Title: Collecting Scars
Author: Tee Smith
Rating: 4 Stars
Author's Blurb: Asha Harper doesn't believe in happily ever afters. She left home at seventeen to start a new life for herself, to follow her dreams of becoming a nurse.
For more than ten years she has not needed anyone in her life, well at least that's what she has told herself. Until she met the man with the gorgeous smile and piercing green eyes.
Xavier Arnold has had his own share of trouble in his life. He is still grieving for his younger sister Maddie, who has been missing without a trace for more than six years.
Will these two find love?
One night walking home from work, Asha is snatched off the street and held captive by a mysterious stranger. She is forced to re-evaluate her life. Not knowing if she will ever escape to see Xavier or her family again.
Synopsis: Asha and Xavier meet under pretty normal circumstances introduced by a mutual friend at an up and coming night club where Xave slings drinks on the weekends. Asha is resistant to enter into any relationship after the emotional trauma's of her past but there's something about this guy that gets under her skin. As their paths continue to cross she realizes they might have more in common than mutual attraction. Meanwhile she is being stalked by a creepy black van that seems to be following her home from work on a nearly nightly basis. Her friends and Xave are quick to dismiss her concerns but that doesn't stop the nightmares from coming. Then she goes missing without a trace...Will Xavier find her in time to save her from the same fate as his long ago lost little sister?
Review: This story wasn't what I expected. The plot builds beautifully but it's definitely a slow burn. Asha and Xavier's romance is sweet and relatable in a way that not many romance novels can capture. You truly learn about these characters as they learn about each other. With each new progression in their relationship you uncover a little more about them and their sorted histories.
Asha is a well rounded character that manages to keep her wits about her in the worst of situations, the few times she does behave uncharacteristically she is mindful that these reactions are out of her norm and she is flustered by the thought of the consequences the way anybody venturing outside of their comfort zone would be.
Xave is not an alpha male hero, he's really a pretty passive guy. And like Asha the few times he steps outside of those bounds he realizes that his reactions are a bit extreme.
Over all this was an interesting story filled with rich characters and a plot with a slow build that somehow didn't seem to drag at all. It is not a dark story, sure It ventures into some controversial themes, and has few moments that make you say "Oh Hell No" and "What The F***!". But Tee Smith has a way of telling it that makes it highly digestible. I'd recommend this book to readers with even the most sensitive of pallets. In fact the only complaint I can think of is that I wanted more. I wanted more of the gory details and explanations. I wanted to delve into the dark stuff and wade around in the evil a little bit...but I think that's just a personal preference because even without fulfilling my sick and twisted little curiosities, this story was captivating and enjoyable.
To check this book out for yourself follow the link below.
Collecting Scars Tee Smith
*ARC generously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*