Review: Saving Scarlett by C.A. Varian





In the heart of sultry New Orleans, Scarlett Prejean’s life, filled with beauty and ambition, is marred by a haunting presence—her abusive husband, Joshua. As the proud owner of a cozy bookstore and a haven of coffee and literature, she seeks solace amid the unrelenting cruelty of her marriage.

But fate takes a dark and unexpected turn when Joshua makes a chilling he hires Bane, an assassin bound by a relentless code, to bring Scarlett’s life to a tragic end. What Joshua doesn’t foresee is the profound twist that awaits.

When Bane comes face to face with the battered and vulnerable Scarlett, an irrepressible urge to protect her takes hold, defying the very mission he’s been given.

Scarlett, carrying the scars of years of torment, finds herself under the care of her would-be executioner.

In the intermingling of Scarlett and Bane’s lives, they grapple with an undeniable attraction, their backgrounds clashing in stark contrast. Scarlett wrestles with her feelings for a man marked as a killer, yet she glimpses the gentleness hidden beneath Bane’s hardened exterior.

Their love story unfolds amid a backdrop of treacherous secrets and betrayals, guided by the brilliant hacker, Phantom, who unravels the intricate threads binding Scarlett’s destiny to the criminal underworld.


Reviewed by Dakota Watson

When I read the Goodreads synopsis of Saving Scarlett I was really intrigued but I am sorry to say it is exaggerated and embellished compared to the actual story in the book.  While all the points mentioned in the synopsis were there in the book, the execution of the story left much to be desired.

To begin with, the plot lacked credibility. Although I sympathized with Scarlett’s experience of domestic violence and recognized the possibility of Stockholm Syndrome, her decision to prioritize financial stability over her own welfare seemed perplexing. Despite enduring daily brutality and gaslighting from her husband, she repeatedly emphasized that leaving him would result in losing everything, as her finances were entangled with his. Being a highly educated woman with substantial financial resources, it puzzled me why she couldn’t engage a proficient divorce lawyer and legally claim the monies owed to her if financial concerns were the primary reason for her enduring the abusive relationship. I question whether this portrayal accurately reflects the typical mindset of a domestic violence victim.

Furthermore, Bane/Ethan didn’t convincingly portray the image of an experienced assassin, as the author intended. With only one previous incident of successfully eliminating a target (that we were shown) before the contract to assassinate Scarlett, it was disappointing to observe him abandon his professional detachment. Despite his earlier claims of being indifferent to the morality of his targets, he unexpectedly allowed personal feelings to sway him when faced with Scarlett, citing her physical beauty and vulnerability as reasons for his deviation from his usual mindset. He blatantly ignored the explicit instructions from his client when he deviated from the planned course of action by breaking into Scarlett’s house. This departure from the initial plan raised doubts about how he had earned a reputation as a highly regarded hired killer, as his actions seemed inconsistent with the precision and professionalism typically associated with such individuals.

I found it perplexing to comprehend Scarlett’s immediate attraction to Bane. While one could attribute her seemingly calm demeanor upon realizing she had been kidnapped to a potential manifestation of Stockholm Syndrome, the sudden and intense romantic connection between her and Bane felt surreal and lacked believability on a certain level. While she didn’t display the typical behavior of a victim, her readiness to entrust another man with the resolution of all her problems didn’t sit well with me either.

Although this book is advertised as dark romance genre, I beg to differ. Apart from Bane being an assassin and the questionable storyline involving Scarlett’s father’s and husband’s alleged ties to the underworld, the rest of the book appeared to be rather average and lacking the expected intensity of the dark romance genre. The majority of the narrative revolved around Scarlett and Bane engaging in mundane daily activities and making sporadic calls to Phantom as part of their plan to dismantle her husband’s ‘financial empire.’ This repetitive and uneventful focus on routine tasks proved to be quite tedious and uninteresting.

I could actually delve deep into each plot hole but I think I’ve made my point already. While the synopsis held the promise of a great book, the actual narrative fell short of my expectations.


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