First off I must say, this series is not the typical romance novels you may have read, they are so much more. I am reviewing two books with a Novella on the side which are all part of this series beautifully written by author Mary E. Palmerin.
The first book, Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow is a story about Lyla Harper, a beautiful woman with a very dark past. She is living in Chicago trying to start her life after college. She is a woman that does not see herself as the beautiful woman she is, she has long, dark brown hair and possess a real woman's curves with beautiful tattoos (my favorite part). She starts working for a public relations and marketing firm in Chicago, working as an executive assistant to Michael Thomas a brash, rough and often rude millionaire mogul. Lyla's past is something she vowed never to return to, well at least not physically, but mentally, it's never far away from her. In fact, her coping methods only help her escape it temporarily. Lyla thought she would be by herself forever and never thought she was worthy of love from any man, until she meet Everett Brown, a handsome lawyer, on a night out, and her world changes. An event that happens to Lyla in Chicago takes her and Everett back to her home town of Rigdon, Kansas where despite everything she experienced ends up being the place she was meant to be. Her confidence in herself and her love for Everett will be tested in a shocking way. This book is not your mama's Danielle Steele's novel, not wanting to give anything away, Mary writes about a taboo subject matter that will make people feel uncomfortable, but the story of Lyla is a story worth writing, as it can give hope to any women that has gone through this exact life changing event. Lyla is stronger than she realizes and her test will be her saving grace and provide her the will to live. If you have not read this book, please I beg you to pick it up and READ IT! You will find yourself as I did, crying for Lyla.
In the process of finishing up the second book, Shadows of Scars and Sorrow, Mary did a short novella on Lyla, a prequel before Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow. This novella gives the reader a better perspective of Lyla and the hell she endured while waiting to leave her home town of Rigdon. How she dreamed for herself a better life, but first she would have to suffer before that could happen. The reader will have full knowledge of all of Lyla before reading the the sequel, Shadows of Scars and Sorrow. Once again, Mary doesn't leave anything out in this short story, the good, bad and the ugly, beautifully written.
Now, the second book, Shadows of Scars and Sorrow is one of those books that just left me spent! This book is from the perspective of Everett Brown. Mary takes the reader into the mind of Everett, Lyla's now, fiance (and that's all I'm going to say, unless you have read the first book) and his insecurities, his constant need to not only love her, endlessly, but to provide her protection from harm starts to weigh on him. His fear of losing the love of his life starts to push him to the edge because he is keeping secrets from her to protect her. Lyla, still raw and recovering from events in the first book, is working to get settled into their new home, back in her home town of Rigdon and planning a future for her and Everett. Everett, trying to settle and close open wounds from his family, starts an investigation unbeknownst to Lyla. What Everett learns about his family is enough to make your stomach turn. This book had my emotions so up and down that by the end of the book and it's shocking cliffhanger, I had to take a few days off from reading. Mary captured so much emotion in these books that it felt very real. Mary really captured the rawness of a love this deep even when tragic things happen to the one you love, that love doesn't stop, it grows and the pain suffered from your loved one now becomes yours.
The Sassy Review ~ 5 Stars
This series is AMAZING! Reading these books is a nice break from anything similar to that famous series, it's refreshing! Not suitable for readers under 18 years of age, due to graphic content.