Scratch by Rhonda Helms
Publication Date: Sept 30th 2014
Disclaimer: I received a review copy c/o the Publisher via Netgalley.
Summary: The most painful scars are the ones you never see.
In her DJ booth at a Cleveland dance club, Casey feels a sense of connection that’s the closest she ever gets to normal. On her college campus, she’s reserved, practical-all too aware of the disaster that can result when you trust the wrong person. But inexplicably, Daniel refuses to pay attention to the walls she’s put up. Like Casey, he’s a senior. In every other way, he’s her opposite.
Sexy, open, effortlessly charming, Daniel is willing to take chances and show his feelings. For some reason Casey can’t fathom, he’s intent on drawing her out of her bubble and back into a world that’s messy and unpredictable. He doesn’t know about the deep scars that pucker her stomach – or the deeper secret behind them. Since the violent night when everything changed, Casey has never let anyone get close enough to hurt her again. Now, she might be tempted to try.
Scratch had a strange magnetic pull on me. It’s a book that’s simple and romantic, yet captivating.
Scratch had likable characters. I liked the main character, Casey and felt that her story was incredibly compelling. Although Scratch is a simple and light read, it explores some dark themes and how it affected Casey growing up. Casey is frustrating: she constantly has her guard up and takes people on an emotional roller coaster. In parts, she’s unintentionally mean. But she’s human — she learns, she accepts and she grows. The character development was evident and made her seem more relatable.
I really liked how there was mystery surrounding Casey’s past. It kept me guessing and turning pages. The ending was heartbreaking — Casey’s character development shone through towards the end, and her facing up to her childhood trauma and taking charge was brave and applaudable. It was intense, heartbreaking but encouraging.
I loved the romance between Daniel and Casey. Daniel is a gentleman and incredibly sweet (though he has his flaws, to which he acknowledges) and I really loved their connection. They do fall in love pretty quick, but it isn’t insta-love which I appreciated. Their relationship was a lot of work but they made it work.
Scratch is quite fast paced and hooks you in almost immediately. It was emotional, romantic but simple enough to read on a lazy day. I’ve enjoyed Rhonda Helms’ previous writing and similarly I have nothing but praise. I would definitely recommend Scratch for contemporary romance lovers.