Seared on my Soul

Seared on my Soul

by Cole Gibsen

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781633756304
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date: 06/27/2016
Sold by: Macmillan
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 258
Sales rank: 464,795
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

At seventeen Cole found herself homeless with only a beat- up Volkswagen Jetta and a bag of Goodwill clothing to her name. The only things that got her through the nights she spent parked in truck stops and corn elds were the stacks of books she checked out from the library along with her trusty ashlight. Because of the reprieve these books gave her from her troubles, Cole vowed to become a writer so she could provide the same escape to readers who needed a break the reality of their own lives.

www.colegibsen.com

Read an Excerpt

Seared on my Soul


By Cole Gibsen, Liz Pelletier

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2016 Cole Gibsen
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-63375-630-4


CHAPTER 1

Emily

The bass beat thumps so loud, pulsing through the ground into the soles of my feet. Several times my heel catches the edge of a pothole, nearly sending me sprawling onto the crumbling parking lot. The triple shot iced mocha in my hand sloshes loudly with each near-fall.

The dumpster nestled against the bar is so full the lid rests halfway open on top of a mound of garbage bags and cardboard boxes. The sickly sweet smell of rot and fried food permeates the parking lot.

Graffiti decorates the entire south wall of the crumbling brick building. A dented and rusted rain gutter hangs on for dear life, held in place by a single screw. The place is a hell pit. A beautiful, glorious hell pit where they serve magical beverages that make me forget all about my sucky-ass job serving lattes and scones to ungrateful hipsters and jackasses in suits — at least for the night, anyway.

I place my hand against the sticky glass door and pause, casting one last glance over my shoulder. I know he won't be there — and he's not. Habit, I guess. After our dad died, my older brother felt it was his duty to trail me like a shadow. Now that he's in a serious relationship, I guess he has better things to do than follow me around on weekends to make sure I stay out of trouble.

Thank fucking God.

Confirming the lot behind me is indeed free of stalker-brothers, I smile. Despite feeling like I've waited forever for the day I could go out without my brother breathing down my neck, now that it's here I pictured something ... more. In my head I imagined fireworks and a parade. I saw myself riding in the back of a convertible, waving to my adoring fans, and wearing a sash that read Emily is a motherfucking adult now.

The reality is ... anticlimactic.

Without Lane trailing me and dictating my every move, I can finally get myself into some good, old-fashioned trouble. The problem is, there's not a lot of trouble to be had in a dull-ass Midwestern town like Springfield, Illinois.

And that sucks.

The front doors of the bar are coated in a yellow haze of nicotine residue. Even though cigarettes are no longer permitted indoors, the smells of smoke, grease from the kitchen, and beer saturate the air inside, oozing into my pores. I shiver happily.

Beyond the crammed dance floor, band members scramble to lug their amps and instruments out onto the stage. Careful not to jostle the drink in my hand, I slide through the mass of bodies, until I reach the smooth lacquer of the bar's edge. I set the coffee down on the sticky surface, only to have it immediately snatched.

"You are a life saver," Ren the bartender shouts over the buzz of voices laughing and shouting. "Triple shot?"

"What am I? New?" I scan the crowd for my best friend Ashlyn, who happens to be Lane's girlfriend. I introduced them when I took Ash to my brother's studio to get a tattoo covered up. I had no idea at the time Ash was living out of her car to escape her abusive step-dad. Lane rented her the shitty apartment above his studio and it didn't take long for sparks to fly.

I'm happy for them, but I still don't get it. Who knew some girls find "perpetually grumpy" a turn on?

Ren smiles and cups the drink in her hands. She's wearing a tank top and, like me, ink decorates both her arms from shoulders to wrists. It doesn't matter her black hair is pulled into a messy bun or that her eye liner is smudged around her slanted eyes, she looks gorgeous as usual. Lucky for me she's picky with her men — and women depending on her mood — so we've never been at odds over a guy.

Ren takes a long sip, after which she sighs. "You're an angel, Em. There was no way I was going to get through the night without this." After another sip, she reaches into the cooler and grabs a cider, twisting the cap off before placing it in front of me. She leans across the bar and juts her chin toward the crowd gathering around the stage. "So, who's it going to be?"

