Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Welcome to The Bookish Babe's stop on the Hard As It Gets Blog Tour! As a big fan of Kaye's, I am excited to be a part of this event. My stop includes a review, guest post, and tour giveaway. Follow along for all the tour stops.

“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”
~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets

Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink, #1)Series: Hard Ink #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: 11/26/13
Format: ARC
Source: Received from publisher for review
Rating: 4 stars
Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome—pure catnip 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...

As a huge fan of Laura Kaye, I've been anxiously waiting to read Hard As It Gets from the moment I heard about it. Knowing Kaye's ability to bring sexy and exciting stories, combined with that ridiculously hot cover, it was almost a sure thing that I would dig this book.

My love for Laura Kaye aside, Hard As It Gets has a couple of really good things going for it, beginning with a compelling story. The story is led by Nick Rixby and Becca Merritt. Becca is a nurse, and devoted sister. Having tragically lost her mother and older brother years ago, she's also dealt with recently losing her father in Afghanistan. When her other brother, Charlie, goes missing, Becca cannot bear the thought of losing the only remaining member of her family. It appears Charlie's
disappearance is tied in some way to their father's time in Afghanistan, which leads her to Nick Rixby. Nick is still coming to terms with the tragedy that befell his unit in Afghanistan. An unbelievable betrayal killed half the group, and led to the rest being treated horribly by the Army.
Nick has since been rebuilding a life back at home, at Hard Ink. When Becca comes to him for help, Nick can't understand why the daughter of his betrayer needs help. Unable to let her go, though, the two set out to find her brother and uncover the ties between her father and Nick's group.

Nick and Becca were complicated and layered characters. I was a bit worried that Nick's feelings about Becca's dad would lead to a lot of turmoil and angst, but that wasn't the case at all. I really appreciate that Kaye was able to have these complications, without making the fallout melodramatic. Nick and Becca were very pragmatic about the issues at hand, realistic about their situation, and thoughtful with their actions. I cannot express how nice it is to read about characters who had these extreme situations and emotions, but dealt with them in such a mature manner. That's not to say that their emotions didn't sometimes get away from them, but it was in such a realistic manner, and not overly contrived.

But not only did I really like the characterization of Becca and Nick, but all of the characters in Hard As It Gets. I have to say, my very favorite character was Nick's brother, Jeremy. He is the owner of Hard Ink, and the lead tattoo artist. He was just a really cool, fun character who gave relief to the tension. I loved that he wore great t-shirts, and pushed Nick when he needed it. Also, Nick's Special Forces guys. Like most, I really love a good story about soldiers, but I also love a good story about a team. These guys came in a really helped round out the plot, helping Nick and Becca. Shane was snarky and fun, and seemed to really resonate the most. This has me really excited for his book, Hard As You Can.

What's interesting about Hard As It Gets is that the plotline dealing with Charlie's abduction and their father's betrayal is not totally wrapped up. There is enough resolution to satisfy me -particularly with Nick and Becca- but I also want more. I want to know exactly who is behind everything and how it will all go down. I want more Hard Ink. As expected, Laura Kaye has delivered another sexy, exciting read.

Favorite Quotes:

  "I am wound too tight, Becca. Do you understand? In about ten seconds, I'm going to be all over you. And I'm not going to be able to go slow. It's gonna be hard and fast and rough."
  He meant it as a warning, but Becca heard it as an engraved invitation on fine lined paper. That was a party she sooo wanted to attend.   ~eARC, 35%

  Sometimes you plodded through life with nothing changing from one month to the next no matter how much you yearned for a revolution to erupt beneath your feet. And sometimes your whole world imploded and rebuilt itself in a matter of seconds. In the past, those instantaneous changes had almost always ignited with pain and loss.
  Not this time.    ~eARC, 78%

The Hard Ink Series

Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink, #1) Hard As You Can (Hard Ink, #2)

Purchase Hard As It Gets at:
Amazon  |  Amazon UK  |   Barnes & Noble Book Depository  |  iTunes

Read Chapter 1 of Hard As It Gets

Introducing Nick and Becca from Hard As It Gets

I am absolutely thrilled to be celebrating the release of my sexy contemporary romance, Hard As It Gets, the first book in my new Hard Ink series. If you like sexy, gritty contemporaries, military heroes and themes, and even a little suspense, Hard As It Gets is the perfect book for you! *grins* 
Today, I’d like to introduce you to Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, the hero and heroine of Hard As It Gets. They just sizzled together on the page and I really enjoyed writing them. I hope you love them, too! So, without further ado, please meet Hard As It Gets’s Nick and Becca:


