Review: Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye

Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He’s exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can—and never let go.

Shane is part of a group of men who were once in a Special Forces team that was sold out by their commanding officer and ambushed.  Six men died but the remaining five men now want to find out why their CO did what he did and possibly bring down the people he was working with.  

Shane McCallen is part of that team.  In the previous book he helped save a man from the basement of a strip club where he was being held against his will.  He was "helped" by a waitress there, Crystal.  She didn't really help but she didn't stop them when she realized what they were doing.  Shane hasn't stopped thinking about the woman since then. When the team needs more info Shane thinks that maybe he might be able to get info from the waitress.  He heads back to the strip club to seek her assistance.

Crystal would love nothing more than to walk out the door of Confessions and never look back.  Her father worked for the Church organization (organized crime) and when he died they came to Crystal to get the money he owed them.  After selling their house and all of their belongings it still wasn't enough.  Crystal was taken and after horrific events forced to work at Confessions as a waitress to pay off her father's debt.  She does this, as well as dates the head of security there, to take care of her younger sister who is in college and has epilepsy.  Once Jenna is done with school Crystal plans on taking her and running far, far away.

Shane is a huge speed bump in the road. Crystal is attracted to him so very much and realizes that he's a good guy - something she's not seen much of in the past four years.  She wants to get closer to him but her boyfriend Bruno is a possessive ass.  She tries to help Shane as much as possible but eventually her help puts not only herself but Jenna in danger and that might screw everyone's lives up.

I must admit after the way I loved the first book in this series I truly thought that the high could not be held.  Oh how wrong I was.  This story is every bit as good as book 1 but with it's own unique story line.  I loved reading the ins and outs of the men of Hard Ink as well as getting to know Crystal (whose real name is Sara).

Sara - my God what a strong woman she was.  After all of the crap she'd been through she was still standing strong.  Yes, she had to do things she didn't like but she was constantly thinking of the end game and just carried on.  She had been through hell and while she had to play a part and though she'd lost part of herself, it was there, growing stronger by the day.  I admired her so much!

Shane. *sigh*  What a total hottie who had a huge heart!  His past had been tortured as well and he'd lived through not only his sisters kidnapping but the ambush on his team.  Despite those, or maybe because of those things he was a compassionate and caring man who was also one big badass.  Loved him.

The secondary characters were awesome - just as I expected them to be.  We got more of all the men and we even got a Motorcycle Club thrown in there as well.  Yum. lol  It was great to catch up with Nick, Becca, Charlie, Jeremy, Marz, Easy and Beckett - as well as the 3 legged dog, Eileen.

The story flowed so well and was very readable.  I got completely wrapped up in the characters and didn't want the book to end.  I can't wait to see what happens next in this exciting series.

Rating: 4 out of 5

1 comment:

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