BLOG TOUR ~ PRETTY SCARS by CD Reiss

Today KFF’s thrilled to be on tour with New York Times bestselling author CD Reiss’ long-awaited love story in the Drazen world, PRETTY SCARS

Pretty Scars FOR WEB.jpg

 

Pretty Scars FOR WEB.jpgIn 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!

Excerpt

© CD Reiss 2019
All rights reserved.

After four years at USC, I knew how to survive. I went to the University Village mall, where Earl the security guard liked to hear me play.

I needed to practice anyway.

“Play that Stravinsky thing, would you?” I’d educated Earl in the ways of classical composers and he turned out to have a great ear. He always had a request.

“You got it.”

“Gonna miss your playing after you graduate,” he said as I set up my case.

“I’ll miss the acoustics in here.”

“Where you going?” he asked.

“New York.” I drew the bow across the strings and made an adjustment.

“Big Apple. You got a job there?”

“Not yet. But that’s where the opportunities are.”

He shook his head not as a negation, but with a rueful look back at youth.

When I started playing the piece Earl liked, I wasn’t looking to fall in love. I wasn’t looking to get tied down. I hadn’t fallen in love since Babette, and that was fine. Making a name for myself as a musician would take up all my time.

The acoustics in the front hall of University Village were outstanding. My eyes were closed as I played, listening for off tones and missed notes. I was in perfect flow. My fingers acted before my mind could correct, so my ears made adjustments. The conversations, the clattering food trays, the dim Muzak in the speakers were miles away.

There was no reason for me to open my eyes, but I did, and that changed everything.

She changed everything.

Standing with her friend, red hair covering her face as she rooted around her bag, she looked up just as I saw her, as if my gaze had called out.

USC is full of the children of actors, models, and athletes. My friend Danny said you couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting something fuckable.

But she wasn’t fuckable.

Not exactly.

She was more.

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. Taking my eyes off her would be impossible. All the air in the room bent in her direction and emanated from her as if she owned it.

And still, my fingers did their job, filling the room with music that had been written for her before she was born.

She was impossible. Eternal. Divine.

Nothing like her should exist anywhere but Olympus.

With a little smile, she dropped a bill in my case and walked out with her friend, getting momentarily lost in the afternoon sun.

I stopped playing to watch her go.

“You got a day’s worth out of her,” Earl said from behind his podium.

“Yeah,” I said, assuming he was talking about her looks.

“You gonna get greedy and keep playing?”

“Huh?”

He pointed at my case with its dotting of loose change and a single, rolled up bill. I picked up the cash. Benjamin Franklin stared at me with a sly smile.

That couldn’t be right. Even if it was, I couldn’t take it. Not from another student. Not from anyone who wasn’t Bill Gates.

Looking out the glass doors, I saw her and her friend make their way to the crosswalk and wait for the light.

“You okay?” Earl asked with a knowing smile. “Or did that pretty thing shake you?”

“I’m shaken,” I said, grabbing the pen off his clipboard. I scrawled my number on the bill and handed back the pen. “Save my spot.”

“Will do.”

I dropped my violin in the case and snapped it shut, losing a spray of pennies and dimes, grabbed my bag and case, and ran after her.

About CD Reiss

_21A6258_pp-fb.jpgCD 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.

 

 

About CD Reiss

_21A6258_pp-fb.jpgCD 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.

Connect with CD Reiss

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