Silver Scars, by Posy Roberts
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press (June 22, 2015)
Word Count: approx. 87,000 words
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance
* I received an advanced copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. *
Short & Sweet: Gil Lemieux used to be a lawyer until a bomb ripped his life apart, leaving him with scars and a serious case of PTSD. He’s slowly working on moving past the fear and anxiety that now rule his life, working at a medical editorial company, when he’s sent to train in an office several states away. It’s there he meets Keith Kramer, handsome and intelligent and able to understand Gil in a way no one else can. Keith has his own scars, and he’s able to help Gil heal emotionally and mentally. But there are several challenges they’ll have to face, the biggest being the distance between them.
My Thoughts: Despite a rocky start, where I had trouble immersing myself in the narrative and picking up the plot, I quickly found myself absorbed this story. The novel is written in first-person, from Gil’s point of view, which means the reader gets amazing insight into the emotional and physical turmoil that Gil undergoes. At first the first-person POV was a bit jarring for me, but I got used to it quickly and realized that it’s the only way to properly tell a story like this; with a third-person POV, there would be no way to properly convey the depth of Gil’s PTSD, or the way he begins to heal with Keith’s support.
Gil is a man struggling to remember who he used to be, and afraid to look too closely at his past because of the mental anguish it causes when he realizes he can never go back to those days. His first meeting with Keith leaves him attracted to the good-looking man, but unable to believe anyone can see past the scars on his head, face, and torso. But Keith is the only person Gil has met who can truly understand what he’s going through, because Keith himself went through his own traumatic accident several years before.
Both men have serious issues to get past, but neither Gil nor Keith are willing to let anything come between them. The fact that they’re physically attracted to one another is important, but their ability to understand the other’s pain– physical and mental– helps them to connect even deeper. In fact, the barriers keeping them apart just inspire them to do everything they can to be together, aiding Gil in his healing; he wants to be with Keith so badly that he starts pushing himself in his therapy, and begins to consider the previously unthinkable: leaving his safe new life to move closer to Keith and re-enter the legal profession.
In some ways, the narrative was almost dreamlike. Gil has experienced such agony in the past, and battled the demons in his own mind, and so the difficulties he faces as his relationship with Keith progresses seem easy to handle in comparison. There were a few times that I wondered why Gil wasn’t panicking more, or why Keith seemed to accept hardships so easily, but then I remembered that both men had been through things far worse. The draw of being with someone they could love and trust was enough to help them through any trouble.
Overall, a really enjoyable read. Give it a bit of time to get going, if the first chapter or two doesn’t grab your attention, and I think you’ll find it worth the effort!