Review: Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

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...

Becca Merritt is trying to find her brother Charlie who has gone missing. She has no idea if he left on his own or was taken by someone. She knows that he sent her a message letting her know that she needed to seek out a man from her deceased father’s Special Forces team. She follows his advice and heads over to talk to Nick Rixey. Nick however, isn’t interested in even talking to Becca much less helping her in any way. He sends her away but can’t help thinking he needs to check up on her.

Nick wasn’t pleased to see Becca at all when she walked in the door of her brother’s tattoo shop, Hard Ink. Her father had screwed Nick and the other members of the Special Forces team and the surviving members of the team had their honor questioned and stepped on by the army. He’s still a good person, however, and can’t just let Becca go without making sure she’s safe – even if he wants nothing to do with her. Unfortunately when he heads to her house he discovers that someone’s inside and saves Becca. He then takes her to his house and agrees to help her.

When Nick realizes that Charlie’s been kidnapped he calls in the surviving members of his Special Forces team and they work together to try and find out who took Charlie and why. They discover that Charlie was taken by the Church organization which is a gang and major drug runners and they go on a mission to get him back. While this is going down Becca and Nick are falling in love but Becca still doesn’t know the details of her father’s past and when she finds out she may just kick Nick to the curb.

I’ll admit I love tattoos and the whole act of tattooing. I’m such a bad artist and stick figures are about my speed so seeing the amazing things that a tattoo artist can produce on someone’s skin blows my mind. I love it. When I saw that this story had to do with a tattoo studio I snapped it right up – I’m glad I did.

This was not what I expected – it was better. I thought that Kaye did a great job of incorporating the artistry of the tattoo business with the artistry of a special forces mission, cuz that’s what it really was – a SF mission that was just off the books. Nick and his team, Shane, Beckett, Marz and Easy (along with Nick’s brother Jeremy and Nick’s friend Miguel) turned the gathering of information and the execution of getting Charlie back into an amazingly beautiful well oiled machine. I really enjoyed the whole operation practically from start to start to finish. I’m invested in the story arc now and am anxious to see these incredible men get their honor restored.

As far as the romance went it was fast. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case as the heightened adrenaline made everything get done in a hurry – this was true for the love between Nick and Becca. They met and fell in love within days but they went through so much together in those few days that it worked for me.

The characters, the action and the mystery made for an exciting read and I’m looking forward to picking up the next book, Hard as You Can.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Laura Kaye 


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