Today we are so excited to be sharing PRETTY SCARS, Carrie Drazen’s long-awaited love story from New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss
In Carrie Drazen’s diamond-studded world, beauty is everything: a blessing, a commodity, and a curse. Her beauty got her past the velvet ropes and into New York’s high society, but it ripped her away from the man she loved and chained her to an unbearable life.
Then, in a single night, a song played by a mysterious and secretive musician carries her back to a past ripe with possibilities, when love could open any door.
Who is this anonymous performer?
How can a man she’s never met tell the story of a boy she loved with such precision?
She needs to know. But sometimes masks exist for a reason, and this unveiling could scar them both.
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Reviewed by Sharon Thérèse at KFF
Carrie Drazen’s long-hoped-for emotionally evoking story is now with us. Reiss’ effortlessly read prose once again left me awe-inspired in this page-turner of a read which can be enjoyed as a stand-alone. Yes, even if you haven’t had the opportunity to read previous books in this family saga; no worries, picking up the thread from the very beginning isn’t a requisite. The female protagonist’s narrative draws the reader into her life at the drop of a hat. Her utter desperation surrounded me and when her oh-so-subtle rebellious streak broke loose, she earned my respect.
Part one which takes up nearly two-thirds of the book is Carrie’s to tell. While reading the first few chapters, the dates flipping back and forth from present to past confused me a tad and I found myself highlighting certain titles. Resolved in no time at all and fortunately having no impeding interruptions, I didn’t stop reading until I’d finished the entire book.
‘Wholeness cannot love brokenness. Beauty can only love beauty. A weak lamb loves weakly.’
Bright, beautiful and unpretentious, Carrie has career aspirations she’d like to fulfil. She’s the second oldest of four siblings and her father has big plans for his pretty daughter’s future. Here lies the problem; her wishes aren’t on par with his. Should I have been shocked when mother dearest had a little chit-chat with Carrie? Well, yes! Her advice left me feeling extremely frustrated, so I thanked the heavens when Carrie shared her doubts regarding what was expected of her with Margie, her older sister. Wow, I couldn’t have hoped for more from this kickass woman. Margie’s always been the troubleshooter, the one who calms turbulent waters and you’ll see how she steps in without being overpowering. And let’s face it, if you’ve read her story, you’ll get my drift.
‘Margie always knew how to get me to tell her things I wouldn’t tell anyone else.’
Carrie crossed paths with a musician who for me, was an enigma from the word go. My ooh my…Reiss really knocked this guy’s traits out of the park. His talent, the feelings his music instils is simply magical. Seeing as one is led to believe he’s the best of the best in his instrumental classical music field, all I wanted to do was discover why the entire feel of the story changed in an instant…and not for the better, either.
‘The air vibrated with music, trembling in his hands, under his control. The notes blossomed into grandeur with such precision they sneaked up on me, elevating my heart from tight expectation into the release of a promise kept.’
It felt as if an unimaginable force had literally obliterated his very being. Neither Carrie nor the reader knows what the heck happened since we’re left in a dark place. Even being led to believe in circumstantial tragedies, that nagging something just doesn’t ring true sensation didn’t leave me alone and made me try to decipher all angles like us thriller lovers do. Reiss is an expert in throwing her readers off course; she convinces, she makes us fall into a trap of supposed truths when we’re not even close.
‘No matter the instrument or what part of the world you’re in, they’re linked by a chord. That’s us.’
The last third of the book. Goodness, I’m quite a fast reader but here…well, it was a case of slow down or you’re going to miss out on something crucial! You may have noticed there’s no mention of the hero’s name in my review but I will say this, his attributes outweigh his failings and the title couldn’t be more fitting. Also, no word has been said about another important player because spoilers aren’t cool, are they?
‘Calling her beautiful illustrated the inadequacy of language. She was a melody. A perfect symphony. The final crescendo in a masterpiece written by a genius.
The plot couldn’t have been more intriguing or angst-ridden. Nonetheless, I’d have liked not to have sussed out who went out of their way to stop what was eventually to be on the cards a little later than I did. My reading enjoyment wasn’t hindered in the slightest though. As a diehard fan of suspense, lapping up every word, every conniving and dastardly movement and every heartfelt moment was a joy in itself. And man, does Reiss write steaminess with a capital S or what! Pretty Scars is a superb addition to the trials, tribulations and triumphs in the Drazen family world. Bravo!
About CD Reiss
CD Reiss is a New York Times bestseller. She still has to chop wood and carry water, which was buried in the fine print. Her lawyer is working it out with God but in the meantime, if you call and she doesn’t pick up she’s at the well hauling buckets.
Born in New York City, she moved to Hollywood, California to get her master’s degree in screenwriting from USC. In case you want to know, that went nowhere but it did give her a big enough ego to write novels.
She’s frequently referred to as the Shakespeare of Smut which is flattering but hasn’t ever gotten her out of chopping that cord of wood.
If you meet her in person, you should call her Christine.
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