Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink Series #1) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome—pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's ...

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Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink Series #1)

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Overview

Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome—pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn't expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge . . .

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/07/2013
In the first of a new series set in a tattoo parlor, bestseller Kaye (One Night with a Hero) introduces the last remaining members of a disgraced Special Forces unit. When Becca Merritt’s brother, Charlie, goes missing, she begs assistance from Nick Rixey, the sexy but forbidding part-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, who once reported to her father in the Special Forces. Becca doesn’t know that her father, now deceased, led Nick and his group into a messy battle that left all but five dead. Touched by her courage and dogged by his conscience, Nick reluctantly agrees to help the attractive Becca, and their mutual suspicion soon turns into sizzling romance. Nick summons his former teammates as backup, and future books will clearly follow the fortunes of these men as they try to clear their names. The intriguing tattoo parlor and military background will appeal to fans of Suzanne Brockmann and Lindsay McKenna. Agent: Jennifer Schober, Spencerhill Associates. (Dec.)
Jennifer Probst
“Laura Kaye is synonymous with great, sexy romance.”
JR Ward
“Edgy, sexy and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”
Booklist
“Kaye’s depiction of sexual tension and her sex scenes are masterful, and this will appeal to fans of Maya Banks’ KGI and Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knight series.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062267894
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 11/26/2013
  • Series: Hard Ink Series , #1
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 2,702
  • File size: 898 KB

Meet the Author

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 231 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(144)

4 Star

(59)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(3)

1 Star

(8)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 231 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2014

    Plot spoilers

    Nearly every review is a blamed plot spoiler telling the entire book then bragging how THEY got their book for free for their 'honest' review. Get real, its not an honest review, its a bought review. Stop regurgitating the entire story and ruining it fir other readers. We have to buy our books. We dont get our books for free like you do. I personally like to read a book and not know what happens, not have some rude butthead like you tell me like i am too dumb to read it for myself. Bn, please ban these rude plot spoilers, fine them, limit the amount they can post, but please make them stop. People are sick of them!!!!

    53 out of 82 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    Seriously why are these reviews so long?

    Another book that i would have loved to read had it not been ruined by these obnoxious long reviews. Read the book, write a few sentences and let the rest of us enjoy the book.
    Why can't BN get better at this? Limit the amount of words to be written about a review.

    45 out of 84 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Great start to a new series.

    I fell in love with everyone in this story. The plot is thrilling and kept me wanting more. Laura Kaye is great at setting the scene. The characters leaped off the pages and I could not put this book down. I laughed, I cried and I fell in love with the puppy who she has written with so much personality you can't help but love her. I would have brought her home with me as well. The chemistry between Nick and Becca is smok'n hot. I very much look forward to the next book in the series in February.

    24 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 3, 2014

    I am not sure where to begin. When searching for new books I ha

    I am not sure where to begin. When searching for new books I have looked at this book at least a dozen times and read the description at least that many times. I was just unsure if I would like the romance suspense. OH MY FREAKING GOD!!! what was I thinking, I should have read this book the first time I looked at it. It was fantastic. Nick was very protective even after Becca's dad wasn't so honorable to him or his team. This book shows you that a team that is pulled apart by something bad that has happen can still come together when a person is in need of help. I can't express how much you should read this series and I look forward to the next book in the series... Seriously though.. have to wait until March for the next book ... :(

    17 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2013

    What a fantastic, fun and sexy read! My reaction, the second I

    What a fantastic, fun and sexy read!

    My reaction, the second I finished this book was:

    Holy. Hell.
    That was awesome!!

    (It really was. I posted exactly that online in my Avon Addicts group within a minute of finishing the last sentence.)

    Becca Merritt is one determined woman. Her brother, Charlie, has gone missing, and he's left her a single clue - to find Nick Rixey. Becca is driven to find her brother at any cost; he's her only family left, and she's not willing to give him up without a fight.

