Hard as You Can
by Laura Kaye
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Book #2 in the Hard Ink series
Number of Pages: 384
Source: borrowed from MCL
Romantic Suspense/Military M/F
Read 8/21/19 to 8/22/19
Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.
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.
When we briefly met Crystal in the first book, Hard as It Gets, I knew we hadn’t seen the last of her. This book, the story of Crystal aka Sara and Shane was all I’d thought it would be and then some. The author threw in details to make this more than the story of a good woman stuck in a bad job to protect family. It’s even deeper than that. All the layers to Crystal’s life kept this story interesting and dangerous while making her past decisions make so much sense.
More characters were added to the inner circle of this group, in a way. It remains to be seen if they’ll be a help or hindrance or even continue to be involved in the situation. One character I’m sure will stick around is Crystal’s sister, and I’m really looking forward to when that story plays out. These former Special Forces guys are beyond protective of the women in their lives and I can already feel some sparks flying.
The chemistry between Shane and Crystal was evident from the first book and it just grew each time they ran into each other in this story. The more of Shane’s back story comes out the more I wanted to give that man a hug. And the more I understood his overwhelming need to save Crystal and her sister. But it’s also great to see that all the other guys get just as upset over the things happening to Crystal and all the other women who get mixed up with The Church.
Not only is there still tons of danger for Shane and his Army buddies, but I’m pretty sure Crystal and her sister aren’t out of the woods yet either. But there is still a satisfying conclusion to parts of Crystal’s life. The more I read about these guys the more I want to know.