Tag: Scarlett Cole

Guest Review: Elliott Redeemed by Scarlett Cole

Posted September 8, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Elliott Redeemed by Scarlett ColeReviewer: Tracy
Elliott Redeemed by Scarlett Cole
Series: Preload series #2
Also in this series: Jordan Reclaimed
Published by Griffin
Publication Date: August 29th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A single mom and tortured musician find common ground in Scarlett Cole's Elliott Redeemed, the second standalone romance about the band Preload.

Elliot "Pyro" Dawson burns up the lead guitar like a legend. But the nickname Pyro isn't just a clever play on words. It's much darker. A past he's fought like hell to overcome.

Grocery store cashier Kendalee Walker is at her wits end and homeless. She's watched her fourteen-year-old son, Daniel, go so far off the rails, he can no longer see the tracks.

When the two are brought together, attraction flares, but can Elliott find the family he never had with the sexy woman and her son, or will he fall back on dark habits?

Elliott and his Preload band mate are asked to see a child with cancer at the hospital.  They agree but then Elliott is asked to see a teen who is a burn victim.  Elliott meets Daniel who sets off all of these triggers for Elliott.  He really likes the kid and helps him so much that he can’t keep himself away. It doesn’t hurt that Elliott thinks that Daniel’s mother, Kendalee, is hotter than hot.  So what if she’s 10 years older than he is.  He sees something in her that calms him and he wants to explore that.

Kendalee has going through hell the past six months.  Her husband cheated on her with his secretary, she found out that her husband’s twin brother was molesting her 14-year-old son and then said son burned down their house.  Unfortunately he didn’t get away in time and ended up burning 35% of his body. Life is stressful enough without adding in a new man but Elliott is so kind and thoughtful.  Kendalee starts to think that there may be something between them more than just dating or sex but she’s not sure if she can stay with him after he tells her of his past.

Book two in Preload series was a good one.  We got to see the other band members but this one was really focused on Elliott and Kendalee.

Elliott had been through a nightmare with his step-father when he was young. It changed him dramatically and he developed issues with fire.  I loved how both Daniel and Elliott could relate to each other about Daniel’s issue with the fire he set. It ultimately helped Elliott with the issues he thought he’d dealt with but truly hadn’t.  His relationship with Daniel was awesome and I was so happy that Cole made this a large part of the story.

Kendalee was one strong woman.  She’d had her life pulled out from under her but was truly dealing with it the best she could.  Her soon to be ex-husband was an ass but she dealt with him appropriately.  I loved how Kenda didn’t just jump into bed with Elliott but put her son first and stood on her own two feet.  The whole story made me truly love this character.

Overall this was an intense story but one I’m glad I read.  Elliott is a great guy and while he tends to go overboard with taking care of those he loves he does it with a good heart.  I can’t wait to read the next book in the Preload series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Jordan Reclaimed by Scarlett Cole

Posted March 3, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Jordan Reclaimed by Scarlett ColeReviewer: Tracy
Jordan Reclaimed by Scarlett Cole
Series: Preload Series #1
Published by Swerve
Publication Date: February 28th 2017
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Jordan Steele’s life began when he was ten. When he was taken from his parents and a house that was never a home. When he met his brothers, the other lost and abandoned boys in his group home. When he learned what friendship and family and love looked like.

Now he’s made good, touring the world with the band he and his brothers formed in that crowded group home. No one but his found family really knows the man under the fame and fortune, the scars he hides behind the rockstar lifestyle. Until he sees her through the windows of the National Ballet, dancing, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so dark.

Aleksandra Artemov ticks all the ballet boxes. Father a legendary Kirov dancer. Check. Prepping since birth for classical ballet. Check. Compulsive control over the food she eats. Check. Principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada. Check. But what she craves is freedom.

She craves Jordan.

Everything about him should terrify her. His size, his tattoos, his edge. But he doesn’t. He stirs her very soul. Jordan has nothing but himself to offer her, and he's never been good enough for anyone. Can he figure out how to face his own demons before he loses his light for good?

Jordan’s early life was hell.  He experienced horrible abuse and abandonment but survived and grew up to become a rock star – literally.  He and his “brothers,” the boys from the group home he lived in, created Preload, a heavy metal band that hit it big.  From the outside Jordan looks like he has everything that anyone could want but inside he’s constantly in turmoil.  He doesn’t believe that he is someone that can be loved and he certainly doesn’t know how to do romantic love.  When out walking one night Jordan sees Aleksandra rehearsing and he becomes completely enthralled.

