The Strongest Steel
Release Date: 07/07/2015
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.
The Strongest Steel is the first book in the Second Circles Tattoos series by new-to-me author, Scarlett Cole, and it is an extremely well-written and engaging read.
In the book, Harper Connelly is in hiding from her abusive ex, living with the scars from her past, both literally and figuratively, and she goes into the Second Circles Tattoo shop to get a tattoo to cover the scars she bears on her back. It’s at the shop that she meets, Trent Andrews, the owner of the tattoo shop and the man who wants to design her tattoo for her.
Harper is a woman who has overcome and survived so much in her life, and yet, she’s strong enough to stand on her feet and do what is uncomfortable to her for the sake of finally allowing herself to fully heal. I absolutely love that message of strength, of self-healing, and it’s there right from the start. Everything about her first meeting with Trent is filled with that message, and it’s both heartbreaking and heartwarming. He’s so good with her, so patient, and he more than proves he’s the man she needs in her life.
Trent and Harper are two amazing characters with a powerful and important story between them. Their story of strength, healing, and hope is absolutely mesmerizing, and so, so thought-provoking. I was enthralled reading this book. It’s a fantastic, fast-paced read, with angst, humor, suspense, drama, and romance, and has a love story I adored. I couldn’t put it down!
If you want a compelling love story with realistic characters to pull at your heartstrings and hijack your emotions, read the The Strongest Steel by Scarlett Cole. The story, the characters, the writing, it all combines to make one seriously, kick-ass romance read that will make you hard-core crave the next book. I loved it!
Rating: 5 Stars
*Okie Dreams Top Pick*
Scarlett Cole is a contemporary romantic suspense / contemporary romance author (represented by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency). Her debut novel, THE STRONGEST STEEL, book one in the Second Circle Tattoos series, will be published by St. Martin’s Press on 07/07/15.
When Scarlett isn’t writing, she spends her time reading, hoarding mason jars, and working out to off-set an epic sour candy habit.
Having travelled the world for work and fun, Scarlett is a citizen of both Britain and Canada. A true city-dweller, she considers Toronto and Manchester home and likes to set her books in vibrant locations such as Miami and Los Angeles.