Wednesday, January 06, 2016


Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning, summoning the nerve to take back her past. She's determined to forget her old life and is looking for an artist who can tattoo over the scars on her back.

Trent Andrews, local legend and owner of the Second Circle tattoo studio, has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And in spite of her mysterious past and the difficult road ahead, he quickly realizes that Harper is funny, smart, and--under her ridiculously oversized clothing and SPF 100 sunscreen--totally hot. He's happy to take on the challenge of designing a meaningful and deadly full-back tattoo for her.

But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper's phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. Running was the only thing that saved her last time, but now that she's started to put down roots in Miami, she'll have to decide if she can finally fight back instead.

Release date: July 7, 2015
St. Martin’s Press
A Second Circle Tattoos Novel book #1
Copy purchased by reviewer

Nikki’s Review:

I've said it many times before, trying new to me authors makes me a bit uneasy. I know that sounds silly, but I know what I like. Every now and then, I decide to walk on the wild side and try something new. That's what I did with this book by Scarlett Cole. Sweet baby Jesus, by the 4% mark on my kindle, I was freakin' hooked! Totally addicted, ignore my family hooked! 

Is there anything hotter than a hero who is beautifully tattooed all over an already gorgeous body? There totally is! Not only is, Trent, the beautifully tattooed hero hot, he's so incredibly sweet and passionate. I would not kick this man out of bed for eating crackers! He's the owner of Second Circle Tattoos and has a kick ass reputation for some seriously fantastic body art. Trent is also known for his ability to turn someone's hurts and nightmares into works of art, by tattooing over scarred skin. 

Harper needs Trent's help to put her painful past behind her. A full back tattoo to cover the worst moment of her life. When these two meet, it's such an intense moment. I was holding my breath, waiting for Harper to expose her scars to Trent. Her pain was absolutely palpable. It felt like a weight on my chest. His reaction was so natural. It was exactly what I could imagine a real person saying and doing. Ms. Cole wrote this very emotional moment with a trueness and intensity that left me exhausted...and so entranced. 

Harper and Trent's chemistry is a slow burn. There's tons of attraction, but no rush to push anything. Everything happened the way it was suppose to, the way it needed to. I loved the way Trent was just her friend for a while. He took care of her and let her find her footing in trusting him. I knew once they got together it would be explosive. And I wasn't disappointed! The love scenes were romantic and the emotions were raw. Trent worshipped and cherished the gift of Harpers physical love. While the love scenes were crazy sexy and yummy, they were also so beautiful. I may have teared up a few times!

Both of these characters have baggage and issues that are holding them back from fully giving their hearts to each other. Most of the time, I find myself thinking that if the characters had a simple conversation, all the bullshit could be avoided. But with these two, I understood their individual needs to hold back for a while longer. 

There's a suspense aspect in this book. Harpers crazy ex boyfriend is causing problems and making her consider going on the run again. But his time she has something to fight for...Trent.
I love a good romantic suspense. But I don't like it to take over the story. I was pleased, that while it made the plot solid and interesting, it didn't take away from the romance. 

I have always been a huge fan of family sagas and series centred around a group of friends. I love imagining all the possible stories that can come from the secondary characters. There are so many fabulous characters that I fell in love with in this book. I'm giddy that book 2 will be Cujo's! He's a hoot and super delicious! Loyalty is huge in this book. These friends are ferociously protective and they really take care of anyone they consider a part of their group. This is one of the reasons that I love series!

I have found myself thinking about Harper and Trent in the days since I finished their book. I imagine what they are doing now. I imagine what plans they are making. Crazy? I don't think so! This is a sign of seriously talented writing. The fact that I miss these characters and can hardly wait to visit them in the upcoming second book means that this author is kick ass! Book 2, The Fractured Heart, came out on January 5th. But start with The Strongest Steel, and get to know the crew of Second Circle Tattoos. And fall in love with Harper and Trent.

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