Hard as you Can by Laura Kaye: Release Day Launch Review and GIVEAWAY

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.

Hard As You Can is the second book in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series. It is fast paced, exciting, and has some hot sex scenes. I loved nearly everything about this book. Nearly everything. I do not believe in “insta-love” and it’s a rare book that can pull it off with believability. The only issue I have with this book is the quickness of throwing around the phrase “I love you”. I lust you, I like you, I want to see you naked all of the time because you are the hottest thing I have ever seen…those are all acceptable. That aside, I loved the chemistry between Shane and Crystal. The struggle she goes through and the sacrifices she has to make feel real and make her a character you can’t help but root for.

Shane….Shane is just damn sexy! Hell, all of the men in this book are! You get to know everyone a little better and I cannot wait for the next book which will focus on Easy <3 I can’t say enough how this is my favorite type of series! Each book has a disaster that must be faced that somehow involves the overarching storyline. The self-contained storyline finishes out and you get more hints as to how the series will finish. No cliffhangers, just fast paced, sharp writing that you can simply enjoy. A solid 4 Stars and a lot of impatience for the next installment!

Today, I’ve got a scene filled with lots of sexual tension and emotion to share with you, one that I absolutely adored writing! I hope you enjoy this look into the growing attraction between Shane and Crystal from Hard As You Can:

“I didn’t mean to criticize you, Crystal. I just cannot abide violence against women. Period. Especially not someone I know.” A long pause. “And definitely not someone I like.” After everything that had happened to her, the words were a balm for her psyche.

Footsteps came up behind her, slowly, cautiously, like she was a wild animal who would bolt in an instant. And she supposed there was some truth to that analogy.

Torn between returning to the danger she knew or staying with the one she didn’t, Crystal debated. Her heart told her Shane might well be the most dangerous man she’d ever met because he made her want, wish, maybe even dream.

Not at all sure it was a good idea, Crystal slowly turned.

Shane was right in front of her. A rock in the middle of a raging sea, a refuge she might claim if she had the strength and the will and the nerve to fight for it. To believe she deserved it. She hugged herself.

“Hey,” he said, cupping her face in his big hands. His fingers slid behind her neck and gently massaged.

She shook her head and glanced toward the treetops in an effort to pinch off the sting building behind her eyes. Why did she have to meet him now? She’d had a plan, and all she’d needed to do was follow it for a few more months. “You don’t even know me.”

“No. Not everything. But I know more than a little. And that much I like enough to want to know more.” His fingers rubbed her neck, gently, soothingly.

And his words, well, his words were perfect. Maybe even too much so. Too good to be true, she thought. “I already told you I’d share what I’d learned. You don’t have to play me.”

His eyes narrowed, and he frowned. “You listen hard and you listen good, sweetness,” he said, the words firm but the tone urgent, almost desperate, and laced with his southern accent. “I’m not perfect, and God knows I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. But I would never play with a woman’s emotions to get information out of her. That kind of manipulation doesn’t hold with me. Ever.”

Sweetness. She’d heard everything he’d said. The passion with which he’d said it. The sincerity that burned from his gaze as the words had poured from his lips. But it was the term of endearment that reached into her chest and gripped her heart. For a long moment, they stood there, bodies touching, faces inches apart, his hands holding her in that firm-but-gentle way he had.

Thunder rumbled again, closer this time, and her heart was a drum beat double-timing
inside her chest. If his hands didn’t feel it racing, he’d have to hear it, because the sound was a loud rush rush in her ears. Beneath the sports bra and tank, her nipples went hard. If his gaze dropped, she knew he’d see, but she couldn’t bring herself to feel self-conscious about it. Not when he was looking at her like he wanted to devour her.

His gaze dropped to her lips.

She shuddered, everything inside her but the smallest voice of reason crying out for him to do it. Just once.

“Tell me not to,” he said, his voice a raw scrape.

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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