Title – Beneath the Scars
Author – Melanie Moreland
Publication Date – October 14, 2014
The sound of the ocean, the crash of the waves as they kick up against the sand and rocks—these are the only sounds Megan Greene wants to hear. She wants to leave the rest of the world behind, and find some peace.
The offer of a private house on the beach, set in a small town in Maine, is perfect. Time to think—to be by herself. It’s all she wants. It’s the escape she needs.
Until she stumbles across the painting that seems to echo her own chaotic mindset.
Until she meets the unfriendly artist behind the stormy painting and discovers his secrets.
All Zachary Adams wants is to be left alone. His canvases, and the unending scope of the ocean and sand, are his life. They direct him—fill his hours. Bring him focus.
Until she enters his life.
She dredges up memories of the past—the haunting images he has hidden for years; the fears he has never shared.
A story he keeps buried below the surface.
Can she make him see what he is missing? Can he trust her enough to believe?
Together they embark on a journey where their pasts collide and threaten to tear them apart.
Will their fragile bond hold or wash away with the ebbing tide?
Beneath the Scars by Melanie Moreland is one of those books that draws you in with an absolutely breathtaking cover. Then you read the synopsis and become intrigued by what the book could have to offer, particularly if you have any connection to the ebb and flow of the ocean. When you open the pages of the book, you somewhat lose yourself in this raw, emotion-evoking tale reminiscent of Beauty and the Beast.
“Sometimes we have to leave the ones we love behind, but it doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten them.”
Megan and Zachary’s story is, without question, one about two completely broken characters finding their way to self-discovery and strength. Although that can be a formula used in novels quite often, I still felt like this one was unique and had distinguishing qualities. Megan is running from her issues and takes refuge at a beach in Maine. While there, she catches glimpses of her elusive neighbor, Zachary, who has been hiding from his past not only in physical location, but also through an abrasive, nearly impenetrable exterior. There was something about the two of them that just pulled me in. As Megan dug under Zachary’s skin, she burrowed her way under mine. The y were instantly likeable, and I could understand their instant love connection, which I tend to be very iffy about. When someone has been through tragedy, it can be easy to push people away. However when someone cares enough to nudge back, I think it leaves a resounding mark. Those small actions prove to be what matter most and Zachary came to realize that he wanted affection from this vibrant woman.
“I could understand shunning the world. That was the same as what I was doing. Maybe he could give me some pointers.”
I also love that she continued to challenge him. As much as it was their love story, we saw tremendous character growth in Zachary. To see him go from a man who wouldn’t even wave to Megan to someone who became thoughtful and attentive was quite a special feat. There is one scene where Megan gets him to begin talking about his past and confronting his demons and it was so emotionally charged and raw that I actually had to put the book down and take a break. The way that particular scene was written was incredibly powerful and left me breathless in a sense.
“She gave me something I hadn’t felt in years: hope. She made me want to be better – for her.”
My only true complaint was that there was a bit of a pacing issue. I sometimes felt like I wanted more of the action and less of the back and forth with trust versus no trust issues. There were also a couple instances were a bigger time gap had passed and I wish that it would have been clearly stated to reduce confusion. Overall, I actually enjoyed Beneath the Scars tremendously. It was very well written with an intriguing plotline that kept me hooked. These two characters may have been broken when they met, but they certainly completed each other in ways I didn’t imagine happening. The story really came full circle for me and I adored seeing just what love and hope between human beings can accomplish. This was my first book by Melanie Moreland, but I am definitely curious to see what her other works have to offer.
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