Mon
Aug 21 2017 8:30am

First Look: Scarlett Cole’s Elliott Redeemed (August 29, 2017)

Elliott Redeemed by Scarlett Cole

Scarlett Cole
Elliott Redeemed (Preload #2)
Swerve / August 29, 2017 / $15.99 print, $4.99 digital 

Scarlett Cole skillfully writes heartrending, emotionally wounded heroes with tragic pasts, and if you’re a fan of broody, haunted, angsty men, you’ll fall in love with Elliott Dawson in Elliott Redeemed, the second, stand-alone book in the Preload series. Elliott is complicated, flawed, enigmatic, and sensitive, and he will both break and win your heart. He’s brought to life by Ms. Cole’s evocative writing style, and this happily-ever-after is particularly memorable and deeply satisfying.

Elliott had a horrific childhood in which he experienced unimaginable cruelties. He found stability and friendship in a group home when he was a teenager and he’s now twenty-seven and a famous guitarist for the mega-successful rock band Preload. On the surface, he has everything anyone could ever ask for, but he’s physically and emotionally scarred, burdened by the weight of bad memories, and struggles to cope when he feels overwhelmed. He’s living with intense internal chaos, and readers will find themselves overcome with emotion as we are allowed into Elliott’s inner turmoil.

“He was anxious. Negative thoughts were on a constant loop, running through his head night and day, putting chaos and turmoil he felt into words, challenging him to do things he shouldn’t.”

We begin to understand more about Elliott and see a glimpse of his thoughtful, gentle nature when he agrees to visit a children’s hospital as part of an altruistic endeavor by his band, especially considering that he hates hospital environments and worries that visiting one might involuntarily trigger him.

“He hated going. He hated doctors and—he was ashamed to admit to himself—he hated patients more. It was impossible to deal with their pain.”

During Elliott’s visit to the hospital, he meets Kendalee Walker and her fourteen-year old son Daniel, who was severally burned on thirty-five percent of his body, and it feels as though fate is playing its hand. He’s mesmerized by Kendalee and drawn to her troubled, wounded son, but he worries that getting to know them could be the worst thing for him personally.

“Perhaps helping the kid work through his demons would help Elliott think through his own. Or perhaps it would push him over the edge.”

Ultimately, Elliott cannot resist Kendalee. He instinctively wants to support her through this difficult time, relieve her of some of her burdens, and shield her from some of her pain. He begins doing sweet and considerate things for her and quietly woos her—and the reader—in the process, and it’s breathtakingly romantic to witness.

Elliott feels everything deeply, and his evolving relationship with Kendalee challenges him at every turn and on every level, making him question if he will be able to ever be whole enough to truly be there for her and Daniel—no matter how much he desperately wants to be.

“Fire would always be his mistress. He didn’t have room for anyone else.”

Truthfully, Elliott and Kendalee’s relationship sometimes feels improbable and potentially doomed, but Ms. Cole deftly lays a solid foundation and meticulously develops a beautiful, deep connection between them. Emotion vibrates off the page as we take this turbulent, difficult, and joyous journey with them. The reader will be invested in Elliott and rooting for him to conquer his demons, seize the promise of a new beginning, and find peace with his past

Elliott Redeemed makes the impossible feel possible, and it is the quintessential story of a tortured hero falling in love, healing, and finding solace. Ms. Cole’s writing powerfully conveys Elliott’s complexity making this an honest, heartwarming, and gripping romance. I adore Elliott and Elliott Redeemed, and I believe you will, too. 

***

Learn more about or pre-order a copy of Elliott Redeemed by Scarlett Cole, available August 29, 2017:

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When she's not reading, Mary can be found teaching spinning, crunching numbers, blogging or hovering over her teenager. She's always looking to add to my keeper shelf.

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