The Strongest Steel: Trent Andrews and Harper Connelly
(Second Circle Tattoos #1)
Harper Connelly never expected to find herself outside of a tattoo parlor at one in the morning, summoning the nerve to take back her past. She's determined to forget her old life and is looking for an artist who can tattoo over the scars on her back.
Trent Andrews, local legend and owner of the Second Circle tattoo studio, has his own reasons for specializing in inking over scars. And in spite of her mysterious past and the difficult road ahead, he quickly realizes that Harper is funny, smart, and--under her ridiculously oversized clothing and SPF 100 sunscreen--totally hot. He's happy to take on the challenge of designing a meaningful and deadly full-back tattoo for her.
But when cryptic messages start appearing on Harper's phone, strange deliveries arrive at her door, and Second Circle is vandalized, Harper is convinced that her ex-boyfriend has tracked her down, and worse, that he knows about Trent. Running was the only thing that saved her last time, but now that she's started to put down roots in Miami, she'll have to decide if she can finally fight back instead.
Scarlett Cole is a fairly new author from what I understand but she made an impact at least with me with this novel. A friend recommended it to me, knowing I like books with tattoo artists in them. So I thought I’d give this one a whirl and I was surprised by how much I liked it.
Your heart breaks almost immediately for Harper, you can tell she is carrying a lot of fear and you know something really bad happened to her. It’s not too long into the novel when Harper and Trent “meet”. She’s crossing the street and he’s being a guy and shouting her from his shop.. Men.. so classy.. So anyway she ignores his holler but see it as a sign. She’s been needing a tattoo to cover her scars but has been too skittish to do it. It’s a big step for her, but Trent happens to be an expert in tattooing scars. The first real meeting between Trent and Harper when she goes to his shop to ask about her tattoo is eye opening. Trent handles the meeting with surprising maturity and sensitivity. He’s tired and wants to go home but when she shows up at his door when he’s about to close he takes one look at her and knows if he doesn’t see her now, tonight, she’ll never come back.
Trent and Harper are amazingly strong as a couple, they have some missteps. Nothing is perfect, but they work on it together. Trent is amazingly gentle and patient with Harper and needs to be based on her past. You can tell Harper cares for Trent but her past sometimes gets in the way but they way she progresses, grows and gets stronger is heart warming. I really loved this book and immediately read the other two in the series, but this one.. This one is the best one.. So far.