Hard as It Gets
by Laura Kaye
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Book #1 in the Hard Ink series
Number of Pages: 360
Source: borrowed from MCL
Romantic Suspense/Military M/F
Read 7/17/19 to 7/20/19
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.
Sometimes a reader randomly comes across an author that piques their interest and ends up finding gold. I recently decided to make more of an effort to read some of the books I’ve downloaded for free from Amazon through the years, figuring I’d start with shorter stories and anthology books so I could possibly find more authors to follow. (As if I need more books on my TBR list!) One such book was called Three of a Kind and included a short story by this author titled Theirs to Take, part of the author’s Blasphemy series. I really enjoyed that story, but I couldn’t readily or easily get the first book in that particular series so I decided to check out this series, Hard Ink. OMG you guys. I loved this book! I really love everything about this story from the setting, the plot, the characters, the chemistry…all of it!
I’ll be honest, the feelings between Becca and Nick develops super-fast. But it works. The author writes their chemistry perfectly. The pull they have toward one another, the fight to resist that pull, the moments here and there when they give in only to quickly pull back. Of course, the high stress situations they find themselves in also add to their heightened feelings.
As well as the main characters having such a wonderful connection, the other relationships in this story are fun and interesting. Nick’s brother is funny and smart and kind. When we start to meet members of Nick’s old special forces unit, that dynamic is riveting. The tension is high but slowly thaws, step by step, until you can see how these men are all truly brothers.
Warning: this story is not over when the book is over. I wouldn’t call it a total cliff hanger since we get to experience a sort of conclusion to Becca’s initial problem and the Nick/Becca relationship. But there’s still so much to find out. Like one of the characters says toward the end, it feels like answering one question opened up so many more questions. I, for one, cannot wait to go along for this ride.