20 July 2013

Tour + Review: Scarred Love by M. S. Brannon

New Adult/Romance
Date Published: 6/6/2013

Darcie Claiborne spent several years of her young life living with a monster, always fearing what he would do next. Clasping onto her last ounce of hope, Darcie releases a scream. It’s her final attempt to live; to survive the villain of her reality. Sweeping her up in his arms, Darcie’s knight in shining armor rescues her from the hell she’s been living; from the stepfather she's feared for all those years.
Reggie Evans has been forced to grow up before he’s ready when his mother dies of an overdose, leaving him responsible to raise his younger brothers. One fateful night, Reggie jogs by an old, run down house and discovers a young girl clinging to life as she screams for help.
Three years later, Darcie is healing and always protected by the man who saved her, but now she's fighting with something she isn't prepared to face. The growing love for the man who saved her life three years ago, the same man who’s nine years older. All the while, Reggie fights to protect Darcie from the demons of her past and new ones of her present.
Suddenly, I am transported back in time to three years ago. The feeling of being pinned down by my arms and legs, the feeling of a man’s weight restraining me and the inability to breathe flashes into my mind. I start to violently shake my head from side to side. My breathing gets short and fast. Without even realizing it, I start to scream; just like I did the night he planned to touch me.
Jake freaks out and quickly releases my body from under his. “Shit, Darcie, I’m sorry. I forgot how you get.”
I’m still screaming, unable to move. I’m frozen to the carpet. I’m still in that house. Lying on that urine soaked bed.
Salvation arrives.
Reggie appears out of the nowhere. He kneels down beside me. His hands are wiping the anger away from my face as he whispers into my ear, “Shhh, Darcie. It’s okay. I won’t let him hurt you again, never again. As long as there’s breathe left in my body, he will never harm you again.” His voice is all I need to hear. My eyes begin to focus. My brain begins to register the only true protector I’ve had in my life.
What I say: In Scarred Love M. S. Brannon really throws her readers in at the deep end - which I really like! From the very beginning of the disturbing prologue, to the final page there is a lot of action and drama. Okay, so a lot of the action involves drinking, drag-racing and moody looks, but you really get to experience Darcie and the Evans brothers story in full, messy detail right along with them.
In the prologue Reggie finds and rescues Darcie from her traumatic ordeal. The book then picks up with a now 17-year-old Darcie living with the Evans family. Who are: Reggie, Jeremy, Jake and Drake. I loved their dynamic and felt that each and every one of them bought something useful to the story.
Darcie is still plagued by her horrific childhood and memories of her stepfather Robert and neglectful mother. She still has nightmares and doesn't like being touched. Reggie is the sole person who can offer her comfort and bring her relief from her nightmares; his touch she likes!
Some people may find Darcie's relationship with Reggie somewhat controversial. Not only is Reggie the person who rescued her, he's also her guardian/protector and happens to be nearly ten years older than her. Their relationship is a slow burn and never felt wrong or weird to me. Reggie is understandably concerned about getting involved with his teenage ward and holds back, pretending her doesn't want her. Cue tears, misunderstandings and a LOT of sexual frustration. At times I wanted to smack him for being so oblivious. However I loved how he looked after his younger brothers and Darcie. He has spent several years protecting her from Robert and anybody else looking to harm her.
Darcie eventually starts dating the arrogant, drag-racer Grady (you can only imagine how well that goes down with Reggie and the boys) in a vain attempt to move on from her obsession with Reggie. Her interaction with Presley (the new girl at school) was really sweet. I guessed the Presley secret pretty early on, but still liked the story.
I enjoyed Scarred Love and felt Brannon did a good job covering some extremely traumatic issues. I did find Darcie a bit much at times, because she would swing between being really immature to extremely grownup and then back again really quickly, her dialogue and language often reflected this. But after everything Darcie has experienced both before and during the course of the book, this is kind of understandable.

4 Stars in my Sky!
Author Bio:

M.S. Brannon was born and raised in the Midwest. She still resides there today with her wonderful husband and son. When she is not writing or reading, M.S. Brannon spends time with her family, watching movies, and discovering new music. She writes romance because she believes love and heartache is the rawest emotion one can experience.

Twitter: @MSBrannonAutho


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