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Series: Hard Ink

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Blog Tour: Review + Excerpt: Hard as Steel by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Hard as Steel - Review & Excerpt Tour - banner

 

I’m excited to be able to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Laura Kaye’s HARD AS STEEL!! HARD AS STEEL is a Hard Ink/Raven Riders Crossover Series Novella brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. It is due to be released on September 22, 2015! Grab your copy of this sexy novella today!

 

Hard as Steel

Amazon eBook ** Amazon Paperback

Review

During one of the books in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series we learn that one of Jeremy’s employees had her apartment broken into by the big bad trying to take down our fearless warriors. In the book, we learn that another employee Ike Young (who is also a member of the Raven Riders who are assisting in the big take down) takes Jess out of town for her protection. Hard as Steel tells their story of when they are away and acts as a bridge between Kaye’s two series, Hard Ink and Raven Riders. Its a quick read and can be read in about an hour or so and I was really looking forward to it. However, I ended up being disappointed as there wasn’t much substance to it. Especially since for most of the novella the two main characters were sick. Talk about unsexy!

Then when they were both well they went at it like rabbits and it was just too much. I’m no prude but it just didn’t fit with the story. Most of the book was spent with Ike trying to push Jess away and then all of a sudden you blink and they are declaring their love and then its the non-stop sex. Or maybe the declaration comes during a break…it all ends up as a blur if I’m honest. Hard as Steel had a slow start and then a rushed finished and like the previous novellas in the Hard Ink series really doesn’t add anything to the story. We don’t really learn anything new about the Raven Riders nor is there any plot development to the Hard Ink series. Its a story that just kind of hangs there in between with no real purpose. As an introduction to Laura Kaye’s writing this one might be good but I just expected something a little more from it.

irishdarkblue

Excerpt

I’m thrilled to be here celebrating the release of my 21st book, HARD AS STEEL! After a midnight break-in at her apartment, close friends and Hard Ink Tattoo co-workers Ike Young and Jessica Jakes are forced into hiding—and forced to confront the feelings they’ve always denied for one another. I have always adored friends-to-lovers and forced proximity stories, and HARD AS STEEL delivers that and more, including a taste of both my award-winning and best-selling Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series! Check out this excerpt:

“Any better?” Ike asked, sitting on the edge of the bed.

Jess peered up at him. “A little.”

His eyes narrowed. “You’re still cold now, aren’t you?”

She shivered and pulled the cover tighter around her shoulder. “Yeah.”

“Fuck.” Ike scrubbed a hand over his bald head and mumbled something she couldn’t quite make out. “Maybe I shouldn’t have put you in the tub after all.”

“I think it was the right thing, Ike. I was so out of it. It is better than it was before.” She worked at a small smile. No matter how bad she felt, the last thing she wanted was to make him feel bad given everything he was doing for her. As if he hadn’t already gone out of his way in giving her a place of refuge and his personal protection for as long as she needed it, now he had to play freaking nursemaid to a sicky. Which, on top of everything, was super attractive.

The only upside to that ice-cold bath was that Ike had gotten wet and tossed his shirt, and Jess thought she might be willing to be sick more often if it meant getting to see him shirtless. Because, holy bad-ass tattooed biker on a stick, he was so freaking hot. Cut muscles, ink everywhere, two insanely delicious indents low on his waist. And scars Jess had never seen before and had no idea how Ike had gotten.

All that goodness and Jess couldn’t even see the big Ravens tat that she knew covered Ike’s broad back. But she’d seen it before, back at Hard Ink when Jeremy occasionally did a new piece for Ike. She’d seen it enough to know that she’d love to have a good reason to dig her fingers into that tat…

Oh, for fuck’s sake, even sick she couldn’t stop fantasizing about what it would be like to be with Ike. Just once.

“Jess?”

Her gaze snapped to his eyes. “Huh?” Hopefully the warmth crawling up her cheeks would pass for a fevered flush. Because she was so busted.

“I, uh, asked if you thought it would help if I got in with you.” The expression he wore said he was dubious about the idea.

And as much as Jess loved the idea, she didn’t want him doing anything with her that he didn’t really want to do. “That’s okay. Why don’t you go get some sleep now? It’s gotta be almost morning.”

