BXTCHES Gotta Warn: There isn’t really any dire warnings to issue here, but since I dole out a warning with every review, I didn’t want to give this book the short stick. I actually read this book months ago, but since procrastination is running rampantly through me, I never got around to writing up my thoughts. The silver lining (you gotta look at the good in everything) is I get to re-read it. So, one thing I can certainly tell you is this. . .there is no cliffhanger, there is no waiting for the sequel so you can learn the fate of our two lovebirds, this is just a really good book, cover to cover.
While the third person POV is not my favorite way to read a book, that is how we must enjoy Leave A Mark. Don’t worry, it’s absolutely worth it.
Let’s start with Wren. Throughout the first half (or so) of Leave A Mark, we get flashbacks to Wren’s childhood, which is heartbreaking at best. Wren’s mother, Laurie, is an addict, who continues to bring men in and out of their home. I’m sure you can figure out where that storyline is going to go, but I’m just gonna leave it right there. The only structure that Wren has in her life growing up, is her grandparents-Mamaw Gigi and Papaw Dale. I don’t really want to go into too much about her youth, it’s tragic and life altering, but it’s also something that needs to unfold for the reader as organically as possible. So, back to the current adult Wren. Wren happens to be a very talented tattoo artist, who during one session, has a cyst rupture on one of her ovaries and will soon find out, that it will certainly leave a mark.
Lee Hawthorne is finishing up his OB/GYN residency at the local charity hospital. That is his life’s work, to the dismay of not only his girlfriend, but his dad as well. Having a father who practiced medicine and after losing his mother to cancer, Lee knew that adding a Dr. to his name was the right path to go and even though those close to him would like to see him take advantage of the more financial advantages of becoming a doctor, Lee knows that his passion and calling is within the halls of the local charity hospital.
While being rushed into emergency surgery is definitely not something to be terribly grateful for (being alive after, however, is), it makes one realize that there is a plan in the works for everyone. It wasn’t just Wren’s beauty that captured the attention of Lee, it was everything that she encompassed. That may not make a lot of sense, so I guess the best way to say it is this. . .the heart wants what the heart wants and in this case, Lee knew that while his heart may belong to someone else, it certainly recognized its soulmate.
Once obstacles get cleared (of course, there will be more in the way) Lee and Wren do get their chance at a very happily ever after. The brush that must be cut down in order to get there is pretty thick. Wren feels that she comes from a very different world from Lee, which is true to a degree. The truth that Wren seems to forget is that even though their backgrounds may contrast, the core of who they are, are meant to be.
The supporting cast in Leave A Mark gives so much depth to an already enticing story and the author does a fantastic job in almost forcing the reader to have a love/hate relationship with these characters (well, most of the characters). For example, Marcelle is Lee’s girlfriend when we kick off the story. They are committed to the point of marriage being in their future and even when she is a raging bitch to Wren and you’re quickly growing to dislike her, when the axe falls and her relationship with Lee comes to an end AND even though you are doing some fist bumps because you realize that Wren and Lee sitting in a tree is about to unfold, you have real sympathy for Marcelle, everyone can understand heartbreak. Wren’s mom Laurie, while only present in the flashbacks, has great love for her daughter, even if her not really knowing how to “parent” put Wren in danger, her love for her daughter was never in question. But even aside from those two, Leave A Mark offers the reader so much in terms of a very well rounded cast.
I wasn’t too sure how the sex was going to play out when I first started this book. I knew that I was going to be okay if the story didn’t offer much in the way of bedroom aerobics. Well, I must say. . .this BXTCH was pleasantly surprised when these two really amped it up. What I loved most about what Stephanie Fournet did when it came to Wren and Lee becoming intimate is how well the chemistry (sexual and otherwise) came alive when the clothes came off. I’m more of a fan of the dirty talking, rough, up against the wall sex. . .not so much of the making love, gently sex. But, what was great here is while it gave us the dirty talking, roughness that comes with great “alpha” romances (even though I wouldn’t categorize Lee as “alpha”), you really got a sense of the love from the get go. I’m not sure how hard that is to do when an author sits down to get dirty, but regardless of the difficulty, she did it beautifully.
Leave A Mark is just a good love story. And I say that with sincerity. I mean the backstory that Wren has to work through is intriguing, but all in all, start to finish, this is just a story about two people finding their other half. I’m usually someone who enjoys my leading man to show off a bit of his asshole side, then find his redemption, while the reader falls head over heels. Lee doesn’t offer that. I mean there is a scene or two where some readers may see him as being a bit of a prick, but overall he is just a really good guy, someone who is imperfectly perfect. Wren offers a different take on what a heroine can be. While being fiercely independent, she has her moments where she doesn’t really understand her worth. While being uniquely beautiful, she doesn’t always understand why Lee chose her. I just love heroines who are beautifully flawed and offers the reader a chance to maybe see the world through a different set of glasses.
I really am not trying to downplay the greatness that is this book, it is so well put together, it is a story that is so well told, that the only way I can think to describe it is. . .simplistically beautiful.