Hard As You Can (Hard Ink Series #2)

Hard As You Can (Hard Ink Series #2)

4.3 163
by Laura Kaye
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

Jennifer Probst
“Laura Kaye is synonymous with great, sexy romance.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062267917
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
02/25/2014
Series:
Hard Ink Series , #2
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
7,021
File size:
832 KB

Meet the Author

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary 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.


Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty-five books in contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Her Hard Ink novel Hard As You Can won the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense of 2014. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura also writes historical fiction as the New York Times bestselling author, Laura Kamoie. Laura lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Hard As You Can (Hard Ink Series #2) 4.3 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 163 reviews.
StephC0203 More than 1 year ago
3.5 stars, rounded to 4 for the mystery I'll start off with the same description I gave the first book in this series--this is not your typical "fluff" romance, and it's more a mystery that happens to have sex scenes (although, not that many...page 261 of 292...). With this one, the underlying mystery/plot is still great, but I just didn't really get why the main characters were immediately so in love, the hero's denying himself a relationship due to his past was mentioned and then ignored, and I'm hoping the future books have a different climax than "someone needs rescued." I will read the rest of the series because I want to find out how everything is resolved (I know it will work out for the heroes and I'm guessing Becca's dad, but the how's, who's, and why's are still being revealed). FYI, it is obvious that the mystery will not be resolved until the final book--it is a series, after all--so buyer beware if you don't have the patience for that.
Marcy99 More than 1 year ago
This was the fabulous 2nd book in the author's "Hard Ink" series and it starts right where the first book ended. While it can be read alone, I'd also recommend reading the first book (Hard As It Gets) for a more in depth look at the characters and the mission they're on. In the first book Shane, along with the rest of his team, have rescued Charlie from Confessions (a strip club and more) where he'd been tortured, with some help from Crystal who works as a waitress. Shane can't get over this and hopes she can help them further in the investigation into illegal activities...and he also wants to help her in any way he can. He's impressed by her strength and begins having feelings for her. He's been carrying a burden of shame and guilt from an incident within his family and has been questioning his self worth. But deep down, he's just a big old southern gentleman/teddy bear. I loved Shane. Crystal finds herself drawn to Shane since he's the only man to ask her opinion and treat her with respect. She's stuck working at Confessions and in an abusive relationship with a manager there, partly because she needs the money to care for her younger epileptic sister. I really liked how she found her strength throughout this story and began coming out of her shell. Now I'm eagerly looking forward to Hard To Hold On To, a Hard Ink novella due out in August!
AlwaysYAatHeart1 More than 1 year ago
I love Laura Kaye's books, and I really enjoyed Hard Ink, the first book in this series.  Needless to say, I have been waiting on Hard As You Can to see what happens next in this series.  The story picks up right after where Hard Ink ends.  Though this is Shane and Crystal's story, the other characters in the book also play big roles.  The suspense continues as the team continues their quest to get to the bottom of all that has happened to them, and to Becca and Charlie, hoping to redeem themselves and finally discover the truth about what happened in Afghanistan, and figure out how all that ties back to Becca and Charlie.  The plot thickens as they discover more about the club where Crystal works, opening up a world of sex, drugs, and human trafficking.  Crystal takes a great risk to help them, while maintaining her cover and revealing the truth about her, her sister, and her past to Shane in the process.  Things heat up and culminate into an explosive ending where some answers and closure to some problems are found, and even more questions continue to arise.   I really love Shane with his sexy drawl, his panty-dropping smile, and he proves to be quite chivalrous also. I mean the guy's got swagger and is a big piece of walking, talking, eye candy of the best kind.  I really liked her reasoning behind it.  Her situation is quite heartbreaking.  She has been and continues to go through so much, yet she is brave, and focused on what she needs to do to save and protect her sister Jenna, which I found very admirable.  There is instant chemistry between Shane and Crystal and really, though Crystal fights it, it is pretty much a "fall hard and fast" type of love situation, occurring under the most intense of circumstances.  Shane fights for it.  Crystal wants it, but has a hard time believing she could ever have a relationship, and that someone would really even want her when they found out the truth about her and the ugliness she believes about herself.   As far as the other characters, there are quite a few and all play significant roles in the story.  We get to see Nick and Becca of course, as well as the other guys, which I've grown quite attached to.  The next book in the series will be a novella, and will be Easy and Jenna's story, which I can't wait to read.  I don't know who books 3 and 4 will be about, so I am looking forward to finding that out.  I really like Nick's brother Jeremy to, and I hope he gets a book or novella somewhere in the process.    The story is told from both Shane and Crystal's point of view, which I enjoyed.  I really enjoy Laura Kaye's writing style also.  Not only does she bring on the romance and steam, but she creates a suspenseful plot that keeps you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages wanting more.  Overall, I really enjoyed Hard as You Can.  I liked Hard Ink more than this one, and Nick with his bad boy and mysterious self is my favorite of the Hard Ink guys thus far, but I really did enjoy Shane's story to. This is a fantastic series and a wonderful second installment.  Laura Kaye delivers yet again, a story that her readers will want to devour.     
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book kept going from the first book. Shane meets "Crystal" rescuing Charlie. Crystal and Shane are attracted to each other, but Crystal doesn't want to let anyone close to her. Crystal is protective of her sister, Jenna, and when things get crazy Crystal asks Shane for help. This was a really good book and I am really enjoying this series.
booknooknuts More than 1 year ago
