Series: Second Circle Tattoos #2
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 5, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
All things, when placed under pressure, eventually break or leave a mark.
Tattoo artist Brody "Cujo" Matthews knows how to keep things simple. In life and in love. Abandoned as a child by a mother who refused to stick around to raise three boys she didn't want, he's intent on staying clear of complicated women. The only things complicated in Cujo’s life are the killer tattoos he designs and inks. That all changes when he’s asked to help organize his best friend Trent's engagement party, which means working with Trent's fiancée's best friend, Drea, the definition of high maintenance and sizzling curves. And the one woman he doesn’t want to walk away from.
Andrea "Drea" Caron is broke and tired. After years of caring for her ailing mom, she's at the end of her rope trying to manage the piling medical bills, two jobs, and a life placed on hold. She certainly doesn’t need the added frustration of a sexy playboy tattoo artist messing up her best friend’s engagement party or her carefully balanced life. But when Drea witnesses the abduction of a woman from the café she works at, she can’t help but turn to Cujo who’s determined to prove to Drea that he’s someone she can count on forever…but as they attempt to bring the truth to light, someone is working to bring that forever to a sudden, deadly halt.
The Fractured Heart marked my long-awaited return to the Second Circle Tattoos series. Thankfully SCole was appearing at RARE Paris which gave me the push I needed to finish this amazing series.
The Fractured Heart revolved around Cujo – co-owner of Second Circle Tattoos – and Drea. These two! I couldn’t wait for their story and to get to know them better. Their verbal sparring is so much fun and makes it seem as though they’re oil and water. However, they’re more like gas & match – and watching them work towards combustion was awesome. Getting better acquainted with them, seeing all they’ve been through and continue to endure, was heartbreaking. It also explained a lot about them. Their experiences became something for them to bond over. I appreciated the growth they both experienced in order to make their relationship work. Not only do we get Cujo and Drea’s story but we also spend time with Trent and Harper (from book 1) as well as Pixie and Lia, who also work at Second Circle Tattoos.
I’m not gonna lie – there was a lot going on in The Fractured Heart. I admired how SCole incorporated the different elements – wove in the sub-plots so well. It all just flowed together and just worked.
SCole did well with the suspense element too. I liked the social issue she tacked and how she wrapped that into the plot. And although the resolution was a little too easy, I also appreciated how it was woven into Drea’s character growth.
As I mentioned, these two had sparks flying via their snarky banter. But they both had a lot to work through – abandonment issues, health problems. There were times I wanted to smack Cujo but I also understood where he was coming from. Witnessing their feelings blossom was a delight though and I loved where they ended up.
The Fractured Heart was wholly satisfying overall and I was thrilled with my return into this world. So much so that I dove straight into #3!