Review: Hard as It Gets by Laura Kaye (Hard Ink #1)

Becca Merritt's younger brother Charlie is missing and she heads to the one person whose name Charlie mentioned in his last communication with her: Nicholas Rixey. The minute she asks for his help, however, Nick turns her away. After all, why would he be interested in helping the daughter of the man who betrayed him and their Special Forces team in Afghanistan, leading to six senseless deaths and the loss of honor and integrity for the five who remained. But Nick quickly realizes his mistake and refuses to let Becca pay for what the late Colonel Merritt did to him and his teammates. Soon, it becomes clear that this isn't a simple case of Charlie skipping town and Nick calls in the only men he can rely on for a mission this dangerous and complex--his former teammates. Nick is willing to risk his life to help Becca and Charlie, but is he truly willing to lose his heart to his traitorous former commander's only daughter in the process?

Hard as It Gets is the first novel in the highly popular Hard Ink series from bestselling author Laura Kaye, a series about five former Special Forces members working to restore their honor and one that's been on my to-be-read list for quite some time, with the books sitting on my tablet for a couple of months now. This was a fantastic beginning and one that sets up the rest of the series quite nicely, keeping things intriguing with a story arc that runs throughout while resolving whatever issues Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt face here, something that remains true for each couple featured. Nick is a guy who took his job in the Army to heart and what he had to endure after the betrayal of his commander wasn't limited to physical injuries sustained but the mental and emotional burden of having lost six of his friends and teammates and having failed the four others who survived alongside him but with whom he's lost contact.

I finished all the available books in the series in two days because as soon as I finished one, I found myself starting whatever was up next in the reading order and it was all thanks to this first book. I was drawn in by the story of five men who were stripped of their dignity and honor by the very institution they served loyally for years and banded together again, in spite of a year of separation that caused them to splinter and sow feelings of hurt and anger, to learn the truth and take back what was owed to them. I loved Nick and Becca together, their relationship being a difficult one to maneuver because of what Becca's father did. The combination of romance, action, and suspense kept my attention from the cover 'til the very end of the story, and had me itching to learn more about what else was in store for this cast of characters, ex-military and non-military. Hard as It Gets sets the bar high and is a highly recommended five-star read. ♥

Date Read: 21 September 2015

Learn more about Laura Kaye here.

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