    Nick Rixey is a self-loathing Afghanistan war vet who's shut out everyone except his brother. He was discharged from the military with dishonor, and it was because of his ex-commander...who is also Becca's father (he was killed in Afghanistan). These days, he hangs out at his brother's tattoo place and does some ink art...and he's really, really good at it. The tattoo parlor, where Nick and his super-awesome, best-secondary character ever brother, Jeremy, is also where they live - and where Becca stays when the same guys who have her brother...well, I'll leave that to you to discover. ;)

    (Handy tip: Keep an eye out for Jeremy's shirts. They will make you laugh and wonder what he'll be wearing next!)

    The chemistry between Nick and Becca is phenomenal. Kaye has a definite talent when it comes to sexual tension; she would Nick and Becca so tight, my Kindle almost imploded. The two of them moved very naturally into a relationship, and I really adored them together. Becca, while a strong female lead, has a genuine softness to her; Nick's shell is so hard, it's nearly unbreakable.

    What unfolds in this book is a crazy, fast-paced suspense that had me on the edge of my seat. I couldn't put this book down if the house was on fire around me - I needed to know who had Charlie, what they wanted, and how it all circled back to Becca's dad.

    The world building was amazing, the plotting perfect, and the characters fun, smart and believable. One more thing to make this story one of my top picks of the year? It's a series...and while the issue of Charlie is resolved in this novel, the why of his disappearance - and how it ties back to Becca's father - looks like it'll be tied throughout this series of 5 books:

    Hard As It Gets 11/26/13
    Hard As You Can 2/25/14
    Hard to Hold Onto 8/19/14 (novella)
    Hard to Come By 11/25/14
    Hard Ink #4 is untitled, spring 2015

    Overall - this was a great, smart, fun, sexy, suspenseful read. Highly recommended - get yourself a copy, you won't regret it!

    Disclaimer: I was provided an eARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

    14 out of 34 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Grrat read

    Great read. Looking forward to the next in this series. Worth it. You wont be dissapointed.

    11 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2014

    Great book

    I loved this book. Can't wait until the next one. You will enjoy the book. (298 pgs).

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    Good read

    I started not to purchase this book because of all the long reviews. I am tired of the "enlightened" people telling me every detail of the book and spoilng it for everyone else. It is sad they feel the need to ruin it for those of us that are contemplating the purchase. Evidently they have no one to listen to them outside of their home and feel the need to post windy reviews at B and N. They really need to get a life. This was a fun read with romace and mystery. I am looking forward to reading the next book by this author. There. That about sums it up. You do not have to drag on and on.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 28, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    No-To-Be-Missed Beginning of a New Series!

    Laura Kaye hits one out of the park with Hard As It Gets, the first book in the Hard Ink series.

    After the disappearance of her brother, Becca Merritt turns to Nick Rixey, a member of her father’s Special Forces team, for help. At first, Nick has no intention of helping Becca because her father betrayed their team, causing the death of six team members and the dishonorable discharge of the survivors. But, Nick’s protective instincts kick in when he realizes that Becca is in danger, and at the same time, he hopes to clear his name. Becca is a strong character who thinks well on her feet, which I just loved about her. When Becca finds a stray three-legged puppy, the hilarity of naming the puppy provides many laugh-out-loud moments that lighten up the tense plot. Sexy, tattooed, and protective, Nick is the perfect leading man. The chemistry between Becca and Nick lights up the page, and their bedroom play is scorching hot! When Becca’s relationship with Nick hits a rough patch, I really enjoyed Becca’s attitude—it would work itself out later or it wouldn’t.

    Kaye does a masterful job of balancing the romance with the pulse-pounding suspense of the plot that keeps the pages turning at a rapid pace. Without overwhelming this story, Kaye consummately introduces the surviving members of Nick’s team, providing just the right amount of information for the reader to become attached and want to read their stories in the future. With a dramatic climax, the author nicely ties up the major plot points while brilliantly adding plenty of last-minute stunning twists, leaving the reader anxious for the next installment of the series.

    A captivating couple, engaging secondary characters, and an intricate plot make Hard As It Gets a not-to-be-missed beginning to a new series.

    I received an eBook copy from the publisher for purpose of an honest review for The Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.

