Also by this author: Lennon Reborn
Series: Second Circle Tattoos #1
Published by St. Martin's Press on July 7th 2015
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Buy on AmazonBuy on Audible
Narrator: Laurel Wilson
Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins

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.



I have been wanting to read this one forever. I’m glad I finally had the time – plus it’s enrolled in the Romance Package on Audible so I grabbed it. As always in my audiobook reviews I start with the narration, which influences the enjoyment of the story. In that regard I have to say it was subpar. There were weird breaks and the narrator has a weird speaking pattern going down with the voice at the end of a sentence and dragging out the last syllables. Adding to that was a screeching and squealing voice that almost did in my eardrums. I’ve listened to this narrator under another alias and that wasn’t too bad so I figure it was one of her early works.

What drew me to this story was that it is about a hot tattoo artist. And the cover. I mean just look at it. Yeah, I’m shallow like that. Trent Andrews and his Second Circle Tattoos studio are well known among tattoo artists. He specializes in inking over scars which I found intriguing and way cool. When Harper Connelly enters his studio he is instantly attracted to the sweet, shy and sexy woman. Harper wants a tattoo on her back, covering hideous scars she has to thank her ex-boyfriend for, who is incarcerated for what he did to her. The extent of her scars ensure that over the course of the next weeks Trent and Harper get to know each other.

Trent was the most patient, sweetest man with a healthy dose of alpha-ness. Over the next couple of weeks he became Harper’s rock. He was there for her, especially after learning her history he wanted nothing more than to protect her and take her pain away. He gave Harper the confidence and the tools to come to terms with her scars. He was just the best.

Harper had gone through hell, and while that left her marked, inside and out, she wanted to get out of the loop that she let her ex-boyfriend’s actions define her. With Trent’s help and love she found her sass and backbone again. She was cute, feisty sometimes and so so brave. I loved to see her opening up and trusting Trent.

The Strongest Steel was a complete winner, story-wise and character-wise. It has action, suspense, an insta-love that actually works and some steam. I’m definitely continuing with this series and I hope that the other books will be made into audiobooks as well, however, I hope that they’d choose another narrator.

About Scarlett Cole

"The tattoo across my right hip says it all really. A Life Less Ordinary. Inked by the amazingly talented Luke Wessman at the Wooster Street Social Club (a.k.a. New York Ink). Why is it important? Well, it sums up my view on life. That we should all aspire to live a life that is less boring, less predictable. Be bold, and do something amazing. I’ve made some crazy choices. I’ve been a car maker, a consultant, and even a senior executive at a large retailer running strategy. Born in England, spent time in the U.S. and Japan, before ending up in Canada where I met my own, personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. Both of us are scorpios! Yeah, I know! Should have checked the astrological signs earlier, but somehow it works for us. We have two amazing kids, who I either could never part with or could easily be convinced to sell on e-bay.

I’ve wanted to be a writer for a really long time. Check through my office cupboards or my computer and you’ll find half written stories and character descriptions everywhere. Now I'm getting the chance to follow that dream.

I am represented by Beth Phelan at The Bent Agency, NY."



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  • That’s too bad for the narrator because as you said it has a huge part in our enjoyment of an audiobook! Now I do agree that Trent is so sweet!!! I read that one before RARE Paris as I wanted to advise readers who went to our booth 😉

    • I really loved the book but the narrator…ugh! I’ll bring this one with me to London 😀

  • I guess I’m shallow too! The cover is pretty smokin’, and I’m also always intrigued by tattoo artists as well – lol! I don’t listen to a lot of audiobooks like you, but I have noticed that some narrators can totally kill a book for me. I’ll try out the ebook – great review dear!

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