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Sara's Review: Beneath the Scars (Masters of the Shadowlands #13) by Cherise Sinclair

REVIEWER PURCHASE PUBLISHER: VanScoy Publishing Group RELEASED: May 22, 2018 GENRE: contemporary romance, suspense LENGTH: 458 pages FORMAT: ebook, paperback


Josie doesn’t need any help raising her son.

Pregnant at sixteen, Josie learned the hard way about men and their empty promises. She picked herself up and is raising her eleven-year-old son. By herself. And that’s the way she intends it to stay. Unfortunately, her impressionable boy becomes fascinated by the scruffy, intimidating biker who lives next door.

The scars on Holt’s face are only the most visible of his wounds.

Out of the hospital after being attacked in his own damn house, Holt is coming to terms with the fact that his scars frighten people. Like his now-ex-girlfriend who ran after one look at him. Like his redheaded neighbor who hauled her boy away as if Holt was a serial killer. Fine. He’ll give the pretty bartender all the space she wants.

The Shadowlands will bring them together…When Josie starts bartending in the exclusive, private club, she discovers her neighbor is a member. And a Master--a skilled powerful Dom who can make her fantasies come true. Slowly, the firefighter breaks down the walls around her heart, teaching her how to trust. How to love...But when her son’s choices lead to disaster, can their relationship survive? FOUR BOUNDLESS STARS

When you read as many books as I do characters, tend to blur together, and even though I may have met them in previous books, they don’t stand out in my mind. That is the issue I had with Holt. He didn’t grab my attention in previous books, but I am always down for the next Master of the Shadowlands book. So I went in blind not remembering what happened to him. But that’s ok because Cherise gives us a great recap that is just perfect, not too much and not too little. Josie has been a single mom since she was 16 and doesn’t trust men. Yet she can’t keep from lusting after her Thor (AKA Chris Hemsworth) like neighbor once she realizes he is a Dom at the Shadowlands where she has been hired as a bartender. Sparks fly when Holt shows Josie that she is a submissive and she can blossom under his dominant hand. Josie’s struggles as a single mom felt all too real and very relatable. I understood her reluctance to let a man into their lives, for fear he may leave and break her son's heart. Also her mistrust of men after what she has been through. Holt, on the other hand, was almost too perfect. I guess that’s part of the fantasy, but at some point, a man is going to stop chasing. But I guess we don’t want our fantasy hero’s flawed it would ruin the fantasy if they sat around with a beer gut scratching their butts and farting. This story was very sweet and a bit on the tamer side in my opinion. I felt it focused a lot on the family dynamic, which I enjoyed. It doesn’t matter to me who the next character Cherise writes about is because the books in this series are always an instant buy. I do have one question, are we going to see this Fantasy series that Josie was writing? I’d buy!

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