JORDAN RECLAIMED by Scarlett Cole
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
5 HEALING CROWNS
The Preload series is going to kill me. Each of these men are so damaged and seemingly incapable of love, yet every single one of them is so deserving of it. Their traumas have shaped them, and it seems that love will be the only way to heal them.
Jordan absolutely destroyed my heart in the Dred’s book, and it only continued to ache for him as his past is revealed. It is truly amazing that Jordan is as well adjusted as he is. Underneath the tumultuous and uncertain facade of this man, his someone who is searching for love and looking for someone to give his love to. He is kind and considereate, and he is incredibly sensitive and supportive. There really is not a thing about this man that will turn readers away. He is prefect in all of his broken glory, and when readers get to the end of his journey, hey get to see a man fully restored.
Lexi is perfect for Jordan. Dealing with her own familial issues, she can understand and empathize with Jordan. She brings him out of his shell and out his head, keeping him anchored in the present. She keeps him from running, and in return, he provides her with the support and love she doesn’t get at home.
These two truly make each other better. They give each other a safe space, a home, a person who will absolutely love with no conditions.
This story is surprisingly low angst for the damage these two characters have endured, and while Scarlett Cole does spend time divulging their pasts in order to understand character motivation, she does not dwell on it. The focus isn’t on the pain but the healing. This story is about moving on, making peace with the past, and making a home with the people they love. More than all that, it is a story healing and recognizing value in who they, knowing they are worthy of the good in life.
Jordan Reclaimed is a fantastic start to the Preload series. Filled with complex characters, this story of redemption and reclaiming a life that was stolen by their past is beautiful and emotional. I certainly cannot wait to get more from these men!
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.
\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?
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How would you describe Jordan Reclaimed using no more than 140 characters (a la Twitter)?
A heart-wrench story of two broken souls, a ballerina and a bass player, one light and one dark, who find themselves by finding each other.
What will fans of your Second Circle Tattoos series find different about this new spinoff Preload series?
I think the first difference readers will notice between Second Circle Tattoos and Preload is that these stories are slightly darker contemporary romances, and not a romantic suspense stories like the Second Circle series. But I think they’ll still see the things they loved … steamy romance, believable characters you root for, a strong theme of friendship, and finding a sense of belonging.
Jordan Reclaimed and the rest of the Preload series revolves around the members of a rock band. If you were in a rock band, what role would you play?
Hmm… great question. I can carry a tune but don’t have the je ne sais quoi (the hard to define quality) that many lead singers possess. I spent time with a drummer while we were recording the original song for The Purest Hook and there is no way I have the co-ordination for that. Maybe lead guitar and song writer would work. Although in my past life I was a senior executive of a large firm leading marketing and strategy, so perhaps I’d be their manager and leave the musical talent to those who have a lot more of it than I do.
Were there any particular songs that inspired you while writing?
There were so many songs!! And the great thing about this book was that I got to listen to all kinds of music from classical to full blown metal while writing depending whose point of view I was in.
For Lexi, her very first dance is to Clams Casino’s I’m God, and Jordan records her a version of Bach’s Cello Suite Number One because it feels like something she might dance to. Plus, there was all the phenomenal songs from the ballet. I listened to a lot of Tchaikovsky given Lexi danced both The Nutcracker, and Sleeping Beauty during the story.
Jordan’s inspiration came from a lot of metal ballads, featuring Pop Evil’s Torn to Pieces, and Five Finger Death Punch’s Wrong Side of Heaven. But some comedic moments come in the form of the Queen classic, Another One Bites the Dust.
Where did you get the inspiration for Aleksandra’s character? Are you a fan of ballet?
I LOVE the ballet, and danced myself for many, many years. I watched a YouTube video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaO7bS5Ky6M) of Polina Semionova with my daughter, and I loved the contrast of the decorative theatre with bare bones of the staging. It looked like somewhere a rock band would play and I started to imagine roadies wheeling in equipment around her as she danced. And then I dashed off to get my notebook because I wondered what would happen if a broken and lonely rock star met a brilliant ballerina.
Do you ever struggle with writer’s block? If so, how do you get over it?
There are certainly days when the ideas and words come faster than others. On the slower days, I’ll work out to clear my head, or try to get admin chores out of the way and see how I feel after that. I am a big fan of Nora Roberts and I believe she once said, “Just sit down and write!” So, I try to channel that, plonk my butt in my chair, and get on with it. Less words than target is still words.
Who are some of your favorite writers/the writers that inspire you?
I am inspired by so many great writers. From a career perspective, Jaci Burton, Laura Kaye, and Kathryn Le Veque have such incredible careers and longevity as authors. Authors like Selena Laurence, Kimberly Kincaid, and Robin Covington are incredibly gracious with their time when I have questions. Sidney Halston, who has an awesome new book, Kiss, Marry, Kill, out soon, is my writer BFF. And I love nothing better to read stories by Kylie Scott, Samantha Towle, and Jay Crownover.
Clams Casino – I’m God
This is the song Lexi is dancing to in the studio the very first night she sees Jordan.
Stone Sour – Through Glass
The opening lines are “I’m looking at you through the glass, don’t know how much time has passed… forever feels like home, sitting all alone inside your head.” And it played as I wrote the scene where Jordan catches sight of his ballerina for the first time.
Bach – Cello Suite Number One
This is obviously made for strings, but Jordan redefines that for Lexi by playing it for her on his bass.
Queen – Another One Bites the Dust
One of the best things about writing a series is getting to write the relationship between the lead characters across all of the books. And the boys of Preload certainly know how to push each other’s buttons, including the use of this song!
Pyotr Tchaikovsky – Valse des Flocons de Neige
One of the opening scenes is Lexi at the ballet preparing to dance her role of the Snow Queen in the Nutcracker, and there is a great YouTube video of the actual National Ballet of Canada dancer of this role talking about the staging here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ut5S8oip1s
Five Finger Death Punch – Wrong Side of Heaven
“… I stand alone. I’m no hero, I’m not made of stone.” Gah! This song reminds me of everything about Jordan is when I hear it.
Mason Williams – Classical Gas
This is another song that Jordan records for Lexi, but this is a little homage to my Dad who used to play this song all the time when I was younger.
Seether (feat. Amy Lee) – Broken
I played this song as I wrote a pivotal scene that takes place in the Art Gallery of Ontario that shows just how broken Jordan is inside.
Papa Roach – No Matter What
This song accompanies the final scene… can’t say any more than that!
About the Author:
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.