Another great entry into Scarlett Cole’s Preload series … the lady kills it every time!
Does the past ever really stay in the past? Find out in Scarlett Cole’s NIKAN REBUILT, the steamy, third standalone in her rockstar romance series, Preload. After years of no contact, Nik and first love Jenny’s connection still blazes between them. Will they have their second chance at love? Or will the weight of their past crush their future together?
by Scarlett Cole
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: January 2, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press SWERVE
Format: Digital and Paperback
From the queen of heart-pounding, sexy, emotional romance Scarlett Cole comes Nikan Rebuilt, the next novel in the Preload series.
Does the past ever really stay in the past?
Nikan can never be complete. He’s got a rock group made up of the family he built for himself, more money than he knows what to do with, and a stream of groupies falling over themselves to date him. But none of them are her. The one regret that still plagues him, still taunts him with what he could have had.
Jenny is a survivor. Now running a group home after overcoming life in a cult lead by her manipulative father and watching her mother drink the poison he fed his followers, she fights to keep the light in the eyes of every boy who walks through her doors. Far from simple young love, Nik taught her to trust, showed her how good life could be. Before he formed the band. Before he became a famous rockstar. Before he destroyed it all.
A chance meeting after years of no contact shows the connection still blazes between them. But will they have their second chance at love? Or will the weight of their past crush their future together?
Nik took the towels out of her hands and placed them on the dryer. “Hey, come here,” he said as he reached for her hands. “Talk to me.”
She wasn’t ready to, not least because she didn’t understand the swirl of feelings sweeping through her. To put into words for Nik exactly how that felt was impossible. “I’m fine, I’m good. I just have a lot to do here now.”
Nik placed his finger under her chin and raised her eyes so she was forced to look at him. “I think we can safely say that lies have no place between us. So, I’ll tell you what I’m thinking, and then you can tell me what you’re thinking. Okay?”
Jenny sighed and nodded. “Okay.”
“I didn’t come here tonight expecting to kiss you like this. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it, but I know I have a lot of work to do to prove myself to you. But seeing you laugh, and seeing you look at me, just for a moment, without the pain I caused you in your eyes . . . Well, I don’t even know how to begin to explain what that felt like to me—except that I didn’t want to be away from you for another moment, and that it felt like a new beginning of sorts. If there’s any doubt in your mind about what that kiss did to me, I’d encourage you to touch me and check, but I think that might be a step too far, given where we are. Now it’s your turn.”
His words made her stomach flip, and despite her best efforts she was filled with a warm and fuzzy feeling. She looked over to the staircase again to check that nobody was within earshot. “We’re coming at this new friendship . . . relationship . . . from two completely different places. I’m mad at myself for letting you get this close to me again. It’s reckless to fall for you all over again and I know it. But when you stand so close to me, I can . . .” Crap. How could she explain that the way the smell of him, and the heat of him, and the proximity of him, and the touch of him took her straight back to that time and place where she wholeheartedly loved him?
“You can what?” Nik asked, moving his hands to her hips.
“I can remember us. Before.”
I think that there are going to be some who are turned off by this book without giving it a chance just because it deals with cheating. But they’re SOOO going to miss out on what can happen when an awesome writer like Cole puts together a second chance love story! Nikan and Jenny have been a connection waiting to happen again – he’s never gotten over his feelings for her (and what he did to ruin it) and she ran away because she knew she couldn’t stay strong if she saw him. And she was right. She makes him work for it but eventually the connection between them proves to be too great to ignore … come on, it’s a romance so you know that they’ve got to have a HEA somewhere in there! It takes some doing but they do get there. And it is surprisingly low on drama. Instead we have realistic reactions, characters with depth and emotion, and a situation that you can understand and get behind.
I’d braced myself for being put through the wringer again so I was a little grateful that Cole took it a bit easier on us here. The unique family that the guys built together is still strongly at the forefront but they are all starting to work their way into individual happiness. I think that is finally giving Nikan a chance to notice that he’s not as content as he could be now that he’s not expending so much energy keeping everyone else together. It’s hard for him to look after himself instead of the group (and for me because that love between them is so nice to see but it is also good that they are starting to heal as well). Bumping into Jenny again, and finally having a chance to work through his biggest regret, couldn’t come at more opportune time.
I will admit that it was a little unexpected to have this story be so lacking in the commotion department. The rest of the Preload series has dealt with some pretty hard issues and the guys haven’t been all that great at handling their pasts up to this point. I guess from what Cole has shown us of Nikan, though, he does seem the one with his act together the most. Being the oldest and the one that has taken on keeping everyone else together he had to or they would have all gone off the rails! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I kinda enjoyed that we mostly only had to deal with the do-over on Nikan and Jenny’s relationship without piling on a whole lot more. (I have a feeling that Cole is saving that up for Lennon … that one might just be the most heartbreaking yet, and she sure hasn’t been easy on us in the past!)
Nikan Rebuilt is gritty and real and packed full of emotions. It’s oh-so-satisfying to see these two figure things out!
The tattoo across my right hip says it all really. A Life Less Ordinary. Inked by the amazingly talented Luke Wessman at the Wooster Street Social Club (a.k.a. New York Ink). Why is it important? Well, it sums up my view on life. That we should all aspire to live a life that is less boring, less predictable. Be bold, and do something amazing. I’ve made some crazy choices. I’ve been a car maker, a consultant, and even a senior executive at a large retailer running strategy. Born in England, spent time in the U.S. and Japan, before ending up in Canada were I met my own, personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. Both of us are scorpios! Yeah, I know! Should have checked the astrological signs earlier, but somehow it works for us. We have two amazing kids, who I either could never part with or could easily be convinced to sell on e-bay.
I’ve wanted to be a writer for a really long time. Check through my office cupboards or my computer and you’ll find half written stories and character descriptions everywhere. Now I’m getting the chance to follow that dream.
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