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The Strongest Steel

(Second Circle Tattoos #1)

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  9,236 ratings  ·  968 reviews
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 ove
Kindle Edition, 482 pages
Published July 7th 2015 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Scarlett Cole Hi, ladies ... Reid is the hero of book four ... It goes Cujo and Drea, Pixie and Dred, Lia and Reid... He has his reasons for staying away, and boy, …moreHi, ladies ... Reid is the hero of book four ... It goes Cujo and Drea, Pixie and Dred, Lia and Reid... He has his reasons for staying away, and boy, are they good ones!!(less)

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Start your review of The Strongest Steel (Second Circle Tattoos, #1)
DNF @28%, no rating.

Like he was a teenage girl or something, he’d gone to bed without brushing his teeth so he could continue to appreciate her sweet flavor, wondering how the rest of her would taste.

I've decided to throw in the towel when I read this quote. It's not sexy at all. It's not sweet either. Fact is, it's more along the line of…ewwwwwww.

I thought the story had potential but failed to deliver. It was way too sugary-sweet for my liking and I felt compelled to call the endearment po
Sleepless Readmore
Nov 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Infatuation is when you find
somebody who is absolutely perfect.
Love is when you realize that they aren’t
and it doesn’t matter.
FIVE #macncheese STARS

Trent Andrews and Harper Connelly

The way her body fit against his perfectly,
like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle,
was so incredibly good it scared him.


Barely surviving has become my purpose
Because I'm so used to living underneath the surface ..►♫


So I just finished this novel. And I haven't had the urge to write a review immediately after reading in
Aestas Book Blog
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it

“You ready to show me how amazing you are at this?”

“Always,” he said, grinning at her. “One amazing, bad-ass tattoo coming right up.”

Tattooed hero fans!! Check this out!!

This is a story about Harper, a girl who'd survived an attack that left her back covered in scars -- a constant reminder of a night she wished she could forget. As a way of trying to put the past behind her, she decided to enlist the help of a talented tattoo artist named Trent whose specialty was inking over scars
This story was amazing! Scarlett Cole came into the author world and kicked some ass with this novel, and I am extremely grateful that I got to read it.

Harper Connelly has been hiding for four years. Hiding from her ex, from her past, and hiding the scars she bears. Finally working up the courage to do something about the scars, she goes to Second Circle to get them tattooed over. Which brings her to Trent Andrews. Trent is an up and coming tattoo artist who is instantly intrigued by the shy, n
Really enjoyed this one! Review to come!
"4,5 stars for my sweet Trent&Harper"<3

"The strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire."
This was my first review ever...
AnD I wanted to re-write it because I didn't give this book the credit it deserved....
So I'm doing it NOW!!!Because I loved this book!

Where to start? Oh yes, I'm practically a haphephobic
who is on the run from a psychotic asshat who tried to kill me.
Great first impression.

This book was great...I really enjoyed it because it was sweet,emotional, funny, awkward and hot! Tr
SamJ ★Needs a HEA★
Check out this and my other reviews at My Blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Pinterest

★Book Basics★

Genre : - Cont Romance
Series : - Stand Alone
Love triangle? - (view spoiler)
Cheating? - (view spoiler)
HEA? - (view spoiler)
Would I read more by this author/or in this series? - yes
Rating - 4 stars


I loved this story!

Our heroine Harper has gone through something truly horrific, and is ready to try and move
❥ KAT ❥ Kitty Kats Crazy About Books
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TITLE: The Strongest Steel
AUTHOR: Scarlett Cole
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
RELEASE DATE: July 7th 2015

MY RATING: 4 stars

The strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire.

This has been sitting on my kindle for ages way way back in July so thought I would finally get to reading it!!

Love the cover (which is why I one clicked) and the synopsis can't go wrong with a hot tatted up tattoo artist..

It was like I was getting a history lesson, quotes, tattoo terminology which was really surpri
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Good but unremarkable. Straight laced girl with a painful past meets tattooed guy who is nicer than he looks. Her past catches up to them, there's some relationship drama, and then HEA. The best friends were kind of one-note characters thrown in there to set up the next installment. The audiobook narrator is kind of bad too, which didn't help things. Oh well, on to the next book!
Mindy Lou's Book Review
Jul 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
Trent is a 32 yr old tattoo artist who owns tattoo parlor Second Circle. Harper is running from an ex who severely traumatized her and later her family. She's been in Miami for 4 years now and is barely existing. Taylor has heard of Trent and knows he has a specialty of tattooing over scar tissue which leads to their initial meeting.

Trent is one of the better MC's I've read in awhile. He was old enough to be more mature and knew what he wanted out of life. I loved the way Trent handles Harper's
Just awesome.