"Not tonight, Renny. It's girls' night. No boys allowed."

Ren leans back, nodding approvingly. "Ashlyn coming up?"

I nod, taking a swig of my drink. A bit of cider dribbles from the corner of my mouth. I lick it, careful not to dislodge the rhinestone piercing above my lip. Along with my rockabilly style, the piercing is homage to my idol, Marilyn Monroe.

"Good," she says. "I haven't seen much of her lately."

That makes two of us, I think, pulling out a tube of red lipstick — the same color as the bandana tied around my platinum curls — and touch up my lips. When I'm finished, I take another drink to swallow the sour resentment burning up the back of my throat. I get that Ashlyn's pursuing her dreams, and I'm super happy she's all in love or whatever — especially when she makes my brother and niece equally happy. But now that she's either in school, studying, or doing whatever it is in-love people do together, there's very little time left for her to hang out with me.

"Em! Hey, Em."

I glance up and find Ashlyn squeezing through the crowd to get to me. She's not exactly dressed for a night out. Her face is makeup-free, eyes dark and tired looking. Her brown hair hangs slightly askew in a limp ponytail. And she's wearing a paint-splattered t-shirt and a pair of yoga pants. Ashlyn, God love her, has always had minimal fashion sense, but this is a little basic even for her.

I frown. "Honey, you didn't suffer a stroke, did you?" I ask when she reaches the bar. "I mean, you do realize what you're wearing, right?"

She playfully swats my shoulder. "I missed you, too."

Ren deposits a whiskey neat in front of her before spinning away to answer the calls for beer at the opposite end of the bar.

"Thanks, Ren!" Ash calls after her before taking a sip.

"So the outfit ..." I prompt. "Did you change plans without telling me? Are we going to Pilates or something?"

Ash rolls her eyes. "You seriously have no idea the kind of day I've had."

"You're right," I agree. "Because I never see you anymore."

She flinches and sets her drink back on the bar. "Oh, Em. I know. I'm so sorry. It's just with school, and finals, and —"

She looks so uncomfortable I actually feel guilty for bringing it up. "It's okay. You've got a lot going on. I understand." And I do. Still, there's this selfish part of me that misses hanging out with my best friend. And maybe, just maybe, if I'm completely honest with myself, there's another part of me — a much, much, smaller part — that is even a tiny bit jealous. Ash has her life all figured out, while I'm still whipping up non-fat soy lattes for douchebag assholes all day.

I take another long swig from my bottle. I just have to keep that small part of myself drowned in an ocean of booze.

"Thanks." She reaches out and squeezes my arm. That's when I notice the fresh ink on her forearm.

"New tat?"

She glances at her arm and smiles. "Yeah." She traces her finger around the image of a compass with its arrow pointing north. "Lane did it. He has a matching one. Since neither one of us believes in tattooing names, we decided to get compasses. So we can always find our way back home to each other."

I take another gulp of my cider to distract myself from the urge to vomit across the bar. "That's, um, really nice."

She has this dumb, lopsided grin on her face. "Your brother can be really sweet, you know?"

No, I don't. The Lane I grew up with was overprotective, controlling, and had a large stick permanently wedged up his ass. Obviously the Lane she's dating is an alien imposter. But, as long as he continues to stay out of my life, the body-snatcher version of my brother can stay. "New rule," I say, salting a coaster so my bottle won't stick, "no more guy talk during girls' night."

"Oh." She ducks her head. "You're absolutely right. I'm sorry, I —"

I wave a hand in the air, cutting her off. "Forget it. How about we talk about your outfit instead? Because, seriously. You're wearing sweatpants in a bar."

"Yoga pants," she argues.

"There's a difference?"

"Yeah. Yoga pants are more refined. They're the classy sweatpants."

I can't help it. I laugh. Which is strange because, even as the giggle bubbles up my throat, sadness squeezes my chest. I miss Ash. I miss the jokes. I miss venting about asshole customers with her. Ever since she quit working at the coffeehouse, we no longer have nights spent talking and stuffing our face with stale cake pops when we should be closing the shop.

