Monday, April 13, 2020


Title: Deep Cut
Series: Permanently Black and Blue, Book One
Author: C.R. Scott
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: April 13, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 77100
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Young adult, high school, in the closet, 
musicians, coming-of-age, family drama

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Shaun’s an outsider. He has a dark past and an even darker habit of cutting himself and burying his emotions under his skin. The only thing he’s got going for him is his guitar and a head full of lyrics.

When Jesse moves to town, bringing big bright smiles and warm blue eyes into Shaun’s dark life, he insists they become friends.

But that’s going to be a problem for Shaun. He’s never had a real friend before. Oh, and he’s also finding himself hopelessly attracted to Jesse’s undeniable charm, which is definitely not going to work out.

Being gay isn’t brutal and Shaun has an image to uphold if he’s ever got a shot at becoming the death metal God he knows he’s destined to become.

My Rating - 5 Stars!

Wow, Deep Cut is an accomplished young adult romance. These CR Scott characters are people I could read about forever. They burrowed their way into my heart and I am saddened to be left waiting for the next book. Yes, yes, it ends in a cliffhanger, but it leaves off at a good point. 

This is a story of rumors, reckless acts, harmful behavior, and family issues galore. If self harm is a trigger for you, definitely avoid this one. 

Jesse's a teen whose whole life has been one of moving around, as his mom changes boyfriends often. He lives in a noisy house full of siblings, and is often the one in charge of them. He's amazing in his acceptance of his lot in life, handling his responsibilities with grace. He's truly a wonderful character, who's written as a realistic teen who struggles with everyday teen issues as well.

And then there's Shaun, the school outcast, who lives with his grandparents. He barely tolerates his grandmother and has a complicated relationship with his grandfather. His backstory is tragic and heart-breaking. The way the town treats him as a pariah is awful, and the rumors that fly about him as are just cruel. 

Soon Jesse befriends Shaun, despite all the warnings to avoid the strange young man. Torn between being with Jesse, the town outcast, or trying to get with the popular girl, everything is classic teenage behavior.

And oh wow, Shaun, he struggles whole heartily just to survive each day, never allowing himself to be thinking gay thoughts, as he doesn't think he could survive the way people would treat him then. His story is as deep as it is powerful. A victim of self harm, his cutting is described in detail, bringing tears to my eyes several times. 

This is a story with heavy themes, as Jesse and Shaun are both from tough family units. Both men are multi-layered and sympathetic characters. 
Jesse's many siblings, as we learn over time, are complicated in their own manner. 

As well, I enjoy some of the simple moments of Jesse with his siblings; video games, cooking, and snuggling. And even more, Shaun with Jesse's siblings brings out many tender moments. 

Thee writing is both ambitious and impressive. The author's writing style is consistent and extremely well done. The characters' voices are definitely mature, but that is due to their circumstances, not the author's mistake. As these are high school characters, there is plenty of stupid teenage behavior taking place. 

And yes, there is a cliffhanger. As much as I hate cliffhangers in general, I am thrilled to have read this book now, as it's an extremely powerful tale. When book two is available, I will be jumping into it immediately. 

Deep Cut is an extremely serious book. CR Scott impresses in this well developed and well executed young adult novel. It's an extraordinary reminder that the way people treat us greatly shape who we become. Do not miss this one. It is perfect when you're in the mood for a serious and yet tender young adult romance. 


Deep Cut
C.R. Scott © 2020
All Rights Reserved

For the first time ever, Jesse almost had a room to himself.

The new house had four bedrooms. It was their house this time, so they could do whatever they wanted with it. They kept the bunk beds though, and as usual, Jesse got stuck with the top while Sam got the bottom.

Already, the room was covered in half-emptied boxes, clothes, various personal items, and discarded fast-food wrappers.

Jesse hung over the edge of his bed so he could see the tiny screen on their TV. His younger brother, Sam, had convinced him to do two-player in Call of Duty. He’d wanted to finish unpacking his stuff, but after an awful lot of complaining on Sam’s part about how
completely bullshit it was internet wouldn’t be installed for almost a week, he’d agreed.

They were wasting a perfectly good Sunday evening and had been for the last few hours. Jesse sat with a blank stare, zoned out, the controller hanging loosely from his hands, when a soft voice from the doorway snapped him to attention.

“Jesse, I wanna come up.”

Brian stood in the doorway, a pout on his little round face. He picked his way into the room and stood directly in front of the TV.

“Get out of the way!” Sam’s hands were occupied. He nudged the three-year-old with his foot.

“Stop it,” Brian whined. “Jesse!”

“You should be in bed,” Jesse sighed.

“I can’t sleep. Lissa won’t stop crying.” Brian stepped over a pile of clothes and started up the ladder.

Jesse rolled his eyes, but he dropped the controller and crawled to the edge of the bed. He lifted Brian off the first rung and dragged him to the top bunk.

“Oh, man! I got you,” Sam laughed as he blew Jesse’s character away on-screen.

“Fuck you, I wasn’t paying attention.”

“Dude, Brian, go sleep with the twins. We’re busy,” Sam said as he started a new game.


“Leave us alone! Go back to your room!”

But Jesse knew that wasn’t happening. Just as Brian had mentioned, he could hear baby Melissa wailing in the other room.

Monica shuffled past their door. She had PJs on, and her hair was bedraggled. The baby quieted somewhat, but that was just because she was getting attention. As soon as Monica tried to go back to bed, Lissa would start up again.

Brian watched Sam and Jesse shoot each other up. After a while, his head started nodding. The toddler slumped onto Jesse’s pillows and was soon fast asleep.

“So…are you nervous about starting school?” Sam asked abruptly.

“No.” It was the truth. What was there to be nervous about? “We’ve been to a million other schools before. This one’s no different.”

“I guess,” Sam said. “But…I don’t know. Those other schools were different— Crap!” he cried as Jesse’s character skillfully sniped his.

“Should’ve ducked,” Jesse snickered. He earned a middle finger for his efforts.

As they waited for a new game to load, Sam returned to the topic of school. “This is different,” he said again. “Like when we were living with Joey, that was temporary.”

“Mmm, another of Mom’s boyfriends,” Jesse agreed.

“Yeah,” Sam said. “But there’s no boyfriend here.”

“That’s a good thing, right?”

“I don’t know. What if we hate it? We’re stuck here,” Sam said tightly. “This is our home now.”

Jesse hadn’t thought about it like that. They’d been moving around since before he could remember. They’d stayed with friends and moved in with Monica’s many, many boyfriends. But Monica’s dad, their grandfather, had died about six months ago and he’d left them this
rundown house in the middle of nowhere. Monica had considered selling it, but after a bad breakup with Joey, the last asshole boyfriend in Detroit, she’d decided to move them halfway across the country to make this hole-in-the-wall their own.

Nothing was ever set in stone, but from the way she talked about it, they’d be here for a while.

“It’ll be fine,” Jesse said.

“But what if—”

“Dude!” Jesse shot Sam in the head as he ducked out from behind a crumbling wall. “Are you going to play or what?”

It was a lame attempt at distraction, but it worked. Sam kicked the frame of the bed. The top bunk shook. “I’m gonna kill you,” he said.

Beside him, Brian stirred and moaned in his sleep.

Jesse sighed. He brushed a hand through Brian’s blond hair and lulled him back to dreamland as the next game loaded.


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Meet the Author

C.R. Scott is a self-taught writer with a BA in psychology. Her characters are flawed and imperfect and she loves them for it. They urge her to write their stories. She currently resides in the ever-changing climates of Ohio with her husband and two children. This is her first published book, with more to come. You can reach C.R. by sending her an eMail.


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