- Published: 2016
- Number of pages: 442 pages
- Format: Epub
- File Size: 0.54 MB
- Authors: Scarlett Cole
Thrown together by fate and friends, a bad boy tattoo artist and down on her luck waitress are about to find that opposites really do attract in the follow-up to Scarlett Cole’s The Strongest Steel.
All things, when placed under pressure, eventually break or leave a mark.
Tattoo artist Brody “Cujo” Matthews knows how to keep things simple. Tattoos, a good time with friends—and steer clear of relationships.Abandoned as a child by a mother who refused to stick around to raise three boys she didn’t want, he has no interest in getting involved with complicated women. That all changes when he’s asked to help organize his best friend Trent’s engagement party, which means working with Trent’s fiancée’s best friend, Drea, the definition of high maintenance and sizzling curves. And the one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from.
Andrea “Drea” Caron is broke and tired. After years of caring for her ailing mom, she’s at the end of her rope trying to manage the piling medical bills, two jobs, and a life placed on hold. She certainly doesn’t need the added frustration of a sexy playboy tattoo artist messing up her best friend’s engagement party or her carefully balanced life. But when Drea witnesses the abduction of a woman from the café she works at, she can’t help but turn to the sexy, inked Cujo, who’s determined to prove to Drea that he’s someone she can count on forever. But as they attempt to bring the truth to light, someone is working to bring that forever to a sudden, deadly halt.
The Fractured Heart is a full-length romance in the Second Circle Tattoos series that can be read as a standalone!
Review “Filled with mystery, suspense, love, and tragedy, this novel from Cole (The Strongest Steel) is hard to put down. Between the sexual tension and the eventual sexual explosions, the story has its fill of steamy scenes.” – Library Journal Xpress Reviews “Tattooed hero fans!! You’re gonna love this book!! So for anyone looking for a really freaking good, deliciously swoony, non-frustrating, sexy, fun, romance with a dash of suspense all mixed together with a generous helping of protective, heart-melting, and tattooed Alpha male, THIS IS IT. This is the mac & cheese of contemporary romance.”-Aestas Book Blog on The Strongest Steel”Cole delivers a thrilling tale of new beginnings. The chemistry is as electric as the villain is creepy. This fast-paced read will leave you eager for the rest of the series.”-RT Bookreviews on The Strongest Steel”One of those books that will hold you captive from the first word to the last. Author Scarlett Cole has penned an amazing story. .. you will feel empathy, anger, warmth, fear, hope and love with every word. THE STRONGEST STEEL is on my TRA (To Read Again) shelf and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next Second Circle Tattoos novel.”-Fresh Fiction”Scarlett Cole truly knows how to get readers invested in her characters and in the story. Her writing is excellent, and I’d love to read more from her. I’m definitely waiting with bated breath for the next book in this series. “-The Romance Reviews, Top Pick on The Strongest Steel
Reviews from Amazon users, collected at the time the book is getting published on UniedVRG. It can be related to shiping or paper quality instead of the book content:
⭐ MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS – Brody “Cujo” Matthews, Trent’s tattoo shop co-owner & best friend, and Drea Caron, Harper’s best friend & co-worker, are stuck planning Trent & Harper’s engagement party. They are very sexually attracted to each other but seem like opposites, until they start spending time together & find out they have a lot in common. Poor Drea has been the caregiver to her dying mother for years, facing bill after bill that she can’t afford, working two jobs for a mother who is pretty nasty to her at times. There is quite a bit of drama & suspense in this book, almost too much & too technical to follow at times. While Drea is alone with one older lady in the coffee shop before closing, a man with a gun comes in and chases the girl away. Pretty soon Brody is involved and he & Drea are trapped in the storage closet. That part of the story doesn’t get good until we discover that Brody & Drea’s life are intertwined when we find out where his estranged mom has been all these years. It took the focus off of Brody & Drea though and they really are a great couple together, very hot & Brody turns incredibly sweet. “And every day I count my lucky stars I got the chance to love you…if only for a little while.” The sad part is when he’s battling the demons of his past he often chooses to isolate himself from Drea, not necessarily push her away but he flat out ignores her, like he can’t deal with her when he’s stressed. Really, really, really ticked me off!!! Luckily Brody realizes in the end that this is exactly the time when he can lean on Drea for comfort & it makes all the difference in their relationship. Great book but just too heavy on the suspense.
