Review: Beneath the Burn by Pam Godwin

This story was good… Damn good, actually. This was my first Pam Godwin book, and after reading this story I think it’s safe to say that it definitely won’t be my last. Going into this book, I knew that I wanted dark… And while the dark element was involved, it was told in such an unexpected way. A little warning before starting this book: There are parts to this story that are hard to stomach- It contains explicit, graphic and violent scenes that hold nothing back, so it may not be for everyone. I on the other hand, love these type of stories so needless to say I was completely satisfied once I reached the last page.

Without giving too much away, I’ll explain the background to this story a bit: The heroine Charlie and the hero Jay meet when they least expect it- Jay is the lead singer for The Burn, and he’s lived a horrific childhood that in turn makes him cringe anytime someone tries to lay a finger on his skin. He’s always tried to escape his pain with drugs and sex until one night he decides to try something different, leading him straight into Charlee’s tattoo shop…

Now this isn’t your typical romance novel… These two don’t begin a relationship right after meeting like you would typically expect in any other story. Circumstances only led them away from each other for many years before these two ever get a chance to become something more. In the meantime though, their first impression of one another lingers with them through all their time apart which only ignites the flame that we all knew was burning…

The hero Jay is a broken man, to say the least. His only solace is his music… That is, until Charlee came along. No one has ever touched him or seen the scars on his back but one look into Charlee’s blue eyes has him feeling things he’s never felt before. The feeling makes him want to change and be a better man; Someone worthy of a woman like her. Unfortunately though, things aren’t meant to be. Years of never once hearing or seeing Charlee again, he returns back to that same tattoo shop only to find out that Charlee is dead- Or so he thought…

As for the heroine Charlee… Man, I freaking loved her character. She’s endured so much pain and torture but in turn, it only strengthened her. It seems her entire life was lived under Roy Oxford’s thumb- A man whose so desperately in love with Charlee that he’ll stop at nothing to make sure that she’s only his. No matter how hard she tried, she’s never been able to outrun him- After years of his abuse, she managed to free herself but only to be brought back to him many years later. Roy had managed to abduct her again the night she met Jay and the only thing she was left with was his memory.

Three years later…

She’s once again escaped Roy’s clutches, only this time she had the help of Nathan Winslow. He’s an ex-marine and the brother of Noah, Charlee’s loving boyfriend at the time of her abduction. Day in and day out, they’re constantly on the run from Roy and his infinite amount of dirty connections… But things change in the most unexpected way when fate intervenes and Charlee meets Jay again.

By this time, Jay is a huge rock star. In his time away from Charlee, he spent every waking moment writing songs about her which in turn took his band to the top of the charts. Losing Charlee destroyed him and turned him to drugs and sex more than ever. Yet, once she comes back into his life his reason for living has given him a new purpose: And that’s to stop at nothing to keep her safe at all costs.

I refuse to give anything else about this story away- You’ll just have to read it for yourselves to find out what these two broken characters had to go through to finally reach their much deserved happily-ever-after. While reading this though, you’re probably wondering if this book is another case of the whole “insta-love” theme… After-all, these two characters seem to feel things for one another after only one chance meeting. …And while this story did feature a fast developing relationship, it just worked in this story. I honestly can’t believe I’m even saying that, as I’m an avid hater of the whole “insta-love” theme in the first place, but something about how things all played out made this story all the more realistic. We’re able to see that their one encounter is what helped them through some of the toughest parts of their lives away from one another, and gave them the will to fight the circumstances that threatened to consume them.

The chemistry between Charlee and Jay is so very strong- They’ve both endured very horrible pasts and each day is a struggle to overcome their demons. Charlee is scarred emotionally and her sexual life is fucked up, to say the least. She yearns for pain after being in the clutches of Roy’s never-ending abuse, but Jay just can’t bring himself to hurt her after losing her once before. How do two such damaged people make things work when one needed love and affection, while the other couldn’t stand being touched?

“Life was jaded like that, throwing them together when he couldn’t tolerable affection and she was desperate for it.” -Charlee

It was honestly so heartwarming to watch these two find support and healing in one another- It wasn’t easy, but they were the only ones who understood each other’s pain and both embraced the things that the other needed to heal… Even if those things pushed the boundaries of their own comfort zones.

Over-all, this story isn’t for the faint of heart. However, if you can get past all the ugliness involved then you’ll truly be able to see a beautiful story that involves both healing and surviving- It will capture you heart, touch you deeply and without a doubt stay with you for a long while.

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