By Scarlett Cole
Swerve January 2018
370 pages, Kindle and Paperback
Contemporary Romance, Second Chance Romance
I received a complimentary copy of this from Swerve and NetGalley. This is my voluntary review in which all opinions are my own. I am not being compensated in any way.
I read and reviewed Jordan Reclaimed, the first book in the series back when it came out. And I loved it. I haven’t read the second book, Elliot Redeemed, but you can be sure I’ll be looking for it now that I’ve read this one. When I was first offered this book by the rep, it didn’t ring a bell with me what series it was. Once I saw the book cover and read the synopsis, I had more bells going off in my head than I could listen to! I remembered reading Jordan Reclaimed and meeting the boys of the house and Jordan and his beautiful ballerina’s romance. I put it in the schedule and had to wait to read it. Finally, it was time.
This book is certainly no disappointment. The story itself has a few weak spots in it and the pace is a bit wobbly in just a couple of places. Otherwise, this is everything you could wish for. Great characters with wonderful interaction and tension that keeps on pulling at your heartstrings through the whole thing.
Ellen, the “house mother” for this house full of boys has broken her leg and is out of the picture for a while. Jenny McKade is her substitute. Jenny used to live there in Toronto and know Ellen and her wife Maisey when she was in a similar house for girls after her mother and sister died and her father was put in prison. She was in a relationship with one of the boys who was in the house then, Nikan.
Nikan is now grown up and still living close by. Still involved with Ellen, Maisey, and the boys in the house. Nikan’s band is made up of “boys” from the house. They have all stayed involved with the house boys. Ten years ago, when the band went on tour, Nikan made a mistake. He cheated on Jenny. She left and hasn’t been seen or heard from since. Until now, that is. Neither one of them is quite prepared when the door opens and they face each other for the first time in a decade.
Jenny has a lot going on in her life. She’s getting her first chance to be evaluated for having her own “home”. How well she does while substituting for Ellen will really make or break her career in social services. She’s just gotten a letter telling her that her father has been moved into the general prison community due to how well he is doing and that he would like to see her to answer her questions. Then she gets another letter from him saying he is dying. Her father was the cult leader who poured poison into her mother and others. Something Jenny can’t forgive. On top of all this, she knows that Nikan and the band are still involved with the house and that she will have to deal with him at some point. Him and her feelings for him.
Nikan is also going through a rough time. He’s recently had some old videos stolen and released that are more than personal and the press just won’t leave them alone. He’s purchased an old house and is living in it while it’s being demo’d and reno’d. A genealogy TV show is after him to be on the show and reveal his family story. He’s not sure he wants to reveal that much of himself and his family’s pain. He’s been feeling unlike himself for a while. He’s always been the parent figure in this group of young men. He’s always been the peacekeeper, the solution finder, the reasonable one. But lately, he feels like he needs more. “But as always he didn’t want to burden any of them with his shit. He’d hidden his real feelings about just about everything for as long as he could remember.” And now Jenny’s back.
The author does a magnificent job of dealing with all this emotional entanglement and the various pressures on this young couple. She adds in the elements of the boys in the home with the social services situation and the group issue being dealt with by the band with master strokes. Scarlett Cole writes some of the best complex books I’ve enjoyed. That’s why I need to go back and read the second book as soon as I can. Missing part of this story just isn’t an option. I highly recommend Nikan Rebuilt to romance readers who enjoy helping those in the dark find the light.