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Posts Tagged: Laura Kaye

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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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Top 12 List: August 2014 / Month in Review

Posted by Irish in Contest, Month in Review, Top 12 List3 Comments

TopTwelve

Hello Internet!

By now you know the drill with this post. I list out the top books that I read and loved this past month and from them I choose the best of the best. This book then gets listed in my Top 12 List (check out my sidebar) and at the end of the year those 12 books are pitted against each other and my top book for the year is chosen.

 

The Contenders – 5 Star Reads

I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios (February 2015)
The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord (March 2015)

This month is so very hard to choose between these two great reads. Both of which I didn’t expect to have in my hands until early next year so I was so excited to have the opportunity to read the. I loved the debut books of both of these authors and have become a total fangirl for life for them both. Seriously, you can NOT go wrong with either of these books. Part of what is so hard about these books is that they are just so very different. I’ll Meet You There was just so raw and emotional and while The Start of Me and You hits the emotions too its on an entirely different level. I was also going to cheat a little and choose the one that didn’t make my Top 12 list previously only I can’t do that here as they were both previous Top 12 List winners. And both books are also so much better than the previous ones (Something Real and Open Road Summer). Therefore, to pick a winner I went to the internet and asked people to choose a number and that number resulted in my top choice for August 2014…and the winner is….

start of me and you

 

What about you? What was your favorite book read this month? Let me know in the comments below. =)

 

Month in review – Here’s the other books I read this month:

(most books read during this month will be reviewed next month)

 

4 Star Reads

Scoring Wilder by R.S. Grey
Sloppy Firsts (Jessica Darling, Book 1) by Megan McCafferty


3 Star Reads

Breathe with Me (With me in Seattle, Book 7) by Kristen Proby
Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass, Book 2) by Sarah J. Maas
Fanning the Flames (Jackson: Girls Night Out, Book 0.5) by Victoria Dahl
The Governess Affair (Brothers Sinister, Book 0.5) by Courtney Milan
Hard to Hold on To (Hard Ink, Book 2.5) by Laura Kaye
Playing it Close (London Legends, Book 2) by Kat Latham
Tied with Me (With me in Seattle, Book 6) by Kristen Proby


2 Star Reads

I Want it That Way (2B Trilogy, Book 1) by Ann Aguirre


1 Star Reads

NA


DNF Reads – maybe I’ll try these again at some point, but for now they don’t resonate with me

NA

 

Book reviews:

Miscellaneous Posts:

 

Places “Traveled” to this month:

See my “travel” index for a complete list of all the places I’ve been through books. (This is list currently out of date, my apologies for that! So check out my Month in Review posts in the interim)

England: London (1835) via The Governess Affair
England: London via Playing it Close
Erilea: Adarlan: Rhinehold via Crown of Midnight
Erilea: Fenharrow: Bellhaven via Crown of Midnight
United States: California: Creek View via I’ll Meet You There
United States: California: Los Angeles via Scoring Wilder
United States: California: Malibu via Scoring Wilder
United States: Indiana: Anderson via The Start of Me and You
United States: Indiana: Oakhurst via The Start of Me and You
United States: Maryland: Baltimore via Hard to Hold on To
United States: Michigan: Ann Arbor via I Want it That Way
United States: Michigan: Mount Albion via I Want it That Way
United States: Nebraska: Sharon via I Want it That Way
United States: New Jersey: Pineview via Sloppy Firsts
United States: Washington: Seattle via Breathe with Me and Tied with Me
United States: Wyoming: Jackson Hole via Fanning the Flames

 

Personal Highlights of August:

Some fun highlights in August where:

Traveling to New Hampshire and hiking the Lost River Gorge with my family…including my sister, brother-in-law, and niece who were out visiting from New Mexico.

 

LRG 1

Hiking down the gorge with my sister and her husband

 

LRG 2

A waterfall at the Lost River Gorge

 

LRG 3

Chilling with my niece’s moose as she explores a cavern with the fam

 

My niece “mining” for gems and rocks

 

While we were in New Hampshire we also went to Clark’s Trading Post and Storyland. My niece loved Storyland and meeting Cinderella and getting to ask about her glass slipper. Her favorite ride was the Bamboo Chutes and she had to have gone on it a good half dozen times or more.

 

CTP 1

Clark’s Trading Post

 

SL 1

CInderella reading a story at tea time

 

SL 2

Enjoy yourself. It is later than you think.

 

August also brought us the highlight of the summer, my dad’s volunteer fire department annual clambake.
Clambake
I also took my very first glass blowing class and made a pretty paperweight!
Glass Blowing

 

paperweight

 

And let’s not forget the office shenanigans!

 

office prank

Operation: 90210

 

Office Prank 2

Operation: Princess Bike

 

2014 Reading Goal Progress
(click the link to see how I’m doing with my challenges)

Monthly Contest

***Be sure to read the terms and conditions before entering. ***

Enter to win a copy of my top pick of the month (or other book if in a series) and a $10 amazon gift card. This contest is open internationally but If you live outside the US and you win then then the GC will be the equivalent to $10 US dollars. As both of these books are unavailable until early 2015 then the winner will be able to choose another book by the same author if they wish. If pre-ordering is not available then an earlier book will be substituted automatically.

The winner of last months contest is: Alicia E

Congratulations, you should expect an email from me shortly if I haven’t sent it out already. If you are waiting on a prize know that I haven’t forgotten you…I’ve just been crazy crazy busy and it will come! I promise!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

irishdarkblue
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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.

Website | Blog | Facebook | Hard Ink Puppy FB | Twitter | Newsletter SignUp

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Contest

 

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Blog Tour Schedule:

February 23

Cocktails and Books-Excerpt & Review
Just Booked Blog-Review
Lustful Literature-Review
Up All Night Book Blog-Review

February 24

Unwrapping Romance-Review
Fab Fantasy Fiction-Review
Tabby’s Tantalizing Reviews-Review
The Book Nympho-Excerpt & Review

February 25

Book Lovin’ Mamas-Review
Bestsellers & Beststellars-Excerpt & Review
Insightful Minds-Review
Whirlwind Books-Review
Crazy Cajun Book Addicts-Review

February 26

About That Story-Review
Nose Stuck In A Book-Review
The Book CellarX-Excerpt & Review
Rumpled Sheets Blog-Review

February 27

Smut Book Junkie Book Reviews-Excerpt & Review
Ripe For Reader-Review
My Favorite Things-Review
Book Addict Mumma-Review

February 28

Ticket to Anywhere-Review
Madison Says-Review
My Daily Romance-Review
Reading Between the Wines-Excerpt

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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