Title: Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink #1)
Author: Laura Kaye
Source: received copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review
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...
Hard As It Gets is the first book in the brand new Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye. Our heroine is Becca – a cute and innocent woman whose brother has gone missing. Before he disappears, Charlie gives Becca a message that says to get the help of Nick Rixey. Little does Becca know, her father (an army commander) ruined the lives of Nick and several men on his team. Of course, Nick holds a grudge and doesn't think he should care about the problems that his ex-commander's family is having. He turns Becca away, but yet can't get her out of his mind.
The characters were all great. Nick is this ex-soldier turned tattoo artist who is a little rough around the edges. He has a lot of physical and emotional scars that he must deal with on a daily basis. Becca may be the innocent damsel in distress, but she's not stupid. A lot of things happen to her that would make most women have a breakdown, but Becca keeps pushing forward – determined to find her brother. There are a lot of interesting secondary characters, including Nick's brother Jeremy. I'm really hoping that he gets a book of his own. Also included in this book are the remaining members of the Special Ops team, who come to Nick's aid.
Hard As It Gets is a great romantic mystery. It's not a fun, carefree romance. It's serious, yet sensual at the same time. It's a fast-paced mix of romance, mystery, and action – in that order. It's first and foremost a romance – a very steamy one at that. If you love hot romance, intriguing mystery, tattoos, and sexy military men – then this book is for you!
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