One of my top 10 series of all time is the fantastic Second Circle Tattoos series by Scarlett Cole. Filled with drama, passion, sexy characters, and even a hint of suspense, this series just hits all my buttons!
Genre: Contemporary (light suspense)
Book Count: 5 total
From The Strongest Steel:
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.
How I Found the Series
Coming upon this series was complete luck on my part and one of the best things to happen because I ended up loving the Second Circle Tattoos series. It all begin when I decided to join a Facebook event featuring several authors talking about their new books. One of those authors was Scarlett Cole who was promoting her debut novel The Strongest Steel and while I didn’t win anything in the many giveaways they had during the event, I did discover a new book that sounded really good.
At that time I wasn’t much for taking chances on buying books by authors I had never read before but between the book’s description, the cover, and the sample I read online, I just knew this was going to be a great book. I bought the ebook and then proceeded to devour Trent and Harper’s story in a day.
Why I Love the Series
There’s a lot to love about this series and each book brings it with all it’s heart. Books about damaged characters with traumatic pasts is like my cat nip so I loved reading about each characters’ journey through their trauma. While the stories are mostly contemporary, there are some light suspense elements that add external drama to the story. Add in a lot of internal drama and each book brings all the angst you could want. Cole does a fantastic job weaving together the romance, the story, and the development of the side characters.
Helping tie everything together are the characters who I fell in love with from the start. The Second Circle team are like a family and I loved watching them support each other and be there for each other. The men are tough alphas who aren’t afraid to show their gentler side and the woman are a force to be reckoned with. As an added bonus the covers are holy smokes HOT and they are the master class on how to create a cohesive series image.
- Drama and angst in the best ways possible
- Alpha men who also have a pretty great sweet side
- Strong, passionate women who know what they want
- Sexy covers!
Books in the Series
Normally this is where I’d talk about a few of my favorites in the series, but since it’s only four books (+ a novella), I’ll just highlight each one!
The Strongest Steele: A regular reread and my favorite in the series, this book will always hold a special place in my heart. I adored Trent who is a sexy, tattooed, charmer and the gentle way he handles Harper was so beautiful. I also loved Harper who really grows and comes out of her self-imposed loneliness through the story.
The Fractured Heart: Cujo was a riot from the first book and I appreciate how much Cole embraced his goofier side. With a shaved head and tattoos Cujo seems like he’d be intimidating but he’s actually a bit of a marshmallow. This was probably the book that brought the most suspense and there was a lot going on but Cole balances it all very well.
The Purest Hook: My second favorite in the series, I fell instantly for Dred and Pixie together. I loved Dred’s continued flirting with Pixie and his determination to go out on a date with her while also respecting Pixie’s boundaries. And did I mention he’s a rock star? Dred falls head over heels for Pixie and I can see why because she’s feisty, colorful, and outspoken in all the best ways.
The Darkest Link: Things come full circle in this book when we finally get to met Harper’s brother Reid. I loved getting a deeper look at Harper and Reid’s tragic history and Cole had me close to tears as I watched Reid learn to find peace with his past. By his side the whole time is Lia who brings a fierce and protective personality to the relationship. Up to this point, Lia’s character has been pretty understated so I loved getting to know her.
The Second Circle Series is complete now but you can enjoy the spin-off series, Preload, which features the band shown in The Purest Hook.