He looked at her for a long moment, and then he tapped his hand against her arm. “Scoot over.”

“Ike—”

“Damnit, scoot your scrawny ass over already.” He cocked an eyebrow, humor sliding into his eyes.

“Well, I’ll scoot over,” she said as she made herself move. “But you and I both know there ain’t anything scrawny about my ass.”

“Jessica?” Ike said as he got in next to her wearing only his jeans.

“Yeah?” The minute he was down, she nearly dove into the crook of his body, her forehead against his neck, her breasts against his ribs, her bare legs intertwined with his denim-clad ones. She wasn’t sure where to put her hand, because the not-sick part of her brain wanted to touch him everywhere right now oh my god I’m in bed with Ike! But she settled for resting it on his chest, the hair on his pecs ticklish against her fingers.

“Shut up and go to sleep.” He took the edge off the words by clasping her hand in his and pressing it more firmly to his skin.

“Be nice to me. I’m sick,” she said, burrowing in further.

Ike wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her tighter against him. God, he felt good, warm and hard and strong. “Woman,” he said, his voice full of gravel. “This is me being nice.”

Tour Stops

Laura Kaye’s HARD AS STEEL – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

September 23rd

The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt

What I’m Reading – Review & Excerpt

Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt

Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review

JB’s Book Obsession – Excerpt

Love Affair with an e-Reader – Review

Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt

September 24th

Coffee-Books-Life Blog – Review & Excerpt

East Coast Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt

Obsessive Reading Disorder – Review & Excerpt

Blushing Reads – Review & Excerpt

Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt

Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt

Kelsey’s Corner Time – Review & Excerpt

Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt

A little fiction of every flavour – Review & Excerpt

Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust – Review & Excerpt

September 25th

Naughty Book Eden – Excerpt

Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review & Excerpt

Deluged with Books Cafe – Review & Excerpt

What Is That Book About – Excerpt

mignonmykel : reviews – Review & Excerpt

Adventures in Writing – Excerpt

Hot Guys in Books – Review & Excerpt

JordansBookReviews – Excerpt

Books According to Abby – Review & Excerpt

September 26th

Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt

I Heart YA Books – Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt

Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess – Review & Excerpt

A Tasty Read Book Reviews – Review

Ashleyz Wonderland – Excerpt

Those Crazy Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt

September 27th

Ramblings From This
Chick
– Review

Connected by Books – Excerpt

Ripe For Reader – Review

Inner Goddess – Review & Excerpt

Cocktails and Books – Excerpt

Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt

Ticket To Anywhere – Review & Excerpt

My Favorite Things – Review

September 28th

MrsLeif’s Two Fangs About It – Review

Echoing Books – Review & Excerpt

Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt

Edible Pages Book Blog – Review

Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt

The Book Reading Gals – Review & Excerpt

My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt

Romancing the Readers – Review

Bewitching bibliophile – Review

September 29th

Obsessed With Myshelf – Review & Excerpt

Sultry, Steamy Reading – Review & Excerpt

Love Affair With Fiction – Excerpt

Feeling Fictional – Review

Alleskelle Blogs – Review & Excerpt

Becky’s Book Bytes – Review & Excerpt

Teatime and Books – Excerpt

September 30th

Wickedcoolflight.net – Review & Excerpt

The Fairest of All Book Reviews – Review

Typical Distractions – Review & Excerpt

Booklover Sue – Excerpt

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt

The book obsessed momma – Review

Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt

We stole your book boyfriend – Review & Excerpt

Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt

October 1st

Books Need TLC – Review

The Book Junkie – Review

Bitten By Love – Excerpt

Sweet Reads: You’re In For A Treat – Review & Excerpt

Sofia Loves Books – Review

Viviana, Enchantress of Books – Review

Confessions of a Bookfreak – Review & Excerpt

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

October 2nd

Somewhere Lost in Books – Review & Excerpt

Cupcakes and Vodka Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

Grownupfangirl – Excerpt

My Book Snack – Review & Excerpt

Talking Books Blog – Review & Excerpt

Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt

Once Untold – Review & Excerpt

G & T Indie Café – Excerpt

Brooklynn Gibbs – Excerpt

 

Fashinable muscular man with tattooes on grey background

 

 

About HARD AS STEEL: A Hard Ink/Raven Riders Crossover Novella

After identifying her employer’s dangerous enemies, Jessica Jakes takes refuge at the compound of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. Fellow Hard Ink tattooist and Raven leader Ike Young promises to keep Jess safe for as long as it takes, which would be perfect if his close, personal, round-the-clock protection didn’t make it so hard to hide just how much she wants him—and always has.

