If you spend any time in the New Adult fantasy/romance circles online, you’ve probably heard of Emily McIntire. Her book, Hooked, BLEW up. Hooked is book one in the Never After series and a modern retelling of “Peter Pan” with a mafia type vibe; at least as far as I know. I never read Hooked because mafia romances aren’t my thing but when she released Scarred, I was intrigued. Scarred is an historical romance and a retelling of The Lion King. The Lion King is my favorite Disney movie EVER so I had to read this book. Even though it is book two in the series, each one can be read as a standalone. I had very high hopes but unfortunately, I hated this story. This review will have spoilers.
🔥I like to give a heat level rating for all books with romance. If you’re curious about my rating system, you can check it out here.
Once Upon A Time,
there was a king who passed.
He left behind two sons,
one beloved and one outcast.
The older of the two was set to take the throne,
but before he could he had to find a queen to call his own.
The younger one was known to be unruly and unhinged.
The chosen queen was warned to keep far away from him.
Beautiful and cunning, in the light is where she stayed.
But late at night, it was the shadowed lands in which she played.
Mistakes were made and secrets forged;
forgetting duty and her sense.
And while the new king had her hand,
her heart belonged to the scarred prince.
Scarred is a DARK Royal Romance. It is not a retelling or fantasy. It contains subject matter which may be triggering for some. Reader discretion is advised.
- Rating- ⭐
- Heat Level- 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
Have you ever read a book and just known that author’s work is not, and will never be, for you? That’s how I feel about Emily McIntire after reading Scarred. I had many, many issues with this story so let’s get into it.
In the synopsis above, you can see clearly stated that this book is not a retelling. However, it most definitely is and I’m not sure why McIntire would claim that it’s not. Here’s a list of the character names and The Lion King names they were influenced by:
- Sara B.- Sarabi
- Scarred Prince (Tristan)- Scar
- Faasa- Mufasa
- Simon- Simba
- Kara- Kiara
- Sheina- Shenzi
- Edward- Ed
- Timothy- Timon
- Paul- Pumbaa
- Raf- Rafiki
The rebel group that is led by the “Scarred Prince” is called the “hyenas.” There is a tavern called the Elephant Graveyard. There are also many quotes ripped directly from the movie; a couple of them are: “I shall practice my curtsy” and “Long live the King.” Tristan also murders his brother by pushing him off a cliff… but sure, it’s not a retelling🤨🤨
Moving past the retelling issue, I simply hated the writing. It is the definition of doing WAY too much. I get it, the characters are supposed to be eDgY but they give off serious Joker and Harley Quinn vibes. Here are a few direct quotes:
“Is it possible to be jealous of God? Because when His name leaves her lips, I want to slit my wrists and fly up to His kingdom, just to burn it to the ground.”
There was also this pure poetry:
“But with Tristan? I would light myself on fire and revel in the burn if I knew it would please him. It’s a scary feeling, but one that I embrace, because he is my king and I am his queen and together we will rule the world.”
Is that supposed to be romantic? The character’s talk about fire constantly and from the reviews I’ve read, there are similar quotes in Hooked. McIntire may think fire is sexy (who am I to judge?) but I do not.
Tristan also gives Sara a tattoo on her thigh of an anatomically correct heart that says, “Tristan’s property.” I truly don’t think I have ever cringed so hard. To add to the cringe, he constantly calls Sara “Little Doe.”
The sex scenes in this book were also cringy and just disgusting. Sara B. is a virgin and yet, she’s into violence and wax play. McIntire created a virginal character that is unrealistic and a male fantasy. I’m not going to go into more detail because I like to keep my reviews clean but there were some lines that literally made me gag. I don’t consider myself a prude, but I can truly say if I would’ve known that kind of content was in this book, I wouldn’t have read it.
Despite all of that, this book still managed to bore me too death. The pacing creeps along and nothing really interesting ever happens. This is truly one of the worst books I’ve read, and I don’t care to read more from this author.
I like to find the positive in every book I read but there was nothing likable about Scarred. I would love to see somebody take The Lion King and do a really good retelling but this one isn’t it. If you’ve read anything by this author, I’d love to know your thoughts. Thanks for reading and have a great day!