Second Look: Hard as it Gets (Hard Ink) by Laura Kaye

HardAsItGets mm cTitle:  Hard As It Gets
Author:  Laura Kaye
Series:  Hard Ink, #1
Genre:  Adult, Romance and Mystery

Synopsis:  Becca Merritt’s brother is missing.  And the only lead she has to find him is one of her father’s former soldiers.  That’s exactly what leads Becca into Nick Rixey’s life.  And while he tries to push her away, the attraction they share is undeniable.

Nick Rixey, former Army Special Forces, has been wounded and disgraced.  For the last year, he’s tried to get his life back to some semblance of normal after the shit hit the proverbial fan in Afghanistan.  And his former Colonel, Becca’s father, is to blame.  So when she comes into his brother’s tattoo parlor looking for his help, he immediately turns her away.  But guilt is a funny thing.  And when he goes to check up on her, he finds that she’s in more danger than he ever imagined.  Protective instincts kick in and he offers to help keep Becca safe, and find her brother.  Because, finding her brother Charlie might be the only way he can clear his team’s name.

Filled with action, mystery, and a lot of sexual tension, HARD AS IT GETS is told in alternating points-of-view between Becca and Rixey for a fuller look at both sides of the story.

Thoughts:  Tattoos?  Check.  Ex-Army?  Check.  What’s not to love about the premise of the novel?  Which is what had me picking it up on release day in November.  However, it took me a while to finally get into the groove of reading.  And once I started, I couldn’t put it down.  Kaye has an excellent mix of romance and action here.  There’s not a chapter that goes by without a little suspense or heart-hammering.  Which, let’s be honest, is freaking awesome.

She’s a smooth writer with a talent for bringing the tension between characters.  But, like in all good stories, it doesn’t come easily for Becca and Rixey.  Rixey has to deal with her father’s betrayal – something she knows nothing about – and his feelings for her.  Becca wants to find her brother.  He’s the only family she has left.  But she can’t deny that Nick Rixey is “fucking sexy as hell” and has to have him.  Like all good romance, the tension is racheted up until both parties finally give in.  And boy, is it good.

Other things I loved about this:  Kaye brings in Nick’s former Army buddies.  Yeah, the ones that were with him that fateful day in Afghanistan.  They haven’t seen or talked to each other in a year and boy is there -a lot- of tension.  But once they’re given a mission, they turn on the soldier and go at it.

In all, it was a great read with a lot of depth.  I am eagerly awaiting HARD AS YOU CAN (February), the next book in the series with a focus on Shane McCallan and a girl that’s cameoed at the end of HARD AS IT GETS.  Let’s just hope we get Jeremy Rixey’s story, soon!

Rating 10/10

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