Series: Preload #1
Published by Swerve on February 28th 2017
Genres: Adult, Artist, Musicians, Romance
Jordan Steele’s life began when he was ten. When he was taken from his parents and a house that was never a home. When he met his brothers, the other lost and abandoned boys in his group home. When he learned what friendship and family and love looked like.
Now he’s made good, touring the world with the band he and his brothers formed in that crowded group home. No one but his found family really knows the man under the fame and fortune, the scars he hides behind the rockstar lifestyle. Until he sees her through the windows of the National Ballet, dancing, and suddenly the world doesn’t seem so dark.
Aleksandra Artemov ticks all the ballet boxes. Father a legendary Kirov dancer. Check. Prepping since birth for classical ballet. Check. Compulsive control over the food she eats. Check. Principal dancer at The National Ballet of Canada. Check. But what she craves is freedom.
She craves Jordan.
Everything about him should terrify her. His size, his tattoos, his edge. But he doesn’t. He stirs her very soul. Jordan has nothing but himself to offer her, and he's never been good enough for anyone. Can he figure out how to face his own demons before he loses his light for good?
From the first ‘meeting’ (if you want to call it that) between Lexi and Jordan, I was hooked. It was like a compulsion, I HAD to know what was going to happen with their story. The only way I can think to describe it is like fate, their meeting just felt right. Like magic brought them to the same place that night and they connected without words. Then to bring that a step further and expand the connection to his music and her dance. Notice a theme? Once again, there were no words. They spoke at the beginning through their art. The hopes and dreams, downfalls and fears, past and present. I’ve always believed that artists can feel things differently than those who are more analytical and I think that Jordan was a superb example of that.
“Thunder and lightning always go together. And you told me that you are the dark to my light. You can hear thunder but you can see lightning, as people hear your music but see me dance.”
Jordan absolutely destroyed my heart. Shredded it, crushed it into the ground, ran over it with a semi and then threw it in a landfill. Pretty inconsiderate, if you ask me, jeez. 😉 But in all seriousness, I have never hurt this badly for a character. Ever. His past was tough to get through. His issues and emotional outbursts were agonizing, but just like what the rest of the band saw, you get glimpses of his heart and that’s where he’s vulnerable. With Lexi is where he’s vulnerable. This is part of what made me fall for him. And on top of that, even after everything he had been through, he just wanted to be able to take care of his ballerina. Lexi in turn was the perfect heroine for a guy like Jordan. She was strong and wouldn’t take no for an answer. She was the light to his dark and what helped pull him back into the sunshine.
“You’re my everything, Aleksandra,” he said. “Everything I didn’t know I wanted or needed. Everything I didn’t think I could have.”
Weird time to bring this up, but I don’t like Sriracha sauce, it’s too hot for me. I won’t even eat salsa that’s spicier than mild because I’m a bit of a wimp. But where my taste buds lack in the appreciation of heat, my reading choices tend to make up for it and Jordan Reclaimed does not disappoint! Muy caliente, this book is hot and I loved it!
I’m a member of the spoiler police, so I would never intentionally spoil a book. What I’m about to say, I don’t think will effect anyone or spoil anything for those who haven’t yet read this story. However, if you hate any and all details, even tiny ones, LOOK AWAY! Don’t yell at me.
THIS IS YOUR WARNING!
The heroine, Lexi has a bit of a problem with self image and eating habits. I get it, being a professional dancer and having your body critiqued constantly would be horrible for anyone, let alone a female. So I could see where the eating issue came from, but I wasn’t a huge fan of how big of a deal it became. I just didn’t understand how it connected with who her character was at the beginning or to Jordan at all. Until the end. Oh good lord above. I had tears. I couldn’t possibly fathom what was happening and how awful and excruciating those memories were. I understand the issues of both characters, the connection this caused and why this hurt so badly. I was absolutely crushed. My heart was smashed into smithereens and I just needed to hug everyone. Even Lennon.
Okay, you’re safe now.
I’m sure a lot of the info (dance) in Jordan Reclaimed was previous knowledge and experience from the author, but you can really feel the amount of effort she put in through research. I can say without a doubt that Scarlett Cole put her heart into every one of these pages. Her love for her craft and her characters is palpable.
I wasn’t expecting you to respond.
That’s what usually happens when you send someone a text.
So I’m meant to respond immediately every time you send a text?
Only if you want to 🙂
Don’t think that’s going to be a problem, Angel.
Something that doesn’t happen too often to me is staying up late to read. I do, but to an extent. I’m not one of those people who can read until the early morning hours, I like my sleep too much! But wow, I had to bargain with myself last night because I couldn’t put this story down. I practically begged myself to stay up and finish it! It was already 1am at this point… 😉
The group dynamic is practically heavenly, too. I can’t wait fir the rest of the series, I just love these guys.
Elliott grinned and kissed Lexi’s cheek. “I’m already in love with you, Lexi,” he said and turned toward the stairs.
“Me, too,” Nikan added, kissing her too.
“Can I kiss her?” asked Lennon.
“Not if you want to keep all your teeth. Fuck off,” Jordan answered.
“Are you happy?” Elliott sang as he took the stairs two at a time.
“Are you satisfied?”
“How long can you stand the heat?” Nikan added, as Lennon pounded on the handrail after him.
“Are they singing Queen?” Lexi asked, watching the three of them jog up the stairs.
“Yeah,” he answered gruffly. Another one bites the dust.
There are so few books that I come across that are set in Toronto, so when I find one, I practically start jumping for joy. There’s such an amazing feeling that comes along with reading a book set in a city that you’re so familiar with. The detail was superb, the setting was fantastic and it just felt so familiar. I could picture the characters walking down Queen Street, or the street cars, or the intersection at Spadina (I refuse to drive through there, it scares me). All of this, simply from Scarlett’s words on a page. I could see what the characters were seeing. Along the same lines, I loved the acknowledgement to Toronto at the end of the book. It was super cute and made my little heart happy. Though, being completely honest, I think Scarlett’s lying when she said that she misses the traffic in the 401. That highway is what nightmares are made of! You can never get anywhere on time.
I love love love Scarlett’s writing, I just can’t say that enough! It’s captivating and expressive as she weaves compelling complexities and dynamics into not only her plot but her characters too. These pages burn with passion, chemistry and heart. I was transported into the Preload world while reading Jordan Reclaimed and I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
“So it’s as simple as that? It’s time for me to become strong?” Maisey put her plate down, reached up to Jordan’s face, and held it. “Oh, Jordan, don’t you see? You’ve always been the strongest one.”
*An ARC was received in exchange for an honest review.