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Guest reviewer for Paranormalhaven.com. Goofy and gregarious, although mostly sensible. Love to chat about books! :)

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Beautiful Scars

Beautiful Scars - Shiloh Walker ****Review posted as guest review over at Paranormalhaven.com****2.5 Stars I picked up Beautiful Scars by Shiloh Walker while not having the slightest idea that it would become one of the hardest reviews I’ve written to date. I’ll expand on that a little later. Marc Archer, a famous musician, needs an escort for a party he’s supposed to attend. His half-sister Shera runs a companion service and sets him up with an old friend, Chaili Bennett. Chaili has been friends with Marc for years and has long since had a crush on him. She uses Marc’s dateless opportunity to have Shera set her up as his date. Marc goes along with the date and things quickly progress from there. Part of my unhappiness with this story is the trope of friends to lovers. There’s a really big part of me that gets frustrated with men having the “light bulb moment” after they see their girl “friend” dressed to the nines in a party dress or some such nonsense. It annoys me because I perceive the guy as not having any sort of observant qualities and they only take notice of her because of the way she’s dressed! The other problem with the friends to lovers idea in this story is I never really bought into the idea of them being friends. He’s always away touring and makes a note to contact her, but never follows through on those particular thoughts. I have a name for friends like those. They’re called acquaintances. I thought the book illustrated more lust than friendship, and I was never fully convinced that Marc was a swell guy. While Chaili and Marc are busy slaking their lust, Marc discovers information that’s pretty pertinent to Chaili’s need for more cash and takes it upon himself to fix her situation. I will admit that Marc’s reaction to what Chaili went through (relates to the title of the book no less) is probably the biggest redeemable aspect of this novel. His unreserved acceptance of her, her body, and what she went through really did go a long way in making me finish the book when I was borderline DNF’ing. Because I never bought into the developing relationship between the two of them, the love scenes felt more gratuitous than not. It struck a chord, because while I do see myself as pretty open minded, a couple of the scenes kind of made me flinch and hurry through them. And then I had to re-evaluate why this book caused me to have this particular reaction, but other books have not. It’s not badly written, but Beautiful Scars touched on several hot button items for me (including having a woman threaten a man with telling everyone that he assaulted/raped her when he’s done no such thing) that made me unable to like the story more than I did.