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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

*Grabby Hands* Release & Review - The Purest Hook (Second Circle Tattoos #3) by Scarlett Cole

Title: The Purest Hook
(Second Circle Tattoos #3)
Author: Scarlett Cole
Publication Date: May 3rd, 2016
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

Can a love built on secrets survive?

Rugged, hot, and rock hard, Dred Zander is exactly the type of man that normally sends Pixie running. Not dreaming about running her hands down his washboard abs...and lower. The lead singer and guitarist for the band Preload embodies trouble behind his quick smile and guarded eyes, and Pixie left trouble behind her years ago along with the name Sarah Jane Travers and the pathetic trailer her mom called home. With her abusive past in her past, she has a new life, a new family at Second Circle, and a dream of opening her own business. She needs capital and time. What she doesn't need is a tempting long-haired rocker or the paparazzi that follow him around.

But Dred has other ideas. Pixie's sweet hazel eyes, purple hair and kaleidoscopic tattoo of exotic flowers that swirl up her arm haunt his dreams, and he knows she wants him too. He just has to convince her. But as a juicy exposé threatens to expose their pasts, and a blackmailer terrorizes their present, Pixie and Dred have to decide what really matters and fight like hell to keep it.

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Pyrotechnics went off all the way around the stage as the crowd screamed and cheered. He hugged each of the guys, then ran off the stage to pull Pixie from Harper and Drea. The break between the end of the act and the encore was approximately four minutes, and he had plans to use them wisely.
Pixie looked at him, her eyes wide in shock as he grabbed her hand.
“Quick,” he said to her, tugging her down the stage steps. There was no way he could make it back to his dressing room in time, so he hurried them along the black curtain that surrounded the stage into a darkened corner. He pushed her gently against the wall, trapping her in his arms.
“Watching you watch me, Pix . . . drove me crazy. You going to let me kiss you?” he begged. “Please.”
Pixie looked at him and put a hand against his cheek. “Yes.”
He slid both hands into her hair and pressed his mouth against hers. Energized from the performance, Dred struggled to rein in the need to kiss her fiercely. When he heard her groan, felt her lift up on her toes to loop her arms around his neck, he was done for. She was more than he’d dreamed of, and he’d dreamed a hell of a fucking lot. And yet none of his half-asleep fantasies could match the emotions currently blazing through him. Her tongue tentatively brushed against his so gently it was almost innocent. Well, as innocent as it could be when what he really wanted to do was take her against this black curtain.
It was fucking heaven.
He slid his hands down her body. Pixie giggled when he gripped her waist to pull her close. Ticklish. He’d have to remember that.
Not that he wanted to, but he needed to get back onstage. Fucking encore. He kissed her one more time, tasted the whiskey he’d given her earlier. The telltale thump of Lennon’s bass drum started to sound. He pulled back, willing his hard-on to take it down a notch before he got back onstage.
“That was quite the kiss,” Pixie said shyly.
He took her hand and led her back to the stage, positioning her right where she had been. It was impossible to resist kissing her again, and he grinned when Trent raised an eyebrow in his direction.
“Agreed. As beginnings go, Pix, it was pretty fucking epic,” he said with a wink, and walked back onto the stage to face the screaming fans.

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

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

  • I would:
  • Befriend: Pixie
  • Go out on a date & kiss: Trent
  • Take to a desert island and leave behind: Petal's mother; Pixie's stepfather; probably Dred's mom, too.
  • Travel to Vegas and let Elvis Presley marry us: Dred

4.0 “Tatoos, Music & Snowflake” Stars

ARC via NetGalley.

Thank you, St. Martin's Press!!!

I’ve been dying to read a Scarlett Cole’s book since last year. I’ve seen the pretty covers (while I’m not a big fan of the half-naked-dude type of cover, hers has an artistry to it) and read some great reviews, so I was curious and anxious to get my hands on one of this new author’s titles.

Since St. Martin’s Press has been nice enough to allow me early access to some of their titles (guys, I love you), I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC of the third book in the Second Circle Tattoos series.

Sure the experience might be a little more fun to those who already knew Trent, Cujo and the gang, but the author did a great job welcoming new readers into that universe. While tattoos and the shop are still a big part of the story, the fact that the LI was a musician helped make it less about that world, which was a good thing for someone starting with book 3. Plus, it almost felt like I was witnessing the start of a new series with the guys from the band. I don’t know if that’s the plan, but I wouldn’t mind getting to know them a little better.

Anyway, in “The Purest Hook” we follow Pixie, the purple-haired girl who works at the tattoo shop, but doesn’t want to be a tattoo artist. Although she loves Trent and Cujo very much and doesn’t want to let down the two people who rescued her from a world of self-destruction and drugs, Pixie has dreams of her own – she wants to make cute clothes for kids. Adorable.

When we’re introduced to Dred Zander, the lead singer of a super famous rock band, he’s had his eyes on Pixie for a while. He’s friends with Trent and Cujo and often stops by the shop to get new tattoos. Every time he goes there, he asks Pixie out on a date. He has yet to get a “yes” for an answer, though he’d have to be blind to miss how Pixie always seems like that’s the answer she wants to give.

Until the moment she does.

A hot kiss – ass grabbing involved – later, Pixie and Dred are the new talked-about mysterious couple. The media wants to know who she is, but Pixie doesn’t want her name or face out there. She has a lot to hide and a past to run away from. Just like she feared, the past comes back to haunt her.

While Pixie tries to deal with all that crap, we get to see good things coming her way too. She seems to be getting more clients and a lot more sexy or sweet times. Yes, the rock star she’s seeing is more than a sex machine. Dred is careful, kind and very sweet – especially when he’s not battling his own demons.

You'll find a lot of drama, blackmails and horrible people surrounding Dred and Pixie, but I won't focus on that, mainly because by doing so my review would be filled with spoilers, and no one likes those. I want to focus on the two people finding real love for the first time in their lives.

It isn’t always easy to write believable love-virgins who are over 17 or 18 years old , but because of everything that had happened to Pixie, I believed that was her case. In a way, Dred was a love-virgin, too.

These two people had dealt with so much since they were young that it made sense that they guarded their feelings so well, and it also made sense that they found each other. For those who despise love at first sight, you’ll enjoy how this romance progressed. They didn’t wake up one day and decided they were in love with each other… they had to overcome a lot of obstacles to get there.

First, Pixie and Dred had to deal with distance. He lived in Toronto and traveled a lot because of the band. She lived in Miami and had a job and friends there. Then, they had to deal with Dred’s trust issues, Pixie’s limitations when it came to intimacy, Dred’s best friends and band mates, as well as a new and unexpected addition to the group. All while trying to figure out how they felt for each other. It was slow burn romance as its best.

The romance was the most important arc, no doubt, but I enjoyed the mystery aspect as well. There was a lot to work with on both Pixie and Dred’s side and the author did a good job with that. I have to say I’m impressed with Scarlett’s ability to balance sweet and sexy scenes with the suspense needed to make the story work.

Overall, I believe this was a great addition to the series and it’ll make the fans who’ve been following this author from the beginning happy. It’s also a great stand-alone that will make new fans want to read the first two books and follow the rest that are sure to come – especially if they feature the rest of the band. 

I know I am.

Follow the tour and enter to win great prizes!

1 grand prize winner will receive a signed copy of The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos #1).

2 runner-ups will receive a $25 Amazon Giftcard!

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