Title: Hard As You Can (Hard Ink, Book Two)
Author: Laura Kaye
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Genre: Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Paperback, 384 pages
ARC provided by Edelweiss
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.
Laura Kaye has done it again and penned a brilliant romantic suspense with Hard As You Can--the second book in the Hard Ink series.
In fact, I enjoyed this book more than the first.
I think that is due to the on-going story ARC as well as understanding the characters that make up this series. As each fascinating trait or quirk is revealed, I fall more in love with the men of Hard Ink.
Shane McCallan won my vote as all-time favorite with his tenderness and huge heart. His desire to protect Sara (aka Crystal) and her sister was palpable. And the way he holds himself responsible for his own sister's kidnapping broke my heart.
After literally running into Crystal in a strip club during a mission to rescue Charlie, Shane cannot get her out of his mind. And he's determined to find out more about this mysterious woman. When their current mission leads them back to Confessions, Shane reaches out to Crystal for information. When Shane realizes just how dangerous Crystal's current situation is, he can't help but want to reach out and help her. And just maybe, his guilt for not being able to help his little sister years ago will somehow be lessened.
Crystal is waiting for a chance to escape the hell her life has become.For the moment, she is left with no other choice but to work at Confessions as a waitress. And her boyfriend, Bruno Ashe, is paying for the expensive medication her sister needs to help control her seizures. Crystal knows that the club is the devil's playground--one that deals with drugs and the selling of women as slaves. But she puts on a smile and plays the role, praying for the day when she and her sister can escape.
When Shane asks for information that will help bring him and his friends closer to discovering who is behind their dishonorable discharge, Crystal decides to take the risk and helps him out. Used to being treated like a possession, Shane's behavior toward her is a welcome surprise. And Crystal starts to yearn for something that isn't possible, especially when she has no plans to stay in Baltimore.
Hard As You Can is action-oriented and filled with a twisty plot to keep you reading until the last page. And once you're there...you'll be begging for book three.