I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye
Published by Avon, HarperCollins on 2014-02-25
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Suspense, War & Military
Source: the publisher
Buy on Amazon
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.
I’ve got to just come right out and admit it.. I LOVE THIS SERIES!! Sexy as hell men with heroines that aren’t completely pushovers… what’s not to love?
This installment picks up near where we left the last installment with the rescue of Charlie. In this one we get to see more of the waitress that didn’t blow their cover but instead helped the men escape by buying them a critical couple of seconds. As we get to see more of the nightmare she lives every day we also get to see more of the Churchmen and the gang that holds key information that could help our men clear their names.
Crystal isn’t 100% certain why she didn’t scream when she saw the men in masks fleeing the basements of the club she works at but something about the grey-eyed man made her decide to play along and let him go. She also knows enough to not say anything when questioned by her boyfriend and his associates but for the life of her she isn’t sure why. All she knows is there is something about him that makes her want things she has kept buried for a long time while playing a very dangerous game. We get to see her struggle with what she wants and what she has to do for the next eight months until she can run away forever. She’s strong and doesn’t throw pity parties for herself even when the situation she is in would break most people. She’s smart, practical and above all else she is a survivor! She’s taken everything that life has thrown at her to make a life for her sister that seems as normal as is possible but still on edge. I loved watching her start to trust our hero and even though he presents danger to her in more ways than one she does see that he does nothing to hurt her or force her to do anything other than what she needs. Seeing her take something for herself was an amazing moment and I’m glad we got to witness it via this book.
Shane is a classic hero in that he takes everything on himself with no thought about maybe just maybe things weren’t his fault. He’s always blamed himself for a tragedy in his childhood but that tragedy made him the perfect man for Crystal. He sees things she isn’t willing to show others and witnessing this giant of a man be so gentle with her and her sister was beautiful. He instinctively knows what she needs but instead of forcing her to see things his way he lets her take the lead. You’ll break a bit watching him struggle between what is right for his team and what he knows is right for her but the good news is she is smart enough to step back and figure it out without letting him go. I think the moment that made me feel for him the most is when he finally opens up about what happened in his past and seeing the support he got was heart wrenching and yet so satisfying. The fact that he finds a woman that will push him as needed but also be someone he can satisfy his need to protect his loved ones is such a wonderful thing.
Special thanks to Avon and Laura Kaye for giving me the chance to read this one early! I really enjoyed it and am looking forward to seeing the rest of the men find their matches…. More more more please!