We’ve seen these guys before (and even this book) and I was so VERY VERY happy to get my hands on it. I have to admit … it exceeded all of my expectations!!!
A Preload Novel
by Scarlett Cole
E-Original published by Swerve
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
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?
This is the first in a spin-off series for Cole and while it can very much stand on its own I would recommend reading The Purest Hook, Dred’s story, because you get a better understanding of the dynamic of this group of men. (Plus, the Second Circle Tattoos series is so amazing – why wouldn’t you want to read great books?!?!) They’ve been together for years after they were placed in the same foster home and have been carrying around the scars of their childhoods for so very long. Here we concentrate on Jordan, who I was most curious about when I first got to know Preload, and on the one hand I’m thrilled that we get his secrets but on the other I’m a little sad that the other guys took such a back seat here. They are there to support him, which so fantastically shows their bond with each other and their places in the family, but we only got a few small glimpses into their issues. The upside, of course, is that they are all getting their own books and I’m so excited to get my hands on those stories!
Jordan’s past is SO messed up and I can’t imagine how he even managed to make it to this point in as good shape as he has. Every day is a struggle to overcome his fears and anxieties, but luckily he has an amazing support system within the band. Then one night he sees Lexi dancing thru the window of her studio. The connection he feels with her and the balm she provides him is instantaneous, but he’s so screwed up that he feels like he’s no good for him. He’s finding himself drawn to her with a power, though, that it’s hard to resist.
And Lexi is just as strong in spirit as she is in body so she’s not letting him run without a fight. She has her own battles, although they aren’t as apparent as his – she’s got a less than positive relationship with her father and, like most dancers, there’s a lot of pressure for her to keep her body in top form (low weight, no injuries, etc). Her life is hectic but she knows that they can’t ignore the feelings they have for each other and with patience and understanding they could have something amazing.
I can’t even imagine what a jackpot a therapist would find between these two! But Cole doesn’t pull any punches, always delivering characters of depth and complexity, however by being honest and laying everything out there these two figure out a way to work through every trouble point. They do it together, which is so important for the future of their relationship. Jordan Reclaimed is a deeply troubling look at abuse, in many forms, and the long term effects that it has on people but it’s also heartwarming as they work hard to overcome it to be together. While not an easy book, it was a fast read for me because I just could not put it down. I think it took less than 24 hours from beginning to end and I wanted to keep going, to get to the next story now 🙂
SCARLETT COLE is a writer of contemporary romance and a two-time RITA finalist. Her debut, The Strongest Steel, was a Best Debut Goodreads Author Finalist 2015. Born in England, Scarlett traveled the world, living in Japan and the United States before settling in Canada where she met her own personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. She now lives with her husband and children in Manchester, England.