Series: Scarlet Scars #1
Published by Self Published on 1/16/17
Genres: Romance, Mystery, Suspense
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Once upon a time, there was a guy who got so fed up with life that he resorted to murder and mayhem just to feel alive.
Lorenzo Gambini is bored. So f*cking bored. Most people either annoy him or avoid him, afraid to face him. Figuratively. Literally. With his face partially disfigured, scarred, he looks every bit the monster the stories make him out to be: the notorious Scar. They say he's a sociopath. Maybe he's a psychopath. Whatever path he's on, people tend to stay far away from it.
Until one day, a young woman bumps right into him--a woman just as fed up with life, but for much different reasons. With a Scarlet Letter inked on her wrist and secrets buried deep in her soul, Morgan Myers is running from something... or maybe somebody. Lorenzo isn't quite sure.
You can bet your ass he's going to figure it out, though.
No one mixes violence and lust and raw animal attraction between the most broken people the way JM Darhower does. No one weaves threads of sweet chemistry through such an ugly, terrifying tapestry of crime and murder the way JM Darhower does. No one creates such inherently bad, misunderstood characters and makes you root for them to win, for them to survive, for them to find some semblance of a happily ever after the way JM Darhower can.
5 “This Was Everything” Stars!
Menace is a gritty, tantalizing mix of fear, sex, and violence. This story feels dirty. It’s not uplifting or heartwarming or deeply romantic. It’s about survival. It’s about a war I didn’t even fully understand, fought by characters who wouldn’t let me get close enough to figure out what they’re fighting for. Lorenzo, with his scar and his henchmen and his notoriety, who isn’t afraid of anything, who is cold and indifferent and wholly captivating all at once. Morgan, with her past and her solitude and her shame, afraid of everything and nothing, strong yet vulnerable all at the same time. Together, they don’t make any sense but somehow they make all the sense. Somehow, in these streets where imminent death feels like it’s lurking right around the corner, where the hunter and the hunted have every reason to betray each other to save themselves, in each other they find some inexplicable thing that connects them, making them feel more alive than anything else.
This story felt a bit slow going at first but before I even knew it, I was completely consumed by it. There’s no one to trust here in these streets of scarred men and scared women and dirty deeds and death. There’s no one to turn to. There’s only fear and survival and darkness. And in the middle of all that, a sordid relationship between two people who can’t trust each other, but they can use each other is born. It’s not clean. It’s not honest. It’s a symbiotic relationship born on lies and secrets and selfishness. And it’s somehow the most deliciously addictive dynamic you can imagine.
This book is just… WHOA. It’s very cryptic, the story evolving painstakingly, secrets unearthed in their due time. You never completely know these characters, their story, their intentions because everything is locked up so tightly. Everyone is guarded, so accustomed to shielding themselves off, all unwilling to reveal their fears, their hopes, their truths. So, as the reader, you go through this journey with them on the edge of your seat, never quite knowing who’s trustworthy, who’s going to pull a trigger, who’s going to betray the other, who’s going to pull the rug out, who’s lying, who’s falling, who’s afraid. You don’t know up from down and it’s perfectly frustrating and gripping all at once.
No one mixes violence and lust and raw animal attraction between the most broken people the way JM Darhower does. No one weaves threads of sweet chemistry through such an ugly, terrifying tapestry of crime and murder the way JM Darhower does. No one creates such inherently bad, misunderstood characters and makes you root for them to win, for them to survive, for them to find some semblance of a happily ever after the way JM Darhower can. No one demands you accept such wrongness, such indifference, such coldness, such wickedness the way JM Darhower does. I haven’t read the Monsters in the Dark series yet, but if Lorenzo Gambini made even the tiniest appearance there, I’m running to read it immediately to tide me over until the war continues in Grievous. I’m addicted. I’m addicted to Darhower’s writing, her storytelling, her maddening characters and their dirty deeds, to the way she illustrates physical attraction, chemistry, the possibilities of hope and love and romance in the darkest places, the places so barren, nothing should grow. I’m addicted to it all and I can’t wait for more.
About the Author
JM Darhower is the USA Today Bestselling Author of romance novels of all flavors (erotic, suspense, contemporary, paranormal). She lives in a tiny town in the Carolinas with her family, where she churns out more words than will ever see the light of day. She has a deep passion for politics and human rights, and when she isn’t writing she’s usually ranting about those things. Chronic crimper with a vulgar mouth, she admits to having a social media addiction. You can find her there.
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