Review: Hard As It Gets (#1, Hard Ink) by Laura Kaye - Vilma Iris | Lifestyle Blogger

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Review: Hard As It Gets (#1, Hard Ink) by Laura Kaye

My Thoughts

Sexy. Suspenseful. Intriguing.
I loved unraveling the mystery behind this addictive story as a girl
searches for her brother and in the process, falls in love with one hot, tattooed alpha who is seeking his own redemption.



Hard As It GetsTall, 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..


My Review

“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.”

Becca Merritt was in trouble. Her brother, Charlie, is missing. They’d recently had an argument and shortly after, he vanished without a word or trace. All that remained was a cryptic message to seek the help of Rixey at Hard Ink. So it’s Charlie’s note that brings Becca to this tattoo shop, asking for the help of a stranger. A stranger who’s a beautiful, muscled, inked alpha who fought alongside her own father in Special Ops. But when Nick Rixey unexpectedly blows her off, everything begins to unravel.

“That sixth sense he had – that uncanny instinct that had kept him alive and unharmed on more ops than he could name – was telling him Becca Merritt had brought bad news to his doorstep. The kind that reached out from the grave, grabbed you by the throat, and did everything it could to lay you six feet under.”

Nick knew Frank Merritt well. Too well. Becca’s father was responsible for the complete collapse of so much in his life and to say that the aftershocks of what happened still troubled him, would be an understatement. Frank Merritt had ruined his life and the life of his friends… his brothers. Taking the values Nick admired most – loyalty, trust, integrity, honor – Frank Merritt had dragged them all through the mud. But he tried to tell himself that the sins of the father didn’t necessarily transfer to their children. Becca seemed good and something about her unsettled him. She was beautiful and wholesome and he couldn’t help but be affected by her. In addition, the morbid curiosity of the mystery of her missing brother nagged at him. Beckoned him. He was compelled to give this a bit more time than he originally intended.

“Frank Merritt had stolen his career, his reputation, six of his best friends, and his fucking ability to sit or stand for any length of time without wanting to whimper like a little girl. What the hell more was he supposed to give? When would it be enough?”

Suddenly Nick realizes the mystery goes deeper than he thought. He witnesses somebody in Becca’s house and his instincts kick in. He has to help this girl.  The more time he spends with Becca, however, the more he’s drawn to her. Like a moth to a flame, there’s something about her – her fieriness, her light, her caring – that awakens something long dormant within him, stirring up feelings he felt he didn’t have a right to have. After all, what happened with her father was partly his fault … or so he thought. Nick had been living with both physical and internal pain. Guilt consumed him and as a result, he lived life on the fringes.

“… she’d given him a purpose again after all these long months, one he hadn’t realized how badly he needed. And it all made him want.”

For Becca, Nick ignited a desire like she’d never felt before. He was smart and loyal and caring and he was willing to lay it all on the line for her. She knew having these feelings were perhaps ill-timed with her brother missing, but the feelings continued to intensify and deepen with every moment they spent together. Their chemistry was scorching!

“God, this kiss. It was the kind she’d remember forever, that would invade her dreams and haunt her in quiet moments. The kind her older self could look back on and know, once, she’d really lived. The kind that, no matter what, she could never, ever regret.”

But as things between Nick and Becca vacillate between hot and hotter and cold and complicated, they also realize the situation they’re in is much more significant and serious than they thought. Becca is in danger as well. Nick surmises that it may all be connected to what happened to him and his friends. Nick brings in reinforcements to try and untangle this intricate, dangerous web they find themselves in as tension rises and the action culminates.

This was truly a novel that kept me at the edge of my seat, furiously flipping the pages to see what would happen next. In addition, the undeniable chemistry between Nick and Becca kept me reading, hoping that they would give in to their emotions. This was my first Laura Kaye novel and I was really impressed. I loved reading her style of writing, particularly the male POV. Nick’s chapters felt very real and gritty and male to me and they helped pull me into the story even more. The book ends not entirely with a cliffhanger … there are issues resolved, but there’s also more to the mystery. I can’t wait to read book 2, Hard As You Can, which will be out February 25th. This second book is Shane’s continuation of the story. He’s one of Nick Rixey’s close friends from his past, but their relationship was severely strained after what happened with Frank Merritt. If you’re looking for a suspenseful novel that is brimming with sexiness, alphaness and edginess… look no further.

“Happiness wasn’t something you found, happiness was something you made-by living in the moment, by cherishing the people in your life right now, by finding the courage to change those things you didn’t like.”


Reading Order and Purchase Links

Hard As It Gets hard as you can

#2.5 Hard to Hold Onto
#3 Hard to Come By
#4 Untitled

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