" Blog Tour, Excerpt, My Review, Q&A with Laura, For As Hard as It Gets By Laura Kaye | Chris' Book Blog Emporium

Blog Tour, Excerpt, My Review, Q&A with Laura, For As Hard as It Gets By Laura Kaye

Hard As It Gets (Hard Ink #1)
Author – Laura Kaye
Genre – Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Release Date – November 26, 2013

 “Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”
~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets

About Hard As It Gets:
Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

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...


Read Chapter 1 of Hard As It Gets
Buy at Amazon | B&N | iTunes

Excerpt ~ a meeting with the enemy…

Tires screeched against pavement. Becca whirled toward the parking lot. Through the new spring leaves, she could just make out a dark SUV cutting diagonally across the mostly open spaces. Her heart leapt into her throat, but she kept her eyes straight ahead. It was critical she not do anything to give the impression she wasn’t alone.

God, how am I going to do this? Just breathe, Bec. This is too important to screw up.

Right. As long as her lungs kept operating, she’d be fine.

The truck whipped into the driveway about twenty feet in front of her, the drive that also led to the boat put-in and dock where Miguel and Shane were pretending to be Sunday fishermen. Score one for the good guys—getting her attacker in this space was one of the things they’d hoped for. It was why they’d chosen the pavilion as their rendezvous point.

She recognized the driver right away. Her would-be kidnapper. In her mind’s eye, she saw him crossing the staff break room. It was definitely the same man. And, thank God, he’d come alone. Eyes drilling into her, he got out of the idling truck and crossed the grass looking like the gangster he apparently was—baggy jeans, hoody, chains at his neck. But, geez, he’d been beaten to hell judging by the bruises and cuts on his face. Every moment of this situation was more surreal than the next.

“That’s close enough,” she said when he reached the edge of the sidewalk that ringed the pavilion. Becca retreated behind a picnic table, placing a barrier between them.

He glared but stopped on the sidewalk. “So we meet again.”

“Well, I wouldn’t say we’ve met, since you know who I am, but I don’t know you.” Her gaze dropped to his hand, but she couldn’t get a good look at the tattoos there from this angle.

His brown eyes narrowed. “All you need to know is I’m the one who can help get your brother back.”

It sounded too good to be true. The breeze blew strands of hair loose from her ponytail, and she swept them away from her eyes. “What is it you want?”

“To know how your bro put two and two together.” Becca nearly groaned and her hands fisted. She had no more patience for bullshit mystery. “What the hell is that supposed to mean? Don’t play games with me.”

“Charlie found something that was supposed to be hidden, and we need to know what led him to it.”

“How am I supposed to find that out?” she asked, a chill running down her spine despite the nice morning. The hint of a smile played around the corners of his wide mouth. “I was thinking about that . . .”

A scuff. Rubber on concrete. Goose bumps erupted across her neck as she turned. Time slowed to a crawl, and everything happened at once.

Two guys stepped out of the trees and entered the far side of the pavilion. Both had guns.

Panic had barely welled up inside her as one screamed and fell to the ground for no apparent reason. The other bolted but, just as suddenly, crashed to the ground with a shout and a cry. Could Beckett’s silencer be the cause?

The punks writhed on the grass, but one of them returned fire, the gun’s report echoing loudly under the pavilion’s roof. Becca instinctively crouched down, hands cradling her head. Her gaze whipped to her attacker.

Expression absolutely livid, he stalked around the table with a gun pointed at her head. “Not getting away this time, bitch.”

She backtracked the opposite direction, her hand reaching for her gun.

His roiling gaze tracked the movement and he lunged.

Becca took off across the concrete, catching her shin on the blunt edge of a bench in a flash of pain. The stumble slowed her, and he grabbed her ponytail. Her head wrenched back, nearly taking her off her feet. Suddenly, her air was gone, his arm trapping her in a tight chokehold that had her clawing and gasping. Nearby, footsteps pounded on the earth. The team?

They’ll get to me, they’ll get to me, they’ll get to me in time.

Above her, the bright blue sky filled with little pinpoints of light as the guy’s arm compressed her windpipe. And her medical training meant she knew she had mere seconds before blacking out.

Did you have a favorite line from the excerpt?

10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Hero Nick Rixey

I’m very excited to be celebrating the release of my twelfth novel, Hard As It Gets¸ the first in my new super sexy contemporary romance series called Hard Ink. The series has hot, alpha, prior military guys, a tattoo shop setting, an edgy suspense plot, a super steamy romance between hero Nick Rixey and heroine Becca Merritt, and a great bromance.

One of those hot, alpha guys is Nick Rixey, the hero of Hard As It Gets. Nick was second-in-command of her Army Special Forces unit before his commander’s black op went back and injured or killed most of the team. A year later, Nick’s out of the Army on an undeserved other-than-honorable discharge and nursing some deep physical and emotional wounds. I absolutely loved writing Nick’s character, and here are some reasons why I think you just might fall in love with him, too:

Nick has ink. I love tattoos on guys, including in my fiction! And Nick has quite a bit of ink, starting with that awesome tribal on his shoulder on the cover. You’ll get to explore what the rest are along with heroine Becca as the book unfolds! Yummy!

