Nikan can never be complete. He’s got a rock group made up of the family he built for himself, more money than he knows what to do with, and a stream of groupies falling over themselves to date him. But none of them are her. The one regret that still plagues him, still taunts him with what he could have had.
Jenny is a survivor. Now running a group home after overcoming life in a cult lead by her manipulative father and watching her mother drink the poison he fed his followers, she fights to keep the light in the eyes of every boy who walks through her doors. Far from simple young love, Nik taught her to trust, showed her how good life could be. Before he formed the band. Before he became a famous rockstar. Before he destroyed it all.
A chance meeting after years of no contact shows the connection still blazes between them. But will they have their second chance at love? Or will the weight of their past crush their future together?
Source: Netgalley My Rating: 5/5 stars
I am never going to get tired of this series and assigning 5 stars to Scarlett Cole’s books! Nikan Rebuilt isn’t just another book in the series, the next installment, but a fantastic read about a broken man looking for something he’s been able to give so many others in his life for so many years.
From the moment the Preload boys came together as friends in their group home, Nikan has been the center of the group, the one who mediates the disputes, the one who brings peace, and keeps the boys in line and on track. From the very beginning, Nikan has taken his “mother hen” role seriously, but lately, it has become more exhausting, more trying, and he simply doesn’t know how to tell his family he’s had enough.
As Nikan is struggling with his present, his past also come screaming back in the form of the only woman he has ever loved, Jenny. After a seriously ill-conceived incident in their youth, Nikan lost Jenny and for nearly a decade has had no contact with her. Jenny’s reentry into Nikan’s world hasn’t turned it upside at all, but presented him with an opportunity to set things right and win back the woman he simply can’t live without. But, like everything else in Nikan’s life, wooing Jenny is going to take time, effort, and sincere dedication to the task at hand. Like everything else in Nikan’s life that he’s earned, the time, effort, and dedication are absolutely worth it!
Wanting and needing Jenny are like wanting and needing his next breath and Nikan throws all that he is into making up for his mistakes and apologizing to her. With every interaction/encounter they deal with a bit more of their shared past, the hurts that have brought them to the present, and the possibility of a real future together. Jenny is the only thing that truly makes sense to Nikan in his current state and when things go sideways with her, yet again, the volcano that is Nikan and has been dormant for so many years erupts. The explosion is incredible to behold and takes everyone in Nikan’s life by surprise. The thread that has always held the group together has come unraveled and if some serious adjustments aren’t made, Nikan is prepared to leave it all behind.
The Bottom Line: I totally appreciate there are others in this series beyond the Preload boys, but the reads always have been and always will about the boys for me. Seriously, Scarlett Cole, what happened to you in your life to be able to write such damaged, broken, near-defeated yet kind, caring, and somehow still emotionally available characters? That is one hell of a combination and Nikan seems to epitomize the description. From the moment this book opens, you expect a spectacular explosion from Nikan and he certainly doesn’t disappoint. What’s even better than the explosion? The love, friendship, and compassion found among his friends to hear Nikan out and adjust to help their friend. What could have been horribly selfish behavior is instead a pure moment of what family is all about and that is why I continue to adore this series. I can’t make you read Scarlett Cole, but I can tell you she’s on my top ten list every year and so, so worth your dollars and cents! Go forth and one-click, dear reader, it will be worth it 😊
Excerpt from Nikan Rebuilt (Book #3: Preload Series):
Nik took the towels out of her hands and placed them on the dryer. “Hey, come here,” he said as he reached for her hands. “Talk to me.”
She wasn’t ready to, not least because she didn’t understand the swirl of feelings sweeping through her. To put into words for Nik exactly how that felt was impossible. “I’m fine, I’m good. I just have a lot to do here now.”
Nik placed his finger under her chin and raised her eyes so she was forced to look at him. “I think we can safely say that lies have no place between us. So, I’ll tell you what I’m thinking, and then you can tell me what you’re thinking. Okay?”
Jenny sighed and nodded. “Okay.”
“I didn’t come here tonight expecting to kiss you like this. I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it, but I know I have a lot of work to do to prove myself to you. But seeing you laugh, and seeing you look at me, just for a moment, without the pain I caused you in your eyes . . . Well, I don’t even know how to begin to explain what that felt like to me—except that I didn’t want to be away from you for another moment, and that it felt like a new beginning of sorts. If there’s any doubt in your mind about what that kiss did to me, I’d encourage you to touch me and check, but I think that might be a step too far, given where we are. Now it’s your turn.”
His words made her stomach flip, and despite her best efforts she was filled with a warm and fuzzy feeling. She looked over to the staircase again to check that nobody was within earshot. “We’re coming at this new friendship . . . relationship . . . from two completely different places. I’m mad at myself for letting you get this close to me again. It’s reckless to fall for you all over again and I know it. But when you stand so close to me, I can . . .” Crap. How could she explain that the way the smell of him, and the heat of him, and the proximity of him, and the touch of him took her straight back to that time and place where she wholeheartedly loved him?
“You can what?” Nik asked, moving his hands to her hips.
“I can remember us. Before.”
Copyright © 2017 Scarlett Cole
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About the author and where to find her:
The tattoo across my right hip says it all really. A Life Less Ordinary. Inked by the amazingly talented Luke Wessman at the Wooster Street Social Club (a.k.a. New York Ink). Why is it important? Well, it sums up my view on life. That we should all aspire to live a life that is less boring, less predictable. Be bold, and do something amazing. I’ve made some crazy choices. I’ve been a car maker, a consultant, and even a senior executive at a large retailer running strategy. Born in England, spent time in the U.S. and Japan, before ending up in Canada were I met my own, personal hero – all six and a half feet of him. Both of us are scorpios! Yeah, I know! Should have checked the astrological signs earlier, but somehow it works for us. We have two amazing kids, who I either could never part with or could easily be convinced to sell on e-bay.