Ash laughs, too, and together we giggle until we're red in the face and heaving for breath. She takes another sip of her whiskey between gasps. "I'm sorry I was late. I was up all last night studying, and then I had to pick Harper up from school early because she's sick, so I spent the entire day taking care of her. Lane would have done it, but he's overbooked this week. That's why I didn't have time to change."

My breath catches. "Is Harper okay?"

She sighs. "Lane thinks it's strep. He was getting her ready to go to Urgent Care right before I left."

A thread of worry weaves through my ribs. I hate thinking about my seriously adorable niece suffering. "Because of your selfless act of taking care of my Harper, the fashion police hereby dismiss all charges against you."

She grins. "Well, thank God. I wasn't sure how I was going to afford an attorney." Her phone buzzes with a text. She picks it up. Her brow furrows as she reads. "Oh no."

I set my bottle down. "What's wrong?"

She chews on her bottom lip before answering. "It's Harper. It turns out Lane was right. She has strep. He took her home and asked if I could pick up her antibiotics from the pharmacy."

"You have to go." I fight to keep my disappointment from showing on my face. Part of being a motherfucking adult is understanding sick kids always take precedence over girls' night. So I do my best to ignore the jealousy ripping through my gut, as well as the urge to cry, That's not fair!

"Promise me you'll give Harper an extra kiss from Aunt Em?" I ask.

"I promise." Ash hurriedly tucks her phone into her purse and slides off the barstool. "I'm so sorry. I was really looking forward to finally hanging out."

Me, too. Instead of saying so, I wave a hand dismissively. "I get it. I totally understand. We'll just have to try again some other time."

"Yes," she says, inching backward through the crowd. "Really soon."

"Really soon," I repeat, but I don't think she can hear me. Her back's already turned and she's halfway to the door. With a sigh I turn back to my drink and pick at the label. What a sucky turn of events.

Ren wanders over to me with a frown. "Where'd Ash go?"

"Harper's sick," I say, ripping off ribbons of soggy label.

Ren reaches for Ash's whiskey, but I swat her fingers away. "Leave it."

Ren scowls, placing a hand on her hip. "Don't be like that. You still have me. And a whole bar full of potential."

I look up. She has a point. There's no sense in letting the entire night go to waste. After all, the only thing waiting for me at home is half a bottle of flat wine and a DVR full of reality television.

God, why does my life sound so pathetic?

I shake my head to clear my thoughts as I swivel my stool around to survey the crowd. "All right, then. Let's assess our options, shall we?" Even though Ren's bar, The Wishing Well, is nothing but a hole in the wall, she hosts some of the country's best indie bands. This means the crowd is an eclectic mix of college hipsters, rockers, dropouts, music lovers, and the usual drunks. I have options.

I nod toward a muscular guy sitting on a stool in the corner of the room. "He has possibilities."

"Nope." Ren shakes her head. "Girlfriend." No sooner does she say the word when a thin brunette in a barely-there skirt perches herself on his lap.

"Meh." I wave my hand. "There's more where he came from."

"What about him? He's hot." Ren points her finger to a clean-shaven blond guy bent over a pool table.

I consider him for a moment. Sure, he's got a nice ass, but there's not an inch of ink or a piercing on him. In other words, boring. "I don't do J.Crew models." I wrinkle my nose. "I swear, Ren. It's like you don't know me at all."

She snorts. "Oh, I know you plenty, honey. You always go for the biggest player in the place. It wouldn't hurt to mix it up for once."

I narrow my eyes. "I totally resent that. I don't go for the biggest player in the place ... I am the biggest player in the place."

Ren laughs. "That's my girl." A guy shouts at her from down the bar. She groans and wipes her hands on her apron. "Listen, the natives are getting restless, but I'll be back. In the meantime, I believe what you're looking for is right there." She points to the back of the room.

I follow her finger to a lean guy in a tank top carrying a bass drum onto the stage. Tattoos decorate both of his arms and line his chest. His hair is cropped short on the sides and his ears are pierced with thick black plugs. "A drummer!" I can barely contain the squeal in my voice as I clasp my hands together. "It's not even my birthday!"

Ren rolls her eyes as she slides away. "Do I know you or do I know you? Still, you might want to try something new. Give J. Crew a chance."

I make a face and wave her suggestion away. "I like what I like."