Nick does ink. One of the things I loved about Nick was that he had all these hard edges, but then he had this artistic side. Nick has always drawn and, as part owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, he’s learned how to do it with ink and a tattoo gun. I love the combination! And there’s a really sexy scene where Nick draws a little something with Becca!

He boxes. Jeans. Bare feet. No shirt. Boxing gloves, the kind that leave the fingertips exposed. Muscles in motion. Yeah, that’s a scene in Hard As It Gets.

He’s a good big brother. Nick is big brother to Jeremy, the other owner of Hard Ink. They have great chemistry and an awesome bromance, plus a few intensely emotional scenes I loved writing. And Jeremy’s an awesome character himself!

He’s loyal. Nick would do anything, risk anything, sacrifice anything, for those he cares about. And it makes him so admirable.

He’s tortured. Tortured heroes are my favorite, and Nick is about as tortured as they come. He still suffers physical pain from two gunshot wounds to his lower back, and he carries a world of emotional pain over what happened to his SF unit for which he blames himself. It makes him sympathetic and flawed and just a character you’ll want to hold and make it all better!

He is sexy as hell! See the notes on boxing and ink, above! LOL Nick has dark chocolate brown hair and super pale green eyes. It’s a killer combination. Add to all that a gun holster over broad shoulders and…thud!

He’s prior military. Nick served in the Army Special Forces for a lot of years, and he has taken that code to heart. Loyalty. Honor. Duty. Service. Courage. What’s not to love?

He’s a true hero. Despite how much Nick blames himself for what happened to his SF unit, Nick was a hero on the day the ambush happened, going as far as to help administer medical treatment to another teammate after he’d been shot twice in the lower back. His heroism continues into Hard As It Gets, where he does the right thing and helps Becca despite some serious misgivings about getting involved with his commander’s daughter. He knows the right thing and he does it, making him a true everyday hero.

When he finally gives into love, his redemption is so sweet! The more they resist, the harder they fall, and that’s definitely true of Nick Rixey in Hard As It Gets. I just love when a tortured hero finally finds what he needs to start healing, don’t you?

For me, all of these add up to one seriously hot, tortured, lovable hero, and I hope you’ll fall in love with Nick Rixey just like I have!

Would you like to know more about Nick? Post a question for him or his author lady, and we’d both be happy to chat with you!

Thanks for reading!


My 4.5 Stars  Review : 

“Happiness wasn't something you found, happiness was something you made-by living in the moment, by cherishing the people in your life right now, by finding the courage to change those things you didn't like.”

This is the first book of Laura’s that I have read and it surely will not be the last one. 

This story has it all, sexy tattooed Special Forces men, it was Gritty, sexy, suspenseful, fast paced.

Becca Merritt is an ER nurse when he younger brother, Charlie, goes missing she will do everything she can to find him. Charlie has left a note which points her to the Hard Ink Tattoo parlour and Nick Rixey.

Find Rixey, the Colonel's team, Hard Ink Tattoo. 

Nick is Ex-Special Forces, he was discharged from the Military one year ago with a not so honorable discharge along with the rest of his team. He now works part time with his brother in his brother’s tattoo shop. 
When she first finds Nick he turns her away. He wants nothing to do with helping her. Why because he has bad feelings towards his ex- Colonel. As time goes by Nick can’t get Her out of his mind and She refuses to not find her brother. 

Once she convinces Nick to help her things slowly start to get uncovered, and this leads Nick to call in back up in the form of his Special Forces team he worked with under the Colonel. 

The bond that these Men have with each other is truly special. One of true brother hood., with all the bad that happened with them all a yr ago they all still pulled together to come and Help Nick when he asked. As well as his brother Jeremy who as a brother was going to help whether Nick liked it or not.

As the story unfolds we find out more about Becca’s Dad and why they believe Charlie was kidnapped. There is a lot of suspense in this story, a lot of action, some sexual tension. The way Laura brings thins story to life is incredible,. I felt like I was right there along side all of the characters.

If you are into Alpha men, with tattoos, military background, and hot as hell. Then I suggest you read this story. I don’t think you will be disappointed. 

This book is the first in a new series by Laura and I can’t wait for the next installment and the chance to read about Shane and Crystal. 

About The Author 

About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


HARD AS IT GETS is one steamy read! How did you first get into writing?

Thanks so much! And thanks for having me here! I’ve been a writer all my life. I’m a historian by training, so writing non-fiction was a part of my job for the fifteen years I worked as a college professor. But I started writing fiction in 2008 in kind of an unusual way. I hit my head on July 4, 2008. I didn’t think much of it that day, but soon after I realized I’d really hurt myself, and it turned out I had a minor traumatic brain injury. As I recovered, I was filled with an amazing urge to be creative, so I started taking guitar lessons (still not very good at that!) and wrote my first novel in 12 weeks (fortunately, I’m better at that LOL!). The experience of writing that first book was truly transformative. It was what I was supposed to be doing, so I revised that book until it sold and kept writing new ones. And I haven’t looked back since!

