Monday, April 13, 2015

Hard to Be Good (Hard Ink #3.5) by Laura Kaye: Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway


Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever.

Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way.

With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good...

Releases: April 14, 2015

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Jeremy pressed his lips to Charlie’s ear. “Can I touch you?”

Charlie nodded. “Yes.”

“Anywhere?” Jeremy asked.

A shiver passed over Charlie’s body. And damn if that wasn’t sexy as hell. “Please,” he whispered.

Slowly, Jeremy ran his hands down Charlie’s chest, then his sides, until he could finally do what he’d yearned to do this morning—burrow under the T-shirt and touch him skin to skin.

Charlie sucked in a breath at the contact, and the sound both aroused and cautioned Jeremy not to go too fast. He had no idea what kind of experience Charlie might have under his belt, but nothing about him read as a casual-sex-kinda guy. Unlike Jeremy, for whom sex was unquestionably his favorite form of exercise. No better reason to get hot and sweaty.

He dragged his fingertips up Charlie’s stomach to his chest, loving the feeling of his muscles jumping and twitching, until he exposed his nipples. Light blond hair thinly covered the center of the man’s chest, and Jeremy licked his lips as a yearning to taste flooded through him.

“Take it off,” Jeremy said. They worked the shirt off together.

“Yours, too,” Charlie said, his words shaky and quiet. Like he was nervous. Or unsure.

Jeremy ditched his shirt in an instant, and his skin heated at how Charlie’s gaze appeared to drink in all of the art covering Jer’s body. “Look at me,” Jeremy said. Blue eyes cut up to his. “How can I put you at ease? Because you don’t ever have to be uncomfortable with me. You have something to say? I will listen. You want something? Ask. You need something? I will gladly give it. Every damn time.”

“Okay,” Charlie said, his tongue flicking over his bottom lip. “Then don’t stop.”

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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Review by Yvette:

Of all the books in the Hard Ink series, Hard to Be Good is the one I looked forward to the most, not just because it's an M/M novel, but because protagonists Jeremy Rixey and Charlie Merritt are both characters that I, as a fan of the series, already know and love. I even did a re-read of Hard to Come By, partly to refresh my memory about what had happened but mostly to overanalyze every interaction between Charlie and Jeremy and to revel in the fact that I'd be reading their story next. The anticipation of reading this book was almost as satisfying as actually reading it. Almost…

What I love about Laura Kaye is that, even when writing a novella, she always manages to write a complete story, packing in so much in such a short time that I was honestly shocked when reminded that it’s been a mere two weeks since the chronological start of the series. Charlie and Jeremy have known each other for two weeks yet the bond they’ve developed is evident in their every interaction – every shared laugh over Jeremy’s innuendo-laden t-shirt collection, every look of understanding that passes between them, and every touch that passes a current electricity from one of them to the other. Hard to Be Good explores Charlie and Jeremy’s budding relationship and delves further into the minds of these characters, baring their insecurities and revealing their innermost thoughts. I loved getting to experience all the different facets of these characters, whether positive or negative because they opened up to each other in a way that they wouldn’t have with anyone else.

Hard to Be Good is undoubtedly emotionally compelling, but it is also hands down the sexiest book of the series. I would've been perfectly happy reading scene after scene of off-the-charts steamy man-on-man action but I guess they "had" to take a break at some point or I might have spontaneously combusted. There wasn't much advancement in terms of the overarching narrative but I didn't mind because it was nice to take a bit of a break from the action and suspense and focus on the romance between Jeremy and Charlie. After going into this story with absurdly high expectations – not just because of who it was about but because each book in the series is impossibly better than the last – I was thrilled to discover that Hard to Be Good was a sweet, sensual, and captivating new addition to the Hard Ink series.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars

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