She arches an eyebrow. "Yeah? And what is it about these men you find so appealing? Their loose morals?"

"Close. My ideal man must have the uncanny ability to disappear in the morning." I snap my fingers to illustrate my point.

Ren hands a guy a shot glass of tequila and wipes her fingers off on the towel tucked into her apron. "I don't know, babe. Sometimes it's nice when they stick around."

I snort and turn my attention back to the man-candy on stage. "I spent my entire life under the watchful gaze of my older brother. Now that I'm finally free, the last thing I want is another man tying me down. At least not before I —" I can't finish the sentence, because I'm not sure how. Before I visit the castles in Scotland again? Drink at the taverns in Ireland for the third time? Skydive for the fifth time? Get a real job? Before I figure out what it is I want to do with my life?

And now that I'm thinking about it, what do I want? "I'm still young," I answer myself out loud. "The point is this little birdie is going to stretch her wings before she gets thrown back into a cage."

Grinning, Ren grabs two shot glasses off the rack and fills them with Fireball. Taking a glass in her hand, she slides the other to me. "To freedom."

I pick the glass up and clink it against hers. "To freedom."

Ren goes back to taking orders, and I settle into my seat. The whiskey warms the pit of my stomach and fills my head with a delicious haze. I lean against the bar as the day's tension slowly unwinds from my shoulders. Work was a bitch today. It was bad enough the people wanting lattes was never ending, but top that with a fifteen-minute lecture from some granola mom on the poisonous properties of cow's milk and it was truly the day from hell.

I glance at the drummer bent over his kit as he adjusts the mic stand in front of the bass drum. His jeans are so tight very little is left to the imagination. Maybe he can feel the heat of my gaze searing into his backside, or maybe fate is finally on my side. Either way, he looks behind him and meets my eyes.

He winks.

I can't help but smile as I trace the sticky rim of the shot glass. At least now things are looking up.

CHAPTER 2

Reece

The words on the page blur to inky pools, and I know I just don't have it in me to read one more essay on the Industrial Revolution and its effects on modern commerce. I squeeze my eyes shut and rub my hands down my face.

"Rough night?"

Startled, I jerk back, blinking my eyes to find Tonya, an eleventh grade geometry teacher, standing in the doorway of my classroom. I always thought she was cute, but today she crossed the line into sexy, with her pencil skirt, black-rimmed glasses, and hair pulled back in a bun. For the millionth time I consider asking her out. She's exactly my type — nice, pretty, educated. My parents would love her.

Maybe that's what stops me from asking.

Or maybe it's the bullet hanging from the chain around my neck.

Either way, the words knot inside my throat until I have no choice but to swallow them down. "Yeah." I lean back in my chair and pinch the bridge of my nose. "Industrial Revolution essays. Twenty of them."

"Oof." Her face scrunches in a sympathetic pout — it's adorable. "That'll do it."

I nod, gathering the papers in a stack then stuffing them into my leather messenger bag. "I wanted to be done by now — looks like I'm going to have to DVR the game."

She leans her head against the doorframe. "Cards versus Cubs?"

I zip my bag shut and look at her. "You're a baseball fan?"