Aleksandra aka Lexi is also someone that looks like she’s got it made – from the outside.  She has done very well for herself in the National Ballet of Canada but it’s never enough for her father who was once a dancer himself. He’s constantly telling her that she’s fat or not good enough and pushes her to her limits.  She would love to dance in some of the contemporary pieces the company does but her father will only let her do the classics.  She feels she owes him because of the sacrifices he’s made but his verbal abuse hurts.

When Jordan and Lexi meet it’s scary for both of them but each pushes through their issues in order to be together.  The question is, will their issues push their way to the front and eventually pull them apart?

I was so excited when I saw that Scarlett Cole had started a series that told us the stories of the men of Preload. While reading the Second Circle series I was completely intrigued by these men and their strength.  Jordan’s book was a great start to hopefully what will be a wonderful series.

Jordan is an amazing man.  He survived his horrible childhood and has worked through a lot of his issues over the years.  The one that he can’t deal with is his brothers leaving him.  He knows that they all live together because of him but he can’t find it in him to care until he meets Lexi. He finally starts to realize that he can’t continue living as he has in the past because he needs to be strong for not only himself and his brothers but for Lexi as well.  I loved how he worked things out in his own brain, with his brothers and with Lexi.  He was smart enough to know that he couldn’t do the same things and expect a different outcome.  Yes, sometimes he was overwhelmed but for the most part he had the strength to push through so that they could be together.

Lexi had a decent childhood but what she saw as her father’s discipline amounted to physical and verbal abuse.  She was 26 years-old, had a wonderful job, owned her own home and paid her own bills but she was still under the thumb of her father.  It took a lot to break free from him and Jordan helped her with that.  I hated that it had to be such a caustic break with her father, and I wish that we could have gotten more closure with that issue, but it was still well done.  Her father was a complete bastard so I was just happy she was away from him.

Of course we got to catch up with Dred and Pixie in this book, and Dred’s daughter, Petal. (The Purest Hook) I loved seeing where they were in their lives (approx..) 9 months after their story took place.  We didn’t get too too much info about the other guys in the band except for Elliot who is a bit of a pyro from what I understand.  His book should definitely be interesting.

Overall I enjoyed the book tremendously.  Despite all the issues that the H/h had, and some of the darker things they spoke about, there really wasn’t too much angst between them.  Yes, they had to work through stuff but hey, that’s what I call a normal relationship.  I loved that they communicated in order to make things right.  The book was a great and one I definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Darkest Link by Scarlett Cole

Posted September 9, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Guest Review: The Darkest Link by Scarlett ColeReviewer: Tracy
The Darkest Link by Scarlett Cole
Series: Second Circle Tattoos #4
Also in this series: The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos #1), The Fractured Heart, The Purest Hook
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: August 30th 2016
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

When her car breaks down off the side of a lonely highway far from her sunny Miami home, tattoo artist Lia never expected her very own white knight to ride up on the back of a barely street-legal motorcycle...and she never expected to fall for her dark savior. After a string of failed relationships and a bruised heart, Lia is not looking for forever, and the hot mechanic, with his sexy scruff and shaggy hair, is simply impossible to resist and the perfect candidate for mind-blowingly-perfect, no-strings-attached one night stand.

Reid left his life in Chicago far behind him and hasn't been back, but he's never been able to escape the guilt he feels about his own painful role in inviting a monster into his baby sister's life. A monster who almost destroyed her. Being with Lia is an unexpected gift, one he doesn't feel he deserves, and their one night together has him wanting more than he should. Especially since she doesn't know the truth about his past. However, when he finds Lia’s bracelet in his bed, he has the perfect excuse to drive down and surprise her at her tattoo studio, Second Circle Tattoos, in Miami. He's in for an even bigger shock - and a fist to the face - when his past and present collide in the humid Miami weather when he runs into the last person he’d ever expect to see in a tattoo studio: Harper, the sister he betrayed, and the last link to his former life.

Tattoo artist Lia Carlisle is on her way from Miami to an expo in Orlando when her car breaks down at the side of the road.  She gets out to wait and then along comes Kenny – a hot guy on a motorcycle.  He happens to own a garage and contacts his guys to bring a tow truck.  While Kenny and Lia wait for the truck they get to know each other a bit and like what they see.

Little by little the pair get to know each other better and soon Kenny is riding to see Lia in Miami.  A shocking revelation throws them off but not enough to quench the fire that’s burning between the two of them. Unfortunately they have to deal with Lia’s family.

