Review: Stained by Chris T. Kat

Blair Clark has reached his breaking point. Forced to leave one job because of sexual harassment, he’s having difficulty finding another. Since no one believes what happened, Blair’s left with a stain on his employment record that he can’t get rid of. He’s had to move back home with his mother. As if that’s not bad enough, he realizes his crush, Travis, is simply using him. His romantic life looks as hopeless as his job search.

Jack Ross is sure he’ll never find anyone who’ll love him for who he is. All anyone sees is the port-wine stain on his left cheek—not the man behind it. Even his mother thinks he should get rid of it. But the procedure is difficult and painful.

When Blair applies for a secretarial position with Jack’s firm, both men learn that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder. It’ll take a lot of trust to chase away their insecurities, but if they take a chance on one another, love will find a way.

I love books with less than perfect characters. I like the fact that Jack is not another 'image-ly flawless' MC - sometimes I get really tired of beautiful and perfect main characters. I'd rather the plot didn't revolve around this 'flaw' (which is not a flaw, it is a part of the human make up, we are all different and beauty is far too defined by media and societal standards, though that is an argument for another day), but I do like the fact that he was different than the usually defined standards of beauty. That said, I did like the fact that the reader is able to understand how it feels to be different from an 'accepted' norm. How it affects the way that others actions are perceived and felt. I wanted to shout at Jack that it doesn't matter what the hell he looks like, to be himself, don't over-think others reactions - and I would have been a great big hypocrite, because I have alopecia and won't go out in public without wearing a hat. Only a very, very few see me hatless these days. It's not even that bad in the scheme of things, but I am totally conscious of it so I understood why Jack was how he was, even though part of me hated him for it. Even though most of me wanted to shout "Seriously dude, if they judge you for your looks it's their loss". Freud would have a field day with that, huh. This isn't about me though, it's about the story... and why I only gave it 2.75 stars.

Despite the fact that I loved the blurb and set up, the story didn't quite work for me. I think I wanted something more serious than I got; something more emotional. What I read felt a little too soap opera like for my taste. Characters felt exaggerated and the storyline overly dramatic in a divisive way. It is probably exactly some people's cup of tea, but it wasn't mine. 

The problem with accepting requested reviews is that I owe everyone an honest opinion - but opinions are, by their very nature, utterly biased. Biased to the reader's taste, and thoughts, and experiences, and likes and dislikes. If I'd bought the book I'd probably have left a rating on GR (more for my records than anything else) and carried on my merry way. I didn't though, the book was given in exchange for an honest review and my honest opinion is I didn't enjoy it more than 2.75 hearts. The key word being I. It wasn't full of editorial errors or plot-holes, it just didn't float my boat. The 39 4+ GR ratings (at time of writing) show that at least 39 people have a different opinion to me. I'm neither right nor wrong, I'm just giving my view that this book really wasn't for me. seriously, this review could really have just been the central paragraph, because that is what it all boils down to.
For more information see Goodreads or Dreamspinner Press
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.

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