Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Release Event & Review: Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink #1) by Laura Kaye


Tall, dark, and lethal...

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...

Buy the Hard Ink series on Amazon:


 I have yet to read a novel by Laura Kaye that I didn't love, and, although I don’t read many thrillers, Hard As It Gets is yet another amazing book by the author. The first installment in the Hard Ink series is fast-paced and suspenseful, blending action and intrigue with a hotter than hot romance between a tortured soldier-turned tattoo artist named Nick Rixey and his sweet but sassy love interest, Becca Merritt. The action-packed plot involving a government conspiracy and the resulting cover-up set me on edge from the start with an unknown threat, holding my interest through the continuously unfolding drama and making it almost impossible to put the book down until its conclusion.

The connection between Nick and Becca is instant, their chemistry obvious from the initial meeting. Because circumstances prevent them from succumbing to their mutual attraction, the sexual tension slowly builds until it’s almost unbearable but the love scenes are definitely worth the wait. Reading the book from both Nick’s and Becca’s perspectives helped me to better understand and connect with their characters. It was particularly crucial to know what Nick was thinking because of all the secrecy shrouding his past.

What I love about the book is that, even amidst all the chaos, there’s still time to develop the romance between the two main protagonists. Nick and Becca work well as a couple first and foremost because they respect each other. Nick is an Alpha male with a commanding presence and Becca is his ideal counterpart because, even in such a stressful and chaotic situation, she remains strong and level-headed. Rather than stepping aside to let Nick and his friends handle matters, she prefers to be in the thick of things, doing what she can to uncover the mystery surrounding her brother's disappearance. I appreciated the fact that Becca doesn't adhere to the damsel in distress stereotype, but instead confronts danger alongside Nick.

Laura Kaye has always been exceptional with character development, but I especially appreciated the detailed descriptions of not just Nick and Becca, but the entire cast of characters, who will continue to appear throughout the series. Although Hard As It Gets ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, leaving many unanswered questions to the increasingly-complicated mystery surrounding Nick's special forces team, the romance between Nick and Becca is not one of the issues left unresolved. The series will continue the ongoing investigation, picking up with another prospective couple introduced in book one. After having gotten to know each member of the team, I’m anxious to read their individual stories. 

Rating: 5 Stars

About the Author:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in paranormal and contemporary romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She 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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