This is one of my favourite books by Meghan O’Brien and probably the most intense of her novels.
The story follows the life of Ray McKenna after she comes home from Iraq where she was being held hostage by Pro-Jihadist insurgents. Suffering from extreme PTSD, not to mention being followed around by paparazzi, she goes into hiding and moves to California to a remote town where not too many people know her. There she meets Veterinarian Carly Warner. Carly is attracted to Ray right away but Ray is straight and unsure how she feels about having a lesbian friend after being in the military where you denied even association with anyone in the LGBTQIA community. As their friendship blossoms so does Rays attraction and understanding of her feeling for Carly.
Firstly I read this story about two years ago and since have read it several times. It’s one of my all time favourites because not only did it pull at my heart strings but it also gave me more knowledge into a subject I am ashamed to say I didn’t know much about and that was PTSD. Since learning more about PTSD I’ve had a close friend who lost her brother to this terrible condition after returning home from the Military. So when reading this again today it was probably more affecting and more relevant than I was prepared for.
Ray is someone that has been through hell and back and truely deserves the happy ending. As she’s beginning to realise her feelings for Carly are deeper than any friendship it’s both humbling and exciting to read. Then there’s Carly, who just can’t help but fall in love with Ray from the beginning.
The chemistry that builds between these characters is palpable and at times excruciating to read because it all makes sense that their personalities fit and that if anyone is going to help Ray get through this condition it’s going to be Carly with her acceptance and caring nature.
I really enjoyed the use of Jagger the support dog in this and again it gave me more information about how dogs can aide PTSD. The fact Jagger was a Blue Great Dane just made for some great moments due to her clumsy nature and large frame especially when Ray refers to her as a Baby Elephant.
The sex scenes in this book aren’t as prevalent as with other Meghan O’Brien novels but the ones that are there are agonisingly intimate and sexy. The vulnerability that she writes in these scenes are beautiful and shows a keen knowledge of the characters she’s writing.
A side note on this story is that Meghan O’Brien also wrote a short story about Ray and Carly a year after the book ends at a Christmas party. The book is called ‘Breathless: Tales of Celebration’ and is a collection of short stories that are all worth a read.
Meghan O’Brien is one of my favourite Lesbian Fiction authors for a reason and she continues to blow me away with her writing. This book is never too far away from my hands and will continue to be read again and again with great enjoyment.
For anyone that would like more information on PTSD please check out the link below. It’s a subject we all need to know more about especially when it effects so many people and in particular, the men and woman who protect our countries:
If you would like to purchase Battle Scars please follow the link below: