Veil of Scars by J.R. Gray

Heat Level 3
$3.99
SKU 978-1-77233-321-3
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Steven is tall, dark, and damaged. He doesn't let anyone close, comfortable on the outside of normal life where he can hide his scars behind a wall so high that nothing gets through…except them. Despite a childhood marred with black and blue, he's survived and moved in with his two best friends, Sam and Charlie. 

Life should get better, but it was Sam who held him when the dark threatened to swallow him whole, Sam who gave him a place that felt like home, and Sam who knew every scar and every broken place. 

And it's all been taken away with Charlie sharing Sam's bed. 

Without his former comfort, Steven realizes what's been hiding in the deep corners of his heart, and the truth sinks him like a weight. He’s in love with one or maybe both of his roommates. Navigating unrequited love tears Steven apart and brings him to the precipice, and he has to choose: his feelings or Sam’s…and Charlie’s?

Be Warned: menage sex (MMF), anal sex, m/m sex

 

Excerpt:

My head was heavy, and I let it fall back against the couch just as I felt Charlie’s soft lips on the base of my throat. I extended my neck, giving her room to play, as my eyes lulled half closed. I wanted more of Sam's touch. His fingers slid up my arm, almost hesitantly, until they reached the buttons on my shirt. Slowly, he undid the top one. I turned my face toward him and met his eyes in the dim light, watching him lean forward to brush his nose over mine.

"Hey," he whispered.

What would Charlie think if we kissed? Would he even? My thoughts were interrupted by soft lips and harsh stubble against my clean-shaven cheeks. His lips glided over my unmoving ones, and Charlie vanished. My eyes fell the rest of the way closed, and all my thoughts were on him as he tilted his head and pressed in closer. His warm tongue slid over the seam of my lips. Mine parted instinctively, and I inhaled my first breath of him. He tasted like cheap tequila and chlorine, like the way he smelled after a long night of drinking. It was home.

The tip of his tongue flirted into my mouth as soft fingers with an edge of nails smoothed over my chest. It felt surprisingly good, and I knew they must belong to Charlie since Sam's hand was still on my thigh. He took my hand and slid it further up his leg until the tips of my fingers brushed his bulge, eliciting a moan from his lips. I moved my other hand to Charlie’s hip, and her face dipped to press a kiss to my nipple.

Sam broke the kiss, and I could just make out his swollen lips in the low light. He smiled at me and moved his mouth to my ear. He nipped and sucked at the sensitive skin before I felt his hot breath fanning down my neck.

"Me too."

My head snapped around almost colliding with his, and my hand tightened, nails biting into his thigh. My brows rose, questioning his meaning.

"I do," he said again, so soft that I almost believed I’d imagined it.

Tiny fingers worked on my belt, and my head was all over the place. My cock swelled between my thighs, hard and painful, and it was taking all the blood from my head, making it nearly impossible to think about what he had just said.

I leaned forward and pressed my forehead to his, forcing myself to think. "How long?" I whispered as I felt Charlie's soft lips where the button of my jeans had once sat.

Fuck, fuck, fuck. I couldn't be having this conversation right now. She used both hands to slide my jeans down a bit, and her lips moved lower.

Sam didn't respond. A low baritone growl sounded in the back of my throat.

He shook his head, his forehead still against mine. "Later." His eyes pleaded with me.

I sighed, and he pushed my hand to cup his package. I groaned. He was big and thick, everything from what I remembered when I had glimpses of his morning wood. I suddenly wanted to touch him, to have my mouth on him like Charlie did me. My thumb stroked over the edge of his head, through his pants, and he was kissing me again. My shirt was pushed off my shoulders by one or both of them, and Charlie moved to straddle my lap. She joined the kiss, adding the taste of that cherry flavored alcohol she liked to mix. I didn't expect to like it, but I did. Anything with Sam would have been good. 

Product Reviews

Score: 5 out of 5 (based on 21 ratings)
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5/5
Rainbow Book Reviews
Written by JJ on 4th Aug 2015

