Title: Running Scarred (Scarred Series #1)
Author: Jackie Williams
Book 1 in the Scarred Series.
He once had it all, but for three years retired special services expert, Patrick Reeves has hidden himself and his terrible war wounds from the world.
But when a bright, beautiful woman buys the ruined château and estate on which his own home stands, it is more than Patrick’s unerring control can bear. For her to flinch from his injuries would be terrible, but for her to pity him would be the final insult. His only option is to make sure she never sees him at all.
Ellen doesn’t give a damn what Patrick looks like. With one glimpse of his shaded figure, one touch of his work roughened hands, and one hint of his masculine scent, she is his. Forever.
Buying the abandoned French château had been a dream, her only desire since her brother was blown up in Afghanistan, if she could only capture the elusive Patrick, her world will be complete.
But Patrick is hiding from far more than himself.
Devastated when her wounded hero abandons her for a flame haired beauty, and terrified when her selfish ex fiancé reappears, Ellen discovers that she might not only lose her lover but also her life.
Can Patrick escape in time to save the woman who loves and accepts him exactly as he is, or will she be lost to him forever while he has been Running Scarred for far too long?
2015 revised edition. Running Scarred is a sensual military romance, gently exploring the emotions stirred by disability caused by war. Suitable for age 16+
Patrick has been through Hell in the war, and once he’s out, he doesn’t think he can be loved. He’s damaged, both inside and out, and doesn’t trust that anyone will be able to see him for who he is. Cue Ellen, a hopeful woman who’s no stranger to the atrocities that a war can provide. It’s her dream to find a place where people who are suffering can find a place of peace. She doesn’t count on finding romance, but instead, it finds her in the form of Patrick.
So, I’m not sure which is more prominent of this author’s writing style—her elaborate descriptions or the depth that she’s able to write her characters with. It was very easy to see just about every aspect of the worldbuilding from the chateaux to the ground around it. For as easy as it was to place myself in the scene of the French countryside thanks to the author’s vibrant painting of the settings, it was even easier to find myself feeling for the characters. Ellen was a likeable character. Strong and compassionate and able to see things differently from everyone else. I loved her romance with Patrick and found them to be quite the likeable couple.
Also, to me the interesting part of this story is the author’s focus on the wounds and scars left by war, both emotional and physical. This made the characters even more real by presenting real issues that I don’t see in a lot of romance.