⭐ THE FRACTURED HEART is Fan-Freakin’-Tastic!!After reading Scarlett Cole’s debut novel, THE STRONGEST STEEL (Bk 1, Second Circle Tattoos series), I had concerns whether this followup book could come close to the majesty of that first installment. But, as it turns, out, I loved this frenemies story just as much! The sparks between Tattoo artist extraordinaire Brody “Cujo” Matthews and hard luck waitress Andrea “Drea” Caron is pure magic and made my heart exalt with joy. Cujo and and Drea are like oil and water so when they are forced together to plan the engagement party of their best friends Tent and Harper to say they have some minor disagreements along the way is putting it mildly!There is a lot of push-pull discord between this squabbling duo, which always fills me with glee, but beneath the razor sharp put downs and hostile glares is an undeniable passion and deep seating yearning that is begging to come forth. Through the course of the story we see there is much more to this unlikely pair beneath the surface, true bonafide feelings and a slow burning attraction that cannot be denied. And when a dangerous situation propels them together and heightens their awareness of reach other, it proves to be a game changer. Cujo is a dream hero, he exudes that hot, sinfully sexy bad boy vibe that makes me melt yet I also adore how exquisitely tender he is underneath all the gruff. He may talk tough but deep down he has a sensitive soul.“Drea was the kind of beautiful you wanted to paint but could never capture.”My heart ached for the lost little boy inside of him who never got over his mother’s abandonment. There was so much broken inside of him and you just wanted to wrap him up in your arms and tell him he is special. Worthwhile. Utterly lovable. As for Drea…I relished her fire and spunk but her aching vulnerability as well. She bears the weight of the world on her shoulders and is used to fending for herself. Her hands are full holding down multiple jobs and trying her best to care for her ailing mother who does NOT make it easy on her. She just longs for tenderness, acceptance, love. Things that have been in short supply in her life. And as it turns out, big bad Cujo just might be the one to give it to her. Her attraction to Cujo is immediate, and all consuming, and how could she possibly resist a guy who is so darn sweet, sexy and adorably doting?“He had the body of a Chippendale dancer, the looks of a male model, and the grace of a drunken hippopotamus. All six and a half feet of him making a complete fool of himself all for her.”As the story evolves and Ms. Cole peels away layer after layer of these characters and we get an up close and personal insight into their tumultuous inner lives, we see a soul deep connection form between them and ultimately witness the transformative power of their love as they heal each other’s fractured hearts in beautiful and profound ways.“Drea, I love who you were before. I love who you are right now. I’m gonna love you ten years from now. I hope you’re not the same, because it means we’ve grown. I just want to be the one who gets to do it with you.”Ga! I love Scarlett Cole’s words! Just so eloquent and heartmelting and leaves a lasting imprint on my soul! My only minor quibble was that I felt that there were too many subplots going on a once and the mystery plot in particular overshadowed the romance at times, but clearly Ms. Cole knew what she was doing because all the threads converged masterfully in the end and we were rewarded with a powerful and heartfelt denouement that left me sighing in sweet satisfaction!!!Bottom line? A must read for all you hopeless romantics with a soft spot for tempestuous, refreshingly unconventional romances between feisty heroines and tattooed Alpha bad boys with sensitive souls. Can’t wait to read future installments of this stellar series!!