This is an extraordinarily intricate yet playful story about three young folks who have an amazingly congenial connection to each other. Each person has a special history and dynamically palpable feelings for each other, their immediate life situation, and the world as a whole. High school and college can be a totally overwhelming experience with highs and pitfalls that are probably carried within each of us for our lifetimes, yet re-experiencing this charged powder keg was astounding yet convoluted to integrate. For a novella, this really packs a punch on multiple levels and from three rather different viewpoints. It is powerful, but unquestionably cathartic. I recommend this for the open-hearted, passionately inquisitive, and seekers of understanding. Demonstratively assertive! Steven is fairly shy in general. His appearance often leads folks to jump to the conclusion that he is gay. He does look a bit effeminate, but I know that does not automatically mean a man is gay. Steven has survived a childhood and teenage horror story despite his father's abuse and his mother's capitulation. However, he is smart, sensitive, with expansive emotions especially toward his two closest companions. The complicated nature of Steven's makeup may be a challenge for some readers, I believe. However, if I were as convivial to him as Sam and Charlie are, I would love him too. Ardently introspective! Sam eventually recognizes that Steven had a truly tough family life. He openly offers Steven a refuge even before Steven is legally capable of leaving home. Sam comes from a big Irish family nearly on the opposite end of the spectrum from Steven's. Their bonding began early on before Sam turned into a hunk and needed a supporter like Steven to help counter the teasing and taunting of their fellow classmates. My my, kids can be rather cruel. Sam is a curious delight yet he needs the longest time to see the big picture that involves Steven, Sam, and Charlie. Wondrously winsome! Charlie flat out tells Steve that she is his best pal. Yes, Charlie is a girl! So, with Charlie and Sam intimate plus Charlie and Steve best buds, it feels kind of natural that the three of them get an apartment together when they go to college. Steve learns somewhat early that Charlie would do anything for him and that is remarkably salubrious yet on occasion confusing to Steve. Charlie had a bit of whirlwind youth with her parents being UN ambassadors. They decided to settle down so Charlie could go to a neighborhood type of high school. Charlie and Sam hook up fairly early on, but occasionally break up for typical adolescent reasons. However, on the whole Charlie and Sam are pretty tight, with Charlie and Steve being unshakably linked companions. This threesome are a tad mind-boggling, but definitely come across as a solid trio. I adored Charlie as she muddles through school together with Steve and Sam. Incredibly intriguing! Give this tale of three friends during their trials within the unpredictable world of school and early adulthood a go. Surprisingly immersive!

5/5
Night Owl Reviews
Written by VRainey on 9th Jun 2015

Steven is a handsome person who is damaged and knows he has issues. He tried to cope the best he can, not letting anyone in accept a small select few, Charlie and Sam. Charlie and Sam are his best friends. Steven struggles with his feelings for both Charlie and Sam. Charlie and Sam are in a relationship together and want to bring Steven into their relationship as a third. Now all three struggle to find a fit for this budding relationship without hurting anyone in the process. The beginning of the story leaves you excited to see how this book turns out. At the end of the first chapter, I could not put this book down even if it tried. The author did a great job of drawing the reader in to his world. The world created is very realistic. The pace of the story was a steady pace all the way through. It was not too fast or too slow. The main characters and the secondary characters were thought provoking and authentic. I liked that Sam, Steven, and Charlie were not perfect and each had faults that they had to deal with making them realistic. Each character also had many layers that gave them that lifelike feel. The point of view stayed with Steven all the way through. While I am not a fan of flashbacks in general, this book had several. They were done in a way that helped the overall story line and did not detract or confuse the issues being dealt with. The main conflict of the story is the relationship between Sam, Steven and Charlie. I liked that the storyline had a realistic feel and was not overloaded with excess drama. The dialogue between the characters was frank and unique. The characters voice matched not only the setting but seemed fit their overall personality. I loved the ending and I hope there is another book to finish the story.

4/5
Coffee Time Romance
Written by Lototy on 7th Jun 2015

Nightmares are a common occurrence for Steven, which, given the beatings his father doled out on a daily basis is no surprise. If it were not for is best friend, he probably would have never survived. A relationship as solid as Sam and Charlie’s is hard to come by, yet both of them know there is something more they need. They communicate well enough, but it is their best friend who they turn to when it is too hard to talk to each other. Loving Sam and loving Charlie are two completely separate things for Steven. Sam is his rock, his security, and the only person Steven has ever felt remotely attracted to. Charlie is his heart. He can tell her anything and never feel like he will be ridiculed or rejected. The only problem is that he is broken, and the last thing in the world he wants to do is hurt the only two people he has ever loved. Steven just literally breaks your heart. To survive what he has is a testament to his strength, but he does not see it that way. Thankfully, Sam and Char do. It is amazing to see how their love for Steven is worth risking everything to make sure he knows it. - See more at: http://www.coffeetimeromance.com/BookReviews/veilofscarsbyjrgray.html#.VXTFesI5Gpp

