A Letter to my Readers
Rape. Just typing that word makes my gut tie up in knots. And that’s part of the problem.
Because it’s so uncomfortable, we don’t want to talk about it. So it gets buried at the bottom the newsfeed or forgotten altogether, like the backlog of untested rape kits.
Last March, I released Quiet Angel in which the heroine is a survivor of childhood sexual assault. A few weeks later, my husband became gravely ill, and we spent the rest of the year (5 long hospital stays and 4 long surgeries) fighting to regain his health. As I sat in the hospital chair next to his bed night after night, I got messages from women about how my book touched them. Some shared their reasons, and others didn’t.
I came to learn that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. How could I not know that? just released a book on the very topic. Yet I didn’t see one post about it on any of my social media accounts.
Early this year, I began writing Layers of Her with the intent to spread awareness and donate of April's profits to charity. I was nervous when I started, and I still am. I mean, how much the profits be? Will readers assume I’m a survivor or I know one? Will I do the topic justice?
Why am I doing this? It’s a whole lot easier to stay silent. But that’s the whole problem, isn’t I work in a field, in the genre of fiction, that is mostly comprised of women, where sexual assault is one of the most common tropes. And with each passing page, we pull for our broken heroes and heroines to heal, find love, forge a new path. That's all we want for them. We need to do same for the real life heroes and heroines, those brave souls who fight the real fight every single day. So join me this April in making some noise to raise awareness, not only for the survivors but for those who love them.
People always say it’s what’s on the inside that matters. If that’s the case, I’m screwed. On the outside, everything looks put together — blonde hair, blue eyes, tall and lean. By society’s standards, I’d be considered attractive. But f*ck society, I know what I am. I know what I’m made of. The recessive genes that reared their heads and created a decent looking package on the outside don’t make me who I am. What about all the evil lurking inside? What about all the other parts of me that aren’t so easy to see? Some of the most beautiful animals are also the deadliest. Take the polar bear, for example. Cute and cuddly on the outside, but it’s really a predator that will bite your f*cking head off. That’s a dangerous combination.
And that’s exactly like me, exactly who I am. Bad — and once you go bad, you can never go back.
WARNING: This book deals with the harsh reality of rape that could be upsetting for some readers.
Review by Jen Skewes
I loved this book so much. When I first read the blurb I was intrigued. I knew that this was going to deal with a very tough topic but maybe in way that is what I was drawn to. This book deals with rape and the effects it has on not just one person but the families as well. For me it's not about the dark moments its about the moments and years after. Its about how that four letter word can have a lasting affect on someone for many many years after. There are so many struggles and obstacles, feelings and motions involved. At times feeling depressed and not worth it. But being able to be on that journey with the character, in this case Campbell, and seeing her finally be able to open up about everything and finally feel like she is worthy of love, being able to heal and leave the past where it belongs, is what makes this story so beautiful and amazing.
Campbell and Stone have known each other for about a year now. He is a retired MMA fighter who now owns his own gym. A year ago Campbell walked into his gym with a fear and sadness in her eyes that he saw immediately. For the past year she has been training there and for the past year Stone has admired her. He doesn't have time for relationships so casual sex with his go to girl is usually how he gets his release. But Campbell is so different and he sees and wants so much more with her. But when he takes that first step and crosses the line of friendship there is something holding Campbell back. She too feels the connection and spark between them but out of fear and insecurities she pushes him away. But these two are just so perfect together and no matter how hard he may try he cannot get her out of his mind. After everything that Campbell has been through in her life will she finally take a chance on love and happiness and cross that line with Stone?
I cannot begin to tell you how much I loved this book. But for me it was Stone that made this book. Don't get me wrong I LOVED Campbell but Stone was everything that you want in a man. He was sweet, caring, protective and just amazing in every way. There is one relationship that he has with a very special person that will completely melt your heart. The love that he has for this person was just so real and so special. And when it came to Campbell, My God he was just so loving and caring, and patient. He knew there was something that she was keeping from him, the reason for the fear that he saw over a year ago. But he was so patient with her and loved her unconditionally. This man had so much love to give and he will capture your heart.
Campbell is such a strong woman and I loved her. She had so many struggles in her life but I truly believed that in ways she stayed strong throughout them. She loved Stone there was no doubt, but because of her past she never felt she was worth his love. And maybe she didn't realize it but she too had so much love to give and you see that not only with Stone but with someone else in this book. I know I am being vague but I really do not want to say anything that will ruin it. Campbell and Stone just complimented each other so well. They had such a wonderful connection, one that I felt.
Again this book deals with rape. But what I loved about this book is that it deals with it in a way that I think we don't see often. We see how it affects more than just one person. I loved how Ms. Lane dealt with this topic but also how she wrote the past. The moments that we see in Campbell's point of view are from her past, which gave us a bit of suspense because you are left wondering what exactly happened that has left her so broken. There is this build up to that moment that destroyed her and when it is time to reveal the truth not to only the reader but also Stone you can't help but feel her pain as well. It was so real and so intense at times to see what this girl has been holding in for so long.
Prescott Lane honestly blew me away with this book. I devoured it in one sitting, because from the moment I started reading I did not want to let go. This is one of those books that will give you a hangover and stay with you. Especially Stone, oh how I loved that man. Amazing job!!!
“What made you come for me?” she asks. I tell her my theory about men making decisions based on one of three body parts — head, heart, dick. “So which led you to my house tonight?” she asks.
“Let’s just say two out of three ain’t bad.”
Her giggle fills up the room. “Stone?”
“Don’t let me forget.”
“How good I feel right now,” she says.
I know exactly what she’s feeling. She doesn’t think she deserves to be happy. It’s a constant waiting on the other shoe to drop so you can prove to yourself that all the bad shit you fill your head with is true. That you’re bad, and that’s why bad things happen around you, or to those you love. Dealt with that myself when Tate got her diagnosis. Who am I kidding? I still fight those demons, knowing she’s suffering because of my mistakes. Self-blame is a bitch. Self-hatred is even worse. Guess I’ll just have to teach Campbell to love herself as much as I love her.
Yeah, yeah, it’s fast. But how long does it really take to fall in love with someone? A minute? An hour? A day? A year? For me, it took exactly one kiss. The moment her lips touched mine in that hospital room, I was gone.
Besides, what do you really have to know about a person to love them? Not a damn thing other than how they make you feel when you close your eyes at the end of the day with them wrapped in your arms.
Prescott Lane is the author of First Position, Perfectly Broken, and her new release, Quiet Angel. She is originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, and graduated from Centenary College with a degree in sociology. She went on to receive her MSW from Tulane University, after which she worked with developmentally delayed and disabled children. She married her college sweetheart, and they currently live in New Orleans with their two children and two crazy dogs. Prescott started writing at the age of five, and sold her first story about a talking turtle to her father for a quarter. She later turned to writing romance novels because there aren't enough happily ever afters in real life.
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