Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Release Day Blitz: Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye (Review)

Title: Hard As It Gets
Series: Hard Ink #1
Author: Laura Kaye
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Setting Location: Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Publisher: Avon Books
Format: Kindle Edition
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Source: Edelweiss
Rating: 5/5

Purchase Here: Kindle

Tagline: Tall, dark, and lethal...

Summary: Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge...


Becca Merrit was sent a cryptic message from her brother telling her to find a member of their father's former Special Forces team, a man named Rixey, and to ask for his help. But when she enters the Hard Ink tattoo parlor and finds Nick Rixey, he wants nothing to do with the situation. She leaves feeling completely hopeless. Nick has his reasons for not getting involved with his former CO's daughter. But after she leaves Hard Ink, Nick can't help but check up on her. What he finds makes him realize that a whole lot more is going on than he first thought. It's a dangerous game they're involved in, with a life in the balance. Nick knows that he needs to gather his former teammates together and reconcile with them is they have any hope of protecting Becca, saving her brother Charlie, and clearing their names in a massive coverup.

As you're reading, there are times when you think you have the whole story figured out, but then something else happens to change all that. There are twists and turns, some expected and others that are a complete surprise. I just really like this story as a whole. The relationships that are formed and those that are reconnected have really strong bonds. The romance was complicated to say the least. The physical attraction was instant, but the feelings of love didn't come so easy. Becca and Nick had a lot to work through, mentally and emotionally. And when things seemed to be getting too serious and heavy, there were moments of humor. Hard As It Gets had a very well-balanced storyline that I enjoyed immensely.

You know, I really liked Nick. He's kind of down on himself, because he feels responsible for what happened to his team. He feels he should have noticed something sooner, and because he didn't half his team lost their lives. But you can see that he deeply cares for those that were lost and those that still remain. If it weren't for Becca entering his life, thought, there are a lot of chances that he would have missed out on. Not only does he find love with Becca, but because of what's happening to her and her brother, he was able to get the remaining members of the team together an reconcile with them the fact that he pretty much abandoned them after they returned stateside.

I really admired Becca. Even though her life is in great danger, she's willing to do anything to find and save her brother, Charlie. Her strength in the face of possibly losing the only family she has left and learning the hard truth about her father is amazing. A lot of people would bow beneath the pressure, but Becca carries it like a champ. And I loved how she was able to gain all the team's respect, knowing what her father did to them.

Shane McCallan, Beckett Murda, Edward Cantrell, and Derek DiMarzio are the remaining members of the team. I liked all of them, but I'd have to say that my favorite team member was Marz. He's probably to most easy-going guy on the team. He suffered the most debilitating injury of those that survived, but he doesn't let that stop him. Then there is Nick's younger brother, Jeremy, and his funny t-shirts. And I can't forget my favorite three-legged puppy. The naming process was really entertaining and the Hard Ink Puppy (I'm not saying her name!) was just so darn adorable. I wish she were my puppy.

I am really looking forward to what happens next in this series. Hard As You Can continues with Shane as the main character. And the same baddies and their nasty plot continue to haunt our Hard Ink heroes. It sounds pretty darn exciting!

About this Author:

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Laura's hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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