Warning: This is not a fluffy love story – it contains and alludes to violence, torture and rape – a heroine broken in mind but not spirit – a hero with his own past regrets.
Scout has always wanted to follow in her family’s business of custom bike building. Being female never stopped her from getting greasy and slapping on paint with the best of them, and made her work even harder at opening up her own shop someday.
When an opportunity to win $500,000 dollars in prize money presents itself, Scout and her group of misfit friends sign on the dotted line to be filmed for a reality television show to win it. But like anything in life there’s always a catch to free money.
When nightmares of the past meet dreams of the future, Scout is forced to face her demons, or be quickly over run by the memories. In the midst of her inner turmoil, family will come home, and possibly a life she never expected to have could be within her grasp.
Rating- 4 out of 5
What a pleasant surprise! No, fuck that, this sort of blew me away! Oh Scout! My heart bled for her, I cried for her, I shook with her and I would just read Thayne’s name and feel calmer knowing that he would listen to Scout and hold her up while she learned to stand on her own. This was a love story and there is a happily ever after, but I feel like the main love story was Scout learning to love herself. Her relationship with Thayne was but a catalyst in her journey to take back control of her life.
I thought the whole “reality television show” aspect was going to be a turn off for me, but it was more like a side bit and not the main focus. You do not need a working knowledge of motorcycles and the mechanics to get the full experience of this book. At the heart of this book is a beautifully strong and broken young woman called Scout. She is a spunky little bad ass with a talent for building bikes and painting. This character was so damaged and yet so fierce at the same time. She struggled with so much but she kept moving forward and had such a determination to succeed and live. She had a wonderful support network of people who love her, but they have also done damage in their own ways. I enjoyed seeing how Scout interacted with different characters and how those interactions evolved as information was revealed and Scout started taking back control of her life. Her character showed immeasurable growth. I wish I could give more away, but this book is one that you just have to read it and live it to understand.
This book covered some dark material, but it was written gracefully. As a reader with violence in my past, I felt the fear and the pain but I was able to read through it and like Scout, I somehow kept going. I rooted for her to find peace (and also to win the grand prize on the show. Brei Betzold delivered a book that keeps you guessing and anxiously reading until the final page.
This was my first read from Brei Betzold but it will not be the last. I give it a 4 out of 5. Painted Lines is definitely in my tops reads of 2013!