The life Harper was living was not the one she should. She had been through so much and it was still living the hell every day. Harper couldn't get away from the nightmare she had been through. Until she decided to make a big change in her life she was fed up of living in fear of everything. She just didn't know that the biggest change in her life was goin to be Trent Andrews.

Trent's life was pretty good he had his own Tattoo shop Second Circle and it was doing brilliant.
Jul 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Scarlett Cole Fans, Tattoos, Romance
4 Transforming Stars
* * * *
Every once in a while I will stumble across a book's blurb... no nothing about the author or whether I should...and just be drawn to read this idea presented to me...Blurbs are supposed to make us curious and want for more...Well, Scarlett Cole did her her job because I made sure I had a copy and am glad I did.

This is a story of a woman who survived a horrific event in her life and was trying to move forward as best she could. It was interesting from the start. We kno
Dilek VT
What makes a book a great work for us, readers, and also what makes it stay as great for generations to come is the transfer of emotion it delivers.

Usually, while trying to express why a book is amazing, we point to awesome characters, or the intriguing plot, or the epic prose.

All these things are of course crucial parts of how a book delivers its effect; however, we must never forget that the overall experience and how a book makes us feel is the most important thing that makes it memorable.

Dec 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Writing: I had a love-hate relationship with Scarlett Cole’s writing. It appears she is a researcher which feeds the student within. I learned some interesting things while reading this. It also encouraged me to research some concepts further.

BUT then there was...hmmm....not sure what to call it. The characters would do or say something, but Cole would forget that sometimes actions and words have implications on other parts of the story. Is that called ‘follow through?’ I don’t know.

This book had everything I could possibly want in a story - A strong heroine who suffered something unimaginable but survived, a sexy tattoo artist who's top book boyfriend material, fantastic supporting characters, suspense, drama, and sexy times. I LOVED this book! Harper has scars that she wants covered so she goes to Second Circle to see Trent who specializes in tattooing over scars. There is immediate chemistry between these two and Trent recognizes something special in Harper and wants to ...more
It is very common and repeatable type of story, but have to admit it's very pleasant to read. With the predictability of what happens it is always that, it depends on the amount of books you read like this. And while nothing surprised me, I believe that many will be delighted.

"The strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire"

About the plot: Harper Connelly runs away from her past. She was attacked by her ex-boyfriend and even though he is now in prison and she is far from home, can not deal
Claire Robinson
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shit-hot-series
4 - The strongest steel is forged in the hottest fire. Stars!

The Strongest Steel is the first book in the Second Circle Tattoos Series, and Scarlett Cole, being a new author has managed to take a set of pretty well used tropes and give them a refreshing and enjoyable new spin.

”Welcome to Second Circle.”

Harper Connelly has spent the last four years working an anonymous job, in a non-descript coffee house, and trying hard to not draw any attention to herself in Miami. Her past; nothing but a
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: new-adult, romance

*** 4 amazing stars. ***

It's a great book for sure. Captivating and beautiful. A really sweet story.
I really liked Trent. And his music taste. AC/DC and Metallica and Iron Maiden in one book? Who could think of that? He rocks, he's totally awesome. (Sure must of the tattoo artists are Rock fans but no one is as incredible as him). I admired him for many reasons, like for understanding how to treat Harper, pushing her to the limits and then knowing when he has to stop.
Also, I respect Harpe

Dec 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.5... I've got mixed feelings about this one. On the one hand, I loved the characters... Harper and Trent were both characters that I felt were interesting on their own and the story line, although predictable was still entertaining. On the other hand, I just didn't feel a very strong connection between Harper and Trent .. at least not as strong as I would have liked. There was just something "off" about their chemistry to me. That being said, I still enjoyed the story. Trent was patient and ca ...more
Talia (Red Hot Ink)
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: low angst lovers
4 Amor condusse noi ad una morte stars

Harper Connelly is a scarred woman. Literally and figuratively. When she goes to a tattoo artist specialized in covering scars, she may start an emotional journey she's not ready to embark in.

I really liked how empowering this story was. Harper may start off as a scaredy cat (she's got every right to be), but as the story progresses you can see her become stronger and more fearless.

Trent was also another great character. He reminded me at time of Cam from "W
Tanja ~ T's Book ~ KT Book Reviews
A young woman with just enough courage to walk into a tattoo shop.
A guy with just enough creativity to see beauty within the ugly scars.
Together they create a masterpiece while erasing the horrors of the past.

