A bomb destroyed high-powered lawyer Gil Lemieux’s seemingly perfect life, and PTSD has ruled every decision since the explosion that left him scarred inside and outside. Moving home with his mom is meant to be a temporary measure, just like proofreading for a medical editorial firm is meant to be a stopgap. But two years after taking on the wrong court case, he’s still living in fear.
Keith Kramer might be based 1,500 miles away from Gil, but their shared work brings them together—a chance meeting that’s life-changing. Gil is drawn to Keith’s good looks and intelligence, but it’s his innate understanding that Gil is more than the scars on his skin that is truly attractive. He’s everything Gil used to be and more. It blows Gil’s mind that his attraction might be returned.
Only doubt could widen the distance between them. Keith’s hopefulness, borne out of surviving some tough challenges of his own, isn’t enough to bridge the distance alone. Gil will need to believe he has as much to offer as Keith if they’re to build a life together.
Gil's story is heartbreaking really, and tells tale of just how fragile life is. Not just in the live or die way, but in the way that, as humans,we think we know where our life is going. We have a plan, we've done the schooling, got the job, the house, the family, the whatever it is we've strived for (or we're in the midst of doing said things) and we rarely anticipate how easily it can all be snatched away.
We see daily on the news disasters happening, but they are something that happens to other people. In Silver Scars Gil becomes that 'other' person, the one on the news. It could have been a flood, a gas explosion, a house fire...any number of things, for Gil though it was someone he'd pissed off in his job as a lawyer and a homemade bomb. That he got away with his life is barely comforting when that life is so compromised by PTSD that he finds it hard to leave his house. Well, his mom's house, despite living alone for numerous years, that is out of the question now.
Everyday is a struggle for Gil. He gives himself challenges - sometimes he meets them, other times he doesn't. When he makes it a cross country on board a plane alone for work, he is rightly proud of himself. It's hard, he feels judged as people look at the scars the bomb left him with. Obvious and ugly and god, please don't ask about them. And some do, some don't, some stare, others ignore...
Keith pays no attention to them whatsoever. Thank fuck. Because Keith is doing things to Gil's libido that he hasn't felt since before the bomb. Keith is gorgeous and friendly and makes Gil laugh. He also makes him feel at ease. Shame he's so ostentatious and flashy, with his carved cane fashion accessory.
Except he isn't. Keith understands all too well the pain of recreating your life.
I loved how both of these characters found each other. Two people with their own battle scars, physical and mental. Seen and unseen. I liked the understanding and empathy they had for each other and the way they worked to build a life together - despite there being as many downs as ups in their relationship. That is, after all, the way of life. It's not what you have to face much of the time but how you face it, and that is a really strong message in this story.
This story, despite the content of PDST and trauma, actually felt very happy and positive. Sure, both characters had days when they weren't coping well, when they were dealing with the shit life threw at them, but overall I found that the love story over rode those moments. It gave both Gil and Keith something to hope for, to trust in - it gave them strength. They didn't fight each others battles, that would not be possible, but they gave each other the strength to fight their own. And that is an amazing thing.
A really enjoyable story.
A copy of the story was given in exchange for an honest review.
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