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.
©2014 Laura Kaye (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers
This is one book that I would not only read again and again, but the performance by Serephine Valentine for this whole series is fantastic. I have even gone so far as to getting other books just because she is the narrator. Although, the story is phenominal in of itself. Laura Kaye's characters grab you at the start and you can't stop reading or listening until you know the ending.
My favorite character was really the dynamics between the two Rixey brothers as well as Becca and Charlie even though he is mostly in absentia.
I liked the scenes when Nick boxed with Becca and when Nick started to see Jeremy as not just his little brother but also as his adult equal.
I cried openly when Becca found her brothers broken guitar, and then again when Nick drew the guitar on Becca's skin.
I love how the story continues from book 1, but has its own story/romance as well. The relationship between Shane and Sarah is not cookie cutter story of Rixey's and Becca's from the first book, and I really appreciated that.
When Sarah openly shows Shane what she has been hiding from him (he was already aware of it, but she didn't know that), and he made her feel beautiful about something that had made her feel ugly and humiliated.
Shane-definitely Shane-with that accent and attitude!
When Sarah finally decided to let Shane and the team help her-having had to take care of herself and her sister alone since their father died, she had been shouldering so much, she was close to breaking. When she finally trusted enough to allow someone to help, I could actually feel some of the tension leave my shoulders.
I'm eager to continue with the series!
A well written story if not a little long. Besides a couple of steamy scenes, that were a long time coming, this story falls more into the Romantic Suspense genre, IMO. I am not saying that is a bad thing but I have realised I need my steam and less drama in my stories.
I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)
This was a very good book. I liked Crystal and Shane and was happy that things worked out for them. This was a good addition to the series and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.
Crystal is a waitress at a strip bar but not by choice. Her mother and father are both dead and her father died with a debt to a gang. This gang then came after Crystal for the money. Crystal has a little sister named Jenna that has epilepsy and Crystal is determined to take care of her and protect her. When Crystal was given the option to work for the strip club as a way to pay back the debt (giving up the majority of her wages) she took it (as it was much better than other options). Unfortunately this kindness ended up getting her involved with a gang member that tends to beat Crystal and threaten her sister to ensure her obedience. Crystal plots and plans for the day when Jenna completes college and they can run away and hopefully escape the gang.
Shane is a good guy and a ex-special forces who (along with 4 other team mates) was framed and discharged from service (and not honorably). Shane lost his sister when he was young and feels responsible for her loss. Because of this, Shane is particularly sensitive about women in trouble. Shane is in town working with his old team trying to clear their names.
In the first book of the series, Hard as it Gets, Shane helped his teammates free the brother of Becca (the heroine from that book). During this mission, Shane meets Crystal and she ends up helping them. Shane can’t forget her afterwards and worries she’ll get in trouble for helping them. This book picks up immediately after book #1 ends so it’s very soon after when Shane connects with Crystal again. He tries to get her help, hoping to get some info that might help their mission. He also has a personal interest in her though and it grows stronger each time he sees her. Crystal is walking a fine line, trying to keep her “boyfriend” happy, keeping her sister safe and always acting perfect lest it all fall to pieces around her. Because of living this life for the last 4 years, Crystal doesn't trust anyone and so Shane has trouble getting her to give him a chance. Regardless of her reserve, Crystal does end up slipping helpful info to Shane even though it puts her in danger. Crystal has a really tough time of things and as her past and present experiences unfold it’s easy to see that Crystal is a very strong woman that has gotten past a lot.
Shane falls for Crystal pretty quickly but I felt a little bad for him as he has a tough time getting Crystal to trust him. She’s understandably skittish and a time or 2 he does mess up and push her a bit hard. Crystal falls for Shane as well but can’t believe her luck would ever allow her to have someone as good as Shane. Crystal keeps trying to push Shane away in an effort to protect herself but she has trouble not reacting to him (both physically and emotionally). Shane’s determined to help Crystal and keeps trying, offering her whatever help she’ll accept. She doesn't accept immediately but eventually when Jenna convinces her it’s necessary, Crystal asks Shane for help escaping her life. Before things can get worked out, Crystal’s life goes nuts and her sister is put in danger. There’s much drama as the rescue is planned and implemented. There’s also some good progress made in the series story line (about clearing their names) but things are still in the works. Crystal ends up being of great help in the progress made in this book. Things get wrapped up in this book with Crystal and Shane admitting their feelings for each other and working things out between them so they can start their HEA.
This was a very good story. I liked both Shane and Crystal and liked the story. I think this book was a little more poignant and emotional than the first book in some ways because of the reluctance to get involved on Crystal’s side. It made things a little more dramatic as you’re left wondering how Shane will get Crystal to trust him. Once again I felt the story was well balanced between the romance and the action/suspense. I can’t wait until the next book comes out. I’d recommend this book. Thumbs up. :)
I have liked the previous novels from this author, however I just couldn't connect with this one. I wasn't invested in the characters, and couldn't see their apparent closeness!!! The storyline made me cringe, and I felt no real romance while the HEA was in an unhealthy relationship with a pig. The hero tried to make her see that he would help?? Didn't finish the audiobook, as I could see no good coming from the story. I think the author tried too hard to get a point across with this one, but failed in the execution.
It was Great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I loved everybody. Especially Shane, Crystal(Sarah), Nick Becca and everyb ody else.
I just got it the other day, and I have already listened to it 5'X's. It was that good.
Tell us about yourself!
I would recommend this audiobook because not only does the story keep you on the edge of your seat but the narrator, Seraphine Valentine, gave a wonderful performance as each character.
the storyline keeps you on your toes and I love the secondary character as much as the primary ones.
The scene that was my favorite was Shane and Sara's first kiss.
action, adventure, and love scenes that will have your heart pounding!
This series has become one of the best series in my library.
This book may be similar to Secret Maneuvers by Jessie Lane. They are both about ex military, and they both have romance, action, and suspense.
Yes, Book one in this series and it is just as good as book two.
I totally love this series. This book has everything you could ask for such as romance, action, and suspense. I also like that the next book in the series doesn't take long to come out. If you like awesome books then this is one. Happy reading!
reviewed wrong book for one more day
I absolutely loved this book. The story continues from the first book seamlessly. You won't be sorry using a credit on this book!!!
Crazy for audiobooks!!
I enjoyed everything about this book. The story line, the narration, the content of each incident and character was so very well done. I also enjoy how the first book of this series and it's events carry on in the following books. All of it making perfect sense and the comradory of the male characters is touching.
It's a true romance and I found the interactions between Shane and Sara to be very beautifully done.
I look forward to buying the next book in this series.
"Love it !!!"
Just as good if not better than the first loved the narrator !!! Great story yet still intrigued as too what's going on ! Can't wait for next installment xx
I totally believe how both characters felts great author and narrator x
"Can't wait for the next one"
Absolutely loved it. I didn't think Nick and Becca's love story could be beat, but I was wrong. I must admit I completely fangirled over Shane and the way he was with Crystal. Unlike a lot of other similar series, you were given enough of the previous duo to keep you satisfied. Can't forget the rest of the team either, they are just great together. I have a soft spot for Jeremy and hope we get more of his story in future even just a novella. There is a lot of romance in this series but it is also SO much more. The over all story is intriguing and leaves you wondering where it is going next. Is the next book out yet?? I wish it was, because I would have it downloaded already. Definitely one of those authors who you hope writes fast.
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