5/5
4.5 BFF Stars
Written by Beth on 5th May 2015

Best Friends Forever. Or does that F stand for something else? Sam and Steve have been best friends for years. They went to school together, roomed together, were there for each other. They gave comfort to each other lie best friends do. Well, maybe a little more than most buds. Sam is the good looking jock guy. Steve is not. He is a bit awkward. Less than social. They balance each other. Now throw in Charlie. Yes I know....too many boy/girl names. Let's take a roll call.... Sam = boy Charlie = girl Steve = boy Charlie and Sam are dating. Charlie and Steve are connected on a deep level. Sam and Steve are totally dependent on each other. Ms Gray explores the lines between friendship, deep friendship and love. The lines between love and love are blurred. Those boundaries overlap and intertwine. He has always been my savior, but you're my sanity. You will feel the insecurity that comes with ignoring the "norm", breaking those boundaries and redefining BFF

5/5
READ VEIL OF SCARS FOR SURE!!
Written by BIKE BOOK REVIEWS on 3rd May 2015

You know that character that you just want to hug and tell them that it will be OK because they affect you that greatly? Yeah well Steven is that character for me. he touched my heart in a huge way! This author makes the characters come alive so that it is easy for you to love them! Steven has been through so much in his life, and only his two best friends, Sam and Charlie really understand him, and know who he really is behind all the emotional barriers he puts up. Steven is gutted when Charlie and Sam get together, his heart can't take it, he is in love with Sam, but now there is no hope, is there? Steven navigates the waters of his two best friends dating, and he tries to be OK, but the emotional toll is huge. I love how this book unfolds, and how these three deal with this issue. It is a great read that will have you riding an emotional roller coaster for sure! I can't wait for you to read this one friends, and if you are a lover of MM romance like I am, you will still love this book and be glad you read it for sure! Thanks J.r., for making this trip out of my comfort zone well worth it!

5/5
Loved this story
Written by Julie on 1st May 2015

Wow, I absolutely loved this story. Another great read from J.R. Gray The characters and story are very relatable. Steven comes from a broken past and his love for his best friends shines through even though he doesn't understand his feelings for either one of them. He has such a heart. The way he discovers his way of feeling, tugs on the heart strings a bit. There are no "normal" feelings out there and it is possible to love like this. The relationship Steven has with Sam is different than his relationship with Charlie and they all need each other in their own way. To have best friends like this is what life is all about. I do not like to give away a lot of spoilers, because I want people to discover their own thoughts of the characters, but I really do hope they fall in love with them like I did. I do hope we get to see more of Steven, Charlie and Sam.

5/5
Scars of the past
Written by Jackies Book Reviews on 1st May 2015

I have to say that from the moment I started to read this book I instantly feel in love with Steven. Steven is a torn sole who came from a damaged upbringing and is just trying like hell to make his life better. With that said Sam is his best friend since forever and it is Sam who seems to keep Steven grounded at times. While Sam is the kind of guy that has had a better for words growing up the all American Guy with looks, and the girl, Steven crutch was coming from the wrong side of the tracks. While both are now in college it is Sam who holds Steven tight at night while sleeping. Steven for the most part has come to the terms that he is deeply in love with Sam and nothing will change that except…..Charlie Steven’s girlfriend. For Charlie who is the strength of these three with the love of a girlfriend for Sam and the love of a best friend for Steven she is the glue that holds all three together on this incrediable journey that they all take together. My heart ached for Steven but at the same time you know that he has to face his past and move forward to future whether Sam and Charlie are in it with him. This is a sweet story that will make you laugh and cry and yes it is a novella, no it is not a love triangle but a totally different style of writing that JR brings to her readers and a very

5/5
Powerful read
Written by DiverseReader "Meredith" on 28th Apr 2015

J.R. Gray is a new author to me. When approached with this story I was immediately taken with the blurb. I could tell right off the bat that this was going to be a very emotional ride. I was not wrong. Veil of Scars was a rollercoaster ride. Where there was pain there was love. I literally felt like I was taking a journey through a timeline, I felt like an outsider getting glimpses of the lives of people I had no right to know. By the end of the book I wanted to sit with all of them and say thank you. Thank you for letting me in and for feeling so deeply. I was invested throughout the entire story to the point I wished they were real. I cried with them, laughed with them, and loved right a long with them. My heart was wrapped in barbed wire, hugged to the point of blinding pain and released just before it became unbearable. This is a very angsty story. But worth every second. There's so much beauty to be seen. It was a fantastic read!

5/5
My heart feel full
Written by Katherine A on 26th Apr 2015

Steve is an 18 year old who lives with his 2 best friends in a unit while attending Harvard. He comes from a very bad home filled with drinking, drugs and abuse. Sam is he saviour and best friend and they are as close as two people can be but Steve doesn't like to show Sam any weakness. He can only be weak and his true self with Sam's girlfriend Charlie who is Steve's other best friend. Steve realises that he is inlove with both of them although he believes he is demisexual the three of them enter a relationship together. Their relationship is not smooth sailing at first but it seems that it all works out in the end. This book does contain m/m sex as well as f/m/m sex. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone that has an open mind and loves a good love story where convention and gender don't matter.

