Hard As it Gets by Laura Kaye-Review and Blog Tour
Hard As It Gets
Hard Ink #1
by Laura Kaye
Release Date: November 26, 2013
Genre: contemporary, suspense, romance
ABOUT THE BOOK; Release Date November 26, 2013
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..
REVIEW: HARD AS IT GETS is the first instalment in Laura Kaye’s new contemporary, adult, suspense, action-filled, adult HARD INK series focusing on a group of ex special forces soldiers trying to prove their innocence in an Afghanistan military operation that went horribly wrong.
The premise of Hard As It Gets finds Becca Merritt at Hard Ink Tattoo Studio when her computer nerd brother Charlie goes missing and the only clue is a cryptic message to contact Rixey at Hard Ink Tattoo. Nick Rixey is a former special forcers soldier who once served under the command of Becca and Charlie’s father- Colonel Merritt- and wants nothing to do with Becca or her brother. Painful memories and the loss of friends has forced Nick to walk away from the life he once knew and the people he loved. But when Becca’s life is threatened, Nick gathers his former friends for another mission that will bring them one stop closer to clearing their names and uncovering the truth about what happened the year before.
The relationship between Becca and Nick is one of instant attraction but one that is initially subdued because of the circumstances surrounding Nick’s association with Becca’s father and the search for her missing brother. Nick wants Becca but knows that if the truth about what happened in Afghanistan were ever revealed he could lose Becca once her brother has been found.
The storyline is a suspense filled, action packed search and recovery for Becca’s missing brother and the people behind his abduction. Although the ex special forces friends are closer to clearing up their name, they are no closer to finding the people behind the operation and why they were the ones to take the fall. The story ends with the mystery yet to be solved but in doing so will allow each member to be front and center in a future storyline.
Laura Kaye pulls the reader into a heart pounding story about honorable men who have been placed in a dishonorable position because of one man’s greed and struggle for power. We are introduced to the surviving members of the special forcers team-each bearing the emotional and physical scars of that fateful day-and each with their own story to tell. Nick will come face to face with the ‘brothers’ he once served with and fought beside and, realize that pushing them away was the biggest mistake he could have made.
HARD AS IT GETS is a story about betrayal and loss; lovers and friends; retribution and honor. Laura’s grasp of the military life and the day to day struggle of those who survived will make you think about all of the soldiers who have returned only to remember those that they left behind.
Copy supplied by the author/publisher
Reviewed by Sandy
Hey everyone! I’m soooo excited to be celebrating my release of Hard As It Gets, the first book in my new Hard Ink series that follows the surviving members of a disgraced Army Special Forces unit as they follow new leads to uncover the conspiracy that saw them discharged from the military. Running their covert operation out of the back of Nick Rixey’s tattoo parlor, their mission brings them into all-out war against an organized crime ring. Along the way, the team finds love and support in unexpected places—but will they be able to regain their stolen honor?
Today, I wanted to share a sexy excerpt from the book where the action is heating up for Nick and Becca – ahem – enjoy!
Excerpt ~ Chapter 11, just after Becca has survived a kidnapping attempt:
Becca’s insides nearly vibrated with the need to know what the hell Nick wasn’t telling her. She’d hit the edge of her tolerance for any more mystery, even of the tall, dark, and achingly handsome kind.
His lips pressed into a grim line and his eyes flashed. “Becca, let’s just—”
“No.” She stepped right into his space and jabbed a finger into the granite of his chest. “Don’t put me off anymore. I deserve to know. I need to know,” she said, hating the strained pitch of her voice.
His expression went dark and his jaw ticked. She saw it in his eyes the minute he made the decision to spill. Her stomach plummeted to the floor. It was bad. He didn’t need to tell her that much. Everything inside her braced for the onslaught of bad news.
When he spoke, the words were even, straightforward, factual. “Someone ransacked your house. Picked the back door lock again. Went through just about every room.”
The brick walls bent and warped around her, but she shook off the dizziness and forced herself to focus on Nick’s face. His presence was the only thing grounding her. “Why would they do that? Could you tell if anything was missing?”
