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Hard As You CanTall, dark, and lethal

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.

Avon  ✿  Published February 25, 2014
Hard as You Can is the second book in the “Hard Ink” series

Allow me to repeat the opening line from my review of Hard As It Gets, the first book in the Hard Ink series – I jokingly once told a fellow blogger that our reviews for the books we adore should simply be a finger pointing to the Amazon link and the words “Trust Me.” I wish I had that art ready for this post.

Hard As You Can sucked me in from the first page and refused to let me go, leading to a couple of late nights and a few tears shed in public. Our dishonored Special Forces boys are back, working toward clearing their names and protecting the people they care about. Luckily for us, that number keeps growing.

We get a look into the life of Crystal this time – waitress, sister, and someone who has a lot of deep, dark secrets eating her alive. I’ll be honest, the subjects touched upon in this book are way darker than I normally choose to read. But Laura handled all of it with grace and a light touch that kept the book from descending into nothing but darkness. Crystal is funny and strong, and while she is living a personal hell, she’s also planning for a future away from the forced servitude of her life. That takes guts and brains. I like those in a heroine.

Shane. Really, what can I say about him? He’s hot, strong, caring, adorably sweet with Crystal and so so gentle. I loved him from the start. His little pet nicknames for Crystal and the way he was always touching her in these innocent, gentle ways just made my heart melt. And the dancing – trust me, you will like the dancing.

The plot is fast-paced and intense, with a few twists and turns along the way that expand our cast of characters. Of course we still get to spend time with the Hard Ink crew, including seeing Nick and Becca being all lovey and happy together. Eileen even gets quite a bit of page-time, our favorite three-legged puppy! The build-up for the overall arc of the series is strong in this one, and you just know things are going to be getting a lot more intense in the future.

5_FiveEmotional and moving, Hard As You Can is another phenomenal five star read filled with romance, action and plenty of intrigue to keep your attention. I loved it and can not wait for the next installment in the series.

And don’t forget to come back on February 25th when we will be posting an excerpt, a giveaway and a little Q&A with Laura. It’s a book blitz, baby!

Laura KayeAbout the Author

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Laura’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.