    7 out of 21 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    Love Nick and Becca

    If the rest of the team is this hot then be prepared to by theentire series.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Hard as it Gets by Laura Kaye¿.ARC Review & Release Day fun

    Hard as it Gets by Laura Kaye….ARC Review & Release Day fun
    November 26, 2013 · By Jilly · Leave a Comment (Edit)
    Happy Release Day to Laura Kaye and HARD AS IT GETS! 
    Please  enjoy my review, a fun Q&A with Laura and the fab book trailer!
    Thanks for stopping by!
    HardAsItGets mm c
    Book links:
    amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble  ~  Kobo  ~  iBooks  ~  Goodreads 
    Synopsis:
    Tall, dark, and lethal…
    Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey’s tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome — pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He’s left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander’s daughter. Loyalty won’t let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.
    With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn’t expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.
    Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge…
     
    My review:
    Hard As It Gets is the debut novel in a new series, Hard Ink, from Laura Kaye and oh my, what a mouth watering first course!
    Being an ER nurse, Becca Merritt is used to dealing with chaotic circumstances and loss of life in her line of work.  Unfortunately loss and chaotic circumstances have worked their way into her personal life as well.  Becca had lost her mother and older brother years ago and most recently her Army Colonel father.  He was killed along with half of his unit in Afghanistan.  Now, the only family she has left, her younger computer wiz brother, is missing.  The only glimmer of hope in a dismal situation she’d been trying to deal with is the note she’d found telling her to get in touch with her father’s former second in commend, Nick Rixey. Becca has had no luck with the police and there doesn’t seem to be anywhere else to turn to for help. Her last piece of faith depends on a total stranger helping her get her brother back and lands her at the Hard Ink tattoo shop, staring back at the very unwelcoming face of Nick Rixey.  Will she be able to appeal to his sense of honor and loyalty to her father to gain his help? God, she really hoped so….or she’d lose the last family she had left.
    To say that Nick Rixey was shocked to see the daughter of the man who betrayed him and his brothers in arms standing in his tattoo shop would be a gross understatement.  One year later, and he was still trying to come to terms with the disloyalty of his Commanding Officer that had gotten half of his unit killed and the remaining men dishonorably discharged from the Army.  The very last thing that will help him pick up the pieces of his old life and try to build a new one would be to help Becca Merritt.  The wounds her father cut were entirely too deep and too raw.  What would he care if Becca’s brother was missing and why in the hell would anyone have sent her here knowing damn well that he is the last person who would be willing to help? So why was it so hard to turn her away and why was he still thinking of her all those hours later after telling her to pound sand? Curiosity, and a pull toward Becca, has him suiting up to do a little surveillance on Becca and ends up throwing him into the middle of a mystery involving the biggest gang in the city and digging up the past. Now, Nick has to call on the remaining brothers in his unit for help and at a chance to right the wrongs Colonel Merritt caused in Afghanistan a year ago.
    With so much at stake and with so many secrets being unearthed at such a breakneck speed, the only thing Becca and Nick have to hold onto is each other.  Will something true and good come from such a dark and ugly situation?
    I was SO looking forward to reading this after seeing the cover and reading the summary.  Tattoos, military hunks and mystery…oh my! This kickoff to the Hard Ink series is a stellar one. Becca is an admirable book heroine in every way.  She’s honest with her feelings and not once did she handle a situation in a way that annoyed me. Come on, you know a lot of book women get on your nerves with how long they drag things out and you’ve yelled at your e-reader telling her to just “SAY IT ALREADY!”…well, not with Becca.  She’s strong and real and just gets it. She knows life is too short to not say all the things you mean or to give everything your best shot.  She’s well rounded and also admits her fears and doubts and doesn’t sugar coat things.  She was refreshing to read.  Nick is a lost soul.  His work with the Special Forces was the only thing he has done where he felt like he was home.  Now, he’s trying to figure out a new home and it killed me to hear how lost he felt.  He’s loyal and trustworthy and also learns quickly how to be real with his feelings.  There was no yelling at him, either! Together, they work so well at balancing each other out. The sexual tension between them is delicious and really well done, too.
    The introduction we get to the members of Nick’s old unit has me so flipping excited for the rest of the series! These guys are a cast of characters filled with guys who each have their own cross to bear after what happened in Afghanistan.  I’m sure I will be shedding tears for more than a few of these guys.  Broken heroes, each with a personality and story all their own….sign me up!
    The pieces of the mystery we get to uncover while reading are just the very outer edge pieces of the puzzle.  I can assume that with each book, we will find more and more pieces in the pile that will help create the puzzle as a whole.  Hard As It Gets gave us just enough to start and it has me going over all the possible scenarios in my head.  Laura nailed the suspense aspect for sure!
    Overall, this book has everything I love….and kept me busy searching for pictures of yummy tattooed guys for an evening or two.  If you love a suspense filled with emotion, mystery, lots of heated moments and super sexy tattooed ex-Special Forces soldiers, then by all means, get this book on your to-read list! You won’t be disappointed!