He shook his head. “The why of it I intend to figure out. I promise you. But the place was too much of a mess to—”
“Take me.” Becca pushed past him and hit the handle on the door.
Arms wrapped around her from behind. “Becca, we—”
“No!” She threw off the hold and scrambled away, her back coming up hard against the wall.
Nick’s expression was a roiling sea of emotion. Surprise. Fear. Anger. Concern. “I’m sorry. What just—”
“That was how he grabbed me.” She swallowed hard and shuddered at the remembered press of the man’s flesh against hers. “I’m sorry,” she rasped, embarrassment heating her face, despair and exhaustion sucking the fight out of her.
He came forward slowly. “Don’t apologize,” he said, his voice cranked tight. “And don’t cry.” His thumb swiped under her eye, once, twice, and then his knuckles caressed her cheekbone. The little touches were comforting, sweet, and she thought maybe he needed to give them as much as she needed to feel them. He tucked the loose strands of her destroyed ponytail behind her ear.
“I’m not crying,” she said despite the wetness plain on her face. She shook her aching head, then pressed her cheek into his hand. “I’m not.”
Introducing Nick and Becca from Hard As It Gets
I am absolutely thrilled to be celebrating the release of my sexy contemporary romance, Hard As It Gets, the first book in my new Hard Ink series. If you like sexy, gritty contemporaries, military heroes and themes, and even a little suspense, Hard As It Gets is the perfect book for you! *grins*
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, the hero and heroine of Hard As It Gets. They just sizzled together on the page and I really enjoyed writing them. I hope you love them, too! So, without further ado, please meet Hard As It Gets’s Nick and Becca:
MEET HERO NICK RIXEY:
Becca’s first impression of Nick:
“I’m Nick Rixey. Who wants to know?”
Becca jumped at the deep sound of the man’s voice. Geez. How long had he been standing there? And, big as he was, how had she not heard him approach? It was like he’d materialized out of thin air.
The surprise of his appearance pounded adrenaline through her system. Her racing pulse had absolutely nothing to do with the bulge of his impressive biceps straining the sleeves of his black T-shirt, the hints of ink just visible on his upper arms, nor with his harsh yet darkly handsome face. And definitely not with the way his jeans hung on those lean hips. Right. Definitely not.
Given who her father was, or had been, this was the type of man she’d expected to find at the end of Charlie’s cryptic note. His dark hair was a little on the long side, but the hard edges and leashed strength of his body clearly read ex-military.
Nick’s Job: Process Server, Part-time Tattoo Artist
3 Words that Describe Nick: Tortured, Alpha, Heroic
3 Things he Loves about Heroine Becca Merritt: Her courage, her compassion, the way she takes away his hurt
Who could play Nick if the book was made into a movie? Tyler Hoechlin hung above my desk for months (in fact, he just may still be there!), so he’s got the look for sure!
MEET HEROINE BECCA MERRITT:
Nick’s first impression of Becca:
Becca Merritt was the all-American girl personified, with her fierce blue eyes and wavy hair the rich color of honey. Bet she tastes as sweet, too. And, damn, that body. It was all he’d been able to do not to gawk at the curves her fitted T-shirt hugged, or trace his eyes over the lace just visible through the thin cotton. It was like the sun had strolled through their front door, casting heat and light all over him. Only the haunted dark circles under her eyes ruined the analogy.
Becca’s Job: ER nurse
3 Words that Describe Becca: Loyal, Compassionate, Strong
3 Things she Loves about Hero Nick Rixey: His intensity (in everything), his strength, his willingness to help her and her brother
Who could play Becca if the book was made into a movie? With her wholesome prettiness, Blake Lively would make a good Becca Merritt!
Do you have a question for either of the characters or their author lady? Ask away and we’d all be happy to chat!
Thanks for reading!
“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”
~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets
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.
The publisher is offering a paper copy of HARD AS IT GETS to 5 (five) lucky readers at the end of the tour.
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