Star-Crossed Lovers – A review of “Pretty Scars” by CD Reiss

Every CD Reiss book is better than the previous and “Pretty Scars” is an emotional roller coaster of incredible highs, bottomless lows, unending spins and zigzag curves that sends your heart pinging around in your chest like a pinball.

The star-crossed lovers meet at USC where they’re both students. Carrie is a stunning beauty from a wealthy family and Gabriel is a gifted but struggling musician. Their story is filled with passion, pathos, and pain but it is more than a love story. It’s about courage, cowardice and despair, but always holding onto hope and keeping that kernel of hope alive. Family dynasties and dynamics, controlling, manipulative parents and an abusive spouse are at work to keep Carrie and Gabriel apart.

Carrie delivers the narrative from her POV through almost three quarters of the book when it switches to Gabriel at Chapter 28, with Carrie doing the Epilogue.

The characters and plot are so compelling that I was pulled into the story, rooting for the lovers but sometimes yelling at them for allowing themselves to be manipulated and used like pawns in a game of chess. Only a gifted writer can pull a reader in and hold them nearly spellbound throughout the entire book. Reiss is a master craftsman of a writer and her prose sings like a lark. Five gold stars.