When a pin-up worthy tattoo artist meets a car mechanic on a Florida roadside, it feels like the start of a great one-night stand. But when feelings grow, and secrets are revealed, both of their lives will be at risk. The only question is from who? Find out in THE DARKEST LINK by RITA finalist, Scarlett Cole.
4 REDEMPTION CROWNS
Darkest Link is the conclusion to the Second Circle Tattoo series, and in this book, the reader follows the Reid and Lia as they struggle with family issues, guilt, and holding onto each other through it all.
Reid and Lia, as well as the whole crew, are very likable characters, and I love them all more and more as the series progresses. One of Scarlett Cole’s characters is usually facing some kind of traumatic past, and in this case it is our hero. Reid spends his days trying to be a good man. His has sins from his past weighing him down, and, although, there are things that he did in his youth to atone for, the reader still sympathizes with him, and Scarlett Cole does a fantastic job of really showing that he is a good man, contrary to the version of himself he sees. I also love that Reid is playful and fun, but also has that male dominant streak that I love in a hero. Oh, and his mouth and steamy time with Lia is HOT, HOT, HOT!!!! Then there is the heroine, Lia, and she is as equally likable. I love her style and her ownership of who she is, although she is willing to be knowingly manipulated by her father, which is frustrating at times, However, what ultimately endeared me to her is her bravery to help her family. I really enjoyed watching the two of these characters together. Their chemistry is SCORCHING in the bedroom, and the playful flirting made me fall in love with them as a couple.
The plot of this story, as with her other stories in the series, is full of suspense, and I really enjoyed the journey she took me on. I ultimately like the whole plot line created. I like where she takes the characters, how the book ties to book one in the series to create this kind of large circular plot structure for the for all four books. I do wish the connection between Reid and Lia became apparent sooner. I spent half of the novel pondering how Scarlett Cole was going to intertwine their stories, and how she does it is great, but I wish we would have gotten there faster. As soon as I hit the 50% mark in the story, the whole story just took off. Additionally, I would have liked a little more angst from Harper and Reid’s reconciliation. It seemed to go all a little too smoothly for the whole family. It would have been nice to use this as a tool to delve into Reid’s psyche and self-image a little more. The best part is the epilogue, because the reader gets to see everyone they have come to love. It brings the story back to the beginning and gives the reader just a tiny glimpse into the future of the characters I they have loved throughout this whole series. It certainly left me with a smile on my face to see all these characters get their HEA.
I love Scarlett Cole’s books. They are always filled with wonderful characters and interesting and suspenseful plot lines. But more than that, I can always guarantee that her books will be well-written, there is a vividness to her writing that just speaks to me. Her style just draws me in, so I cannot wait to see where she takes me next!
ARC received in exchange for honest review.
Follow the blog tour from August 29th – September 9th! Two grand prize winners will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card and the runner-up prize will be all four ebooks in the series.
When her car breaks down off the side of a lonely highway far from her sunny Miami home, tattoo artist Lia never expected her very own white knight to ride up on the back of a barely street-legal motorcycle…and she never expected to fall for her dark savior. After a string of failed relationships and a bruised heart Lia is not looking for forever, and the hot mechanic, with his sexy scruff and shaggy hair, is simply impossible to resist. He’s the perfect candidate for a mind-blowingly-perfect, no-strings-attached one-night stand.
Reid left his life in Chicago far behind him and hasn’t been back, but he’s never been able to escape the guilt he feels about his own painful role in inviting a monster into his baby sister’s life. A monster who almost destroyed her. Being with Lia is an unexpected gift, one he doesn’t feel he deserves, and their one night together has him wanting more than he should. When he surprises her at her tattoo studio, Second Circle Tattoos, in Miami, he’s in for a shock—and a fist to the face—when his past and present collide.
With secrets coming to the surface, Reid and Lia are thrown into a world of betrayal and lies that threatens to pull them under, and the last link to his former life may be the darkest of them all.
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Check out the other books in the Second Circle Tattoos series!
THE STRONGEST STEEL, Second Circle Tattoos #1
THE FRACTURED HEART, Second Circle Tattoos #2
THE PUREST HOOK, Second Circle Tattoos #3
Excerpt from THE DARKEST LINK
Copyright © 2016 by Scarlett Cole
“What is this?” she asked, running her hand over the elongated hood.
“A 1958 Ford Thunderbird. It was a shell when I bought it. Was found in an unused barn with a bunch of other old classics.”
The wheels were black with white faces, and the soft top was a creamy white. Reflections from the chrome cast light onto the white walls.
“I love it,” she said, excited to sit inside.
“Hood up or down?” Kenny asked, slipping her cases into the trunk.
“Oh, most definitely down,” Lia said. Screw the victory rolls, she could always put her hair into a high ponytail and add the red ribbon she had in her purse if her scarf failed. She reached into her bag to find it and tied it around her head.
“I like this,” Kenny said, fingering the knot under her chin gently. The way his eyes crinkled at the corners made her feel all kinds of gooey inside. Perhaps it was a good thing they lived a long drive away from each other. His very presence made it difficult to remember why she was taking some time off from men. But a little harmless flirtation was adding to the adventure of a few days off work. There couldn’t be any harm in that.
Once inside the car, Kenny took her hotel details and plugged them into his phone. “There are few downsides to the classics, but lack of sat-nav has to be one,” he said, turning the radio on. “Ready?”
“I feel like Thelma and Louise about to drive over the edge of the cliff,” she said with a laugh.
“Close. That was a 1966 Ford Thunderbird, eight years younger than this baby. Does that make me J.D.?”
“That depends. Are you planning on driving me to a motel, having your wicked way with me on the dresser, then stealing my life savings?”
“I know a motel, don’t know if they have a dresser, but more than willing to do a drive-by to find out.”
Lia laughed. “I was joking.”
“I wasn’t. Say the word, Red.”
He revved the engine several times, the low growl sexy as all hell, and grinned as he roared out onto the street. Lia watched his hand as he shifted the stick. He caressed the gear stick. The more she stared, the more turned on she became until she had to cross her legs and look out of the window.
Damn him for getting her so hot and bothered. She spared a glance back toward him, just as he turned to face her. And he winked. Because he knew.
And that just turned her on even more.
About the Author:
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 Los Angeles.
Rep’d by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency, and published by St. Martin’s Press.
She’d love to hear from you on twitter @itsscarlettcole
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