Everything changed when I walked into my father’s office that day eight years ago. I lost everything, my home, my family, even myself.
I’m not the same girl I was back then. I’ve spent every day sharpening my broken edges to turn them into weapons. I embraced the chaos in my soul and now my heart beats to thunder and my blood flows with electricity.
The only thing keeping me alive? Knowing that I’ll wreck havoc on the ones who tore me apart.
I’ve built my throne with blood and grown my kingdom with violence. Now I’m ready to tear theirs down. I’ve gained the money, power and the skills to do it. The only thing I can’t do?
But it’s okay. I have rules for that.
Shattered Chaos is the first book in the contemporary new adult series, Steel Roses. It is a reverse harem, meaning the female protagonist has three or more love interests and will not be forced to choose. It is intended for mature audiences and contains themes of violence and revenge, high steam, and foul language.
The prologue of this book takes place eight years prior. It contains a pretty horrific back story for Scar. I have to say I was hooked before I got to the first chapter.
We begin with a bit more back story but only eight months. Scar has gone to Steel Roses her friend had bailed on her, but she loves the environment, the flirting and dancing. A brief encounter outside while smoking perks my curiosity even more.
When she goes inside we learn she is something more than just a customer here as she heads directly to the VIP area. We meet Luca the owner and apparently her boss and one of only two people who knows her history. While she sometimes bartends and occasionally dances, it’s Luca who challenges her to dance when she’s not expecting to. Where she dances is also interesting as is the dance and Luca’s reactions.
It’s after the dancing that had me finding one of my favorite scenes.
“What’s up, Stranger?” I smile, feeling more like myself now that I’m not in Luca’s arms.
“Luca on your roster?” he asks.
I shake my head, looking at Luca from the corner of my eye, he looks confused at the familiarity the stranger is addressing me with, “Luca is just,” I hesitate, “Luca,” I shrug not really sure how else to explain it.
Stranger laughs, “Well shit, if that’s how you treat guys not even on your roster, I can’t wait to see how you treat the guys that are.”
I grin, “You may never find out.”
He clutches his hands to his chest as if I’ve wounded him, “Are you saying you don’t think I can impress you?”
I shrug, “Well you already got two strikes against you.”
Luca is looking back and forth between us probably trying to figure out how we know each other.
“Oh,” the stranger chuckles, “and pray tell, what are these strikes against me?”
“Well, you know Luca,” I say pointing to my boss who still looks confused, “and you’re too,” I hesitate trying to figure out exactly how to word it as I gesticulate up and down in his direction, “preppy looking,” I finally finish.
“Preppy?” Luca chokes out, cracking up at the same time the stranger gasps, feigning outrage.
“Wait, seriously?” Luca asks.
I just nod and shrug before checking my nails. Luca starts cracking up as he pulls me back into his side, wrapping his arm around me.
“Well, it’s clear you have no idea who you’re talking to,” he looks up at the stranger and asks, “Did you recognize her or are you just as clueless?”
The stranger shakes his head, “No, sorry man. I didn’t realize she was one of your dancers, let alone your favorite dancer. We met up outside and talked for a bit.”
Luca starts cracking up again, “Oh, this is great.” I look up at him trying to figure out exactly what it is he is so entertained by.
“Okay, Stormy,” he says, placing an odd amount of emphasis on my stage name. I raise my brow at him, but he just squeezes me tighter to him, not bothering to hide his amusement at all.
The stranger looks just as confused as I do. “This is Kade,” Luca continues gesturing to his friend before continuing, “He’s one of my cage fighters.”
Oh, well that explains why they both looked so confused at me calling him preppy, it also explains that dangerous vibe I got from him.
“We’ve known each other for a long time,” Luca continues, again placing an odd amount of emphasis but this time on the word long. I just stare at Luca, trying to figure out what exactly he’s trying to tell me.
“We met in foster care,” he continues.
I gasp, “No!”
Luca starts chuckling again as I’m finally putting it together. I look back at the stranger and start examining him all over again from head to toe. My eyes are drawn back to the scar on his cheek and gasp again. My fingers trail down my own cheek where his scar is. I was there when he got that scar. He got it defending me.
“Kade?” I whisper. I haven’t seen him since just after my eighteenth birthday when I left the group home we met in. He’s looking back and forth between me and Luca, obviously not recognizing me, not that I blame him. My own mother wouldn’t recognize me if she were still around to see me.
Now I understand why Luca is so amused, Kade is never going to believe it’s me. I lean more into Luca, letting a small smile spread across my face.
“Kade, I don’t know if you remember her,” I roll my eyes. He’s just being an ass now. Kade will remember me, he just won’t believe it’s me, “This is Letty.”
Kade’s mouth drops open and he starts perusing me the same way I just did to him. His eyes lingering at my still unbuttoned pants before moving up to examine the tattoos that only partially cover my scars. His eyes stop at the bottom of my sweatshirt where just the end of my chest scar from open heart surgery is visible.
“Letty?” he whispers, shaking his head. “No, Letty disappeared after she left.”
