I know how much you loved the couples at Second Circle Tattoos. So for my next series, I wanted to give you more of the characters you have already come to care about. Welcome to Preload. For those who have read The Purest Hook, Preload is hero Dred Zanders’ band. And yes, for all of you who wrote to me asking for the band members to each get their own stories after reading The Purest Hook, here they are. Jordan is up first and will be followed by Elliott, Nikan, and Lennon. I can’t wait for you to get to know and fall in love with these men who grew up in a group home together and the women who bring them to their knees.
And for those who haven’t read The Purest Hook, it doesn’t matter because these stories are all completely stand-alone.
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?
Excerpt from JORDAN RECLAIMED:
Copyright © 2017 by Scarlett Cole
He got it.
He finally got it.
He got why John Lennon left the Beatles for Yoko.
He got why Dred wrote a love song for Pixie.
From the moment Jordan’s lips touched Lexi’s, he couldn’t imagine anything else feeling and tasting quite so perfect for the rest of his life.
He ran his tongue along the seam of her lips and she groaned, opening for him. He thrust his hands further into her hair as their tongues touched. She tasted of wine and sweetness, and he couldn’t get enough.
While her eyes were closed, his were open, unwilling to miss a single moment of what was happening between them. He angled her head, and she rose up on her toes to meet him. He thought he was going to faint as the blood rushed from his brain to his cock, which ached for contact.
Lexi’s arms wound their way around his waist, her hands finding the way under his leather jacket and sweater to rest upon his back. Skin on skin. How he wanted them to be. Naked. Exposed. Nothing between them as he made love to her in a huge bed that they could stay in for days.
Except he didn’t have a huge bed. And he didn’t have the kind of room she deserved to stay in. He had an attic. And a box under his bed that held his most treasured possessions that nobody else would understand. A secondhand copy of Scales, Chords & Arpeggios, and the first birthday card he ever received from Maisey and Ellen. Random shit nobody else would care about.
Jordan pulled away slowly and looked carefully at Lexi. Her lips were pink and plump, her cheeks flushed, her eyes wide.
“Jordan,” she whispered.
“I gotta go. Bye, Lexi,” he said. He needed to get home and then drink enough to forget about her. Banish the stupid idea swirling around in his mind that they could have any kind of relationship. He should never have kissed her. It was hard enough to walk away before, but now that he had a clearer idea of what it was he was actually walking away from, it hurt all the more.
“Wait,” Lexi said as she grabbed his arm.
The small voice in his brain told him to keep walking, but he couldn’t. Instead, he turned to see what she wanted.
Lexi grabbed a pen from her purse, the one she had given him to sign the napkin in the restaurant. She reached for his hand and turned it over so his palm was facing up and quickly scribbled something on it. When she was done, she stood on her tiptoes again and kissed his cheek.
Weakness was a new sensation, but he felt it down to his boots as, against his better judgment, he leaned his cheek ever so slightly toward her lips.
“Good night, Jordan,” she said and bounced up the porch, grabbing her hat from the chair where Jordan had tossed it.
She paused in the doorway to wave good-bye and then closed the door silently shut.
Only when he was certain that she was definitely gone did he allow himself the luxury of seeing what she had written on his hand. It was a phone number. Despite himself, he felt a murmur of excitement that she found him worthy of a second date.
Jordan turned toward home. As snow began to fall again, he hurriedly made the short hike across the Don Valley river and ravine to his neighborhood, trying to halt the avalanche of emotions because of ten hand-scribed digits.
I do this thing sometimes where I read a book that leaves me void of words but overflowing with feelings … I say I’ll review when my heart isn’t so full and I can put words together. And then I try to go back days or weeks even after I’ve finished and I just can’t. This was one of those books. I have said this many times before but let me say it again for those of you in the back … Scarlett Cole is a force to be reckoned with. Her words are flawless. Her stories are powerful. She isn’t going places anymore … she came and she conquered and she is here to stay!! okay, so I might be a fan 🙂 lol
We first met Jordan Steel in The Purest Hook (Second Circle Tattoos, #3) and altho this book can be read on its own, you get a fuller picture of not only Jordan, but the rest of the band as well if you read it first … in my opinion 🙂 (and you know, it’s a ridiculously awesome book so why would you want to miss it?!) Jordan has serious separation anxiety. You will learn in this book that all the members of Preload have a shattered background and together they came out on the other side winners but not without some side effects. That’s all I really want to mention about that because you need to read the book yourself and experience the depth of emotion in the story without prejudice. You just have to trust me that these men lifted themselves out of darkness and into the light but the light still has shadows.
Aleksandra Artemov is a famous dancer. This is what she has done since birth. It is her life. It encompasses everything she is … but it kinda isn’t. She is trapped. She is trapped in a reality that even I cannot fathom. Her love of dance is now overshadowed by the constant demands on her to do better and be better. She is strong and passionate and has such a beautiful soul. I was in awe of her.
Jordan and Lexi are two puzzle pieces that clicked together the moment they set eyes on each other. They connected on a level much deeper than mere sight. Their souls spoke to one another. They were meant to journey into the future together. Scarlett Cole created two characters in Jordan and Lexi that could not be better suited. It was kismet. They each had inside what the other needed to chase the shadows. Their journey was inspiring and heart-breaking and freeing and oh so intense. It was pure and it was phenomenal.
I could go on and on about this story but I need to stop because the feelings this story brought out in me are still very raw. And I don’t think that will ever go away. That is the power Scarlett Cole has with her words. They stay with you. Forever. So do yourselves a favor and invest the time in her stories. #TRUST
Copy provided for blog tour review
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About SCARLETT COLE
Scarlett Cole is a writer of contemporary romance and a two-time RITA finalist. Her debut, THE STRONGEST STEEL, has already become an Amazon best seller in romantic suspense, was a Best Debut Goodreads Author Finalist 2015, and Authors On The Air Global Radio Network Contemporary Romance Pick of 2015.
When Scarlett isn’t writing, she spends her time reading, hoarding mason jars, and working out to off-set an epic sour candy habit. She likes hot men, cold beer, and expensive shoes.
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 Toronto.
Rep’d by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency, and published by St. Martin’s Press.
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