Series: Second Circle Tattoo #4
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: ARC, NetGalley
Also in this series: The Strongest Steel, The Fractured Heart, The Purest Hook
Also by this author: The Strongest Steel, The Fractured Heart, The Purest Hook, Jordan Reclaimed, Under Fire, Final Siege, Deep Cover
When her car breaks down off the side of a lonely highway far from her sunny Miami home, tattoo artist Lia never expected her very own white knight to ride up on the back of a barely street-legal motorcycle...and she never expected to fall for her dark savior. After a string of failed relationships and a bruised heart, Lia is not looking for forever, and the hot mechanic, with his sexy scruff and shaggy hair, is simply impossible to resist and the perfect candidate for a mind-blowingly-perfect, no-strings-attached one night stand.
Reid left his life in Chicago far behind him and hasn't been back, but he's never been able to escape the guilt he feels about his own painful role in inviting a monster into his baby sister's life. A monster who almost destroyed her. Being with Lia is an unexpected gift, one he doesn't feel he deserves, and their one night together has him wanting more than he should. When he surprises her at her tattoo studio, Second Circle Tattoos, in Miami, he's in for a shock - and a fist to the face - when his past and present collide.
With secrets coming to the surface, Reid and Lia are thrown into a world of betray and lies that threatens to pull them under, and the last link to his former life, may be the darkest of them all.
The Darkest Link
I ADORE this series. So, I am excited to get The Darkest Link. I have been wanting to know more about Lia, and getting to meet Harper’s brother? Yes please!
Lia is an interesting character. Her father is running for governor and wants her to ‘fall in line’. Considering she is a tattoo artist, I don’t imagine thats a request she will honor! She is very into the 50’s pin up look. Honestly, its not my thing and it kind of turned me off her character. I guess because I don’t like reading about anyones specific ‘style’ in that much detail. Then she meets Kenny/Reid. I was SO confused. Sometimes he is Kenny, sometimes he is Reid. I thought these were 2 different characters for a couple of chapters. Lia (AKA Julianna) calls him Kenny, but apparently the guys in the shop call him Reid. Since the book is in 3rd POV it was a bit confusing.
Lia and Kenny’s first meeting gives off the strong 1 night stand vibe. They both think the other is super hot, she is only in town for a day, so why not enjoy it. I was not a fan of it. But, they only kiss, then he leaves. Their whole interaction feels more like a DTF vibe that sort of turns into a long term DTF; I’m not sure I would call it a relationship.
Kenny has had no contact with his sister, so he doesn’t make any connection between his sister’s fiancé and Lia. So, you can kind of see how BAD this could be. Harper has come a long way, but having to face her brother again? Yikes! As you can imagine, it doesn’t go well at first. Then there is CRAZY drama with Lia’s father. Like, WTF kind of drama! Probably my favorite part of The Darkest Link was Harper and Trent. Getting to peek back into their lives and to get some closure into Harper’s story was really nice. Lia and Reid though, fell kind of flat for me.
- POV: 3rd
- Tears: no
- Trope: secret identity, dysfunctional family
- Triggers: Harper was tortured previously and it is mentioned again briefly
- Series/Standalone: Series (you really do need to read at least book 1 first!)
- Cliffhanger: View Spoiler »No « Hide Spoiler
- HEA: View Spoiler »Yes, Reid and Harper make amends and Reid and Lia stay together (to me, it felt more like an HFN). There is an epilogue that gives you a bit of info on all the couples. « Hide Spoiler
From The Darkest Link:
“What is this?” she asked, running her hand over the elongated hood.
“A 1958 Ford Thunderbird. It was a shell when I bought it. Was found in an unused barn with a bunch of other old classics.”
The wheels were black with white faces, and the soft top was a creamy white. Reflections from the chrome cast light onto the white walls.
“I love it,” she said, excited to sit inside.
“Hood up or down?” Kenny asked, slipping her cases into the trunk.
“Oh, most definitely down,” Lia said. Screw the victory rolls, she could always put her hair into a high ponytail and add the red ribbon she had in her purse if her scarf failed. She reached into her bag to find it and tied it around her head.
“I like this,” Kenny said, fingering the knot under her chin gently. The way his eyes crinkled at the corners made her feel all kinds of gooey inside. Perhaps it was a good thing they lived a long drive away from each other. His very presence made it difficult to remember why she was taking some time off from men. But a little harmless flirtation was adding to the adventure of a few days off work. There couldn’t be any harm in that.
Once inside the car, Kenny took her hotel details and plugged them into his phone. “There are few downsides to the classics, but lack of sat-nav has to be one,” he said, turning the radio on. “Ready?”
“I feel like Thelma and Louise about to drive over the edge of the cliff,” she said with a laugh.
“Close. That was a 1966 Ford Thunderbird, eight years younger than this baby. Does that make me J.D.?”
“That depends. Are you planning on driving me to a motel, having your wicked way with me on the dresser, then stealing my life savings?”
“I know a motel, don’t know if they have a dresser, but more than willing to do a drive-by to find out.”
Lia laughed. “I was joking.”
“I wasn’t. Say the word, Red.”
He revved the engine several times, the low growl sexy as all hell, and grinned as he roared out onto the street. Lia watched his hand as he shifted the stick. He caressed the gear stick. The more she stared, the more turned on she became until she had to cross her legs and look out of the window.
Damn him for getting her so hot and bothered. She spared a glance back toward him, just as he turned to face her. And he winked. Because he knew.
And that just turned her on even more.