Lia’s father has decided to run for governor – in three years – but insists that Lia “comes to heel” as she’s just too wild and opinionated.  At the age of 27 Lia is her own woman.  Lia dresses like she wants to and she certainly won’t cover up her tattoos to make him happy.  While Lia is trying to deal with her father and her mentally fragile mother someone is trying to kill Lia and Kenny (whose real name is Reid) and they can only hope they survive.

Book four in the Second Circle Tattoos series brought us some answers that were asked in book one.  I was happy to see that Harper got those answers and that she could lay to rest some of the concerns she had about her family.

Lia was amazing.  She’s strong and confident and sexy as hell.  She’s the embodiment of the buxom pin up girl with 2 sleeves of tattoos and a full leg piece.  She dresses and does her hair like she lives in the 50’s and I loved that she could be her own woman – especially after finding out how her father had put her down and degraded her for years while she was growing up.  While she tends to fall in love easily (by her own admission) she realizes that there’s something different with Reid as she’s never felt that way before.

Reid was a great guy as well and while he’d been hurt by his family he had carried guilt for so long he wasn’t sure how to handle it all.  He didn’t want to fall in love with Lia but he found himself unable to stay away from her and I loved that he didn’t question himself – just went with the flow.

The story had a bit of a twist at the end that I saw coming. I would have also liked to have seen a bit more during the final scenes with Lia’s father but I still enjoyed it.

Second Circle Tattoos has been a great series and this was a good addition to it. I’m looking forward to her spin off series of Preload (Dred’s band from book 3).

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Purest Hook by Scarlett Cole

Posted August 29, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Purest Hook by Scarlett ColeReviewer: Tracy
The Purest Hook by Scarlett Cole
Series: Second Circle Tattoos #3
Also in this series: The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos #1), The Fractured Heart, The Darkest Link
Published by Swerve, St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 1st 1970
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Can a love built on secrets survive?

Rugged, hot, and rock hard, Dred Zander is exactly the type of man that normally sends Pixie running. Not dreaming about running her hands down his washboard abs...and lower. The lead singer and guitarist for the band Preload embodies trouble behind his quick smile and guarded eyes, and Pixie left trouble behind her years ago along with the name Sarah Jane Travers and the pathetic trailer her mom called home. With her abusive past in her past, she has a new life, a new family at Second Circle, and a dream of opening her own business. She needs capital and time. What she doesn't need is a tempting long-haired rocker or the paparazzi that follow him around.

But Dred has other ideas. Pixie's sweet hazel eyes, purple hair and kaleidoscopic tattoo of exotic flowers that swirl up her arm haunt his dreams, and he knows she wants him too. He just has to convince her. But as a juicy exposé threatens to expose their pasts, and a blackmailer terrorizes their present, Pixie and Dred have to decide what really matters and fight like hell to keep it.

Pixie is just 22 years old and works at Second Circle tattoos.  She was just sixteen when Trent and Cujo, the owners of Second Circle, found her in the doorway and helped her clean up her life.  She had been a drug addict for two years and they helped her get clean and then gave her a job managing the studio.  She’s been clean for 6 years and is proud of the progress she’s made in her life.  She had a pretty horrific life from the age of 13-16 but she’s on the right path now and is looking forward to starting her own business eventually.

Dred Zander is a heavy metal rock star who works with Trent on a tattoo TV show.  Because of this Dred is around a lot and from the first minute he saw Pixie, Dred was hooked.  He keeps asking her out but she keeps turning him down.  When she finally says yes one date isn’t enough for either of them and they get closer and closer.  Unfortunately, Pixie’s past doesn’t want to stay in the past.  When the step-father who made her life hell resurfaces all of Pixie’s secrets come out and they may be too much for Dred to handle.

Such a good book but very emotional!  I have to admit that parts of this book were very hard for me to read.  Pixie’s past was horrifying and I felt for the young teen she had been.  Dred’s life had been shit as well with a junkie mother and then living in a boy’s home.  (Of course that’s where he’d met the other guys in his band so that was a plus.) Reading about Dred’s childhood wasn’t much better than Pixie’s but definitely still heart-wrenching.

Dred had some serious crap to deal with in his life – especially when he found out about a baby he knew nothing of and then of course dealing with the mother who was a piece of work.  Of course the baby, Petal, stole the show whenever she was on page.  Dred and his band were wonderful with her and I loved seeing them all rally around her and take such wonderful care of her.

Because of his past Dred made some asshole decisions when it came to Pixie and of course regretted it.  I was happy that he finally pulled his head out and figured out how wrong he was which of course gave us our HEA.  This was probably my favorite book so far as I just loved Dred and Pixie together.

