by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink #3.5
Genres: M/M, Romantic Suspense
Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever. Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way. With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good...
Hard to Be Good is a novella in the Hark Ink series by Laura Kaye while it is not necessary to follow the main story, we do see the after effects at the end of book three and get a swoony LGBT romance with plenty of heat. This story pushed me beyond my typical comfort zone. As a straight woman, I was not sure I could connect let alone enjoy an M/M romance. I should have known Kaye would deliver, and give me all the feels.
Hard to Be Good shares Jeremy Rixey’s story. I have loved Jeremy since the beginning from his witty t-shirt collection to his laid-back attitude. Jeremy is Nick’s younger brother and currently housing Nick’s Special Force team and others above his tattoo parlor. During the series, we met Charlie Merritt who was a recent kidnap victim. The attraction between them has been hinted at so I was excited to see their relationship develop. At one hundred and sixty five pages, there was not a lot of room for a slow-burning romance and given the circumstances, Kaye made me believe in these two.
The romance was sweet, adorable at times and so heated my Nook caught fire. While admittedly this was virgin territory for me, Kaye made me first connect to the characters and then allowed me to become caught up in their emotions and the passion. I am not going to lie, the tale is detailed and surprisingly very hot. I was swept away and wanted them to find their happy.
We do get a little plot development but the focus was on Jeremy and Charlie. Eileen now has a friend or maybe I should say foe? I will let you decide. This thread added a touch of fun to the overall intensity of the series arc as well as further bonded this motley crew of characters.
Hard to Be Good for the win. Jeremy and Charlie’s story made me smile. While this is part of the Hark Ink series, I think it would work as a standalone but recommend reading them in order.
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