Wowzers, where have you been, Scarlett Cole? I was working yesterday with nothing to do, so I was checking out book lists by other readers on GoodReads with similar tastes as mine and came across this one. The price was right, I hadn’t read any by this author, the storyline sounded good. So I took a chance. I started it as soon as I got home from work and simply couldn’t put it down. I ran out of juice on two iPads reading. I ignored CNN, something I haven’t really been able to do since Trump entered the election (it’s like watching a continuous loop of train crashes. You don’t want to watch, but it’s almost impossible not to). This book blew me out of the water. I read it until well into the night, knowing I’d be working the next day, but I couldn’t not finish it. There are SO many things to love about it, I’m not even sure where to start. So I’ll start with Jordan, the hero.
He truly breaks your heart. He’s the bassist of a very popular heavy metal group named Preload, and they’re very successful now. But his history is horrendous. He was locked in an attic when he was a very small child and kept there until he was finally found at age 10. He had no light, no company, nothing. He was never allowed out of the attic, but his ‘father’ had no problem going into the attic and beating poor Jordan. In fact, he didn’t even have a name until he was rescued and a warm-hearted social worker gave him a name. When he was discovered, he was put into foster care but that didn’t work. He was small and skinny with no social skills and was bullied mercilessly, until he was finally put into a group home where he bonded tightly with four other teenage boys who had also been mistreated. In fact, they are who have formed the band.
Jordan is left with all kinds of issues. Fear of abandonment is one of them, and, because of this, the other four band members and Jordan all live in the same house. One of them, Dred Zander (who happens to have his own book in a previous series and one I was absolutely delighted to discover I already own), is planning on moving out and Jordan is freaking. Although he knows it’s irrational, he needs to know where they all are all the time. One of his coping mechanisms is walking. He’s walking one evening with his very young honorary niece when he walks past a dance studio and he sees a young woman dancing. He’s mesmerized by her beauty and her talent, and for a brief time he forgets all his issues. Because he’s also a composer, when he gets home he writes a song for her to dance to.
They meet and it’s like each other has found their other half. Aleksandra Artemov is a ballet dancer with the National Ballet of Canada. Her father was a ballet dancer, who defected from Russia, until he injured himself to the extent he couldn’t dance any longer. So instead he devotes himself to Lexi’s career to the point of abusiveness.
There is such a connection between Jordan and Lexi, but Jordan doesn’t think he’s worthy of her because of all his issues. But other than letting her father walk all over her, she is very strong and nothing that Jordan does or says frightens her away.
So! Why do I love this book so much? First reason is Jordan. He is so damaged that you just want to hug him and hold him and not let him go. Even though he’s this famous rock star, it hasn’t gone to his head at all. In fact, he’s even uncomfortable spending money despite the millions he has. He’s never had any kind of relationship with a woman before, so he has no idea how it works. Though he’s had sex with random women, considering he’s this big musician, he’s not a dog about it. He is quite your atypical rock star.
Lexi is the next reason. I just want to hug her too. She is so there for Jordan. Nothing he does or says fazes her. The only thing she wants is for him to ‘talk’ to her, when one of his trigger raises its ugly head, because he has a tendency to just run off. She has ‘daddy issues,’ but they are completely understandable and she doesn’t escape her own struggles. It’s so heartwarming when Jordan stands up for her.
The world of ballet. I love ballet. In fact, I could so relate near the beginning of the book when she dances the Nutcracker near Christmas. I DID THAT! Not the dancing, of course, but a number of years ago I went to see the National Ballet of Canada perform in Toronto and it was around Christmas. While I don’t know all the dances mentioned, I was familiar enough. I’m a big fan of – or rather I was – of So You Think You Can Dance, so I could really understand Alex’s desire to break out and dance some contemporary dances. The fact that Jordan understood that about her was special.
The book is set in Toronto, Ontario and many of the places she mentions I know of, since it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump from where I live, so it was cool that I knew the streets.
This review is longer than I normally do, but I’m just so excited about this book and all the future books in this series I got carried away writing this review. The book is selling for $1.99 on Amazon and I really can’t recommend it high enough
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?
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: