Reviewed by Sarina
SERIES: Cattle Valley # 18
AUTHOR: Carol Lynne
PUBLISHER: Pride Publishing
LENGTH: 94 pages
RELEASE DATE: August 9, 2010
Zac Alben loved his life in Cattle Valley until he made the ultimate mistake and introduced his partner in life, Terry, to his on-the-job partner, Jakob. He hoped the two men would hit it off, but he had no idea the meeting would forever change his life.
Scarred and broken, Zac shows the facade of a man on the mend. He returns to work, joins the community in celebrating Cattle Valley Days and wakes nightly in a cold sweat.
Pushed away at every turn, Jakob Cox still doesn’t know what happened the night Zac nearly lost his life. Despite Zac’s cold shoulder, Jakob takes it upon himself to drag the man he loves back into the land of the living.
You know, after reading nearly twenty books in this series I thought I’d had a handle on what to expect but after reading Scarred I have to admit that I was wrong. Before jumping into the review, allow me to give a small warning first: this book deals with some very real issues surrounding mental illness and depression and anyone that has had any kind of experience with either of these issues may find this a harder read to get through. While I don’t suffer from either of these conditions myself, I do have a couple of relatives that do and will fully admit that the things Zac and Jakob go through here touched a nerve. Please be aware if this may be a trigger for you.
Now, Zac’s story was touched on in the previous book but was obviously fleshed out here. Some things to keep in mind: in the beginning, Zac was in a relationship with Terry (an unhealthy one) before Terry convinced Zac to allow his friend Jakob into their bed as an occasional third. Yes, there is a tiny bit of menage in the book but not very much so if that isn’t your thing, don’t worry about it overmuch. When Zac and Jakob’s feelings for each other begin to deepen, things come to a head between Zac and Terry leading to the events in the previous book. Yes, that’s a little vague but it all gets explained and expanded upon here so I don’t want to ruin that. What followed was a book about healing but the road was in no way easy and proved that not all scars are physical. Jakob proved himself to be a strong character and just the kind of man Zac needed in order to get himself straightened out and on the actual road to recovery, not the façade he was putting up for everyone else to see. Things weren’t magically perfect by the end of the book but that’s just the kind of realism I appreciated, especially with this subject manner.
This wasn’t the easiest book to get through at times but was well worth the read; anyone that’s a little over empathetic will probably tear up at least a little during the reading (like I did) but the sacrifice of tissues was one I was happy to make.