Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Release Launch - HARD AS YOU CAN by laura Kaye

(Hard Ink #2)
by Laura Kaye
Published: February 25, 2014, Harper Collins Publishing

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Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallanstrolled 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.

(Hard Ink #2)
by Laura Kaye
ARC Review
Published: February 25, 2014, Harper Collins Publishers

My rating: 4 of 5 ⭐️

Recently reunited with the four other surviving members of his former Special Forces unit, Shane McCallan and his team of 'brothers' have stumbled on a possible conspiracy that involved their former commander. A man who cost them their brothers in arms, their careers and their reputations. Working on a mission, Shane gets unexpected help from a cocktail waitress at a stripclub, not once, but twice. Putting herself at risk and Shane's protective instincts immediately flare to life.

It's been four years since Crystal Dean sold her soul to the devil. Of course she had no idea at the time, nor did she really have an option and by the time she realized her predicament she was stuck. At least for now..... As soon as she can guarantee her sister's safety and has enough saved up for them to disappear. But then her carefully laid plans start crumbling when she decides to help a grey-eyed rescuer.

It doesn't take long for Shane to figure out that Crystal is dealing with her own set of problems. The girl is terrified and under someone's control, but not willing to part with her secrets yet. Shane is torn between needing her for information and wanting to keep her far away from the dangers the club harbors. He won't push hard, for fear she will shut down on him, but he will keep a very close eye out.... he is becoming very invested in her safety.

Crystal is afraid to trust the feeling of safety Shane gives her. So used to taking care of herself and her sister for so long, she doesn't want to ask for help. But when a phonecall alerts her to imminent danger, Shane is the one person she knows will do everything to help her......


Another great Hard Ink Novel!

I love this group of slightly damaged and battle-weary guys. All with a considerable amount of emotional baggage of some sort, and scars both visible and invisible, but with a strong connection of brotherhood and the power of a common goal that negates their individual shortcomings. Add to that a few roughed up but kick-ass women, who have stood strong in the face of adversity, and what looks like a motley crew on the outside is in fact a force to be reckoned with.

Each of these novels is a story in itself,  however, the larger background story is all but done. There is no real closure in this book. There is for Shane and Crystal to some extent, but not for the entire group. So although I cannot say it can be read as a standalone, I can't quite call it a cliffhanger either. I strongly suggest reading these books in the sequence they were written.

In the first book, HARD AS IT GETS, we were introduced to the background story, the entire premise for the series and on top of that, we were given a good action suspense and romance novel. A very complete, intricately woven story.

In HARD AS YOU CAN, we continue building on that background story with another great action suspense novel, but somewhat more predictable in layout and not quite as intricate as the first novel. The romantic portion of the book was also a little milder, more careful and subdued but no less heartfelt. 

There are some interesting new developments and connections that are being explored that include the addition of an MC to the scene as well as a possible new love connection for a future book between Crystal's sister and Easy, one of the guys....... Who knows? 

This is an exciting series to follow especially with the broad variety of characters introduced. I'm already pumped for the next one!

✨A sexy, testosterone driven and action-packed thrill ride!!✨

**ARC provided in return for an honest review.**

Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets

HARD AS YOU CAN is your second book in the “Hard Ink” series (after USA Today bestseller, HARD AS IT GETS). What can readers look forward to?

Readers can look forward to tons of sexy alpha male goodness, awesome bromance between the Hard Ink men, more antics from the Hard Ink puppy, and another great love story between Shane and Crystal. But readers should also be ready for a book that is darker, more intense, and more emotional. This book pushed me to emotional places that were tough as a writer, and might be tough for readers, too. But I think that just makes the payoff at the end so much sweeter!

Describe Shane and Crystal. What are their best traits? What are their weaknesses?

Shane and Crystal are such an amazing couple to me. They’re each exactly what the other needs. Shane’s best traits are his protectiveness, his fundamental kindness, and his soul-deep loyalty (his southern accent and humor are also right up there!). His biggest weakness for sure is a tragedy from the past for which he blames himself—and it’s something that continues to motivate him in Hard As You Can. Crystal’s best traits are her courage, protectiveness, and selflessness—she’s willing to do anything to keep her younger sister safe. Her biggest weakness is also that selflessness, because the sacrifices she’s required to make are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.

If you could describe your book in a 140 character tweet, what would it be?

When a woman in trouble assists an ex-soldier's covert mission to regain his team's stolen honor, he finds a new mission to save her, too

What are you most excited about with this second book release?

I’m really excited to take readers deeper into these awesome characters and into the mystery behind the Hard Ink team’s ambush and discharge!

What books are you reading right now?

I’m almost done with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander (yes, I’m very late to the party but OMG JAMIE FRASER!!!). And I’ve recently devoured and loved Juliana Stone’s Offsides and Shelly Thacker’s time-travel historical romance, Forever His.

What can fans of your Hard Ink series look forward to next?

There will be two more Hard Ink books in 2014!

Hard to Hold on To – August 2014
Hard to Come By – November 2014

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.

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