Ike Young loved and lost a woman in trouble once before. The last thing he needs is alone time with the sexiest and feistiest woman he’s ever known, one he’s purposely kept at a distance for years. Now, Ike’s not sure he can keep his hands or his heart to himself—or that he even wants to anymore. And that means he has to do whatever it takes to hold on to Jess forever.

 

Hard As Steel - Tour Teaser 2

 

 

 

Author PhotoAbout Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. 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.

 

 

 

Website | Facebook |Twitter | Newsletter SignUp | HARD AS STEEL on Goodreads

 

Hard As Steel - Available Now

 

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Review: Hard to Let Go by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Hard to Let Go by Laura KayeHard to Let Go by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 30 June 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Suspense, War & Military
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): The warehouse was an abandoned shell.

Hard to Let Go by Laura Kaye is the final book in her crazy pants Hard Ink series and features Beckett Murda and Kat Rixey who we first meet briefly in the previous book, Hard to Come By (my review). As with the previous full length novel, Hard to Let Go takes place in about a weeks time and so there is a lot of suspension of belief to the story given that the whole series ARC takes place in around a months time. Add to these complexities the fact that Kat is the sister of Murda’s very good friend and commander who is fighting some demons of her own because crazy motorcycle gang bangers were not enough to this whole storyline. Not to mention the set up for Kaye’s next series which will feature the good motorcycle gang, the Raven Riders (Goodreads link). Which I will probably read because sometimes you just need a little crazy pants action in the books you read.

As with most of the couples, Kat and Beckett have an instant attraction but they try to hide it by being all gruff and standoffish with each other. Partly because of Kat’s brother and partly because they are dealing with gangs that shoot rocket launchers at them. (Rocket launchers!! Seriously, I can’t get over that from Hard to Come By). There is also continuing investigation into the overall story ARC which just never really held up in this final installment in the series. The previous books were all leading up to this big crazy reveal but in the end it just sort of lost steam and fizzled out. I expected something more, something flashier and so was disappointed in the end. Not to mention that Hard to Let Go seemed to be more hurry up and wait than any of the previous books so it was a slower read than the others.

Baltimore, MD -- The glow of the city lights begin to equalize after the sun sets in a view from the top of the Domino Sugars refinery, above the inner harbor Thursday, Jun. 20, 2013. (Karl Merton Ferron/Baltimore Sun Staff) [] (_1D34072.JPG)] COPYBLOCK: I had no time to waste. Knowing how fast the sun actually sets, I quickly assessed what angles might reveal good moments in time lapse, bearing in mind to also look for telling images of the skyline from the unusual perspective of being at the base of the Domino Sugars sign.  With two Nikon cameras, one GoPro, and a Lumix FZ200 in tow, I set three of the cameras to capture by intervalometer, at 2-3 seconds per frame. The FZ200 churned out HD video clips, but the files were later compressed in post at about 1000x live speed. In all, there were 13 different angles captured, with cameras being moved about on the roof an behind the steel frame of the neon sign, with little time to enjoy being in a place where few people gain access. My iPhone 4s recorded panoramic images, capturing a 180-degree image from the glowing neon icon to the inner harbor skyline, and then back from the cityscape to the sign as the exposure balanced between light source and sky at dusk. Using the two images created an almost seamless turn-around to show how the scene looked if spinning clockwise, capping off the shoot.

Hard to Let Go also added all these extra complexities to the who reason behind the units framing and dishonorable discharge that even with all the belief suspension that I’d done previously (I mean rocket launchers…in Baltimore!!) was just sort of tossed out the window. I rolled my eyes a lot in this book, not that I didn’t with the others, but there was a lot more of me mumbling “seriously?!” as I turned the pages in the story. Then there was the whole subplot of Kat’s that was just a distraction and diverted much needed words and attention for the big bad rocket launcher using baddies. Which made for a rushed and unsatisfying ending.