Why did you choose to write romance?

I had been an avid reader of paranormal romance for years at that point, so I wrote what I loved. But I also picked romance—unconsciously, I think—because to me it’s an incredibly hopeful genre. Romance stories are inherently stories about people who can’t find love or think they don’t deserve it who overcome the odds and find it in the end. In the years leading up to starting writing, I experienced a number of very hard personal losses, so writing in this genre was one way I worked through those issues.

What does “Hard Ink” refer to? What importance do tattoos play in your story?

Hard Ink is the name of the Rixey brothers’ tattoo shop in the Hard Ink series. Nick and Jeremy Rixey are co-owners, though Nick (the hero of book one, Hard As It Gets) prefers to be more of a silent partner, despite Jeremy’s efforts to put Nick’s artistic talents to work. In this series, tattoos are a way people remember, pay penance, or highlight what’s important to them. The act of creating permanent marks on skin has deep meaning to them. And the shop creates a gritty setting where diverse kinds of people meet and interact in the series. I really love it!

Describe Becca—what do you love most about her? And Nick?

I’d love to! Because I really loved writing these characters!

Becca Merritt is smart and strong and honest and protective. I really loved the way she was willing to stand up for those she loves, even against people and forces who might be stronger and even a little scary. There’s a scene in particular when she dresses down Nick’s Special Forces teammates after a fist fight where I was particularly cheering for her! LOL

Nick Rixey is, omg, so freaking hot, you guys! He’s brooding and tortured and honorable and when he falls he falls  so hard. I especially loved Nick’s mix of hard, alpha edges with his artistic side. When Nick shows Becca what her idea for a tattoo might look like on her skin, it’s just scorching!

What significance does the military play in the book?
Military themes are central to the whole Hard Ink series. The military isn’t just sexy window dressing nor is it just there to provide an intriguing backstory. The prior SF guys are this series are entirely defined by their military experience good and bad. It informs their identity, their sense of honor and duty, their view of the world, and of course gives them the skill set required to fight the battles they face in the series. The overall series mystery the characters are working to solve revolves around a military conspiracy in Afghanistan, so even though they’re out of the Army, the military themes are central.

If you could describe your book in a 140 character tweet, what would it be?

In #HardAsItGets, an ex-soldier joins forces w/his dead commander's daughter to regain his tarnished honor & save her brother from a gang

Is there a particular author or book that has influenced your writing?

There are a number of authors that have influenced me, but if I had to pick one it would be J.R. Ward. A lot of what I know about how to write sexy, authentic male point of view comes from reading her books. And I definitely learned the importance of a good bromance to a romance novel from her Black Dagger Brotherhood series, too. Given my ginormous fangirling, you can only imagine how flipping excited I was when this happened:

“Edgy, sexy, and full of suspense! A great read from a great new author!”
~J.R. Ward on Hard As It Gets

You guys, I bawled like a baby in the middle of a huge workshop put on by my publisher. For real. LOL

What advice would you give aspiring writers looking to get into the publishing industry?

Here’s my advice:
1) Write, write, write. You can’t revise what you haven’t written and you can’t sell what you haven’t written. And the psychological and emotional boost you’ll get from writing “The End” for the first time cannot be overestimated.
2) Revise, revise, revise. That first time you type “The End”? Yeah, you’re nowhere near done. Your book will need to be edited, by you, several times before you ever put it in front of an agent or editor. You get one shot with them, so don’t waste it by not showing them your very best and most polished work.
3) Find critique partners. And your mom, siblings, and best friend do not count (unless you’re really lucky, like me, and your best friend happens t also be a professional author). You need other aspiring writers in your genre who will give you honest but constructive feedback about how to improve your manuscript. Let them catch all the embarrassing goofs and plot holes you thought you caught before it gets to an agent or editor.
4) Want to be a professional, then act it. And by that I mean join the professional organization(s) of the genre in which you write. Through them you will find classes to help hone your craft, critique partner match-ups, networking opportunities, calls for submission, and other opportunities invaluable to breaking into publishing.
5) Don’t give up. You will hear way more no’s than yeses, particularly early in your writing career. Stick with it. Believe in yourself. Give yourself one day to wallow in the rejection and eat a bunch of chocolate and then get right back on the horse. If your first book doesn’t sell, chalk that up to learning and write a second.

What can fans of HARD AS IT GETS look forward to next?

I’m currently writing four series: two contemporary (Hard Ink, Heroes) and two paranormal (Hearts of the Anemoi, Vampire Warrior Kings). I’ll have books from all four of those releasing in 2014. My next release is Hard As You Can (Hard Ink #2) coming 2/25/14!

Terms & Conditions

The Kindle Paperwhite 3G giveaway is international unless excluded.  If your country is not on the list that Amazon delivers to, you will not be eligible win this prize.

Author Laura Kaye is not responsible for damage to the Kindle in transit.  All issues regarding this must be addressed to Amazon.

All accessories for the Kindle Paperwhite 3G must be purchased by the winner – the prize is the Kindle Paperwhite 3G only.

Entrants must be 18 or over.

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