You can read my full review at Sinfully Sexy and read a Q&A with Laura Kaye and enter the giveaway.
4 StarsHard As You Can
is book two in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series. This book picks up where book one ends and the story essentially flows from one book to another. For this reason I highly recommend reading book one first if you have not already done so. Five former Special Forces soldiers have rekindled their connection and bond that was severed one year prior when their commander betrayed them all with his involvement in illegal activities. Forced to leave the army with reputations in shambles, the men are now on a mission to uncover exactly what their ex-commander was involved in, to clear their names and restore their honor. The team is searching for answers and as they become more entrenched into the world of organized crime, drugs and the sex slave trade, they discover that more is at stake than what they could have ever imagined.
Shane McCallan is no stranger to loss and pain. Having lost his only sister as a thirteen year old boy and then losing half of his team overseas, has deeply affected him and made him the man he is today. He carries a deeply ingrained burden of guilt which he struggles with on a daily basis. When Nick Rixley, the second in command of his former Special Forces team, calls and indicates that he may have discovered some information that could lead to clearing their names, Shane is willing to assist with the mission despite the strained relationship he now shares with the surviving members of his ex-team. On one of their operations to rescue their ex-commander’s son (in book one) Shane and the boys receive help from an unlikely source. The waitress who aided them made a lasting impression on Shane and now he can’t seem to get his mind off the beautiful redhead.
Crystal (a.k.a. Sara) Dean is trapped. She is stuck working as a waitress at Confessions, an unsavory club belonging to the Church Organization, in order to pay off her deceased father’s debt. She tries hard to protect her younger sister from the life that she somehow inherited from her father and willingly puts herself on the frontlines of danger to keep it all away from the person she loves most in this world. As she deals with an abusive boyfriend and being in the midst of chaos, Crystal knows that she is hiding behind a façade in order to survive – different persona, different name and a different life. She hopes to escape the life she finds herself in and is counting down the days until she can do so safely. When pandemonium erupts at the club one evening Crystal finds herself helping a mysterious man with a southern drawl. She may not trust men but she can’t help but be drawn to the handsome stranger who seems to be taking on the Church Organization.
Shane finds himself returning to Confessions in hopes of convincing Crystal to help him and the team gather further intel. He discovers that there is more to Crystal than meets the eye and Shane now wants to be a hero swooping in to rescue the damsel in distress. However, said damsel is in deep and coming to her rescue may put the mission at risk. There is no way Shane can walk away. Will Crystal trust him enough to allow him to help? As the pair navigate the dark alleys of the dangerous organized crime ring, they discern that sometimes no matter what danger you may be facing it is best to hang on to whatever good you have in your life as hard as you can.
All in all, Hard As You Can
was a great and thrilling second installment to this series where two damaged souls find one another in the midst of dismal circumstances. Love often comes when you least expect it and perhaps when you feel the least deserving. We get to know the men even better in this book and as this storyline moves along and the team obtains help from an MC biker group, things are definitely getting intense and interesting. I am very much looking forward to seeing where Ms. Kaye takes this series. I am hooked!
I enjoyed this one! My review will be posted here and at Sinfully Sexy Book reviews on February 25th
.***An advanced reading copy of Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.