Happily Ever After Book Nerd Favorite
Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink #1
Published: November 26, 2013 by Avon
Genre: Suspense Romance
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…
This book was absolutely amazing and it’s rocketed up into my top 5 favorite books ever! Mature, intelligent heroine? Check! Gruff, protective, but still lovable hero? Check! Band of badass brothers? Check! Tattoos, Tattoos, & Tattoos? Triple Check! There is quite the grand mystery going on in this one, and I will caution that the overall resolution to what happened to Nick’s team does not get solved in this book.
I loved Becca and Nick! Readers often complain about insta-love, but Laura Kaye knows how to write it correctly. Yes Becca and Nick fall in love over a few short days, but Kaye manages to capture that intangible essence of love. That feeling of safety, acceptance, and commitment that you feel with another person. The way they become your touchstone, your rock, and your support. The way a certain person just makes you feel better by simply being next to you. These are all important parts of love that do not require a set length of time to develop, they can happen instantly.
“I’m a better man with you. And I want to be there for you, too, every day and every night.”
The circumstances that Becca is under are way out of the norm but I admire her rolling with everything and being smart about her actions. Even when things get revealed in an upsetting way, she’s still mature enough to do what needs to be done. And once she thinks things through she’s willing to accept and grow. I also loved the Special Forces guys and can’t wait to see them begin to reconnect with each other. Even though things ended badly after they were discharged and they didn’t stay in touch, they’re still brothers and they still live by the code that represents. These are some rough, tough, and somewhat dented soldiers and I can’t wait to see them fall in love.
Nick’s brother Jeremy was great, and probably my favorite additional character so far. He’s funny, goofy, covered in tattoos, and loves to wear innuendo shirts. He might be the younger brother, but his love and support for Nick was beautiful to see. The scene where Jeremy insists that Nick tell him what’s going on was so real and poignant. It made me wish I had siblings, just so we could love each other like these brothers do.
**Reader Safety: References to kidnapping, gangs, human trafficking, abuse
5 stars – loved it!
Hard Ink reviews
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