Hard to Let Go isn’t a book that I’d recommend to everyone as its not really a great story. Its rushed and unrealistic but there is something addictive about it all the same. The sex scenes are hot, though not as numerous as in some romance books, but the akward dialogue moments often ruin the moment. With Hard to Let Go I found it hard to connect with Kat and Murda and didn’t really care either way if they got together in the end out not. It just seemed a bit like more of the same rushed romance that we’d seen in the three other books of this novel. All the love interests all met and fell head over heels in a matter of days all while under intense outside pressures that its hard to imagine them lasting for any length of time. I definitely prefer the slow build romance over what Kaye brought to the table with her Hard Ink series and yet I was compelled to read every book. This series will never be a favorite and I will probably never re-read it but the thought of rocket launchers going off in Baltimore will always make me giggle. And sometimes that’s all you need in a book.

irishdarkblue

 

 

IR - Hard as it Gets

 

Add Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

Add Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood to Goodreads. (Click here for my review.)

 

three-stars
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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Mini Review: Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Mini Review: Hard to Be Good by Laura KayeHard to be Good by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 14 April 2015
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, GLBT, Love & Romance, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella
Pages: 160
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): Jeremy Rixey stood in front of the ruins of half of the warehouse building he owned in east Baltimore – his home for the past four years, and wondered what the hell had happened to his life.

Hard to be Good is a short novella in Laura Kaye’s crazy pants Hard Ink series and it tells the story of Charlie and Jeremy. Charlie is Becca’s brother and Jeremy is Nick’s, both who had their story told in the first book in the series, Hard as it Gets (my review)Hard to be Good picks up hours after the events in Hard to Come By (my review) end and nothing in this story really adds to the over crazy pants story arc. This is just a short little vignette that brings Charlie and Jeremy together as a couple which is something that has been in the works since the beginning. These two have danced around each other as secondary characters in the other books and it was nice to get into their heads for a bit.

Both of these characters made my heart ache as they struggled with their feelings unsure of where the other stood. Though, I felt that this story lacked depth and seemed to focus on the sexy times more so than the emotional bonding moments that make you really cheer for a couple to get together. Not that I didn’t want Charlie and Jeremy to find their happily ever after because I did. I’ve been hoping since they first met that they would fall in love. And in many ways Charlie and Jeremy have a longer courtship than any other couple in the series even if theirs is one of the shorter stories.

Hard to be Good is a quick read and can be skipped if you just want to dive back into this whole crazy world that Laura Kaye has created. I for one though did enjoy the little break from the crazy times and enjoyed this installment in the series.

irishdarkblue

Hard to be Good Quote

 

three-stars
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Review: Hard to Come By by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Hard to Come By by Laura KayeHard to Come By by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 25 November 2014
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Friendship, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Politics & Intrigue, War & Military
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland // Annapolis

First Line(s): Derek DiMarzio was going bat-shit crazy.

Hard to Come By is the third book in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series about a group of 5 ex-military men and the crazy pants mob and drug war that they find themselves in after being framed and dishonorably discharged. Hard to Come By picks up almost immediately after the previous book ends and is a direct continuation of the story even though the POVs are different. This is definitely a series that you need to read in order or be totally lost at what is happening. Because a lot happens in each book. Seriously, this series is totally crazy pants with its over the top story lines but its also oddly addicting and I find myself unable to put the books down once I pick them up.

A couple of things that have started to grate on my nerves with this series is the repetitiveness and the cheesy dialogue. I get that there are times when a general recap of events or who people are is needed and if its a one and done I’m good. But it seemed like every time a certain character was talked about Kaye went into his whole backstory and what happened in previous books and it was just overkill. The same was done with details that were just talked about a few chapters before or even a few paragraphs above. It just made me sigh and seemed like a waste of words. Words that could have been better used to move the overall story arc along. Because there is a lot of detail in this crazy pants story and each new book in the series just seems to add more crazy instead of less.