⭐ ***I received a copy of this book from the author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!***3.5 Stars!!This is the second book in the series and focuses on Drea and Brody’s story. These two are as different as night and day, but there is undeniable sexual chemistry displayed at every turn. These two argue a lot, but that just leads to some sexy and explosive making up.I really enjoyed the relationship between these two. I thought that they were a great match, and I liked that it developed naturally over time. I was able to fully enjoy their connection and the sweet moments these two shared together.It took Brody a bit to commit to the idea of a relationship because he had been abandoned by his mother as a child. On the other hand, Drea was attached at the hip to her mother as her caretaker, and just wanted someone to love and appreciate her. What she got in Brody was something better.I enjoyed this book for the most part but found the suspense part of the story line to be unnecessary. It was confusing, not something I would have expected in a million years, and not something that I found interesting. There was too much going on with it, and parts of it were highly unrealistic. I feel like this story could have stood alone as simply a romance.Overall, I would recommend this book. The characters were enough to keep me engaged even when I didn’t really like or understand parts of the story.
⭐ The Fractured Heart by Scarlett ColeBook #2: Second Circle Tattoos SeriesSource: PurchaseMy Rating: 4/5 starsMy Review:It’s been a week or so between finishing this read and writing this review. As soon as I pulled the book up on Goodreads, my mind immediately flashed to exactly the same things I liked and disliked at the moment I completed the read.Likes:CUJO!!! Cujo was introduced in book one, The Strongest Steel and I am so glad Cole didn’t make me wait until the end of the series for his book. Cujo is outwardly all kinds of kid wrapped in a beautifully built man-sized body but inwardly, there is a lot going on. Though the reason is never quite specified, Cujo is just fine with the world believing him to be happy-go-lucky tattoo artist rather than part owner of Second Circle Tattoos. Oh, and he is also part owner of both his brother’s businesses but that’s just showing off Lurking even further below the tough exterior is a lot of darkness that includes unresolved issues related to the disappearance of his mother and surviving a truly nasty illness. All of Cujo’s story – including how he got the nickname Cujo – comes out as he becomes more involved with Drea. With each revelation, I liked Cujo a little more and found my liking of him made it all the easier to forgive his dumbassery.Cujo really is the heart of The Fractured Heart and while he sort of got saddled with a really wonky plot, Cujo was able to salvage the wonkiness and pull this one out of lower star rating. Cujo shows so much growth over the course of this read that he is virtually impossible to dislike. Even when Cujo screws up – and he does – he finds a way to make things right and makes sure it is clear, his intentions were good even if the execution sucked. So many times throughout this read, Cujo’s world is rocked and after a bit of rolling, he manages to come out on top as well as taking care of those he calls his own.Dislikes:Drea’s plot line: This half of the plot line is just really, really wonky and I had a hard time buying into it from the beginning. I was totally OK with the portion of the plot that involves Drea’s mother; that part isn’t at all hard to buy and it is quite heartbreaking. The random woman who is kidnapped from Drea’s work place and then consumes her thoughts only to show back up in the most ridiculous of places and ridiculous of ways is the part that is hard to buy. Drea has enough to deal with without being nearly consumed by the identity of the kidnapped woman and her involvement with environmental issues. Connecting all of this to Drea’s “real” life with her mother and Cujo was just too much of a stretch for me.Drea: Yeah, I sort of didn’t like Drea much either. Don’t get me wrong, I wanted to like Drea simply because of her kindness towards Harper in The Strongest Steel but her actions in this read made her hard to like. Drea does everything within her power to help her wretched mother and I have respect for her there but when it comes to her relationship with Cujo and her actions with the kidnapped woman, she lost me completely. On several occasions, Drea plants her head firmly up her own ass and takes decisions away from others (Cujo!) or acts in a totally irrational manner simply because she thinks her way is the right way. In these instances, Drea comes off as selfish and inconsiderate which left me seriously disliking her. Even when she eventually pulled her head, the damage had been done and I couldn’t ever get back on Team Drea.The Bottom Line: With all that mess being said, how in