Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Elliott Redeemed by Scarlett Cole Release Blitz

A single mom and tortured musician find common ground in Scarlett Cole's Elliott Redeemed, the second standalone romance about the band Preload.

Elliott “Pyro” Dawson burns up the lead guitar like a legend. But the nickname Pyro isn’t just a clever play on words. It’s much darker. A past he's fought like hell to overcome.

Grocery store cashier Kendalee Walker is at her wits end and homeless. She's watched her fourteen-year-old son, Daniel, go so far off the rails, he can no longer see the tracks.

When the two are brought together, attraction flares, but can Elliott find the family he never had with the sexy woman and her son, or will he fall back on dangerous habits?

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

When all the wood was finally stacked next to his clearing, Elliott dove into the lake to cool down. Excitement began to trickle through his veins. Once he was cool, he dried off a little and wandered into the house to get one of the now-cold beers and his box of supplies.

The piano intro to “Pretending” started, and he laughed. Shuffle was reading his fucking mind.

He walked back to the fire pit and put the box down carefully on one of the Muskoka chairs nearby. He took a swig of beer, eyed his supplies, and ran his hand over the rough logs. He’d build a stack of pallets and logs similar to an inukshuk. The Inuit had used them as landmarks, and it would be one for him. It would mark home.

Elliott took his time sorting the logs into pairs of similar sizes and began to cautiously stack them. If they fell over too soon as they burned, it would ruin the effect, so he used some of the smaller pieces to build a frame to stop the logs from rolling. Periodically, he would lay a wooden pallet across the logs. When he’d used up his supplies, the structure was nearly as tall as he was. Need coursed through him. The matches were in the box, calling to him as they always did. The compulsion, the urges were so very strong. But giving into the gratification too soon ruined everything. By holding out, he could convince himself that he was the one in control. And, anyway, lighting it before it was truly dark would ruin the effect.

Forcing himself to put one foot in front of the other, he turned away and walked back into the house to make some supper. He cut up the pre-cooked chicken and served himself some of the ready-made sides he’d picked up at Loblaws, periodically looking out the window to check his structure. It would burn well, the pallets igniting faster than the logs, sending flames high into the air. Elliott took a step toward the door, desperate to strike the first match, but then turned back. He forced himself to grab a fork from the drawer, another beer from the fridge, and the plate from the counter, and wandered outside, taking a seat on the patio.

The sun went down as he ate his fill. Thoughts of Kendalee spending another night in the hospital eating takeout food kept going through his mind, and he wondered what she would think of him if she knew this was the reason he’d had to get out of Toronto for a couple of days.

Why did he think he was capable of helping Daniel when he couldn’t even stop himself? Daniel needed someone stronger than him. Someone who had enough self-control to take the extra few minutes to clean up the dirty dishes from dinner before stepping down toward the pier.

Elliott opened the box reverently, and pulled out his favorite lighter. He loved the sound it made as his thumb ran quickly over its rough surface. At his command, it came to life, a flame snapping high into the dark night. He grabbed four long matches and placed all four tips into the flame at once. They hissed to life, the smell of sulphur filling his nostrils, calming him as much as it excited him.

There was no way he’d ever be good enough for someone like Kendalee. He placed the first long match down in the corner of the fire pit, watching as the kindling took hold. He walked to the next corner and repeated the action, savoring the crackle and snap of the wood in the fire’s path. The heat began to lick at his skin, but he couldn’t step away. He would never be able to tell her why he understood Daniel, and that would always get in the way. He placed a match in the third corner and breathed deeply in a bid to control his heart rate. Moving quickly, he stepped to the fourth corner, but before he placed the match in the tinder, he ran it along the underside of his arm, pausing near his elbow. He grit his teeth tightly as the heat seared his skin. The bite of it cleared all thoughts from his head. Thoughts of the band, the tour, a small boy in the hospital, and a strawberry blonde he wanted to know better. None of them could compete with this.

Delicately, he placed the fourth match down and stepped back. The whole structure roared to life as flames climbed the wood.

Fire would always be his mistress. He didn’t have room for anyone else.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
Triggers: Click HERE to see Mary Jo’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Kendalee is living a mother's worst nightmare. Her child, her son was sexually abused in her home by her husband's identical twin. Compounding that nightmare is the day her son burned their home down, with him still inside.

Her soon to be ex-husband is estranged from Daniel because he didn't believe Daniel when he finally had the courage to tell his parents what was happening to him.

At a time when there are no bright spots in her world, Elliott stops by the burn ward to spend some time with Daniel and forms a connection with him. Elliott likes Daniel and sees a lot of himself in the boy, in the trials that he's facing, and their shared demon: fire.

Elliott has a hard time controlling his urges and love for fire. What started out as a painful memory, fire has now become a way for him to release the demons inside him, even though he knows it’s not healthy.

What Elliott didn't expect was falling for Kendalee. He doesn't care that she's a decade older than he is, what he sees is her heart, her love for child, and how being in her arms calms the demons inside him.

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This was a great story about Elliott and Kendalee. We start out with knowing a little about Elliott – he has a love of fire. Along with his band brothers, they have made it big and now do special events at children's hospitals and the like. When Elliott is asked to go and visit a kid in the hospital, his old fears and anxiety returns. He knows what it's like to be in the hospital, having been abused as a child.

Daniel is hurting physically, emotionally, and mentally. His father has cheated on his mom, left their family six months ago to be with his secretary and essentially left Daniel and Kendalee without anything. Daniel was subjected to abuse from his uncle, his father's identical twin, for several years and when he gathers enough courage to tell his parents, his father doesn't believe him. Despite all that Kendalee has going on, she sticks by her son. Daniel is triggered every time his father tries to see him in the hospital and so Kendalee has to stand firm and tell Adrian that he is only allowed to hear what the doctors know, from the doctors.