I wince, “I go by Scar, now.”
He cracks up, “There is no way you are the Letty I know,” he says, continuing to shake his head.
“There’s no fucking way.”
He looks at Luca who is shaking with silent laughter.
“Sorry for disappearing,” I say shrugging, not really knowing what else to say. I did disappear on him. He has every reason to hate me.
“No, no, no,” he says, still shaking his head at us, “There’s no fucking way. Letty was a goody two shoes who never drank, was soft spoken, liked pink and had light brown hair,”
“Dirty blonde,” I interrupt.
He cracks up and pulls me out of Luca’s arms spinning me in circles, “Holy fuck, it really is you!” he exclaims before putting me back down, “How are you the girl next door that I used to know? I can’t believe it. You used to wear your hair in pigtails.”
I finally laugh, realizing he doesn’t hate me, “Guilty.”
He presses his fingers tips at the base of my chest scar and moves his fingers up under my sweatshirt, “It’s really you, Letty?”
I laugh and nod, “It’s really me. Just a little different, nowadays.”
“Oh yeah, just a little?” Luca laughs.
Kade gestures between the two of us, “Oh, this dynamic makes so much more sense now,” he laughs.
I roll my eyes but Luca just shrugs. We’ve always had a strange relationship, flirting between the line of friendship and something more. He came into my life at the very lowest point and I leaned too much on him during that time. And ever since, if I’m being honest. If I was capable of falling in love with anyone, it would probably be Luca. Which is exactly why we both push the other away when we get too close and we’ve always been like that. Running from the inferno that threatens to consume us both every time we get too close.
Kade runs his thumb absentmindedly along the scar on his face, the one he got defending me.
“So,” he starts, staring at me, “I have to say. Now that I know who you are, I feel like I’ve done enough to earn a spot on your roster,” he finishes with a click of his tongue.
I start laughing but before I can even respond to him Luca is asking, “What roster do you keep referring to, man?”
I look over at him wondering how he’s going to respond. Luca knows I sleep around, we talk about it every so often, but I don’t think he’s ever had to actually meet any of my flavors of the month. I decide to just stick with honesty, I’ve never lied to Luca and don’t want to start now.
“Kade has been referring to the guys I’m currently fucking as being on my roster,” I shrug but don’t look at either of them. I must be looking uncomfortable because Candy walks by and passes me a beer with a wink.
Bless her soul.
Luca laughs it off, but I don’t miss how he slightly shifts towards me, Kade doesn’t miss it either. Kade raises an eyebrow at me but I just shrug and start sipping on my beer. The tension is almost unbearable, and I drink half my beer as the three of us just stand there staring at each other. Luca keeps scrunching his hands into fists like he’s holding himself back from reaching out to grab me again. Kade is just looking back and forth between us trying to figure us both out.
“Well,” I start as I lean towards Kade and run my finger down the path of his scar, “as partial as I am to this particular scar, you know too much about me for me to fuck you,” I shrug, “sorry about that.”
Luca starts laughing, “I know your rules, Scar,” he starts before hesitating looking back and forth between me and Kade, “but I would actually give him a shot.”
I think my jaw actually hits the floor. I have no response and I just stare at him waiting for the just kidding, but it never comes.
“What?” he asks, “He’s just as emotionally stunted as you are.”
Most people would probably take offense to that, but I can’t because it’s entirely true. I don’t do complicated and I definitely don’t do feelings. I do fun and I do sex. I don’t really care about hurting other people’s feelings or using people for their bodies. I’m upfront about it. Luca is one of the only people I still feel anything other than lust for, and while I don’t want to jump into a relationship with him either, I don’t want to hurt him.
“You’re kidding, right?” I ask at the same time Kade asks, “Is this some kind of test?”
Bee, Samantha . Shattered Chaos (Steel Roses Book 1). Kindle Locations (338-405). Kindle Edition.
There is a lot more to the relationship with Luca, but I totally get it. Now Kade is another story entirely as is Scar’s ‘real’ job.
We meet her tattoo artists Mikey and Ronan as her and Kade get tattoos to mark them being together again. Then we meet, Ian, Holden and Ty at the gym and Scar has a job to do for Rachel, a dealer gone rogue, it’s just one of many things Scar does. All this before we get to the present day.
The underground work Scar does and the men who help her are quite the team. She is the most brutal though and those that feel her wrath are most deserving of it. This is where we meet Joe.
We meet the men that will capture her heart in spite of the way she locks it up. There is Luca of course and Kade. Noah we meet in a fun way, and Ryder in a totally different scenario.
Plenty of sizzle, action, suspense, intrigue, laughter, tears and so much more, I can’t wait to read Deadly Chaos. I’m really glad that one is out, since this one does have a bit of a cliffhanger ending.
5 Contented Purrs for Samantha!
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Born and raised in California, Samantha Bee lives for coffee, cheesecake, and chaos. She seems to attract psychos and can be needy and dramatic. However, those things get channeled to her muse in order to create dark and sexy worlds.