the world can I possibly be at a four-star rating? One word, CUJO!!! Cujo is more than enough to carry to this story and balance out all the wonkiness and weirdness. In fact, after this read, Cujo is my favorite character in the Second Circle world and it is going to be damn hard for another character to bump him out of that spot. Cujo’s interactions with the other characters, in particular his nieces, Pixie, and Harper had me wrapped around his little finger. His back story is so sad but he hasn’t let it totally affect his present and the things that are lingering get dealt with in this read. At the end of it all, Cujo is such a strong (OK, domoinant!) character that I was able to overcome the other issues I had with the read and just soak up the Cujo awesomeness!! On to book three, The Purest Hook and if I’m really lucky, Cujo will be in that one too
⭐ Drea and Brody can’t stand each other; the last thing they want is to be in the same room with one another, but fate has different plans for them when they’re thrown together to plan a wedding. Brody is the best man, Drea is the maid of honor. They have to learn how to work with each other, in order to get things done.Hard? Very.They’re very different – or so they think. Drea is a small control freak – but due to the things she’s been through and is still going through, it’s understandable – while Brody is a go-with-the-flow guy.Clash of the titans? Definitely.But Drea isn’t the only one that’s had it tough. I love that Ms. Cole writes about real-life situations and scenarios; things you can imagine happening in our day-to-day lives. Yes, it’s fiction and the angst and drama prove it, but these characters – along with the others in the series – are well-developed and constructed in a way that makes it all too real.My heart ached for them, broke, I just about wanted to strangle them, at one point, but it’s not easy when you’re broken and bruised on the inside.Do they make it work, in the end? Of course. Is Brody one of my faves? Yes, he is. Is he a guy I’d fall for in real life? Hell yes!So, if you haven’t read this one already, do it. You’re missing out. I still have one book left to read in the series – as a matter of fact, it’s book one – but I’m savoring them because this series ended. *pout*5 stars.
⭐ Series: Second Circle Tattoos #3–One Sentence Summary–Drea has more than she can handle on her plate and adding an attraction to the annoyingly sexy and tattooed pain-in-her-butt, Cujo, doesn’t help.–What are the Issues–Drea is the primary caretaker for her mother who is in the end stages of COPD. Drea works all the time and has given up a life of her own to care for her mother who has a bitter and demanding attitude. She doesn’t want to be attracted to Cujo because she think’s he’s a lazy womanizer. On top of everything else, Drea is held at gunpoint one night at the cafe she works at. Cujo may have a laid back demeanor but there’s a lot of history and pain under the surface. He likes Drea but he feels like she deserves better than a casual relationship which he believes is all he has to offer.–What I Liked and Didn’t Liked–Hello New Book Boyfriend — Cujo was so great in this book and I’m so glad he was everything I wanted and more. I loved Trent in The Strongest Steel and wasn’t sure how I’d like Cujo, since goofy, ladies men can go either way for me. But I was happily surprised by how much I loved Cujo and his soft squishy center. He’s really a great guy whose overcome some hard things in life and now knows what it means to live and enjoy what he has. He was the perfect amount of silly, cocky, and easy going to be enjoyable and for him to be a good counterpoint for Drea who has forgotten what having fun is like.All the Going-Ons — There is a lot going on in this book but I feel like Scarlett Cole does a great job balancing all the balls in the air. I wasn’t as interested in the mystery side of the story, but I never felt like it overshadowed the romance. There were a few inconsistencies in the mystery that bothered me a bit but nothing to totally take me out of the story. Overall, there was just a lot going on.Drea Was Tiring — I never really connected with Drea unfortunately and she got on my nerves a fair bit of the time. Drea has so much going on and she’s practically incapable of asking for help or listening to others. There were a few things she does that were straying into TSTL territory and a few times when Cujo tells her to do something and she does the complete opposite because it’s what she thinks is best even though it’s not her choice to make. If I had liked Drea more, this would have gotten 5 stars instead of 4.–Final Thoughts–I enjoyed The Strongest Steel more than this one but it was still a great read. I absolutely loved Cujo and enjoyed seeing more of Trent and Harper and the other Second Circle characters. There were a fair amount of typos and errors that were a bit annoying and not evident in the previous work.