Hard to Come By Quote

Like in Hard to Come By there is a rocket launcher used against them. Let’s pause a moment to wrap our brains around that. A rocket launcher. A rocket launcher used in downtown Baltimore. Seriously. I can not make this stuff up! And while this whole series is crazy and over the top it all somehow works. Much like the Die Hard movies work even as Bruce Willis is using a car to take out a helicopter. Hard to Come By is filled with this crazy action sequences that would do any action movie proud. Yes its a bit ridiculous but at the same time the escape from reality can be a nice break.

Although, I do kind of wish that more time was given between moving from one event to the next. From the start of the series in Hard As it Gets (my review) to this book its been about 2 weeks. And by the end of Hard to Come By another week has gone by. So there is a lot going on in a very short amount of time which is fine for the overall story arc but its pushing things a bit with the romance portion of the story. Each of these characters has pretty much met and fallen in love with their significant other in the span of a week. In the case of Marz and Emilie its more like 3 days, not even as they mostly meet over dinner before things go postal. All in all though, crazy pants storyline aside this is a fun series and worth it as long as you suspend much belief and just want to be entertained.

irishdarkblue

IR - Hard as it Gets

Add Hard as it Gets  (Hard Ink, Book 1) by Laura Kaye to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Do or Die by Suzanne Brockmann to Goodreads. (Click here for my review)

Add Heartbreaker by Julie Garwood to Goodreads. (Click here for my reivew)

three-stars
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Hard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Hard to Hold on To by Laura KayeHard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 19 August 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, People of Color, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 208
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): As the black F150 truck shot through the night-darkened streets of one of Baltimore’s grittiest neighborhoods, Edward Cantrell cradled the unconscious woman in his arms like she was the only thing tethering him to life.

Hard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye is the most recent book in her Hard Ink series which involves a group of 5 ex-military team members who are working to clear their name after a betrayal of their commander. Each book in the series needs to be read in order as each book builds upon events that happened previously. We are first introduced to Edward Cantrell, Easy, in the first book and I was looking forward to his story. However, I was very disappointed to learn that rather than get a full book like all the other team members, his story was only going to be a novella and I am left to wonder why. Granted to have so many books that happen in only a few days with two characters falling madly in love does stretch credibility so I might have had issue with that. Though as this is a novella where characters fall in love even faster that too stretches the realm of probability so if we’re going to deal with unrealistic timelines then I would have rather had this one exist as a full length book.

The other books in the series founded themselves on being more than just a love story and had this crazy, over the top storyline that they were dealing with and Hard to Hold on To didn’t do anything to add to the overall storyline. This book does deal with a little bit of post-traumatic stress of Jenna as she recovers from her kidnapping in book 2 but it doesn’t really go very deep into the potential ramifications of that. Though I did like the connection and bonding that this incident brought between Jenna and Easy. And I did enjoy the little cameos from the rest of the team as well. Since Hard to Hold on To is a novella its a very quick read and there isn’t a lot of substance to it since it is just Jenna and Easy’s trip to a HEA.

While this one doesn’t add to the overall story ARC I don’t think that it can be skipped entirely though if a reader does skip it they won’t be missing much at all. Which is part of why I think that Jenna and Easy got the shaft and its a shame that their story was almost an after thought to the series as a whole. I just feel that there was so much potential wasted here and some psychological issues for both Easy and Jenna that could have been explored/addressed that could have taken up a longer book even without making an addition to the Church storyline. So while I enjoyed this novella I was also very disappointed by it.

irishdarkblue

Hard to hold on to quote

three-stars
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Friday, February 28, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Blog Tour, Review0 Comments

Blog Tour Review: Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye

Blog Tour Review: Hard As You Can by Laura KayeHard As You Can by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink, Book 2
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 25 February 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Love & Romance, Suspense, War & Military
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): Crystal Dean hurried out of the private party room and let the fake smile drop off her face.

Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye picks up a little before the first book in the series, Hard As It Gets, ends. It begins with Crystal’s POV and you learn a bit about about the mysterious girl who assisted the former Special Forces team and as you can imagine life isn’t all sunshine and roses for our heroine. She of course attracts the attention of Shane McCallen, a member of the team, who like Nick Rixey can’t get the vulnerable beauty out of his head and its not long before he’s helping her get out of a bad situation just as she helps him in return.

