by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink #1
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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...
Hard As It Gets is a romantic suspense, with smokin’ hot ex-military men, and tattoos. Need I say may more? This is the first book in the Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye and I devoured it. With a compelling storyline, unique characters and a heated romance this tale offered the perfect read for a cold, windy night by the fire. Mini-review: suspenseful, romantic and engaging.
Former military man, Nicholas Rixey, has a chip on his shoulder. He delivers subpoenas and creates tattoos at the tattoo parlor he co-owns with his brother. When Becca Merritt walks in he smells trouble. When he finds out she is the daughter of his ex-commander he immediately wants to turn his back on her. Despite his anger, his conscience won’t leave him be, so he decides to keep an eye on her. Becca’s brother has been kidnapped and things are getting complicated. As Becca and Nick hunt for clues they soon realize, they are in the middle of something big and as clues emerge and sparks between them flying. The tale that unfolds was fast-paced, intense and heated.
Becca is one tough little cookie. She is a nurse and definitely the daughter of a military man. She made me giggle, as she gave these ex-military men a set down when needed. She will do whatever it takes to save her brother, and I admired her for it. Nicholas is struggling when we meet him. He was injured on his last tour in Afghanistan. A mission went south leaving him and his surviving comrades framed and forced out of the military. All of it centers on Becca’s father making this case complicated. He is attracted to this spit-fire of a woman but struggles with his own demons. Nick calls his former Special Forces, comrades when the situation heats up, and they have to face each other once again. I loved this dynamic team, and Kaye’s did a good job of giving each of them a voice. I am secretly hoping they are each fleshed out in their own book. Becca’s brother is an interesting character. He is a computer hacker who uncovers some secrets involving crime lords. Nick’s brother, co-owner and the brains behind Hard Ink is a hoot. A fur ball adds to the tale, providing humor in an intense situation.
The overall ARC for the series Hard Ink is an intense one, and Kaye did an excellent job of providing the details and setting things up within the pages of Hard As It Gets. From the banter between this motley crew to the sexual tension between Becca and Nick, I found myself fully invested. The romance begins with physical attraction and slowly develops out of respect. Kaye teases us with some intense scenes before bringing on the heat and I found myself eager for those moments. While this reeks of insta-love, romantic suspense is a genre that lends itself to this type of romance. Kaye made it feel real and I was rooting for this couple. Some of the scenes made the pages sizzle and catch fire. Kaye didn’t skimp on the details and it was all very memorable. The dynamics of the special forces team, their banter and the way they accept Becca into the fold made the tale believable. We see growth with Nick as he faced his demons, bonded with his brother and re-established bonds with his team. The tale wrapped up nicely, giving us a clear direction of where the tale is headed next.
Fans of military men, wicked banter, tattoos, and action-packed suspense will enjoy Hard As It Gets. The next book Hard As You Can releases in February of 2014 and features one of the special forces teammates as they continue to uncover the truth. I cannot wait to dive back into this series. Addictive and awesome, this is sure to be a winner.
Great review Kim! I always love me some wicked banter, will definitely be checking out this series! Glad to hear the insta-love doesn’t kill the book haha.
I hope you do, I love it from the suspense to the hot romance and interesting, complicated characters.
Sounds really good – I know this is very superficial of me, but I have a thing for guys with tats so I think I decided to read this book just off the cover! Lol, you’re review sealed the deal though 🙂
Oh honey you are not alone, when they sent me a request to review it, the cover made me read the synopsis!
Awesome review. I have this and you have me all excited to read it. Can’t wait.
Enjoy Ellen it was sooo good!
I don’t think I’ve come across a Laura Kaye book that I didn’t like. I haven’t read this series, but I’m looking forward to reading it.
Ooo it is yummy and there will be like 12 books!!! Squee 🙂
This isn’t my normal type of read but it definitely sounds like it’s a good one. I really need to try out more romantic suspense books.
I really enjoy romantic suspense, hope you try some 🙂
Sharon - Obsession with Books
This one sounds like it has all of the elements I enjoy in a romantic suspense novel. After reading your review I had to grab a copy & can’t wait to get started.
A wonderful review Kimba! 🙂
Oh this was wonderful 🙂
Felicia S. (
I loved it too! That whole group of men were just too hot for words. She needs to write faster LOL
Heck yes Felicia, what do those kids on the commercial say? “We want more, we want more, we want more!” 🙂
It does sound pretty good 🙂
Yes, you would like the boys and case 🙂
Hahahaha – I thought his ‘tattoo’ on his arm said ‘A Hard JUNK Novel’ when I first looked at it. lol.
Wow, this sounds like it has a lot of good things going for it. I think Nick sounds like a guy I wouldn’t mind reading about. Great review.
thanks Jenea, this was such a great read 🙂
That’s what she said!!! Hehe — sorry, I just really love that title! The cover is oh-so-easy on the eyes, too! Romantic suspense, ex-military men, and tattoos? Yes, please! Another one for my TBR, Kimba! Thanks for the wonderful and very enticing review 🙂
I like the tittle too and yep it has so many elements to love 🙂
Oh! I like the summary! Seems to be a dangerous situation. Thanks for sharing your review. You did a great job in describing Becca to us. I’m starting to like her, even before I read the book. 🙂
Glad you liked the sound of Becca. I loved seeing her interact with the boys.
I’ve been looking forward to this one, mostly because of a novella I read by this author last month but also because of the J R Ward thumbs up on the front cover. I’m a little disappointed that this one “reeked of insta-love” but if you say she made it work then I’m willing to give this novel a try. Especially because it’s got an animal sidekick and a bunch of awesome sounding characters in it! 🙂 Awesome ARC review honey, I’m glad you enjoyed this one.
It totally works, she makes it believable.
This does sound good. And I agree, insta love tends to work okay in romantic suspense. Nothing like crazy intense things going on around you to heat things up quicker!
Agreed, lots of action and intense moments bring on the heat 🙂
Sounds action packed and fun. 🙂
It was, thanks Emaginette 🙂
Oh a yummy ex-military book. I think I know what I want for christmas.
Ooo this would make for a lovely present 🙂
Nope, no need to say more, you had me at hot ex-military men! 😛
Ahh… Kaye is such a great author. I’ve enjoyed all of her books 🙂
Agreed Lori, I cannot wait for the next one!
Great review. This sounds like an action-packed romance.
It was I love romantic suspense, with banter.
Braine Talk Supe
I skimmed because this is on my TBR and I’m reading it soon. Happy to see the 4 cups, means it’s real good!
Enjoy Braine, I think you will love the boys and Becca 🙂
I love Laura Kaye’s writing and truly enjoyed AHAIG. Those Special Forces guys were hot and funny and I loved Jeremy.
Agreed, I cannot wait for more!
OMG what could be better than tatted-ex-military hotties who need a girl to soothe their battered souls 🙂
love these kinds of novels
thanks Kimba and if you say it’s 4 out of 5 I can trust that 😉
Agreed and yep this was yummy!
Thanks for the review.
You are quite welcome 🙂
yep this book is def for me!! x
Enjoy Emily 🙂
Melanie (YA Midnight Reads)
I think I saw this book on another blog just this week. Not my type of read but Becca does seem really tough and likable!
Lovely review, Kimba! <33
thanks Melanie I really enjoy romantic suspense and cannot wait for book two.