See My Words, by Melanie Hansen
Series: Spectrum Nights, #2
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: April 24, 2017
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Successful underwear model Scott Ashworth is lucky—his attack at the hands of an unknown assailant will leave no visible scars. His professional goals are still within reach, and best of all, his stepbrother Rylan Mahoney is back in his life, their teenage infatuation at last getting the chance to deepen into something more.
Thrown together by the circumstances of Scott’s injury, Rylan’s long-dormant feelings for him are quickly rekindled, though he’s haunted by the memory of Scott’s disappearance on the night of his eighteenth birthday and the six missing years that followed. Rylan pushes Scott for the truth, a firm believer in the maxim that secrets lose their power once they’re shared—but resurrecting old demons almost always comes with a price.
Before Scott knows it, his life is spiraling out of control, his toxic insecurities welling up to threaten the fragile relationship he’s building with Rylan. Learning to let go of the past and believe in himself will be Scott’s greatest challenge, or else he risks losing Rylan forever this time.
Assaults (multiple, on-page)
I’m just going to be perfectly honest and admit I spent most of this book (about 70%) wanting Rylan to dump Scott. Even though in the end I think Scott attempted to do the right thing, I don’t think he went about it the right way.
My friend S & I both grew up similar to Scott. We had parents who were distracted, were poor, and basically from a really young age we were sexualized by adults. For us, as I’m sure it is with many young poor people, we got the message that we could change our circumstances by using the one thing we had. I started at 12, S started much younger than I but that’s his story to tell. Three people have heard my story in its entirety, and every single one of them ask why I’m not harder, how I managed to walk away still really optimistic about people. I have the same answer, and it would have done Scott well to take on the same thought process: It’s that you don’t make others pay for someone else’s mistake.
Everyone has demons and Scott… well, eventually he realized he wasn’t healthy enough to be what Rylan needed. It sounds cliché, but you cannot love someone until you love yourself. And that was the majority of this book– hell, it was the majority of the last book and 70% of this one– Scott didn’t love himself.
Another thing that left me miffed with this book is that for almost two books I got to see these two struggle. Rylan tried to be Scott’s support, while really just ending up being his emotional whipping bag. We’d then get these jumps– “a month after leaving the cabin” type of deals– where we’d see the two were still together, but then there’d be another fall-out or example of Scott behaving badly. Rylan was trying to love him into mental stability. Then (don’t read this if you don’t want me to spoil this for you) we have Scott attempting to do something noble and kicking Rylan to the curb for the sake of Rylan following his dreams. Fast forward another six months and Scott is…something. At a much better place, but it seemed… fragile, tentative at best. Rylan’s back and we get a… HFN? Tentative HEA?
Scott needed to see a therapist not… I’m not knocking any new age or alternative practices, but 20+ years of baggage doesn’t get solved with positive aspirations, a move to a cabin and a new job.
So to summarize, yes it was a series I’d recommend and I really hope Chris and Mihn get their own book but I felt cheated by the quick conclusion.
Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.
Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.