I gotta say, the premise is one that has been done before. However, there is just enough “extra” to make this feel different from the others. Maybe it’s the level of innocence and caring we get from Harper Connelly as we watch her journey into pain in order to rid of it emotionally. Maybe i
Ivy Deluca
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: _arc-reads, tattoos
Full review at

I really enjoyed it. All in all, a solid debut by Ms. Cole, I am definitely interested in continuing with this series and reading Drea and Cujo’s story next.

**ARC provided by publisher via netgalley for review**

 photo 25413371_zpsmo83fdiv.jpg

“This mountains of such sort that climbing it is hardest at the start; but as we rise, the slope grows less unkind.” - Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy -

Color me impressed, the debut novel by Ms. Cole was really good. But there were some things that irritated me so I docked a star. I also found it refreshing and the book got me out of my book funk and that is always good for me.

I know that the whole stalker thing has been done, although this can’t really be defined as a sta
Spoilers ahead

Honestly I wasn't impressed, pretty much run of the mill with Harper's past being the most stand out thing in the book.

Harper moved from her old hometown and life as a teacher after her ex attacked her. She's working in a cafe now and wants a tattoo to cover up the scars on her back.

Trent is the owner of second circle tattoos, he's a bit of a manwhore though definitely not as bad as Cujo his best friend and colleague worker. From the minute they meet though he's only interested in
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
3.75 stars

really liked this one and it's a debut at that. great plot with a refreshing take on the tattooed bad boy genre. great well rounded main hero and heroine with secondary characters i am really looking forward to learning more of in the next books. i did feel the end drama happened too quick and was resolved too fast considering we spent all the book leading up to it but overall this one was very deserving of its praise!
Ezinwanyi Chinyere
Harper Connelly started a new life for herself after her ex almost killed her. She came into Trent's Tattoo shop to cover some of her scars with art, and thus began her mental, emotional and physical healing.

I loved the writing and the pace of the story. The character development and secondary characters were done really well. One of my favorite things about stories is to watch the evolution of the characters. Here Harper grew stronger and stronger to where she stopped running and fought back. S
Apr 29, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is more like a mini research on tattoo, music, and symbols. It was a good mini research. It provides the background of the story. But the romance is stiff. The conversation between Harper and Trent is shallow and can be edited better. Or add more depth into it. I still do not understand why Trent falling for Harper. It seems insta lust/ love.

Putting aside the research aspect, the romance story is also 1 dimensional. It can be edited adding more layer and twist. I mean I can guess abou
Really quite surprised by how much I enjoyed this one.
With a title like "The Strongest Steel" I went in expecting a bunch of smut. I was so pleasantly surprised how well written it was and the amount of character development. It's so difficult to find good romance books these days that actually develop the characters and work on the build up of the couples relationship.

I thought the hero was so incredibly sweet, patient, and sexy. I also loved the heroine and that she didn't constantly push the
Jessica Alcazar
HOLY BEGEESUS, what did I just read?!?!?! ... Scarlett Cole showed up, she wrote, and she blew me totally out of the water! THAT'S a way to make an entrance!!

5 Strong as Steel stars from this reader for The Strongest Steel!!

Harper Connelly is running. She's running from her ex. She's running from her past. She's running from her demons. She's running for her life! She's decided to cover up the physical scars of her past with a tattoo. Cue .. Trent Andrews.

Trent Andrews is serious book bo
Sidney Halston
Jun 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! First off, the premise was different, with elements of suspense. The hero was my favorite kind of hero-hot sexy alpha but not a jerk. The heroine was just as wonderful. No whineness or self pity. But my favorite part was the writing itself. I've read many tattoo-artist books but this is the 1st that is very much about the actual tattooing and the art and mechanism behind tattooing. I loved that. I also love that it takes place in my hometown (Miami) and it's always cool when I ...more
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Four-time RITA finalist, Scarlett Cole, is a contemporary romantic suspense / contemporary romance author (represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency) who calls both Toronto, Canada and Manchester, England home. A born city dweller, she periodically quashes the urge to live in the country by hiking up a mountain to remind herself that living away from people would terrify the pants off her.


Other books in the series

Second Circle Tattoos (4 books)
  • The Fractured Heart (Second Circle Tattoos, #2)
  • The Purest Hook (Second Circle Tattoos, #3)
  • The Darkest Link (Second Circle Tattoos, #4)

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“Any time. Tattoos and hugs. I’m great at them both.” 13 likes
“Trent Vincent Andrews!” came a voice from inside the condo. “What was that?” Harper jumped. Trent grimaced. The morning was about to get a lot more entertaining. “Are you home, sweetheart?” Harper’s eyes went wide. “Vincent?” Trent jumped off the bed and threw the cover over Harper. “My mom shows up, you’re naked, I have a raging hard-on, and yet you focus on my middle name?” 12 likes
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