Monday, December 28, 2015

The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos #1) by Scarlett Cole

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The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos #1)
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.

“This mountains of such sort that climbing it is hardest at the start; but as we rise, the slope grows less unkind.
” - Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy -
 Color me impressed, the debut novel by Ms. Cole was really good. But there were some things that irritated me so I docked a star. I also found it refreshing and the book got me out of my book funk and that is always good for me. 
I know that the whole stalker thing has been done, although this can’t really be defined as a stalker book. This is more premeditated I’m gonna kill you kind of book. Now, most of you would say meh, not interested but this book is different. 
First of all I would like to say that Trent Andrews is one of the best book boyfriend of 2015.Well for me any way. He owns “Second Circle” his tattoo parlor. He is successful. Spending his misspent youth learning the trade. After his disastrous relationship he had he hasn’t thought about relationships since then.
 He is starting to realize he wants more though. Harper Connelly has been living a half-life for the past four years with the circumstances, no surprise there. News that the perp is coming up for parole doesn’t go over that well. But she has made a vital choice to helping herself heal. Her back is completely scarred, Trent specializes in tattooing scars and so a connection is built. Harper has an aversion to touch but with Trent’s help it gets better. 
A lot of time, sweat and blood was put into this book and I think it is a good accomplishment. There is great character development throughout the book especially with Harper. She goes from a scared rabbit to a fighting tigress. We were introduced to most of the characters but most of all I really would have liked to have met Reid in this book.
 I would have liked to have seen that Trent thinking Harper didn’t like tattoos had been cleared up, miscommunication etc. I felt that the last two chapters were a bit rushed. I also need a good epilogue purely out of selfish reasons it makes me happy. 
I would also like to mention that there was a run in with one of Trent’s one nighter. She kissed him. He didn’t respond and pushed her off him. I think it was necessary to have this in the book because it shows how Harper was changing as a person. She was timid and scared and learnt how to fight back. 
I look forward to the next book. 
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