Scarred*

Heroine Confronts Her Past

Scarlett, who left her hometown as soon as she could, comes back for her twin sister’s wedding. Scarlett hasn’t been back because she was bullied severely in high school for her weight and her crush on one of the football stars. Her treatment back then destroyed her, and she acts out sexually because of it. She has no desire for a permanent relationship, and she has a string of one-night stands. She decides that a good way to get back at least one person in her hometown is to have a one-night stand with one of the perpetrators, Ethan, the one she had a crush on, to show him what he missed. Of course, it isn’t that simple. She has rules for her one-night stands, and she ends up breaking them with him.

What motivates Scarlett to act differently than she usually does? What exactly is the dynamic between her and Ethan? Will Scarlett finally be able to sort out her thoughts and feelings about what she suffered when she was younger?

This book is very unusual for contemporary romance in that it looks at not just one but two difficult topics, bullying and domestic abuse. It’s easy to see how the teenage bullying changed Scarlett, altering not only her perceptions of herself but how she reacted to those around her (not just men). In an ironic twist, one of Scarlett’s main tormentors became the victim of domestic abuse. The author did a good job of showing how and why these two women were at odds but were able to come around to a better understanding in part based on the pain of their pasts.

Note: This book has highly graphic descriptions of sexual acts with many sexual scenes described in slang terms for body parts and actions. There is a lot of profanity both in the sexual scenes and outside them.

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