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Hard As You Can: A Hard Ink Novel Mass Market Paperback – February 25, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 388 customer reviews
Book 2 of 5 in the Hard Ink Series

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Editorial Reviews


"TOP PICK! There is a sinister and desperate edge to this tale that will keep readers glued to their seats. Kaye has dark romantic suspense nailed!" ~ RT Book Reviews Magazine

"Hard As You Can is another five star read. The characters Ms. Kaye has created are wonderfully broken and the drama is gritty, but the burgeoning romance and the tight-knitted relationship of the team leaves you with a sense of redemption. A must read series!" ~San Francisco Book Review

"Edgy, sexy and full of suspense!" ~ #1 NYT Bestselling Author J.R. Ward

"TOP PICK! A suspenseful and electrifying new series. Kaye is one to watch!" ~RT Book Reviews Magazine

"Sizzling romance...will appeal to fans of Suzanne Brockmann and Lindsay McKenna." ~Publishers Weekly Review

"Kaye's depiction of sexual tension and her sex scenes are masterful." ~Booklist

**An Amazon Editors' Pick for Best Romance of the Year So Far for 2014!**

Nominated for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 in the RT Reviewers' Choice Awards!

Finalist for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014 in the Golden Leaf Awards!

“Laura Kaye is synonymous with great, sexy romance.” (Jennifer Probst, New York Times bestselling author)

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Product Details

  • Series: Hard Ink (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon (February 25, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062267906
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062267900
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #498,076 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is strongly action genre following a group of soldiers with super spy abilities and no government ties. They are investigating violent criminals who are based in a topless bar. The two main characters have a romantic subplot. She has been forced to work for the criminals for years and wants out. He is one of the soldier and has nightmares about his sister's abduction.

The action plot is good, but suffers greatly from her doing something mind bogglingly stupid at 60% or so because the author had written herself into a corner. Basically her getaway plan was perfect but borring, and how the author got out of that was so lame it took me out of flow. Other than that, the solders actions are over-the-top yet plausible enough to be fun.

The romance starts okay but devolves into insecure angst. Then the romance turns unbelievable and a turnoff for me. Seriously, who could get intimate when (spoiler omitted)? Seriosly, just no. Ignoring that, the romance plot has way too much fretting and "woe is me" angst to be fun. The best part of the romance plot is them making calf eyes at each other in the first third of the book.

A major problem for me was that the author used a topless bar as the setting and then ranted against topless bars. (Loose the attitude or loose the topless bar.) Like the movies, this is the sort of lame topless bar where no one ever takes their top off on camera.

Overall, the first half is 4 star and worth the $2 current price. The last half is barely worth skimming. I was impressed that the author isolated this book from the series. The topless bar investigation is part of a bigger issue that connects a series of books, yet this book can still be read in isolation. Kudos for that.
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Format: Kindle Edition
"Complimentary copy provided by author/publisher for an honest review."

Laura Kaye's Hard Ink series is the story of five dishonored soldiers who band together to clear their names from any wrongdoing, never expecting just how complicated the situation would turn out to be. The second book in the series, Hard As You Can, picks up where Hard As It Gets left off, except this time around, protagonists Shane McCallan and Crystal Dean are front and center, showing once again that, even in the midst of danger and chaos, there's always time for a little romance. With Shane and Crystal at the helm, the stakes are higher, with new threats, new enemies and even more unanswered questions.

Hard As You Can delves further into the convoluted mystery that reunited the Hard Ink team, combining the drama and suspense surrounding the mission with the intense romantic connection between Shane and Crystal that is evident from their first meeting. Their physical attraction to each other is immediate, but the emotional aspect of their relationship grows deeper with each encounter. Crystal and Shane are similar characters, each haunted by past actions and living each day with the consequences of their choices. Shane has a savior complex and as much as she tries to be independent, Crystal is desperately in need of his help. I respected both characters' strength and bravery, especially in the face of the horrors they've been subjected to. With all the heartache they've experienced, I couldn't help but root for their happiness.

What makes the Hard Ink series special is the camaraderie between the group of guys (and Becca). Even with the bad blood lingering between them, they are a tight knit, if somewhat unconventional family.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Oh goodness, I just love Laura Kaye's books. Seriously, each makes me fall head over heels with it in no time. And I just loved this continuation of the Hard Ink guys's story.

Hard As You Can opens a lot of doors and really advanced the overall story arc. I'm really intrigued to see where it will go from here, since it just keeps getting more complex and more intriguing.

The ending! Oh my goodness! S*** just got real folks. And oh my. I need book 3, like NEED IT NOW.

The characters are so fantastic, and I am just so excited to see whose story will be told next. And I love that I get to see more from the other characters as well with each book, even though each has a different main character.

I seriously just love this series - it is so much fun, so much hunkiness, and so much at stake. The storyline for this series is fantastic and the romance is just as good. A must read.
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By Misha on November 17, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I may have developed a bit of a crush on Shane in as Hard As It Gets, so I eagerly dived into his story. He struck me as quite a charmer, and I was looking forward to seeing how he would win Crystal over. Shane was much deeper than I had expected. I adored his protective and caring side. He was so tender and genuinely kind to Crystal. My heart went out to him over the guilt he felt from his childhood. No man should have to carry that type of pain for so long. At the same time, it definitely helped me understand his motives and actions.

Crystal was truly an incredible woman. She made so many sacrifices for her sister, and I was constantly in awe of her strength and perseverance. Crystal was trapped in some of the worse circumstances possible, and yet she managed to keep her head above water and take care of her sister. It was such a relief when Shane came into her life and she was able to start leaning on someone. I liked her chemistry with him, but it was the emotional connection between the two that really drew me into their story and made me want to root for them.

I continued to enjoy the dynamics of the Hard Ink crew in this book, and I was especially pleased with the status of Shane and Nick’s relationship. Kaye did a great job of mixing romance and suspense in this book. The main storyline worked seamlessly with the progression of the men trying to unravel the details of their military past and restore their names. Once again I was hooked from page one. Shane and Crystal were both so deserving of happiness and a bright future. I am very much looking forward to reading Easy and Jenna’s story next!
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