    5 out of 26 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2014

    Hard Ink Rocks!

    I am hooked and can't wait for the next book. Becca and Charlie's dad was not what they thought. Charlie sent Becca to Nick Rixley for help. These two went through a harrowing couple of days and they finally started to trust each other. Nick's team and brother and friend were helping them. These guys went through a lot helping Becca and Charlie and Becca and Charlie wanted to help them. Everyone was so great together!!

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Holy Smokes! This book is sizzling!! Who knew a simple descripti

    Holy Smokes! This book is sizzling!! Who knew a simple description of a dragon tattoo could make me so hot and bothered? Who am I kidding… there is nothing simple about this book. And there is A LOT more than that to get you hot and bothered! This book is a literary orgasm poised on the precipice of exquisiteness. I can only assume its’ successors will leave me quivering and begging for more and I CAN’T WAIT.

    Becca is at a loss- she’s lost her mom, her older brother, and her dad. Her younger, hacker brother thinks he’s uncovered something fishy about their dad, and has now gone missing. He leaves a cryptic note to find Rixey at Hard Ink Tattoo. Nick Rixey is, as it says- tall, dark, and lethal and he’s got some hot-as-hell ink that tops it all off. He’s also got a major grudge against Becca’s dad for causing the death of six of his SF teammates and impugning the honor of the remaining five, and he’s not allowed to tell her any of it. Thus begins the whirlwind quest to find her brother, figure out what he knows and how it relates to the Afghan ambush and hopefully reverse the less than honorable discharges given to the remaining team members.

    Nick and Becca know they should focus on the mission, but can’t seem to keep their hands off each other. (Thank goodness!) They are explosive together and the imagery perfected the imagination. She is the tenderness to his hard edge, the light to his darkness, the yin to his yang. They complete each other. I can’t wait to see what (and who) is in store for the rest of the team in each of their books. Definitely pick this one up! You won’t regret it!

    Rating: 4.5

    HEAT Rating: Fiery Hot

    Reviewed By: Daysie W.

    Review Courtesy of: My Book Addiction and More

    3 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2013

    WOW Hot tattooed ex military who comes to the aid of a kiss ass

    WOW Hot tattooed ex military who comes to the aid of a kiss ass chick sign me up.  Truly enjoyed this book and looking forward to more in the series!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 8, 2013

    Not your typical "fluff" romance. I would describe thi

    Not your typical "fluff" romance. I would describe this as more of a mystery that happens to have love scenes. Looking forward to the rest of the series and the eventual redemption for all of the main heroes!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    4.5 Stars! Oh this was a fantastic read! Hard As It Gets is the

    4.5 Stars!

    Oh this was a fantastic read! Hard As It Gets is the first in a brand new series by Laura Kaye and I was wowed throughout the entire book. This is one of those perfectly blended books. Just the right amount of heat, suspense and thrilling story all rolled up into one gripping book. It was also a very unique setting, the home base for the story is a tattoo shop that is eventually packed with a handful of ex-military men. Can you say hot? The story focuses around Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, who, despite their circumstances could not have been more made for one another. The connection is magnetic but, they also understand each other on a whole different level. In an almost eerie way they can preempt each others moods and actions. And they become the support the other has never had before. 