While this is all happening, there is the underlying issue that one of the reasons that they are in the situation is because Daniel set fire to the house where the abuse occurred and with that gone, he and his mom are homeless.

In walks a member from Daniel's favorite band – Elliott. Elliott knows what it's like to watch fire burn, smell burned flesh, and how it feels to be abused. He connects with Daniel on a level that nobody else there can do. Elliott is also wildly attracted to Kendalee and the attraction is definitely reciprocated.

We get to watch Elliott figure out how to deal with his own feelings and protect and love both Daniel and Kendalee. Even though there is some drama, this was mostly about learning to deal with the long and buried issues that Elliott has so that he can move forward with Kendalee and Daniel. I do wish that we had more of a resolution in regard to the ex-husband, but overall, this was a very well done story.

I'm very much enjoying the spin-off Preload series! The boys of Preload all grew up together in a group home. They all have their own issues and demons and this story is Elliott's, lead guitarist and diagnosed pyromaniac. Elliott comes from an abusive home and had a rough past.

Kendalee's son, Daniel, is in the burn unit after having set fire to their home after being abused by his uncle. While Elliott is at the hospital meeting with young cancer patients, he's asked to visit a huge fan having issues in the burn unit. Elliott agrees but finds Daniel's issues hit very close to his own.

Elliott also finds Daniel's mother amazing. Kind, caring, and the best mom a kid could want, Elliott finds himself drawn to this small family like a moth to a flame. He will have to come clean about his past and how close his problems mirror Daniel's, but he just wants to enjoy their budding relationship.

Kendalee can’t believe she's attracted to a much younger, heavy metal band member! Elliott is a flirt and a very sexy, confident man. It's nice to have his attention after her lackluster marriage to Daniel's father.

The two together were a great read! Lots of layers both with Daniel and Elliott that gave a huge depth of emotion and the will to overcome the past. I found the story written well and the characters, while flawed, redeeming. Absolutely loved the rock star treatment moment in the hotel between the two characters – HOT! HOT!

Wow. Wow. Wow. I love Scarlett Cole more with each new book. The Preload books are absolutely brilliant and once again, Elliott’s story grabbed me by the heart and refused to let go.

Like the rest of the Preload band members who met in a Toronto group home, Elliott survived horrific childhood trauma before becoming a music superstar. Meeting a fan with a similar history brings the past back to Elliott and he is forced to confront his issues and realise that his coping strategies aren’t very effective.

As a foster carer, the childhood experiences of the Preload guys are a little too familiar. In this story, I love the way the author draws Elliott with both insight and empathy. She doesn’t minimise the effects of trauma and abuse, but she also refuses to make Elliott a victim. He’s a survivor. He’s resilient. And it was impossible for me not to fall in love with him.

I love that Kendalee is considerably older than Elliott. She’s wonderful and she’s also a most improbable partner for a heavy metal star. When we meet her, the single mum is homeless and trying to navigate a series of explosive family problems. She’s a lifelong good girl and a devoted mother. With Kendalee and Elliott coming from such different worlds, the author didn’t need to add any further conflict.

This is as much a story about personal growth as it is a romance. Elliott, Kendalee, and her son Daniel all have to overcome huge obstacles before they can work as a family. This is a gritty, high angst story and I was immediately emotionally invested in all three characters.

As with the previous books, this story is full of potential triggers. The depictions of child abuse are graphic and uncomfortably realistic. Daniel’s burns are distressing. Elliott’s mental health issues aren’t easy to accept or understand. But what I love about these books is the sense of hope, the wonderful friendships, and the chosen family that keeps these men strong.

I don’t think this book would stand alone and I don’t know why anyone would want to miss the previous stories. Readers should start at the beginning of the Second Circle Tattoos series with The Strongest Steel or if they really want to skip to the first Preload book, they should start with Dred’s story The Purest Hook. I have loved all of these books and I can’t wait for the next one.

I adored Jordan Reclaimed, so I had very high expectations for this new installment in the series – well let me tell you, this is at least as good, possibly better, because I was already invested in the group. If you have not read either yet, then you have a huge treat awaiting you.

This book revealed to me that the tortured-soul rock star who has a wide romantic streak for the right woman, is possibly one of the sexiest characters I have ever wanted to... meet – Jordan gave me a hint, but Elliott completely guaranteed it. He is such a credit to Ellen and Maisie. His nascent relationship with Daniel is one of the most lovely that I have read, when potential boyfriend has to bond with son. Oh, more proof of Elliott's unexpected perfection!

I found the fire issues which Elliott has to deal with, exacerbated by Daniel's accident, to be very carefully addressed, and so incredibly moving at times. It was an inspired way to draw him out of the average pampered, rich musician, and give him a huge obstacle to overcome in order to win the woman of his dreams. The support he gets from the rest of the band is epic too.

Kendalee is also well created, as she is someone who is prepared to accept that her previously easy life is gone and she will do anything for her son, even working at a checkout and sleeping in his hospital room. She is also hilarious with her opinion of Preload's music – it made me laugh a lot!

So, if you are ready for a deep, sexy, and still fun read, this should be top of your list.

Also Available in the Preload Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Jordan Reclaimed Blog Tour.

Born in England, Scarlett Cole traveled the world, living in Japan and the United States before settling in Canada where she met her own personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. She now lives with her husband and children in Manchester, England where she's at work on her next book. She is the author of The Strongest Steel.

Connect with Scarlett

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Elliott Redeemed (Preload #2) by Scarlett Cole to read and review for this tour.

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