Monday, February 24, 2014

Hard As You Can By Laura Kaye



Today I am tickled pink to be taking part in yet another great release day blitz for Laura Kaye. This one is for the second installment in the Hard Ink Series, As Hard As You Can. This is going to be one supper long post let me tell ya. This book is fantastic, and full of mystery and heat. I loved the first book, Hard As It Gets, and I really think this one upped the anti. Truthfully, I love everything Kaye writes, especially her tortured soldiers, and Shane just hit a home run as the perfect alpha male. With a tender side.  Take a look, and then I will let you know what I thought.

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.

Really to read this book is to love it. I couldn't put it down. In fact when I had to, I found myself missing the characters and wondering if they were all right. That's just how good it is. You forget these guys are characters and you find yourself so invested in them that they consume you. To me the sign of a damn good book.

When Shane runs into Crystal you just know that she is one battle he won't be able to walk away from. Too many ghosts are fighting him from his past, and he just has to bring some honor back to his life. And you know Crystal is one of those girls that is fighting for her life, trying to be tough when all she wants to do is fall apart. Add that to the backdrop of the continued fight for the Hard Ink guys to clear their names, while protecting Becca, and it's just an adrenalin packed thrill ride. With soul stealing romance.  (I need to know Kaye's secret for creating such real and accessible characters. I'm in awe of her.)

What I love about this book is it's seamless transition from the first installment, right into the new point of view, without missing a beat. There is no backtracking and retelling, it's just a continuing flow. But this also makes it vital to read the first book, and the whole series. There is no way you will be able to pick this one up even one book in and be caught up. I can't wait to see the conclusion and how everything works out. Kaye just immerses herself in this world and makes it so real. It's hard to wait for the next book. This book is hands down 5 stars for me!!!!!

Here's a sneak peek of Hard As You Can: ((Read all the way to the end to enter the Rafflecopter!!!))


 
“Do you like to dance, Crystal?” Shane asked in a low voice.

 
“Uh, what? Why?”

 
His smile was crooked, playful. “ ’Cause dancing’s something people do when they’re getting to know each other.”

 
“Really?” Maybe where he was from. Then again, she worked in a strip club. Dancing was something people did to make money. So, okay, maybe her view of dancing was a bit jaded.

 
“Absolutely. Ask anybody.” The song faded away, followed by the announcement of a Southern rock station’s call sign. A new song started, and Shane turned to her with a smile. “Dance with me.”

 
Crystal peered up at him without the slightest idea how to respond. Because her body was saying hell, yes!, while her brain was screaming bad idea, really, really bad idea.

 
He stepped closer, arms raised, expression full of all kinds of invitation.

 
The next thing she knew, her right hand was in his and her left had slipped around his neck. Ohmigod, ohmigod, ohmigod, ran over and over in her mind. What am I doing? But then he tucked her hand against his chest and tugged her against him with the hand that settled at her lower back. And the closeness stole her breath.

 
He moved them to the beat of the song, a slow, sexy, bluesy number she didn’t know but would never forget. Some songs carried memories like the images were imprinted upon the very lyrics themselves, and she had no doubt this would be one of them.

 
All of a sudden, the air in the room felt ten degrees warmer. As they swayed to the beat, Shane’s body pressed against hers from thighs to chest. With every step and move and turn, Crystal’s breasts rubbed against the hard plane of his chest. Strong hands held and guided her body, making her want to feel them explore her everywhere. Arousal rose like a waking dragon inside her. Cautious. Curious. Dangerous.

 
This was wrong and stupid on so many levels. But, scary as it was, it felt so freaking good that she couldn’t force herself to pull away. One song. It’s just a dance. Just a dance just a dance just a dance.
 

And, holy crap, she wasn’t the only one aroused.

 
Against her belly, Shane hardened.

 
Crystal sucked in a breath, and he pressed his lips close to her ear. “We’re just dancing here. That’s all. I promise,” he said. But the adrenaline was already in her blood, setting her to a trembling she couldn’t control. Part curious interest and part instinctive fear. “Sshh,” he almost cooed. “Just dancing.”

 
The echo of her own thoughts from a moment before allowed her to draw a breath that almost calmed. They turned and swayed to the music, moving closer, pressing tighter, Shane’s lips so close to her face that she could feel his breath shudder across her cheekbone.

 
He was a fire she had no business playing with. She knew that even as she leaned her face against his . . . and got exactly what she’d hoped for.

 
He kissed her.

 
Just a brush of his lips against her cheek, but a kiss all the same.

 
And as much as it made her head spin, it was the little catch of breath in the back of his throat that sent a jolt of electricity down her spine to settle low in her belly. Light as a feather, he caressed her cheek, her temple, her ear with his lips. With him, always such gentleness, so different from almost every other sexual experience she’d ever had. It made her feel safe to allow this to continue.

 
Between them, his erection was firm, long, totally unyielding.

 
She shivered, caught between interest and fear, desire a river moving faster and faster inside her. The whole experience was a revelation—that her body had the capacity to respond this way, that a person existed who could pull these reactions from her.

 
For a moment, she gave herself over to the dizzying sensations. In her mind’s eye, she saw them undressing, fumbling their way back the hall, falling naked and wanting on the bed. What would it be like, just once, to take something that she wanted without worrying about anyone else, without being afraid? Just one wild, secret night, all for her? What would Shane be like?

 

So that’s Shane and Crystal for you! Did you have a favorite line? Thanks for reading!

~Laura

 

“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”

~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets

 

About Hard As You Can:

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.

 

Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets

Buy Hard As You Can at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo

 

About Laura Kaye:

 

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. 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.

 http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/97a55e18/" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway



 

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