Thursday, April 16, 2015

Release Week Blitz for Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Fans of the Hard Ink series have reason to celebrate as Hard to Be Good by Laura Kaye just released.  This series is a wonderful blend of suspense, romance, and delicious heroes and with this release we get double the deliciousness as this installment is m/m-themed.  So keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of this book, along with my impressions of it.  To be part of the celebration fill out the form below for the chance to win a $10 bookstore GC too!

Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever.
Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way.
With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good...


“You should be inside celebrating,” Jeremy said, his voice a raw scrape. “You and Marz did an amazing thing this morning.” An hour ago, Marz and Charlie had cracked open a heavily encrypted microchip that contained a wealth of information that not only seemed likely to help the team clear its name, but proved that Charlie’s father hadn’t been dirty, like they’d all thought. “And I’m so happy for you about your dad.”
A wounded darkness passed through Charlie’s gaze, but he finally nodded. “Didn’t feel right without you there.” Pink filtered into his cheeks, and damn if that wasn’t as cute as it was sexy. Jeremy wasn’t sure anything had ever made him blush.
“I’m just not—” Jeremy shrugged and looked down at Charlie’s chest again. Having seen the guy dress more than once, he knew that shirt covered lean muscle that ran from strong shoulders down to his narrow hips. Jeremy fisted his hands against the urge to burrow them under the hem of the tee. After weeks of looking, and wanting, he was dying to touch. Jeremy found Charlie hard to read though, and hadn’t wanted to do anything to scare him off. “—very good company right now. I’m sorry if that—”
Charlie nudged Jeremy’s chin up with his hand, his fingers just barely touching Jer’s stubble-covered skin. But then his thumb landed softly against his lips.
Jeremy’s heartbeat kicked up and his lips fell open. Slowly, oh so tentatively, Charlie stroked the soft pad of his thumb back and forth across them.
“Charlie,” Jeremy whispered as arousal surged through his body, spiking his pulse, tensing his muscles, hardening his dick.
Uncertainty poured off Charlie as the man’s hand trembled where it touched him, but those blue eyes absolutely blazed desire. No way was Jeremy imagining that.
“You’re always good company, to me,” Charlie said in a low voice, his gaze dropping to Jeremy’s lips. Charlie leaned in closer, and closer still, and Jeremy could hardly believe the other man was the one to initiate this. But he was fucking thrilled.
Jeremy swallowed, his lips anticipating that first soft brush. Charlie was so close his shaky breath caressed Jeremy’s lips. His pace was maddening but so damn sexy Jer could barely breathe. And then Charlie’s eyelids fluttered closed and he was right there…




Danger and suspense continues to swirl around Nick and his men, along with the strays they've collected in trying to solve the mystery of their being attacked all those years ago.  In the aftermath of the building's collapse in the previous book, it's all about life affirmation and not wanting to waste anymore time on "what if".  This is especially true for Nick's brother and tattoo artist Jeremy, as well as Charlie who they recently rescued from a kidnapping.  From the moment Charlie came to recuperate, with Jeremy keeping watch, their crackling connection was palpable and has only gained in intensity.  It's getting harder just to remain friends, and with their lives constantly on the line time to reach their HEA is slipping away.

Jeremy's always been full of life, easygoing and quick to smile.  He says what he thinks and is self-assured.  Being around Charlie though has confused him.  He's bisexual but never felt such intense feelings for a man before.  Though Charlie's his opposite in every way he's drawn to the sense of calm he gives him.  With Charlie's past, and his low self-esteem, theirs is a relationship that he'll have to take slowly.  With such an intense connection though slow isn't going to happen which leads to a combustible encounter that paves the way for more.  Jeremy's a delightful man, fun and flirty, with a talent for talking dirty yet being heartfelt too.  He brings Charlie out of his shell and gives him a family that he's not had before and it all brought a tear to my eye.

Charlie's always been introverted, more comfortable with his computers than with real people.  His father's disappointment with his being gay isolated him and further ate away at his self-esteem.  With his recent kidnapping he's now missing two fingers which has left him feeling a bit useless and unattractive.  All these issues have kept him from making his attraction to Jeremy known.  The shy yet fiery glances though make it more than apparent that he wants Jeremy and when Jeremy finally makes a move it's like a weight's been lifted. Jeremy gives him a sense of self-worth and acceptance that left me rooting for them.  Though his life's constantly in danger now, this group of people have become his family and accept him wholeheartedly.  He might have started off the story as a shy recluse, but by story's end he was grabbing on to life with both hands.  His transformation was cheer-inducing and has me excited for his future that now seems to be heading towards HEA courtesy of Jeremy.

As a reader who's read only a few of the books in the Hard Ink series I didn't exactly feel lost with this installment, as Ms. Kaye nicely recapped things throughout the story.  What I felt though was a bit left out and not as invested as I usually am when I read an entire series from beginning to end.  With such compelling and likable characters I definitely plan on reading EVERY book as this installment left me wanting to dig deeper.  There was a nice blend of suspense that kept me on the edge of my seat as well as LOTS of steamy and erotica m/m lovin' that was on par with authors who are dedicated m/m writers.  These scenes were vividly depicted and were emotionally intense as well as playful.  A bit too much time might have been given to their erotic encounters for some readers, but for me I like lots of bang for my buck.  Jeremy and Charlie are ultimately a great match, both bringing out something in the other that was missing.  Their evolution of friends to lovers was sweet, sexy, and satisfying but over way too soon.

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from Edelweiss for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

And don’t miss the other Hard Ink books, now available:


Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. 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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