Title: Jordan Reclaimed
Author: Scarlett Cole
Series: Preload #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Pub. Date: February 28, 2017
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for review from Barclay Publicity and the author. I was not compensated nor was I required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising".
I know how much you loved the couples at Second Circle Tattoos. So for my next series, I wanted to give you more of the characters you have already come to care about. Welcome to Preload. For those who have read The Purest Hook, Preload is hero Dred Zanders' band. And yes, for all of you who wrote to me asking for the band members to each get their own stories after reading The Purest Hook, here they are. Jordan is up first and will be followed by Elliott, Nikan, and Lennon. I can't wait for you to get to know and fall in love with these men who grew up in a group home together and the women who bring them to their knees.
And for those who haven't read The Purest Hook, it doesn't matter because these stories are all completely stand-alone.
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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Jordan Steele had a very sad childhood that every once in a while leaks into his future. Aleksandra “Lexi” Artemov really loves her calling, which feeds her creativity. She has a father who sucks the air out of a room when he enters – you can almost see her light go out. This shows how close being happy and sad can be in our lives.
I found it hard to believe that this was the first book in the Preload Series. Jordan’s friend, Dred, has a happy ending that I wanted to know more about. So, the semi-detective that I am, I found that his story is in another series called the Second Circle Tattoos. And if you find that you want to read his book, like I do, it’s called The Purest Hook. And if you want to stay true to Jordan and his friends, then like me you’ll grab a copy. You don’t need to read Dred’s story in order to enjoy Jordan’s story. But there is a scene that just may have spoilers so you will need to make the final decision.
The author created a scene I totally fell in love with – when Jordan sees Aleksandra for the first time. Tissue may be something to keep close at hand. There’s no way that your heart can’t get involved with this story. Your head may get involved too – a few choice words come to mind for the people that have hurt our two main characters. At times it felt like Ms. Cole didn’t want Jordan to get too serious and spoil a little bit of happiness so she would lighten the mood via his friends. She also includes a little sweetie pie that will steal your heart – even though she only makes a few appearances.
What was great to see was how Jordan comes to realize that there’s something more important to him than feeling sorry for himself. Something that impressed me was that the issues surrounding Lexi and Jordan didn’t just disappear once their feelings come to light. The struggles of their childhood may strike a cord for some. This makes the story seem more plausible. Our main characters show that even two battered souls can find happiness together. And if you read to the end you just may get a sneak peek at the next book in the series coming out in July.
Excerpt from JORDAN RECLAIMED:
Copyright © 2017 by Scarlett Cole
He got it.
He finally got it.
He got why John Lennon left the Beatles for Yoko.
He got why Dred wrote a love song for Pixie.
From the moment Jordan’s lips touched Lexi’s, he couldn’t imagine anything else feeling and tasting quite so perfect for the rest of his life.
He ran his tongue along the seam of her lips and she groaned, opening for him. He thrust his hands further into her hair as their tongues touched. She tasted of wine and sweetness, and he couldn’t get enough.
While her eyes were closed, his were open, unwilling to miss a single moment of what was happening between them. He angled her head, and she rose up on her toes to meet him. He thought he was going to faint as the blood rushed from his brain to his cock, which ached for contact.
Lexi’s arms wound their way around his waist, her hands finding the way under his leather jacket and sweater to rest upon his back. Skin on skin. How he wanted them to be. Naked. Exposed. Nothing between them as he made love to her in a huge bed that they could stay in for days.
Except he didn’t have a huge bed. And he didn’t have the kind of room she deserved to stay in. He had an attic. And a box under his bed that held his most treasured possessions that nobody else would understand. A secondhand copy of Scales, Chords & Arpeggios, and the first birthday card he ever received from Maisey and Ellen. Random shit nobody else would care about.
Jordan pulled away slowly and looked carefully at Lexi. Her lips were pink and plump, her cheeks flushed, her eyes wide.
“Jordan,” she whispered.
“I gotta go. Bye, Lexi,” he said. He needed to get home and then drink enough to forget about her. Banish the stupid idea swirling around in his mind that they could have any kind of relationship. He should never have kissed her. It was hard enough to walk away before, but now that he had a clearer idea of what it was he was actually walking away from, it hurt all the more.
“Wait,” Lexi said as she grabbed his arm.
The small voice in his brain told him to keep walking, but he couldn’t. Instead, he turned to see what she wanted.
Lexi grabbed a pen from her purse, the one she had given him to sign the napkin in the restaurant. She reached for his hand and turned it over so his palm was facing up and quickly scribbled something on it. When she was done, she stood on her tiptoes again and kissed his cheek.
Weakness was a new sensation, but he felt it down to his boots as, against his better judgment, he leaned his cheek ever so slightly toward her lips.
“Good night, Jordan,” she said and bounced up the porch, grabbing her hat from the chair where Jordan had tossed it.
She paused in the doorway to wave good-bye and then closed the door silently shut.
Only when he was certain that she was definitely gone did he allow himself the luxury of seeing what she had written on his hand. It was a phone number. Despite himself, he felt a murmur of excitement that she found him worthy of a second date.
Jordan turned toward home. As snow began to fall again, he hurriedly made the short hike across the Don Valley river and ravine to his neighborhood, trying to halt the avalanche of emotions because of ten hand-scribed digits.
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 Toronto.
Rep'd by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency, and published by St. Martin's Press.
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