The Strongest Steel
Second Circle Tattoos Series – Book 1
By Scarlett Cole
Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning. The scars that decorate her back are just one more reminder of things she’d rather forget, the past she wants to leave far behind her, but before she can move on she needs him.
Trent Andrews has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And there’s no way in hell he’s going to turn Harper away. Not when a swirling mix of tenderness and desire slams into him every time her sees her. Being with Harper is like going 10 rounds in the ring-exhilarating, powerful, and dangerous. She stirs feeling in him he thought were long gone… if he can only get past her carefully constructed defenses.
Running was the only thing that saved Harper last time, but each session at Second Circle Tattoos brings her closer and closer to Trent. His lingering touches seduce her, making her believe in a life without fear, where she can be happy, whole, in love. 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. She ran from her past once before, this time will she have the strength to fight back?
Wow! What a great debut book for author Scarlett Cole. The Strongest Steel is an emotional story about healing, acceptance, fear, inner strength, friendship, and love.
Harper Connelly has been living in fear for the past four years. She fled her hometown and changed her name because of a horrific attack that left her brutalized. Not only has she been living with her physical scars , she is also weighed down by her emotional scars. She was forced to give up everything who she was and what defined her as a person. She has been looking over her shoulder for the past four years.
She fled to Miami to start a new life. She has lived a very quiet existence . She has very few friends and keeps her secrets close to her chest. She is working in a coffee shop rather than teaching. She has hidden herself well. Even though she has a new identity she is still fearful that her attacker, who is someone that was very close to her once, is going to find her.
When she gets up the courage to enter Second Circle Tattoos to have a consultation about covering her scars, it is a life changing moment for her. Not only will she find herself once again, she will find the kind of love that is the kind of love she deserves.
Trent Andrews, owner of Second Circle Tattoos, has never met a more courageous person than Harper Connelly. He is appalled by her scars but also sees them as a badge of courage. She is a survivor. He wants to give her a tattoo that will illuminate her strength and courage. Their lengthy sessions will lead to a beautiful relationship.
As Trent and Harper build a strong relationship their life begins to spiral out of control. Trent’s career is heading towards fame and fortune. Harper’s attacker is getting out on parole. Threatening text messages have Harper wanting to run. Trent wants her to let go of her fears and reclaim her life.
The Strongest Steel was a very moving and powerful story. I connected with the characters and loved their story.
The pacing in this book was a bit off. It started out strong but became a bit slow towards the middle of the story. The build up to the ending was suspenseful and frightening. When the climax arrived it was rushed and a bit uneventful. Overall the story was very good regardless of the pacing.
I am looking forward to future books in the Second Circle Tattoos series. Scarlett Cole has proven that she is an author that needs to be on my “to read ” list.
The tattoo across my right hip says it all really. A Life Less Ordinary. Inked by the amazingly talented Luke Wessman at the Wooster Street Social Club (a.k.a. New York Ink). Why is it important? Well, it sums up my view on life. That we should all aspire to live a life that is less boring, less predictable. Be bold, and do something amazing. I’ve made some crazy choices. I’ve been a car maker, a consultant, and even a senior executive at a large retailer running strategy. Born in England, spent time in the U.S. and Japan, before ending up in Canada were I met my own, personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. Both of us are scorpios! Yeah, I know! Should have checked the astrological signs earlier, but somehow it works for us. We have two amazing kids, who I either could never part with or could easily be convinced to sell on e-bay.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for a really long time. Check through my office cupboards or my computer and you’ll find half written stories and character descriptions everywhere. Last year, the stars aligned to give me an opportunity to write my first fully, edited book, The Strongest Steel and it has been a most incredible journey. It is Book One of the Second Circle Series set in Miami, Florida.
I am represented by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency, NY.