    Becca and Rixey are both incredibly strong-willed and stubborn. And while Becca is light to Rixey's dark, and sweet to his gruff, they compliment one another. When her brother goes missing, he leaves Becca clues to help find him. The clues, which lead straight to Nick Rixey. And once a reluctant Rixey realizes there is more at stake than he realized, he agrees to help Becca in her journey to find her brother. With Becca and Rixey it was a lot of push and pull. Both intimately and professionally. They fight their attraction, until they simply can't anymore. I felt like once they gave in physically, they also gave in mentally to one another. They had created such a relationship before they ever fell in bed, it was basically the last stepto take in their relationship. But don't take that to mean there is any lack of heat or sex in this book... because there isn't! But along the way secrets have been kept, and tensions rise higher until all hell breaks loose. Rixey's team has joined the efforts but, not just to find Becca's brother. They believe they can prove the wrong doing of their commander that caused them to be kicked out of the military. A commander who just happens to be Becca's father. And in this twisted web of connections everyone's life is at risk.

    Hard As It Gets is a rollercoaster of a story. It's intense, then sexy, emotional, then laugh out loud worthy. This group looking to save a hostage, ends up unfolding a story much bigger than anyone thought possible. And it the midst of it all two people learn to heal and love together when the scenes unfolding should be tearing them apart. Ms. Kaye writes a refreshing and thrilling book that I will be suggesting to everyone! You like suspense and mystery? Pick it up. Romance? Pick it up. You like heated scenes and alpha men? Pick it up. It literally has a taste for almost everyone. It was highly enjoyable and captivated me from beginning to end! So, go forth and buy it!

    Happy Reading!
    *ARC provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 26, 2013

    Becca Merritt, a nurse with a girl next door personality, has lo

    Becca Merritt, a nurse with a girl next door personality, has lost her mother, father, and her brother, Scott. Now her only remaining family, her brother Charlie has gone missing. 

    Leaving a note Charlie has directed Becca to Hard Ink tattoo parlor and more importantly to Nick Rixey.

    Nick Rixey, an Iraq war vet has his scars and demons that plaque him since he's returned from the battlefield. The one thing he never imagined was that Becca, the daughter of the man who betrayed him and his unit, who ever walk through the doors of Hard Ink. Now she's here and she's desperate for help finding her missing brother. As much as he would love to turn her away, there's just something about Becca that he just can't say no to.

    Hard As It Gets is adventurous, sexy, and passionate. Becca, although a girl next door type, is also strong, resilient, and a fighter. Never giving up, Becca is determined to find her brother and bring him home alive. Nick is irresistable, darl, and brooding. His confidence is sexy and his strength just completes the package that is Nick Rixey. 

    Besides Nick and Becca, I enjoyed the rest of the characters, all whom had there own special qualities and signature traits that made them great characters. I especially love the naughty humor in Jeremy's t-shirt and Shane's southern boy charm.

    I can honestly say that Hard As It Gets is one of my favorite books of 2013. I loved everything from the characters to the plot and setting. I am anxiously awaiting Hard As You Can, the second book in the Hard Ink series. I can't wait for more Hard Ink!

    3 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2014

    Highly Recommended-Great story

    Great Story! Suspense, Action, and Romance something for everyone. Nice easy read, which is good because I couldn't put it down. Can't wait for the next one. Thank goodness it is going to be a long wait.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 16, 2013

    Could have been better

    I love Kayes books; in fact, she writes so well that I even read her vampire books when I am not a big fan of this type of paranormal stories. I preordered this book as soon as it was available and had great expectations, but it just did not reach the mark. The first half of the book was so slow that I seriously considered quitting. The only reason I did not was because I had already preordered the second book in the series. The author focused too much on setting the stage for the rest of the books in the series rather than on developing this particular story and the budding romance between the two characters. Some of the romantic scenes were beautifully written, in Kayes unique style. But they were scattered in a long, boring narrative and not enough to make the book exciting. They felt like add-ons. The overarching mistery and plot of the series looks very exciting, but as a standalone this book was really flat and very little is revealed about it. As much as I hate to admit it, it was disappointing. I hope the second book improves.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2013

    Great

    Very exciting story. Full of mystery, intrigue and sexy men. Ready for the next.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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