This series just keeps getting better as the books go on.  If you haven’t started this one yet I suggest you do.  Not light, easy reads but most definitely satisfying.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: The Fractured Heart by Scarlett Cole

Posted August 25, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: The Fractured Heart by Scarlett ColeReviewer: Tracy
The Fractured Heart by Scarlett Cole
Series: Second Circle Tattoos #2
Also in this series: The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos #1), The Purest Hook, The Darkest Link
Published by St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 5th 2016
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

All things, when placed under pressure, eventually break or leave a mark.

Tattoo artist Brody "Cujo" Matthews knows how to keep things simple. In life and in love. Abandoned as a child by a mother who refused to stick around to raise three boys she didn't want, he's intent on staying clear of complicated women. The only things complicated in Cujo’s life are the killer tattoos he designs and inks. That all changes when he’s asked to help organize his best friend Trent's engagement party, which means working with Trent's fiancée's best friend, Drea, the definition of high maintenance and sizzling curves. And the one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from.

Andrea "Drea" Caron is broke and tired. After years of caring for her ailing mom, she's at the end of her rope trying to manage the piling medical bills, two jobs, and a life placed on hold. She certainly doesn’t need the added frustration of a sexy playboy tattoo artist messing up her best friend’s engagement party or her carefully balanced life. But when Drea witnesses the abduction of a woman from the café she works at, she can’t help but turn to Cujo who’s determined to prove to Drea that he’s someone she can count on forever…but as they attempt to bring the truth to light, someone is working to bring that forever to a sudden, deadly halt.

All things, when placed under pressure, eventually break or leave a mark.

Tattoo artist Brody “Cujo” Matthews knows how to keep things simple. In life and in love. Abandoned as a child by a mother who refused to stick around to raise three boys she didn’t want, he’s intent on staying clear of complicated women. The only things complicated in Cujo’s life are the killer tattoos he designs and inks. That all changes when he’s asked to help organize his best friend Trent’s engagement party, which means working with Trent’s fiancée’s best friend, Drea, the definition of high maintenance and sizzling curves. And the one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from.

Andrea “Drea” Caron is broke and tired. After years of caring for her ailing mom, she’s at the end of her rope trying to manage the piling medical bills, two jobs, and a life placed on hold. She certainly doesn’t need the added frustration of a sexy playboy tattoo artist messing up her best friend’s engagement party or her carefully balanced life. But when Drea witnesses the abduction of a woman from the café she works at, she can’t help but turn to Cujo who’s determined to prove to Drea that he’s someone she can count on forever…but as they attempt to bring the truth to light, someone is working to bring that forever to a sudden, deadly halt.

Drea is a caretaker.  She’s always trying to take care of people, and she does a great job at it.  She’s been taking care of her mother since she got sick with COPD when Drea was just 17 years old.  She put off college and all of her dreams to work to pay the bills.  Her mother is definitely a handful and makes Drea crazy but she still takes care of her as best she can.

Drea met Cujo when her best friend, Harper, started dating Trent.  Cujo (who finally admits that his name is Brody) and Drea’s personalities as such that they rub together like to sticks trying to start a fire.  They’ve been put in charge – together – of planning Harper and Trent’s engagement party and neither is happy about it.

Drea is at her place of work one day when a woman is attacked and possibly abducted.  A few days later bother her and Brody are at the coffee shop after hours and they get held at gunpoint again.  Drea is determined, on top of everything else she has going in her life, that she’s going to find out what happened to the woman who got abducted.  Brody would love to help but his mother, who left him, his father and his two brothers 25 years earlier is suddenly back and has retrograde amnesia.  Life is crazy but as it all goes on Drea and Brody manage to fall in love.

The love story between Brody and Drea was really great.  I loved so many things about it that I was almost disappointed when it was done.

Brody was an incredible hero.  He was a wonderful son (even though he and his father didn’t always see eye to eye), a fantastic brother, a loving uncle to his twin nieces, a good friend and a hard worker.  He was one of those characters that I just wanted to hug as he pretty much seemed like a gentle giant.  Yeah, he could brawl with the best of them but he was pretty chill on the inside.  He’d never gotten over his mother leaving them when he was very little.  When she resurfaces but has no memory of ever leaving them Brody is torn as to what to do.  Should he act like he’s not heartbroken and pissed off at her?  Brody’s emotional state really brought an added layer to the book that I thoroughly enjoyed.

Drea was a great woman and perfect for Brody.  She was the epitome of a hard worker and while she was torn as to what she wanted to do with her life when it was finally her own to decide, I knew that she would figure it out and make a great decision.  With Brody backing her how could she not?

The story, in the end, was wonderful.  I really enjoyed reading this romance and definitely recommend the series so far.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars


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