Shameful Scars Book Cover Shameful Scars
Scars, Book 3
A. L. Williams
LGBT, Literary Fantasy Vampire Fiction
Independently published
June 5, 2020

I can take care of myself…
Please help me…
Her lips are pure damnation...
I will never leave you...

Hayley is determined to achieve her goals even as overworked as she is. She is almost done with school and loves her new internship. Everything is great. Except for a certain angel she wants gone. The others have forgiven Gabriel and Hayley doesn’t understand why. Worse of all she can’t reconcile her deep hatred and attraction to them.

Gabriel has accepted their banishment, but every day on earth is increasingly tiresome. Nothing makes sense and they are unsettled. Especially their growing attraction to Hayley. It contradicts their disinterest in physical pleasures. However, It doesn’t matter because she hates them and nothing is changing her mind. Gabriel has no idea how to convince her otherwise.

Meanwhile, a child has vanished from a local group home, leaving only a single clue. Despite the risk to her life Hayley refuses to stand on the sidelines and Gabriel gets dragged into the chaos. Little do they know they are more involved than they think.

The hunt for answers only forces Hayley and Gabriel closer. They have to confront their demons all while navigating their intense attraction that is far beyond the vanilla. It’s a battle of dominance and submission, but it’s not what it seems.

Can they overcome their internalized Shame and allow themselves what they secretly long for or are the Scars too deep?

Note: this book may contain situations that are difficult for some readers.

Available at Amazon.

Reviewed by Xanthe

Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team

Shameful Scars is book three in the Scars series and focuses on Hayley and Gabriel. 

Gabriel is still acclimating to living on earth, not really comfortable around or interacting with humans but they try, especially when it comes to their brother Lucifer and the family that he’s now a part of. They struggle the most with Hayley, who still hasn’t forgiven them for hurting people several years before. Hayley is fighting her way through life, a recovering addict working through college and an intern with CPS. She is angry at a lot and can’t understand how everyone has moved on from what Gabriel did. Her hatred for them is made worse once they start to feel attraction towards them. She doesn’t really know how to process it all. 

Both Hayley and Gabriel have experienced trauma in their past and neither are comfortable with the situation that they find themselves in. Their relationship is full of tension for a large part of the book and it’s not until Gabriel is shown how Hayley truly allows herself to feel peace through dominance and submission that sparks really fly but Gabriel also has questions about themselves. This is actually one of the best stories I’ve read that includes discussion on the asexual spectrum and how you can try to identify your sexuality but recognising the fluidity of it at the same time. Acceptance and chemistry bring the MC’s together and once they reach a certain point, there’s no going back for them and they just click, physically and emotionally as they recognise each other’s fears and wants. Hate and distrust slowly give way to lust and understanding. 

Alongside Hayley and Gabriel’s antagonistic relationship is the mystery of a child that goes missing in a local children’s home. It becomes dangerous once their foe reveals themselves to be from the darkness of the Abyss and what they truly want, Gabriel. This plot point really adds an intensity to the story as it brings up a lot of painful memories for Gabriel and, through flashbacks, we are shown how they’ve been hurt in the past and actually have quite a bit in common with Hayley. I enjoyed how the story developed as you’re kept guessing as to what they will do to get what they want and the drama is drawn out over days at a time which really keeps everyone on edge. 

Both MC’s characters really grow as we go through the story. It’s interesting to read their interactions, especially at first as Gabriel will say exactly how they feel and what they think, not knowing the many layers of human interactions. With Hayley, we get to see how much she struggles at times but it’s through the love and support of her friends and family that she survives. Characters from the previous books return, bringing the feeling of family and acceptance that I think Hayley and Gabriel are in great need of. They really show how much they worry and care for them both when their safety is brought into question. 

I am enjoying this story overall. It’s an interesting take on the angels and demons stories we’ve had before and there’s variety in the characters that we meet. I was really drawn to Gabriel in this one as they take a deeper look at who they are, what they feel emotionally and physically for others. It makes them more human to the reader, I think. 

Scars is a series that I would recommend reading in order purely because of the connections between the characters and storylines that link up throughout the books.