She grins. "Don't tell on me, but I'm a Cardinals fan. Big time."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Seared on my Soul by Cole Gibsen, Liz Pelletier. Copyright © 2016 Cole Gibsen. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Seared On My Soul 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
bhillson83 More than 1 year ago
Everything happens for a reason, maybe we meet someone because of what life throws us our way. This is so true in the case of Emily Garret, who has given up on life and what it means to her. One fateful night, after throwing caution to the wind, Emily winds up in accident, only to be saved by Reece Montgomery. Reece who is dealing with his own demons cannot be drawn to the tattooed beauty he saved from a wreckage. An accidental date, flirty temptations and two people who are drawn to one another creates quite a story …. And a great story at best. I absolutely loved reading Seared on My Soul by Cole Gibsen as it so different then what is out there right now. Two lost souls who are stuggling with their own demons – one suffering from alcohol abuse and the other PTSD. But together, they are able to overcome anything, because sometimes in life it is okay to rely on someone else. Gibsen tells a tale that is so real, you cannot but help love the characters from the very start. And let me tell you something, Emily is not your typical heroine, however, her feisty attitude and carefree attitude made me lover her even more. The way that Reece and Emily began their romance was a bit comical as well, putting a permanent smile on my face as I read this book – and let me tell you I read it less than one day, because it was that good. I definitely think that you must add Seared on My Soul by Cole Gibsen to your To-Be-Read Shelf. It is so different than the other Contemporary Romance novels out there right now and it may touch something inside of you. Great read!
aprilrenee1976 More than 1 year ago
A Dark and Soul Searching Romance This is a sweet and emotional story of two people - Emily Garret and Reece Montgomery. Of two people who are going thru some really tough times . Emily works at a coffee shop and she has a drinking problem and doesn’t know how to get help. One night while out, she has too much to drink and lets someone else drive her home that stranger had too much to drink too and he wrecks driving her home. A man named Reece comes upon their wrecked car and saves Emily’s life. Reece, as well, has his own demons that he is fighting. When he saves Emily’s life, he starts to feel like he could see a way out of the darkness that he has been in for so long. He lost a close family member, came home from the military suffering PTSD, and suffering a bad injury—all which threw Reece into this dark time. Most of the book, we see the heavy and dark times the MC suffer and the push and pull they go thru—Reece and Emily are not the likeliest pair but their struggles show that they make a good pair together. Emily understands because she struggles every day. She doesn’t feel as if she measures up, that she makes her parents disappointed in her and she feels as if she isn’t good enough so because of how horrible she feels, she drinks to make herself feel better. She understands where Reece comes from. Their push/pull angst struggles make the story come alive with a “will they, wont they” mentality. Both help each other get out of their dark places and their chemistry is so alive yet will they ever come together? I liked how the book ended and where the MC where. My rating: 4.4 stars **** **I was given an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review***
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
This book pulls at the heart strings from the very beginning. Emily is a little frustrating and self centered in the beginning. But as the story goes on, you get to know her and actually feel bad for her. She is young and unsure of herself. How many 21 year olds have their future planned?1?1 However as Reece and Emily get to know each other, I really enjoyed her transformation. She grows as an adult and softens in personality. And by the end, much respect. Then there is Reece. Oh how my heart went out to him. He was so downtrodden, felt so unworthy of happiness. I loved his character. He brings about feelings of sympathy, compassion, respect, awe. And when he opens up, beautiful. Their chemistry was pure and hot. They meshed well, enjoyed just being together and accepted the other as is. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## DISAPPOINTING. After loving the 1st book (Lane's story), I was really looking forward to Emily's book. I have to say I was disappointed for sure. It started off good, but then went off the rails for me. The whole part where these two break up and spend six MONTHS apart was just bad. And another woman helped Reece through his problems? No, just no. They should've been there for each other through her AA and his therapy. And he didn't even go after her; they met only by coincidence after those six months. There needed to be some groveling or some serious conversation. But nothing. Just all is forgiven...The End. Sorry, I just can't recommend.
Lorizen More than 1 year ago