Events move more quickly in Hard As You Can than they do in the first book as you already have a good background on the story and so this one just continues to build on that mystery. This means that unlike many contemporary romance series you really need to read the first book before you can read the next one. If you don’t you’ll be completely and utterly lost. This isn’t always a bad thing as I do like a continuing story line but the one in the Hard Ink series is borderline ridiculous at times and it just seems to grow exponentially in each book. What started as a military cover up and hidden bank account is now a full on war with the biggest mobster in Maryland which somehow these five guys are going to bring down as they work to clear their name. Not to mention the addition of a rogue motorcycle gang because really military men, damsels in distress, and mobsters weren’t enough to carry the tale.

While I may have rolled my eyes a lot during my read of Hard As You Can and wondered at the infinite amount of money that Nurse Becca seems to have at her disposal I did like Shane and Crystal’s story better. They just felt a bit more real and genuine and its because of them that I managed to make my way to the end of the book. As there were times the story got bogged down with pointless details and asides before the crazy rush to end and yet not end the book. And while I did like Crystal and Shane I do feel as though their romance was rushed. The events of this story happen over just a few days (much like its predecessor) and in the end the two main characters are professing their love for each other. Now while I can get myself to believe in one whirlwind romance it is hard to believe it happening twice, at the nearly the same time, with people in the same group of friends. Especially since these are big tough alpha men who won’t let no woman tie them down for this reason or another.

This is part of where all the sighing (not the happy heart achy sighs) and the eye rolling came in. Its just hard to take this book seriously even as its trying to be all serious and suspenseful. For me, it would have been better if more time had elapsed between the first book and the second. And more time between the start of the book and the end. And maybe even more time between my read of the first book and this one. I think I may have read them too close together and that might have clouded my brain a bit. This is not a series that I would recommend for people to wait until all books are out and then just blitz read them. Its one that needs a gap of time between so you can forget some of the details of what came before to help bring the realism back to the story. While I didn’t love this book and find it flawed I am still curious to see what happens next and so will most likely pick up the third book in the series.

irishdarkblue

 

 

 

“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.

 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.

Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets

Buy Hard As You Can at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo


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.

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three-stars
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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Review: Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Hard As It Gets by Laura KayeHard As It Gets by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 26 November 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Family, Love & Romance, Mystery & Detective, Suspense, War & Military
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As You Can, Hard to Hold on To, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): Becca Merritt stepped through the heavy industrial door and into another world.

Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye is the first book in her Hard Ink series which is about a group of six ex-military alpha males who were dishonorably discharged but find themselves coming back together in order to clear their name. In the first book we’re introduced to all the military men and learn a bit of their backstory as they help Becca try to find her brother. At first Nick Rixey is reluctant to help as it was Becca’s father that caused all the issues for his army team but as with all romances there was just something about her vulnerability he couldn’t forget and so he was compelled to help her.

For me, Hard As It Gets was a bit slow. There is a whole lot of sitting around and talking about all the angst the various characters were feeling and not much doing of things. The main characters don’t even sleep together until more than half way through the book. Though this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as the whole book does take place over just a few days. So, Nick and Becca’s falling in love and finding their happily for now was one of the many things that you just had to accept as it certainly wasn’t realistic.

The whole plot of the book was also borderline realistic and while it might have worked as an action film the fact that the main story was completely unresolved and barely addressed just had me letting out a sigh of ugh. After all I like more plot in my books than in my action films. Hard As It Gets is just one long build up to what will be the main event in this mystery of the how and why Becca’s dad did what he did and where all the evidence is buried so that Nick and his buddies can clear their names. This build up made it hard to feel the suspense that was supposed to be in this book. I was never on the edge of my seat because the action just wasn’t as grand as it could have been.

As for the main characters, Becca was a little bit too much of a wishy-washy Mary Sue and Nick was just a little too broody for my tastes. I don’t mind broken characters that need to be healed by the power of love but in Hard As It Gets is just seemed like every cliche that could be used was used. Granted I have read worse and there was enough in this book that did keep me reading until the end. So there is there. While Hard As It Gets will never be my favorite romantic suspense novel it wasn’t terrible and I am curious to see where this whole story line is going to keep on reading this series.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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