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
(Hard Ink #1)
by Laura Kaye
Published: November 26, 2013, Avon
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️
At her witt's end, Becca Merritt walks into the tattoo parlor, hoping to find some answers for her brother's disappearance. The cops seem uninterested in helping her, and the message Charlie left her clearly indicated the name of this place, and of one of the men who had served with their father before he died. But the big tattooed ex-military man facing her takes one look at the note in her hand and shows her the door. That went well....
Still reeling from underhanded way his military career ended, Nick Rixey can't figure out why his name would come up in connection with the disappearance of his ex-commander's son, and frankly, he wanted no part of it. But the thought of watching the wholesome, innocent, sexy woman walk away, looking dejected the way she does, is not sitting right with him. He will keep an eye out for her, until he can figure out what is going on.
It becomes obvious very quickly that Becca had not been exaggerating. Something serious was up, her brother had likely been kidnapped and she wasn't safe either! With the building he and his brother own decked out with top notch security, Nick wastes no time moving Becca in. Even though having her close by may be a temptation that will be hard to resist, when just the sight of her scrambles his brain and fires up his long dormant libido. He is struggling with keeping certain things from Becca, when all he wants is to be honest with her, so much of his history is tangled with hers and she doesn't even know it.
Becca, normally quite collected under stressful situations in her job as nurse, now struggles to hold it together at times. Especially when she finds herself drawn to the difficult to read Nick. Her emotions are all over the place when he runs hot and cold, but he always makes her feel safe. And when their investigation finally shows who they have to face to get her brother back, she knows he will do everything he can to make that happen, especially when he is willing to face some of his own demons.
I am tickled PINK!!! I am SO flipping excited to have a new series that is hot as hell, jam-packed with slightly dark and damaged but completely delicious Alpha males, working in the shadows on the side of justice, but not necessarily law!! AND...to top it off, they do all this based from a tattoo shop from all places!!! Helloooooo!!
With every story an individual one against what I presume will be a series' backdrop story, and you have a pure winner on your hands!! I have to be careful not to give you more than what has already been made public in terms of the story, so don't expect any huge revelations here, but let me tell you that we are talking major cover-ups and conspiracies here...... Throw in some drug trafficking gangs and corruption and you can see that this is not something that can be solved in one single book. Hence the need for some covert operations.......by some very hot 'operators!!
In HARD AS IT GETS we are introduced to the core group of characters, beginning with Nick and his brother Jeremy, owners of Hard Ink, the tattoo parlour and the building it is located in. Nick came out of the military disillusioned after being injured and has not been in touch with his brothers in arms since his discharge. Becca and Charlie, brother and sister, are the children of his former commander, who died in the raid that injured Nick. Forced by the dire circumstances, Nick ends up putting calls in to all his surviving brothers after having ignored them for the past year.... but they are the only people he can trust completely. He has no choice. The entire surviving team is back together.
There are some difficult and deep rooted emotional issues that both Nick and Becca struggle with in this story. They are what keeps them apart at first, instinctively knowing that getting too close will make them too vulnerable and exposed. But ironically the end up being each other's catalyst and then anchor through these issues, once they allow emotions and trust to take root.
I've read Laura Kaye books before.....and enjoyed them, but let me tell you......this one tops them all, head and shoulders!
A tantalizing hot love story wrapped in a high suspense conspiracy!! Does it get any better??
✨Sharp, electric, and irresistible power of brotherhood.✨