Great book! The story of Reece, the battle worn combat Vet and Emily the tattooed, snarky barista. Emily has zip self esteem. She does everything to excess from her drinking to poor choices to her snarky running commentary. She is funny though, I have to give her credit. Her snark hides her hurt. She is "ruled" by her overbearing older brother who is now involved with her best friend, so she's a little lost there, resentful. A series of bad choices one night puts her in Reece's path, chased by his own demons from his war injuries, PTSD and estrangement from his family (his choice). The night their paths cross is a turning point for both of them. Reece is somewhat intrigued by this girl and she him, despite her obvious disdain for anything that looks like the cookie cutter "J Crew" models she hates. Their relationship evolves and this presents a series of challenges for both of them. We see them successful in some areas and then regressed in others. Reece battles with his PTSD and physical hinderance, while she deals with her own special set of demons. The author plays these two off each other like a well tuned violin. The backstory works perfectly, the plot line is straightforward and the characters are deeply developed. She gives us an up close view of what our service members return home with as well as other addictive challenges many face. Great book. I think Cole did a great job with this book. **ARC from Publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***
Splashesintobooks1 More than 1 year ago
Rating: 3.5/5 An unlikely couple help each other heal and find love in this romance. An alcoholic 21 year old barista who isn’t sure what to do with her life and a war vet who has seen more than enough death in his service life so is now struggling with civilian life – what an unlikely couple! She’s had a few too many when she lets the drummer take her home, crashing her car en route. He’s out on his motorbike, trying to blow his demons away when he finds the burning, crashed car. Despite his war injuries, Reece rescues Emily from the vehicle. Both characters have problems to overcome many of which are concerned with self image and acceptance of the past enabling them to work to a future. I initially really didn’t like Emily – I would hate to consider my daughter ever behaving in the way Emily copes with life . . . drinking and sleeping with strangers who she doesn’t even know the name of. She’s had turmoil in her past with the death of her father but she has a loving mother and brother but just seems unable to face up to being a grown up and take responsibility for herself and her actions – so sad! Now Reece is a complete contrast to her. He’s suffering from survivor’s guilt, has unsupportive parents and struggles with PTSD but still has made a new life for himself as a high school teacher. They really are an unlikely couple! However, they do have much in common and it is only through their interactions with each other, their chemistry and growing love for each other that they can both heal and move on to their HEA together. This is a very different romance, where two broken people help each other to heal and I’m so glad Emily found a direction for her life! Thanks to the author, publishers and NetGalley, too, for letting me read this in exchange for my honest review.
Laura_F More than 1 year ago
This was my first book by this author and this definitely won't be my last. Emily is your typical life of the party. She drinks too much. She doesn't seem to have any direction. She doesn't follow through. She makes bad decisions. One of those bad decisions leads her to Reece. Reece is war hero who doesn't do crowds and stays away from relationships. One night on his way home, he comes across a car in a ditch and the girl who serves his coffee everyday. She's lucky he came along or she wouldn't have made it. The two main characters have been through quite a lot. This book shows amazing insight to PTSD, survivor's guilt, and alcoholism. I loved the dual POV in this quick read. The author did a fantastic job of connecting you to the characters and showing their chemistry. I will definitely go back to read Lane and Ash's book. *I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*
repsgoddess More than 1 year ago
I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Seared on My Soul by Cole Gibsen is a story of two lost souls dealing with struggle and perseverance in overcoming life’s hurdles. Pain, anger, loss, confusion, and despair are among just a few of the emotions that you will experience while reading this touching read. Very relatable and complex characters that engage you from the start and have you rooting for them til the very end. This is my first time reading this author and I wasn’t disappointed.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Emily Garret is a free spirit by choice, she's traveled the world, and indulged in a lot of pleasure's that most are too scared to get close to. She is damn proud of all she has done, however, her family is not, they've already lost a lot, and can't bring themselves to accept her lifestyle choices and reckless behavior. They want her to embrace a more acceptable lifestyle like going to college, getting an education, and tying herself to a desk for the rest of her life, but Emily just isn't that type of girl. It hurts knowing she is a disappointment to them, but taking on a life that they would like for her just isn't something she is willing to do, and the mere idea of it sends her on a little bender. Her night starts out to be a little harmless fun, but soon takes a dangerous turn, one that lands her injured and in need of rescuing... and the minute her hero waltzes into her life it changes the path of the both of their lives. The minute Reece Montgomery waltzes into the coffee shop and sees the buxom blonde barista behind the counter he is intrigued with her, she is someone he normally wouldn't give a second look to, but there is just something about her that begs for his attention. Seeing her every morning soon becomes part of his routine, but he has yet worked up the nerve to talk to her, let alone find it in himself to ask her on a date. He lives a fairly sheltered life these days, and is no where near ready for a relationship or even dating for that matter, but walking away from her is just to hard to do... As soon as I read the synopsis for this book I knew it was one I HAD to read, I had previously met some of the characters in Ms. Gibson's Written On My Heart, and I have desperately wanted to return to them and see what she had in store for free spirited Emily... and I am happy to report that I loved what I found! The chemistry between Emily and Reece was electric, each encounter they shared was fueled with power and intensity, and several of those times I swear I could literally feels the sparks between them jumping off my screen!! The story line was engaging, passionate, thought provoking, and packed with so much raw emotion that it took my breath away! It's one of those reads that will hit you deep, and have you feeling the intensity of every word printed on the page, linger in your thoughts long after the last page is turned!! I highly recommend you give this read a try, it is sure to take you on one truly exceptional literary escape, and leave you completely satisfied!! ARC requested through NetGalley, and kindly provided by Entangled Publishing LLC- Embrace in exchange for a honest and unbiased review.