Laura Kaye has done it again this is the 2nd book in the Hard Ink Series and it just blew my mind. In this book we have southern talking sexy man Shane McCallan who like the rest of his comrades is battling his own demons.  When they rescued Charlie from the night club Confessions he ran smack dab into Crystal who helped them and from that moment on Shane can not get her out of his mind.  Shane talks his buddies into helping him rescue Crystal and her sister Jenna from the clutches of Church and Bruno.  While doing so they learning even more shocks that one of their men from Afghanistan is also apart of this entire thing but who knows why? Shane is oh so Alpha  can he save Crystal from Bruno?  The action in this book is off the charts and it’s a CAN NOT PUT DOWN BOOK.  I totally recommend it.  Although it is a stand alone I’d suggest grabbing Book 1 so you can follow along with all these SEXY , HOT,  Alpha Men !
Lise_Horton More than 1 year ago
I was waiting less than patiently for Laura Kaye's second Hard Ink installment but it was soooo well worth it! The novel continues with the major conflict of the survivors of a betrayal attempting to figure out the reason their commander turned against them. But meanwhile, from their new headquarters at the Hard Ink location, along comes Crystal Dean. The book is an adrenalin fueled, suspenseful and highly erotic romance ride that begins when Crystal stumbles upon the rescue attempt that snatches a young victim from the clutches of the men who hold her life, and her sister's in their hands. Innately good, Crystal aids the rescuers, but it starts her on a collision course with the man who pays for her sister's epilepsy medication - and makes Crystal pay for it in trade. She's given up her life to protect her sister, and she has all the plans laid out. Plans that are thrown into utter turmoil when she meat Shane McCallan. Once he's met the incredible woman, he can't get her out of his head. When the truth of her hellish existence comes out, he's hell for leather on a crusade to rescue her, rescue her sister and stop the white slavery operation that's sending young women into a life of grotesque torment and death. The cast is a wonderful amalgam of men and women. The love story is as powerful as the sexual attraction and the action-adventure is riveting and suspenseful - you will seriously be biting your nails as the couple meets the forces responsible for Crystal's horrific treatment, and the men prepared to sacrifice her sister to that same slave trade. Crystal is the perfect tortured heroine and Shane well named. (Of course, this being a perfect romance, Shane DOES come back!). If you haven't discovered the Hard Ink series, start with book 1, and then hurry hurry hurry to book 2. If you love your erotic romance with a hard edge and lots of blood, guts, grit and danger? Then this is the series - and the book - for you!
starznstripes24 More than 1 year ago
I love Laura's books, but this one hit it out of the park for me. This is a fabulous series and I wish we already had all of the books so that I could keep reading. Yeah, I knew Shane was going to have a thing for Crystal at the end of the last book, but I could never have imagined the story the characters had Laura write for them. It took a lot longer for Crystal to completely trust Shane than you normally see in books, but it was absolutely perfect for their story and each of their pasts. Crystal's working at a waitress at a strip club paying off the debts of her dead father. Shane just wants to rescue her, protect her from all dangers and keep her in his life. He's looking for a sense of belonging and self worth even though he doesn't know it. All of the men are. The men are becoming a closer unit emotionally and forgiving the separation that took place once they all returned to the US. As they spend time together, past hurts are coming to light and their strong bonds are not only tested, but are becoming stronger with each passing incident or conversation. I love the suspense and the intel gathering constantly being done by the team. I adore how honorable these men all are and always come down on the side of right. This book (and series) has everything I could want and even things I didn't know I wanted in a good read. I'm so glad that I picked these up in paperback and cannot wait for the rest of the teams stories. If I were you, I'd pick this series up and put it to the top of your to read list.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was okay. Enjoyed the first book much better. Never felt the connection between Shane and Crystal. Will continue with the series though. Hope the next book is better.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an OK read but nothing more. It was a copy cat of the first one but with a different team member. It got boring at times. What were supposed to be bad-a$$ action scenes turned out to be flat and lame. And almost nothing new is revealed about the mistery that drives the suspenseful plot. I know there are at least three more books planned for this series, but I am seriously considering not buying them. If I do, it would be because I have read some really good books by this author before. But so far, the two books in this series are quite mediocre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
## Good but not great. I liked the first book better for sure. In the first story I loved that the 'team' reunited to find out who set them up in Afghanistan so they can clear their names. I wish Ms. Kaye had continued more along those lines since that wasn't resolved in the first book. Now in this second book the story is starting to get too convoluted. Too many different things going on. The romance was strange in this one as well. The hero loved the heroine right off the bat without them getting to know each other. That was really hard to believe. Even though this wasn't my favorite book, I did still enjoy it and will buy the next one. Oh and please let there be a story for Jeremy (I would gladly be his heroine).
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Liked the first book a lot more
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awesome story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Uo
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DebsIN More than 1 year ago
An absolutely great story!!! It is so easy to invest yourself to all of the people in this series. Shane and Crystal's (Sara) story was a winner! Crystal is such a strong person to be able to take care of her sister and work off her father's debt at the strip club. To endure the abuse that she suffered from Bruno is heartbreaking. All of the guys at Hard Ink are suffering from their own stories, but Shane's is so sad. Along with the bad deal they got from the government, he has been carrying a guilt for sixteen years about his sister's disappearance. Every one of the guys are invested in every story. Makes you feel a part of them. A must read!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very righteous book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just couldn't get interested in story
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loving this series. The first books from this author & enjoying the ride.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the men of hard ink
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shane is seriously hot stuff. I can only imagine him talking to me in that southern drawl! Love the descriptions of the tattoos on all of these guys. Their stories are told well. Really like how the stories all tie together. They're addicting!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago