See Me


LGBTQIA:  Raphael Lombardi has had to overcome staggering odds in his life. At nine years old he had half his body covered in severe burns in a terrible car accident, the same accident that claimed the lives of his parents. Suffering from not only the physical scars, being tormented about his disfigurement by his peers has led to emotional scars as well. Because he accepts that he is a “freak”, Raphe spends most of his life as a recluse away from prying eyes. One evening, he spies the intriguing Cooper being beaten by several men. He comes to his rescue before he realizes that Cooper was one of his childhood classmates. Though Cooper never teased him, he also never stopped the bullies from harassing Raphe. Even though Cooper’s arrival in his life has opened forgotten wounds, Raphe realizes that he is soothing those wounds as well. 

T.L. Travis’ heart-wrenching novel will leave the reader hopeful for new beginnings. One’s heart will be overflowing for Raphe, who has been cruelly judged merely on his outward appearance nearly his entire life. Cooper’s love and patience as he helps Raphe overcome his demons is enchanting. However, the pace at which their relationship progresses is alarmingly quick for two people who are overcoming trauma. It does not take long for their mutual attraction to blossom into a physical relationship, which is disconcerting due to Raphe’s trauma. Despite this, the plot moves at an extremely slow pace and readers may find their attention wandering elsewhere. Despite that, Ms. Travis knows how to tug on heartstrings and evoke emotions that the reader will not forget anytime soon! 

Jen Griffin