5/5
A case of the feels
Written by Heather on 26th Apr 2015

J.R. Writes emotions like no other, this book will make you laugh and cry. He puts you right into Stevens head and makes you want more. In fact... I want more of these three on my kindle now. You won't be disappointed.

5/5
Love and friendship go hand-in-hand
Written by Amazon Customer on 26th Apr 2015

I just loved this book! Although it's NA, the relationships can occur to pretty much anyone. Love is love!

5/5
I really enjoyed this story
Written by Annette Philips on 26th Apr 2015

I really enjoyed this story. From the flash backs to the now, I felt for Steven, cheered for him and wanted to comfort him. Sam was the hero to me and I loved the way Gray developed their bond, it was not the typical m/m friendship but one that has a deep root that can't be broken. I kind of wish the third character would have accidentally fallen into a coma so the two could have explored their friendship on a deeper level.This story will tug at your heart. Go get it!

5/5
A brilliant, thoughtful insight to warm your heart.
Written by Mrs Emerson on 24th Apr 2015

This book is a must read. J.R. Gray just goes from strength to strength writing characters that you can't help but love and that you want to take under your wing. This is an incredibly moving story that deals with difficult issues with such feeling and tenderness I defy anyone to not have a tear in their eye in places. Well done doesn't cover it.

5/5
Gray did it again!
Written by D. Peterson "Dont forget your dream" on 24th Apr 2015

I always seem to fall into the feelings of at least one character . Even though the formatting got screwed up ans Amazon has yet to fix my copy,I loved This book. I couldn't put it down once I got started. I really hope that there will be more to this story and we get to see the relationships blossom. If you haven't checked out Grays other books you should give them a look!

5/5
The real feels
Written by KT on 23rd Apr 2015

I knew from the synopsis, that I would connect with this story on a personal level, but how much I did floored me. Beautifully worded, JR took me to a place I knew well and played out the emotions perfectly. I cried tears of familiarity at times and smiled knowingly at others. JR, that emotion was caused by your words. That is success! But even if this story doesn't hit you at home, you can't fail to be moved by the intense love it conveys. It felt it all. It was real. Go 1-click, so you can feel it too.

5/5
A beautiful story that will stay with you long after you've finished reading it
Written by Dawn Honeycutt on 22nd Apr 2015

From the first few paragraphs of Veil of Scars I was completely hooked! J.R. Gray delivers a beautiful story about Steve who has been abused by his parents and finds solace and shelter in the arms of his best friend Sam and acceptance and love from Sam's girlfriend Charlie. Steve keeps all of his emotions and hurt buried deep inside, he's uncomfortable with who he is and feels like he's not "normal" sexually. J.R. Gray gives us a powerful look through Steve's eyes as he tries to come to terms with his years of abuse, who he is emotionally and sexually and if love and a relationship is possible with both Sam and Charlie. I could feel every emotion running through these three characters and could not put the book down, literally, until I had finished it. I will definitely read this book again.

5/5
Different, heartwarming, a must read!
Written by scmartin04 on 22nd Apr 2015

One of the reasons I enjoy reading is because well written stories have the power to transport you to another place and/or time. Veil of Scars is one of those books that took me on a new and different journey as a reader. Veil of Scars is the story of Steven, Sam and Charlie, three friends who share a common/special love for each other. Throughout their lives, their friendship, their love and their unique bond evolves. Written through Steven’s POV, Veil of Scars takes you on a personal journey of discovery. I loved how JR used relevant flashbacks to the character’s early years to clearly bring a clear understanding to the character’s lives in the present. I truly enjoyed reading and experiencing the emotions all of the characters endured throughout the story. But, I enjoyed Steven’s the most. I felt the strongest connection to Steven. It’s this personal connection that captivated me. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Charlie. She is Steven’s emotional tether. And I admire Sam, the hero, the light. This story represents diversity and as a supporter, I applaud JR for his writing and content. This book tells a different kind of love story. Nonetheless, it brings awareness to what love is and how it can be different for everyone. There is no right way to love. JR, your book made me think of this quote: “We all live with the objective of being happy, our lives are all different and yet the same.”