⭐ Ms. Cole shot to the top of the charts with her debut novel The Strongest Steel. It was on the top of my list for favorites of 2015. This is the second in the series and just as enthralling as the first.We met Cujo ( Brody) Matthews in book one. He is co-owner of Second Circle and best friends with Trent. Since Harper is now a part of their lives, he is thrown together with her best friend Drea….talk about oil and water! For some reason they have taken an instant dislike to each other.Drea is struggling to make ends meet, taking care of her very ill, grouchy, ungrateful mother. She is working two jobs and exhausted, plus now she is planning an engagement party for Harper and Trent, worst of all with Cujo. The banter between these two characters is hilarious. Neither seem to notice the affection and pull of feelings for each other. Cujo is known for his hook ups with gorgeous flight attendants. He likes the easy come and go. Drea is mystified, “This was not the kind of guy she was looking for, so why did he keep stirring her up?” Drea is pulled into some dangerous secrets, and to protect her, so is Cujo. Slowly but surely the defenses they both keep high, start crumbling away, and when they do……sizzling hot!The twists and turns keep you guessing, and one particular twist is a bit of a shock! . Sexy romance, suspense and some good laughs, what more do you need for a fantastic read? This novel can be read as a stand alone, but don’t deny yourself the pleasure of reading The Strongest Steel.I received this novel from the publisher and NetGalley for an honest review.Pat Fordyce
⭐ Tattoo artist Brody “Cujo” Matthews doesn’t do attachments and despite his attraction to Andrea “Drea” Caron he is not going after the woman who seems to hate his guts. However when their best friends announce their engagement, they work together to give them the party they deserve. Cujo finds out quickly that his perception of Drea is completely wrong and when she is held at gunpoint at the cafe she works, Cujo is by her side making sure she is protected. Cujo wants to build something with Drea but his fear of his past and his mother walking out on them as children has him questioning if he wants to put his heart on the line, as Drea has the potential to steal his heart.Excellent addition to the Second Circle series. Was not sure if I would like Cujo and Drea’s story because of their interaction in the first book but this exceeded my expectations. There are layers to both characters that are brought out in this book. This one had more of a mystery to it. I can’t wait for the next book.
⭐ This is a story about 2 people that have been damaged by life and are just getting by the best that they know how… surviving… Drea is one day at a time and Brody is doing ok not even realizing that he could use a little ‘more’ in his life… These 2 slowly build a relationship, lean on each other and figure out that they do not have to take on the world alone.Reason others should read this book:-I loved the wrap up with Drea’s mom because WOW was she a witch or what? didn’t think there was any redemption for that woman…-the cast of supporting characters/friends is exceptional in this series and I look forward to learning more about them all-the twist with the woman missing from the coffee shop (that’s all I can say without giving away a spoiler)-that Drea realized that Brody “…can’t fill the holes for me, but I think I know the difference now. Somehow, around you, I feel like I can fill them on my own. You give me the confidence to do that.”Only thing that was kinda iff-y for me:-that Drea took forever to realize that she was confident enough to fill “the holes” on her own…but even as frustrating as this leading lady could be at times its still a testament to the writings of Ms Cole that she could bring forth that level of emotion from her words alone… solid 3.5 star read for me.Grade B – See more at: http://thebookreadinggals.com/the-fractured-heart-by-scarlett-cole/#sthash.eSNLAYlT.dpuf
⭐ Brody “Cujo” and Drea “Andrea” manage to put their heads together long enough to plan a wonderful engagement party for pals Trent and Harper and while doing so find that they have some fireworks going on between them. From some sexual fantasies and outright arguing to some hardships and hard luck histories on both sides to fighting the attraction to some really scary stuff and a lot of sad hurtful info this book follows Brody and Drea thru it all. All the Second Circle crew is there too as well as some other family and friends. Get your second fix of the series and then get ready to shell out for book three and more sexy romantic tattoo fun from our good friends at Second Circle Tattoos!
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