Becca’s first impression of Nick: 
“I’m Nick Rixey. Who wants to know?”
  Becca jumped at the deep sound of the man’s voice. Geez. How long had he been standing there? And, big as he was, how had she not heard him approach? It was like he’d materialized out of thin air.
  The surprise of his appearance pounded adrenaline through her system. Her racing pulse had absolutely nothing to do with the bulge of his impressive biceps straining the sleeves of his black T-shirt, the hints of ink just visible on his upper arms, nor with his harsh yet darkly handsome face. And definitely not with the way his jeans hung on those lean hips. Right. Definitely not.
  Given who her father was, or had been, this was the type of man she’d expected to find at the end of Charlie’s cryptic note. His dark hair was a little on the long side, but the hard edges and leashed strength of his body clearly read ex-military.
 Nick’s Job: Process Server, Part-time Tattoo Artist
 3 Words that Describe Nick: Tortured, Alpha, Heroic
 3 Things he Loves about Heroine Becca Merritt: Her courage, her compassion, the way she takes away his hurt
 Who could play Nick if the book was made into a movie? Tyler Hoechlin hung above my desk for months (in fact, he just may still be there!), so he’s got the look for sure!


 Nick’s first impression of Becca:
Becca Merritt was the all-American girl personified, with her fierce blue eyes and wavy hair the rich color of honey. Bet she tastes as sweet, too. And, damn, that body. It was all he’d been able to do not to gawk at the curves her fitted T-shirt hugged, or trace his eyes over the lace just visible through the thin cotton. It was like the sun had strolled through their front door, casting heat and light all over him. Only the haunted dark circles under her eyes ruined the analogy.
 Becca’s Job: ER nurse
3 Words that Describe Becca: Loyal, Compassionate, Strong
3 Things she Loves about Hero Nick Rixey: His intensity (in everything), his strength, his willingness to help her and her brother
Who could play Becca if the book was made into a movie? With her wholesome prettiness, Blake Lively would make a good Becca Merritt!

Do you have a question for either of the characters or their author lady? Ask away and we’d all be happy to chat!

Thanks for reading!
~ Laura

** Holy Frack. My friend introduced me to Tyler Hoechlin months ago, and all I can say is YES!**

Two (2) Kindle Paperwhite 3G e-readers
Five (5) print copies of HARD AS IT GETS, provided by the publisher
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions
The Kindle Paperwhite 3G giveaway is international unless excluded. If your country is not on the list that Amazon delivers to, you will not be eligible win this prize.
Author Laura Kaye is not responsible for damage to the Kindle in transit. All issues regarding this must be addressed to Amazon.
All accessories for the Kindle Paperwhite 3G must be purchased by the winner – the prize is the Kindle Paperwhite 3G only.
Entrants must be 18 or over
About Laura Kaye:

Laura Kaye 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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  1. I loved this book! great characters, adventure and romance and the best puppy! cannot wait for more

  2. I have got to read this book! One I am in love with the cover and two I love dramatic situations with mature and realistic responses. Great review!

  3. I have this and I cannot wait to get time to start it. I love Laura Kaye. One of my favorites is One Night with a Hero. Wonderful review Andrea.

  4. Oh well this looks like something you'd enjoy so I'm not surprised. I have heard of the second book in this series, I mean it's hard not to remember these titles. Glad you enjoyed this one. Great review, Andrea :)

  5. I've read Hearts in Darkness and loved it! And I'm definitely going to read the Hard Ink series. :)

    Andrea, I loved your review. You're right - it is a ridiculously hot cover. But I'm thrilled to know there's such a complex story behind that cover. :)

  6. Definitely sounds like your kind of read. :)

  7. Jeremy is so adorbs! I was half expecting the next book is his. I love the series plot, Charlie and Becca's dad sounds like a real scumbag and this Church gang really means business. I can't wait to get into book 2! Lovely review, girlie!

  8. That's great the emotion was handled well in the novel and it didn't lead to petty bickering throughout. sounds interesting!

  9. I haven't read any of Laura Kaye's books yet, but after reading your review, I will be! I love that this story wasn't melodramatic, and the main characters actually communicated with each other. Excellent Review!

  10. I adored this book, and cannot wait for the next one. Romantic suspense is one of my personal favs and I just enjoyed all of the characters that were introduced.

  11. I love the sound of this series. I am patiently waiting the turn to grab book 1 :) so excited!

  12. I haven't read anything by this author but I have a couple books on my TBR. I've heard great things thanks for the chance to win.

  13. I love romantic suspense novels so I'm sure I'd enjoy this one, too. This seems to have quite a bit of mysteries swirling about and I love unraveling those. Those covers are wonderful! Great review, Andrea, and thanks for the giveaway! :)

  14. I enjoyed this one, but I'm really excited for Shane's book!


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