Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

hard as it getsTitle: Hard As It Gets

Series: Hard Ink bk 1

Author: Laura Kaye

Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense

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.

Thoughts: This was my first Laura Kaye book, and I have to say it won’t be my last. When I received this book I opened the package and put the book on my shelf of TBR. The other day I had nothing to do but read so I went to the massive TBR pile and the cover of this book snagged my attention. So I grabbed it and settled down to read.

I can’t say that it grabbed me from the beginning, but I stuck it out and by the end of the second chapter I was hooked, to the point I wished I didn’t have to leave the house or fix the kids dinner.

One of the things I loved about this book was that it wasn’t the typical Special Forces we have gotten in the last few years. Nick wasn’t a SEAL, Ranger or Recon Marine. He was a Green Beret. A branch of SF we don’t hear a lot about, but that is just as important as the ones we usually get.

Nick is not in a good place. He’s pissed off and has a chip the size of the Rocky Mountains on his shoulder because of what happened to him and his men in Afghanistan, so when the daughter of the man he blames for all of it comes looking for help he doesn’t say no, he says hell no. And then his brother plays a guilt trip on him about his attitude. When he decides to see check up on her, his gut, the one that has saved his life on more than one occasion tells something is very wrong.

Becca is terrified. Her brother has disappeared. His apartment and hers have been vandalized. And the only thing she has to go on is a note her brother sent her telling her to find The Colonel’s men. The men who were on her dad’s SF team. The men who want nothing to do with her. Until Nick rescues her from an intruder in her house.

It’s been a while since a book has sucked me in to the point that this book did. The attraction between Nick and Becca is intense from the beginning. Something that irritates the hell out of Nick and I loved.

There is a great secondary cast in this book, Jeremy Nick’s brother and his shirts are probably my favorite. He’s the complete opposite of Nick and yet they have this really great relationship. When what’s left of Nick’s team shows up Jeremy steps into the group like he’s always been there.

Usually with the start of a new series the first book can get bogged down with details and back story. That isn’t the case in Hard As It Gets. The way in which Kaye gives us back story information over the course of the book about what happened in Afghanistan and what is happening now is seemless and part of the story. So much so that I found myself wanting to know now what really happened and how these men were going to move on from it.

If you like tattooed bad-ass former Special Forces heroes then you won’t want to miss Nick and his crew. Becca is a great hero. She knows her strengths and weakness and isn’t afraid to stay back when she knows her inexperience will only hinder Nick and not help him.

When I finished this book I went looking for the next book and more information on this series. In my opinion Kaye is up there with Cindy Gerard and Tara Janzen when it comes to bad-ass former military heroes and heroines who make them better.

Grade A+



  1. Patoct

    I have never heard of this author. Sounds like an excellent story. I love bad ass heroes with a chip on their shoulders and the tortured soul and it certainly sounds like Nick is just that. And the tattoo parlor adds to Nick’s edgyness in my opinion.

  2. Sharlene Wegner

    I have this one on my list. It sounds so good! Thanks for the review!

  3. Gail D

    I think I just found a new author!! Thanks~

  4. elizabeth gray

    Loved Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye. Can’t wait to read this series as well.

  5. Marcy Shuler

    HEARTS IN DARKNESS introduced me to this author and I’ve been following her ever since. I can’t wait to read this book!

  6. Gmapeony

    I have not read her before; but will be putting this one on my list. Sounds really really good.

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