of help himself.
Jace’s family is suffering right alongside him because he shuts them out. So when he finally does go home, he ends up treating them terribly. Yes, he has major issues, and yes his family needed to back off a little, but Jace needed to man up and explain why he didn’t come home after he was released back to the states…not just treat his parents liked they were spoiled toddlers. It gets better, but the fact that Jace and Nathaniel chose to stay in their room and have sex, over and over again, instead of spending time with the family that has been worried sick over you just reeks of disrespect and entitlement. Plus, the fact that Jace carried Nathaniel everywhere just about did me in. My eyes were just about rolling out of my head. Nathaniel is a man, not a girl and not a child, so please authors allow men to be men.
The ex-girlfriend story line was just a big no. I can’t even go there because it felt off from the start to the end. The fact that a baby is involved was fine; the fact that two men who have severe emotional and psychological issues, are in a new relationship, can so easily decide to take on a newborn together just did not work.
I am sorry that this sounds like I hated it and turned the review into a major critique, and I usually am better at being a little more constructive in my not so stellar reviews, but I cannot get past too many aspects that consistently took me out of the story. I know this is book one of a series, and I really liked both Landon (Jace’s friend) and Rocky (Jace’s brother), so I might try book two to see if their story works better for me.
Overall Impression: It was okay
*I purchased my own, personal copy of this book for review.*