the scars between us everything changes. her plans. her feelings. her expectations. because she was imagining she'd meet some old, spurned lover. but instead, this guy is in his twenties. and he's not happy to see her. but she promised her mother she'd ask him to release her mother's ashes at the river in linx, texas. and you can't go back on someone's dying wish.
emma isn't what aiden expects at all. they are connected in ways that emma has no idea about, and aiden hesitates to tell her because he figures it would do her no good to know the truth. he's survived a childhood filled with trauma and torture and then joined the marines and saw things that reaffirmed his sense that the world is filled with dark, unpleasant things.
but now they are on this road trip that will take him back to the place where all the pain in his life began and he knows that he has to find a way to protect emma from it. he'll do anything for her. he'll die for her. incredible that meeting her would bring light back into his world. but she's an optimist at heart, even when she's lost everything in her world, she still expects things to get better. there's no way he'd ever shatter those illusions.
and what's amazing in this romance is that it doesn't matter. secrets like the one's aiden is trying to keep never stay buried. eventually, he has to tell her everything and turn her world upside down. but even in those moments, these two never let go of each other. the connection between them only gets stronger as the walls come down. because they may have not spent much time together, but they still know who the other person is down to their bones. their need for each other, to love and protect and save each other will keep them going. i loved it. i loved their relationship. i loved how there wasn't a big blow up or grand gesture required to prove their love.
what they go through is bigger than that. it's horrifying and devastating and deeply traumatizing. but it's about how they survive. it's about how they find a way to love each other. it's about healing and moving on from the past. it's emotional and oh-so-beautiful to find something to hope for after so much pain.
**the scars between us will publish on july 17, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/entangled publishing (embrace) in exchange for my honest review.