Trials of the Mutilated Beauty is book #2.75 of the Sorrow Series by Mary E. Palmerin. I have tried to keep spoilers out of my review, but it is advised that you read the rest of the Sorrow Series : Secrets of a Broken Girl, Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow, Shadows of Scars and Sorrow and His Armored Heart.
Run. That’s what Lyla Harper does best. With Rigdon, Kansas hundreds of miles away, she focuses on planting her roots and immersing herself in college life at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.
As Lyla tries to play the role of hardworking student by day at Loyola and barista by night at York Company Coffee House, the monotonous routine is wearing thin. She thinks back to home, the milestones she’s missed, and the family she doesn’t have near.
She’s lonely with the exception of the incubi that will never vacate her dreams.
With her emotions colliding, she’s once again faced with her vilest adversary; regression. After all, a person can only pretend to be happy for so long. Davis Moore and the horrid events plague her mind as one text message tests her will to remain strong.
One afternoon in her public speaking lecture, circumstances change for Lyla when Professor Blaine Miller’s eyes meet hers. For the first time, she feels passion, lust and want. Will Blaine change her outlook on life or leave her stranded and empty, feeling like the girl she was years before?
Read this emotional novella about self-discovery, overcoming, growth, redemption, relapse, desire, and hope.
Mary Palmerin has a way of telling a story that is simply ingenious. I’ve read Succumbing to Scars and Sorrow, Shadows of Scars and Sorrow, Secrets of a Broken Girl and His Armored Heart, and loved each one. Every time you think you’ve figured out the story or where it’s going, there’s another character’s POV thrown in, another curveball launched your way, more questions that need answers. I love that in a story. I don’t want a simple beginning, middle and end. I want a story that makes you think and feel. I want a story that makes you wonder and hope. I want a story with twists and turns and things you don’t see coming.
Cue Trials of the Mutilated Beauty.
Believe me when I tell you, you won’t see Professor Blaine Miller coming *pun intended*
Trials begins with Lyla in Chicago, having left her hometown of Rigdon, Kansas, to go to college and begin to build herself a life away from the torment she left behind in the town she called home.
It was gutwrenching, reading Lyla’s internal monologue, with the wounds from her abuse so fresh and raw. It gave me goosebumps, reading her mental struggle. To give up or to live on.
It was really tough to read – I found Secrets tough and Trial equated to that. It was the kind of story I wanted to put down to take a breather and compose myself, but I was hooked. There was no putting it down.
The thing about Mary’s stories is the “good” and “bad” – how they entwine perfectly, running alongside one another and waiting to cross over into. With Trials we have the pain of her past, her fear of the future, her inability to let go.
And then we have her desire, her attraction, her hope for something, in the form of her college professor. Blaine Miller.
I love Everett. I love Garrett. But, Blaine? Oh geez, Blaine. He can put on his Rayban glasses, boxer briefs and bring his dirty-blond-mussed-haired self over here.
I loved Blaine. I get the sense he isn’t all what he appears to be, but I guess that is to be determined and I can’t wait to see if and where he pops up as the saga continues.
I think I loved him because he made Lyla feel again. As far as we knew, Everett was the only one after the past (we’ll call it “the past” to avoid spoilers)…To find out that, in fact, Lyla and Mary have been hiding Professor Miller from us for four books was refreshing. He stormed in with his sexy-as-hell self and gave Lyla some self-worth and nights of unadulterated pleasure she had been denied before.
Trials was yet another portal into the heart and mind of Lyla Harper; why she is the way she is. It was a backwards glance at her past with hints for the future and posed more questions to be answered as the stories continue. I hope we see Blaine Miller again, I hope he’s the nice guy I want him to be – although I’m (almost) prepared for Mary to throw us off once again…and I’m excited to receive another curveball!
Read my previous reviews of Mary’s work here
Coming next… The Story of Us by Sydney Jamesson