The Darkest Link by Scarlett Cole

Blurb:
30111779When 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.

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My Review:
3.5 stars — I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review/opinion.

This is going to be an unfortunately scattered review, b/c due to stuff happening in my personal life, this book just took me longer to read than I was expecting…so I was never really given the opportunity to get sucked in fully.  And sure, that could have been about the book itself, but I really think it was more a me thing.  I enjoyed what I read, I just wasn’t invested b/c I kept getting interrupted.

Even though I don’t subscribe to the same beauty standards as Lia, I adored all her 50s pinup girl goodness.  She rocked that look and all that went with it.  I really enjoyed the glimpses into her character, her childhood with her tyrannical father, and how it shaped her into who she became.  My heart broke for the child she was, and how her father’s verbal abuse kind of screwed her up.  It’s strange though, b/c I felt more of that for the first half of the book, and then the second half of the book I really didn’t see as much depth in Lia…but that could have been just me.  It’s like the book got caught up in the suspense part, and left the character growth part behind.

I must say that I’m not sure the twin dying in the womb thing really was necessary…it was mentioned once and didn’t really seem to affect her at all, so it seemed superfluous.  And I feel like she really didn’t need to have an older brother, otherwise I felt like he should have played some role.  No one ever talks to him, he doesn’t play into her memories at all, and I just kept wondering why he didn’t know what was going on and hadn’t also wanted to protect the mother.  In my opinion the story read as though she was an only child, so it just seems like the author should have expanded the story, or changed the details.

Reid was pretty cool too, but I felt the same lack of depth with him.  Why was he friends with Nathan?  Was Nathan different before?  We got some glimpses of his depth with his guilt over what happened with his sister, but for some reason I wanted more.  I guess I just can’t always pin down who he was.  But again, I’m having a hard time trusting my judgement b/c I couldn’t read it straight through.  Little things bothered me, like why would he go by Kenny?  Was he hiding?  And the moments when he called Harper Taylor didn’t feel authentic whoops times, b/c he would consistently call her Harper in his head.  I would assume he would mix it up in his head more.  Little nitpicky things basically.

For surface stuff this book was fabulous.  Great suspense story, even if I did guess who the culprit was.  Loved the chemistry and sexy times between Lia and Reid.  Loved the interactions with the other Second Circle series characters, even if I’ve only read the first book…  There’s great friend chemistry there, you know?  Makes me want to read the others, book 3 in particular.  I want to learn about Dred, Pixie and Petal.

So with all that nitpicking, I really did enjoy the book.  I just apparently get picky when I start writing reviews.  I was initially rounding up to 4 stars even, but reading that all over, maybe this is more of a round down to 3.  If you go into it looking more towards suspense and sexytimes, you won’t be disappointed.  It’s just that characters are my favourite part, and I wanted a bit more from them…

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12 thoughts on “The Darkest Link by Scarlett Cole

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