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cover65404-mediumThe Strongest Steel

Second Circle Tattoos series

by Scarlett Cole

First in a sexy new romantic suspense series centering about the people of Second Circle tattoo studio.

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.

Harper has a history that has left just as many scars on the outside as on the inside but she makes a fateful decision when she goes to Trent for a tattoo. He’s fantastic – patient, understanding and sexy as can be.  As the two get to know each other, he helps her address more than just how she looks.  He helps her learn how to let others close again, to realize that she’s got value, and that maybe she can do more than just survive.  She’s fabulous in her own right – strong, caring and hot.  She just needed a little help realizing how much strength she’s been hiding.  I loved the care that Trent shows as he draws her out bit by bit and gets her to really look at herself in a new way.

Of course, things can’t go smoothly for them.  Besides some angst stemming from their baggage – of course, he’s not perfect so he’s got some as well – they also have to deal with ghosts from Harper’s past coming back for a visit.  It gets emotional as they deal with everything that life throws their way, but they handle it together (mostly, because where would the fun be if they didn’t have some downs to go with the ups?).

If this is what Cole can give readers on her first time out, I cannot wait to see what she delivers next … and next … and again in book 4.