Kaiya Marlow has always been cautious, precise in every decision she makes. When her dark past threatens to resurface, she decides to take precautions to protect herself by enrolling in self-defense classes at her gym.
Her instructor, Ryker Campbell, is the tattooed womanizer everyone warns about. Kaiya attempts to resist Ryker's advances, but the more time they spend training together, the harder it is for Kaiya to resist him.
Ryker's view on relationships is simple: strictly sex, nothing more. Haunted by demons from his past, he never allows himself to become attached to any woman. No attachment means no weakness, no vulnerability, no pain. He doesn't realize that his whole world is about to be turned upside down when Kaiya enters his self-defense class. Determined to have her, at least for one night, Ryker sets a plan into motion that will change both of their lives forever.
3.5 broken stars
"I can't be fixed. Some demons just don't leave you alone. They haunt you forever."
"I'm scared, too. I haven't felt this way about someone since…well, a really long time. I promise I won't hurt you if you don't hurt me."
Kayla is tired of feeling scared, weak and broken; wanting to do something for herself she invests some time at the gym, taking a self defense class to help her feel stronger; physically and emotionally. With her past not so forgotten, she controls everything around her and has rules in place to keep it that way. Kayla has a friend with benefits relationship with, Bryce, he understands that it's all about sex and he respects her rules, never wanting to push her for more...
"One, I don't do foreplay -- strictly sex."Two, my throat is off limits. I don't like having it touched."Three, I have to control when I…when I go."One more - I don't spend the night."
...unlike Ryker who is hell bent on breaking every single one of her rules; whether the thought thrills her or scares her, she doesn't know.
"...one day, I will break each of those rules--one…by…one. And you're going to love every second of it when I do."
But one thing is for sure, Ryker is not like anyone she has ever met, he understands her in a way no one else does and is strong enough to take on her demons, she just has to let him try...
"Some scars can never be erased.""Lemme try, Warrior."
Emotionally and physically scared, she keeps on pushing and pulling Ryker, knowing she is too damaged for someone as good as him. Ryker has no idea what he is up against but he is willing to put everything on the line to make sure Ky feels safe and protected even if it is from herself. Over time she begins to feel stronger, more empowered, feeling capable of anything, but is it enough to finally beat her past???
The Scars of Us is about two broken souls, broken in different ways but still broken non the less. The scars that haunt them run both in and out, but it is the one on the inside that affect them most. Scared of how strongly they feel for one another, they have to take a risk.
Ryker was a strong male lead, who pushed her to what she needed, never coddled her but shows her the warrior he sees. I liked the change in Kayla from beginning to end, you can see her healing and getting out of the hold of her past. I think the only thing that bothered me was Kayla's relationship with Bryce, feeling bad for the guy who was pretty much used.
This had an interesting plot, as sad as it was, but it is what made the story. The story is told from multiple POV, but wasn't hard to follow and made things make more sense. An enjoyable broken tale of a second chance to live your life, without fear and with love. Although this chapter of their lives come to an end, there is more to come for Ryker and Kayla, after all scars don't disappear overnight.
ARC kindly provided by the author, in exchange for an honest review.
***Quotes above are taken from the ARC version of the book and may differ upon publication.