5/5
Another winner for Gray
Written by Lynne on 22nd Apr 2015

There are times when a movie, a song or even a book makes you see things differently from what people consider “The norm”. For many, a romantic relationship is considered to be between a man and woman. The society we live in today has shown us that’s just not the case anymore. Love can be between a man and man or a woman and woman and still be beautiful. What if you are someone, who many would consider different and awkward. Someone who is not connecting to the physicality of love, but more so the emotional aspect? What if the love you share is just not for one person, but two people? What will society say? Hell what would your family think? Honestly, at the end of the day, with a feeling burning strongly can you push the fear and the complexity of it aside and just let love be? Let’s just be real. This book will pull at your heart strings. The story is told told through the POV of Steven. He’s 18 in college, tall, a bit on the introvert side and realizing he has such strong feels for both his friends although in different ways. I felt the author somehow transported you from your real life and implanted you into this story so you could feel first hand the struggles Steven had to face with his feelings. God, you have no idea how many times I wanted to put my arms through this kindle and give him the biggest hug in the world. To just keep telling his “this will all work out”, “It will be ok”. What a beautifully written character. I haven’t come across that in quite some time. Another thing I absolutely love was how the story, strongly paced, would flashback through time to show you and make you understand why Sam and Charlie were the two most important people in Steven’s life. The author made you comprehend why Steven has such strong and complex feelings for the both of them. Strongly and beautifully written, great pace in the story and three strong characters that make you hope for something different and something more. This is more than or to be labeled as a “threesome” book. This book shows you love TRULY has no bounds and could come in any form. Who are we to judge? Great work, as always, from J.R. I don’t even know if this review will do the book any justice. Do I recommend this? Highly!! Step outside the box and give this book a go. Out of a 5 I’m giving this one 5 stars! Well Done.

5/5
Love Just Happens
Written by FiftysGirl2012 on 22nd Apr 2015

Steven has a damaged but beautiful soul. Having survived a horrendous childhood he has built an impenetrable wall around him. Sam and Charlie are the two most important people in his life and he has a heart full of love for both of them. Only they know the real Steven. Sam has been his saviour and being close to him feels like home. Charlie, as much as Steven loves her his mixed feelings manifest into jealously when he sees her with Sam. Invading his time and bond with Sam. Despite the escape from his past and moving in with his two best friends he’s still struggling. Fighting the realisation that he is could be in love with not one but both of them. Emotionally torn apart by the unfamiliar Steven knows there will come a point where he’ll have to choose whose feelings to protect and whose to hurt. Who or what is it he really wants and is he really capable of hurting those he truly loves? From the outset I knew Steven would be a character I’d come to care about. Yes he’s damaged but it isn’t something that overwhelms the story. His ability to love and care for his friends despite that is what stands out. With the occasional glimpse into his past the reader will not only realise his turmoil but will want to protect him from it. His friends/roommates Sam and Charlie fit perfectly into the story. The dialogue between the two put you at ease with their relationship. In equal measure you get to see their relationship with Steven and the differences in their love for each other. With Sam being the handsome All American type and Charlie his female equal you may start to wonder where Steven would fit into their world but as you’ll see by reading the jigsaw will come together and you’ll understand their bond. Not only is this an incredible story about love it also has a thought provoking ability. So much about this book is based around facing up to and accepting who we really are and that as with life, love and sexuality can’t always be defined by a name or category and why should it. Although this book is essentially a novella it packs a huge punch, more than some full size novels can manage. You’ll laugh, cry, feel every kind of emotion and understand a great deal about relationships by reading this. You’ll also see why I love it.

5/5
Simply amazing.
Written by Sara Parker on 21st Apr 2015

This book was so filled with emotion and well written. I couldn't get enough.

5/5
One for life
Written by Sally on 21st Apr 2015

I had the pleasure of not only reading this book, but reading what was there before the next chapter had being born. That was over a year ago, and to see it here now, published, is… I have no words. Just smiles and tears of joy, and couldn’t be prouder of JR Gray. It’s real. It happened. It’s finally here. Veil Of Scars is a story of heart ache and heart strings. Steve keeps everything hidden within himself, it’s how he deals. But when the sun sets and all goes dark, Sam holds him close and takes it all away, even if just for the night. Then there’s Charlie, his best friend and Sam’s girlfriend. How does it all work? How do they work? It’s a rollercoaster through the eyes of Steve. He has to face his past, his present and more frighteningly, what’s inside. Emotions run high, low, and get laid out raw. I found myself hurting with the pain and captivated by the love. Veil Of Scars consumed me, and has continued to do so many times since my first read. It isn’t your average love story and it isn’t a love triangle. It’s something beyond special that JR Gray has delivered beautifully. This is a story that will stay with me for life, and deserves the 5stars I gave it from the moment I laid eyes on it.