Author: Laura Kaye
Publication: Avon (November 26, 2013)
Description: 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...
My Thoughts: HARD AS IT GETS was an entertaining, spicy and thrilling story. Nurse Becca Merritt's younger brother is missing. She did find a message from him telling her to go to Hard Ink - a tattoo parlor - and find Nick Rixey to help her out. Nick was one of the men who was in the Army Special Forces with her father who died a hero in Afghanistan.
Nick has been living at Hard Ink and marking time since he was drummed out of the military. He and the rest of their team were led into an ambush by Colonel Merritt who was doing some clandestine drug deal with the Afghanis. In the following cover-up, the surviving team members had their records changed to make it look like they were screw-ups who were trying to blacken the reputation of Colonel Merritt. They had their reputations blackened and lost their faith in the Army they had served faithfully.
When Becca comes for help, Nick shows her the door. But something about her - and his own sense of honor - doesn't let it end like that. He decides that he can spare a couple of days to watch her and see if she really is in trouble. When he catches someone breaking into her house, he takes her home with him and calls in his fellow survivors of the Afghan debacle to help him. They quickly learn that the issues are complex and there are quite a number of very powerful villains in this conspiracy. Corrupt police, gangs, and drug traffickers are somehow involved in the scheme that is threatening Becca and her brother Charlie and that led to Nick and his colleagues problems too.
This story was filled with hot romance as Becca and Nick fall in love with each other. It was also filled with strong friendships between Nick and his brother Jeremy and Nick and his Army teammates. The only negative that I can think of about the story was that the suspense plot was not resolved in this book. Luckily, book two is coming in March 2014 when one of Nick's army buddy gets his chance at romance and his chance to unravel the conspiracy.
If there was one thing all the losses in her life had taught her it was that life was short, fleeting, and way too precious to waste waiting around for happiness to hit you over the head and make itself known. Happiness wasn't something you found, happiness was something you made—by living in the moment, by cherishing the people in your life right now, by finding the courage to change those things you didn't like. She hadn't always gotten it right the last year or two, and that had to change. Starting now.I got this ARC through Amazon Vine. You can buy your copy here.