Series: Hard Ink,
Published by Harper Collins on February 25th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, Contemporary, Military, War & Military
Buy on: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks
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.
WARNING: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS IF YOU READ BOOK SYNOPSES
Laura Kaye’s second entry to her popular Hard Ink series, Hard As You Can, continues the story of five former disgraced Special Forces soldiers out to clear their name, and restore their honor. The second book picks up the day after the first book, Hard As It Gets, ends. Shane McCallan, a member of the squad can’t get over the notion that the young waitress who helped him and his team rescue Charlie Merritt may be in danger because of them. With a troubled past of his own, Shane’s conscious gets the best of him, and he won’t rest until he makes sure the woman is alright. Crystal Dean fears for her life after helping the masked man at the club where she works, and is torn between knowing she did the right thing, and the realization that helping him may have come with a cost too steep to pay.
Hard As You Get is another great entry into this series. The first novel made me really invested in the soldiers clearing their name, and Kaye keeps the ball rolling on their investigation. The pace of the book is pretty tight, and we meet some very interesting characters. Jeremy Rixey and Jenna Dean are very likeable, and I love that Kaye doesn’t drop Nick and Becca very far into the background, really making this world these characters live in read as incredibly realistic.
As for the main characters, Shane and Crystal, while I really loved Shane, I didn’t particularly care for Crystal until halfway through the book. Having read nearly the entire series, I will say she becomes even more likable as the series progresses. Crystal’s sister Jenna seemed like a stronger character in comparison, and I liked her a lot more even though she wasn’t a main character. The fact that I knew she would be “Easy’s” love interest in the first novella, made Jenna way more intriguing to me.
Do I Recommend?
Even though I wasn’t as invested in this book as much as I was the first, it still is a great read. My decrease in interest had more to do with my initial dislike of Crystal, and Shane’s apparent insta-love with her, then with the main plot of the guys investigating the Afghanistan ambush and their dishonorable discharge. While Kaye did a great job showing why Nick fell for Becca, I think she dropped the ball with Shane’s interest in Crystal. This is probably my least favorite of the pairings, but a necessary read if you are to understand the mystery the boys have landed in the middle of.