Release day is finally here! And I’m thrilled to share Hard As You Can, the second book in my Hard Ink series, with all of you here today! Hard As You Can follows the surviving members of a disgraced Army Special Forces team as they fight to regain their stolen honor, and finds their investigation crossing paths with a waitress willing to do whatever it takes to stay alive and protect her younger sister. For Shane McCallan, saving Crystal Dean is a mission he refuses to turn down.
“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”
~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets
About Hard As You Can:
Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.
Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He's exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can--and never let go.
Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I've been dying to finally read one of Laura Kaye's books after hearing so many wonderful reviews & recommendations, so I figured what better way to start then with the Hard Ink Series?! Obviously I started with Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink, #1) (and LOVED it) which is where we are originally introduced to this amazing cast of characters. While you could potentially pick up Hard As You can without reading the first book, I definitely don't recommend it because there is an ongoing story line that carries right into book 2 and you will end up confused. And why would you want to miss out on getting to know Nick Rixley?!
In this next installment of the Hard Ink Series we meet Crystal, a waitress at Confessions, a bar/strip club that also caters to darker fantasies. Obviously this isn't Crystal's dream job, she's only working there in an attempt to pay off the debt her father, an Apostle in Church's gang, incurred while alive. So not only does he leave Crystal to clean up his mess she's now also in charge of caring for her sister, Jenna who was frequent seizures. The love she has for her sister is immeasurable so it's not even a job or hassle in Crystal's eyes, but the medical costs are outrageous causing her to rely on her abusive and controlling "boyfriend" Bruno, who happens to be the Director of Security for Church.Crystal is basically just biding her time until she's ready and able to make an escape. She's been saving money and will hopefully soon have just enough for herself and Jenna to take off and start over some place new, far away from Church, Bruno and the dangerous lifestyle she's been a part of.
Enter Shane McCallan. *BOOK 1 SPOILER* While on a mission to rescue Becca's brother Charlie, who mysteriously disappeared, Shane runs into a startled Crystal who inadvertently points him in the direction of where the injured man is being held captive. She realizes what she's done though as she runs into Shane once again, this time wearing a mask and fleeing the club with Charlie in tow. Even though their meeting and exchange of words was very brief Shane can't stop thinking about her. He sees something in Crystal that needs rescuing, and with as much guilt as he's carrying on his shoulders, it's almost his mission to help her. In an attempt to further uncover what Becca and Charlie's father was up to and exactly what kind of dirty business is going on at Confessions, Shane tries to keep the lines of communication open with Crystal…both for informational purposes but also to satisfy his ever growing hunger…for her.
So here's what I love. Hard As You Can picks up pretty much where Hard As It Gets left off. There's no annoyingly long, drawn out recap, you just jump right into the story. We get all of the same cast members from book 1 except for the new additions of Crystal and Jenna, even though Crystal isn't all that new. Both novels contain an unbelievable amount of action, intrigue, drama, romance and emotions that will tug at your heart strings and keep you glued to your seat until the very last page.
I enjoyed Ms. Kaye's writing style and was seriously impressed that even the unedited ARC I received to review was pretty much flawless. The characters are deep and easy to connect with emotionally, she really brings them to life right before your eyes. The story flows perfectly, and each scene has a purpose. You won't be getting any fluff or fillers in a novel by Ms. Kaye, just plenty of story!
I would highly recommend this series and can't wait to read more books by Laura Kaye!
View all my reviews
About Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal 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.