Title: Hard As You Can
Series: Hard Ink, #2
Author: Laura Kaye
Publisher: Avon Books
Release Date: February 25, 2014
Buy Links: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback)
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.
Now I really know why Laura Kaye is a bestseller. This book had all kinds of emotions, but most importantly, the characters were so vulnerable, it's like you knew them personally. Shane's past and Crystal's past collided in a way that only fate could explain.
Of course, I enjoyed the humorous part of the story. I just enjoyed the relationship between the men, especially when a woman was involved. I also loved the protectiveness that was just so natural with each men.
Beckett's cell rang, breaking up the seriousness of the moment. Thankfully.
"Fucking Marz," Beckett said with amusement in his voice. He put the phone on speaker and answered. "Are you seriously calling me from across the hall?"
"I seriously am, motherfucker. What the hell are you people doing?"
"Becca made pancakes," he said, offering a rare grin to the group.
"Becca... what?" Marz hung up.
"Five-dollar bets on how fast he'll get over here." Beckett said, setting the stop watch on his phone. "I say twenty-five seconds."
"Forty seconds," Shane said.
"Thirty," said Easy.
Nick chuckled. "A minute."
When the door opened, the whole lot of them erupted in laughter before Marz stepped all the way through.
Beckett held up his iPhone. "Thirty-eight seconds," he said, grinning. "Damn."
"Aw, I'm closest. Pony up, suckers," Shane said, collecting a stack of fives from all the men.
"You sonofabitches bet on me?" Shaking his head, Marz made for the only open chair at the breakfast bar.
Beckett nodded. "On how long it would take you to haul ass over here at the mention of food."
As Marz hefted himself up onto the tall stool, Becca settled a plate of hot, steaming pancakes in front of him. "Thank you, Becca. You're a sweetheart." He winked.
Shane was described basically as the perfect prince charming. He had blonde hair, but he could disguise himself into different characters just by doing something slightly different to his outfit or his hair or, my favorite, his accent. If he was a real person, I'd totally just drool when I see him.
Crystal was a woman who defined brave and strong. Despite everything she'd been through, she stayed strong for her sister. Even when she broke down in fear and tears, she was the bravest person Shane knew. She was an actress out of necessity.
Again, this story was so raw, it would drive you to tears when you read the sad parts; would inspire a sigh of relief when the characters get a good news, and would make you laugh when the men talk to each other playfully.
You'd miss out something big in life if you do not read this book and this entire series!