Seared on My Soul by Cole Gibsen

The synopsis was intriguing but once I got into the story I realised that the little snippet that the synopsis gave was far from enough. This was more beguiling than I thought it would be.

Reece and Emily were both drowning in life, both suffering with their own personal demons but would they be able to save each other or would their combined woes be enough to sink them both without a trace?

Emily at the tender age of just 21 was struggling to get to grips with alcohol and exactly where and what she was going to do with her life, after all she never planned on serving coffee for the rest of her days.  

Reece had seem more horror and heartache during his time in service than he cares to remember but the problem is that the reluctant hero can neither forgive or forget his past and both the physical and physiological reminders that plagued him.

But when he happens upon a wrecked car which just happens to have Emily inside, he bears no thought for himself and despite his injuries, he drags her from the burning wreckage. Bonded together in the throes of tragedy, things could have been so much worse but this reluctant pair had an affinity that almost bonded them together.

I was in two minds about Emily, she wasn’t a character that I found I instantly likeable…heck she wasn’t actually likeable for much of the book and I really struggled to get my head around why she did half the things she did.  The drinking and sleeping around almost went hand in hand for her and I got that the death of her father was a huge trigger but she had family that cared her, a mother that absolutely loved her but she had a self-destruct button that she almost couldn’t help but press.

Reece on the other hand was a completely different kettle of fish, he was almost impossible not to fall for straight away. His story was so heart-breaking the pains that he had been through were visceral, they would have destroyed a lesser man but Reese had plenty to give and as a teacher he was a role model for those who sat before him each day, someone who they could endeavour to measure up to but he didn’t see himself in that way and that was the thing that broke my heart, he never understood the enormity of who he was and what he did both in war and now as an educator of future generations.

They were an unlikely pair, I couldn’t see where the connection was going to take root, but looking back on it now as I write this review, they almost had an invisible thread pulling them together, I don’t know that anyone else could have worked, they knew where each other was coming from in sort of strange way and that made their situation all the more tenable.

Could they find the holy grail of a happy ending, well I had my hopes pinned on them getting there eventually but they had their work cut out to achieve anything that would remotely resemble normal.

This was not your average romance but it was a romance and in a way I am pleased that it didn’t play into the hands of convention. These were characters that deserved to have their story told, you might not take to them straight away but they’re certainly worth hanging on too.

Topic: Seared on My Soul by Cole Gibsen

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