AmyBosica More than 1 year ago
3.5 Stars “That’s the funny thing about dreams, sometimes they live on even when we don’t.” “His eyes blaze with a dark hunger that sets every nerve in my body aflame. He wants me. Me. And it’s that look in his eyes–like I’m something to be desired–that makes me feel more beautiful than his words ever did.” Seared on my Soul is a quick and easy read. It is definitely one that you can finish in one sitting. I loved the idea of this book. I loved the opposites attract quality to it. I feel it made the story a lot of fun and unique. I adored Reece from the moment I met him. He survived the war, but wasn’t really living his life. He held onto a lot of guilt and was dealing with some pretty heavy PTSD. It wasn’t until Emily entered the picture that he wanted to start living again. Emily was a tough character. I had a very love/hate relationship. She was young and very indecisive about her life direction. It wasn’t until she got into an accident and Reece entered her life, that she really started thinking about her life choices and the possiblity of making changes. For the most part, I really enjoyed this story. I wanted to know more about the characters and was excited to see what happened next. I did however, struggle with Emily a bit. I felt that she was very childish at times. And while I understand that she’s young and didn’t have a lot of direction, I kept waiting for her to grow up. Now, that being said, she did grown on me as the story progressed. I loved how she handled Reece and how she was able to talk him down when he’d have a panic attack. The only other issue I had was some of the dialogue used when Emily and Reece would have sex. Now, this just might be me and that’s totally ok, but some of the descriptions made me want to cringe. There are just certain words and terminology that bother me, and this one particular instance did not work for me. Other than those issues, I thought Seared on my Soul was a good read. This story does deal with some pretty tough subject matter and I applaud the author for the way that she handled it. I think this story had a good mix of angst, drama, romance and steam. This is my first book by this author and I think she’s got a lot of good potential. I would definitely be into reading something else from her in the future.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent story of two tortured souls each fighting their demons in the only way they know how. On the outside Emily Garrett is the brass party girl who doesn't care what others think but the reality is she cares too much. Always feeling like she doesn't quite measure up she's turned to alcohol. Reece Montgomery is a vet who was injured and now struggles to deal with the lingering effects of the war and injury. When Reece finds Emily in an overturned car he pulls her out just in time. They slowly form a relationship and over time seem to be exactly what the other needs to help heal. I really enjoyed this one. From the writing to the characters to the pace of the story, everything seemed to work well to tell a great story. I would definitely recommend this one.
Brigittehf More than 1 year ago
Well meaning parents who appear to be domineering can have a big impact on their children's lives. Reece escapes death whilst serving in the army. He is now back home and carries guilt around with him. "It should have been me". The guilt and flashbacks stop him from moving on. Emily is a barrista and likes to have a good time. Growing up and acting her age is her biggest downfall due to her lack of self esteem. She will never be good enough for anything. Might as well come to term with it. Emily is meant to have a girl night with her best friend but plans change unexpectedly. She does what she does best, hook up with a stranger. It's simpler that way. No strings attached. This stranger is not who he appears to be and they have a terrible disaster. Reece has one of his flashbacks and decides to take a country ride. He does what he is trained for and saves the day. He recognises the victim and feels protective towards her. She is not his type but there is something about her! It's a while before Emily realises that Reece is her saviour. Even though she speaks her mind and they strike a friendship which turns into a night of lust, only it feels like it's so much more. The problem is that Reece is still fighting his guilt and the flashbacks keep recurring. He doesn't want to impose this on anyone. Emily doesn't know what she wants out of her life and is commitment phobic. I like Reece's principles and the way he sticks by them. Emily is blunt but as the story develops, it becomes clear that there is another side to her. They are opposite to each other and as the saying goes, opposites attract. Will they be able to fight their demons and explore their true feelings? This is a short, well written and easy to read story. It has all the ingredients of a good romance. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend to lovers of romance novels. I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.