Book Review – The Scars of Us by Nikki Narvaez

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synopsis

Kaiya Marlow has always been cautious, precise in every decision she makes. When her dark past threatens to resurface, she decides to take precautions to protect herself by enrolling in self-defense classes at her gym.

Her instructor, Ryker Campbell, is the tattooed womanizer everyone warns about. Kaiya deliberately avoids Ryker outside of their classes together, but the more time they spend training together, the harder it is for Kaiya to resist him.

Ryker’s view on relationships is simple: strictly sex, nothing more. Haunted by demons from his past, he never allows himself to become attached to any woman. No attachment means no weakness, no vulnerability, no pain. He doesn’t realize that his whole world is about to be turned upside down when the stunning Kaiya enters his self-defense class. Determined to have her, at least for one night, Ryker sets a plan into motion that will change both of their lives forever. 

Will love be able to heal their scars, or will they be too deep to overcome?

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5 Star Review

Nikki brings us a dark contemporary romance novel with scars that run so deed some can never be escaped.  When a person is hurt so badly and has scars that run so deep they never fully recover, they never fully become the person they once were before the scars.  All scars have the means to break us or make us strong.  And all scars have a story behind them, this is the story of Kaiya and the scars that she carries around so deeply for so many years that still hold her captive from living the life she should be living.

Kaiya always plays by her rules and never gives.  She knows what she can handle and what she can’t handle and fear holds her captive from moving on and leaving the scars behind.  Nothing and no one has ever tempted her to break her rules, nobody has ever made her want more than what she feels like she is capable of until she meets Ryker, and in his world rules are meant to be broken.  This is where Kaiya’s true journey begins.  The moment that Ryker and Kaiya meet will change her forever, will Ryker push Kaiya too much causing more harm than good?  Or will Ryker be there to save her from her demons and help her heal and move forward with her life?

My heart broke numerous times while reading The Scars of Us, even though I personally never experienced the nightmares and hell that Kaiya did I felt like I did because of the emotions that she gave me while reading her story.  She hurt and we knew when she hurt.  She was scared and we knew when she was scared.  Every emotion that Kaiya expressed in The Scars of Us I felt every…single…one…

There were times where I found myself shaking my head not understand how someone could walk away from something like she did not completely be a basket case.  Her trust in people is gone, understandable, her faith in the goodness in people is smashed, again understandable but I see strength in her, strength I don’t even think she realizes she carries inside her. 

There were parts of this book that made my stomach twist in disgust and all I saw was red.  I wanted to torture the fucker who put the scars there and watch their live crumple around them until there was nothing left.  People didn’t push Kaiya to heal that is until Ryker – he was her push.  He wanted to break her rules to show her that not everyone is an evil sick bastard.  He wanted to push her until he couldn’t push her anymore because he saw something in her that she never saw in herself, strength.  He was passionate about having Kaiya step outside of her comfort zone in hopes of healing.

Most of The Scars of Us was focused on Kaiya’s scars and troubles and I am glad we got a character like Ryker that wouldn’t give up on her and pushed and pushed until the moment that Kaiya got it.  But Kaiya isn’t the only one with scars that run deep.  Now that Kaiya’s scars and secrets are all laid out for Ryker to inspect will it be too much?  Will he turn around running knowing that he can’t truly help her?  Or will Kaiya realize her own strength and decide that in her healing process it’s time to start all over again with a new life, a life maybe without Ryker?

There is steam and sex in this story and I think there is just a deeper meaning in this story than just scars, demons, abuse.   Everyone reacts differently to abuse in all different forms.  Some people cave in on themselves and some people go crazy as long as they are in control.  Don’t judge how a person deals with his or her scars because they aren’t yours to bare.  I think Nikki did a beautiful job of portraying one way a person may deal with the live that Kaiya grew up in and how it affects people.  I cannot wait for more of Ryker and get to explore his scars.  Amazing book Nikki!