Excerpt & Review Tour: Hard to Come By: Laura Kaye
Hard to Come By (Hard Ink #3)
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Caught between desire and loyalty...
Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team--sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.
When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek's easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn't trust.
As the team's investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away...
As is the pattern for this series, the action is hard, fast and heavy. The relationships move fast, with intense feelings developing over the course of days. Each time I dive back into the Hard Ink world I am reminded of the scene from Speed (yeah, kind of dating myself here) where Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves talk about how falling in love happens fast during intense situations. That is the Hard Ink way as well.
Derek DeMarzio, Marz, is the computer guru among the former Special Ops team that has gathered at Hard Ink to investigate how, why, and who set them up in Afghanistan a year before. In the ambush that ended their careers, he lost his leg saving one of his team members and while he has adjusted to the changes, he still feels like his teams sees his loss of limb as a weakness in their current objective. Their main goal now that they have an auto search set up on the computer is finding out how Manny Garza, a former teammate, is connected to the mess.
Emilie Garza has been worried about her brother’s deteriorating mental health. As a psychologist, she sees he signs that he needs help, but between his refusal that anything is wrong, his mother’s refusal to see that he has changed, and Emilie’s emotional closeness she hesitates to file paperwork to evaluate him without consent.
I’ve had a soft spot for Marz since we first met him in Hard As It Gets. His sense of humor and personal outlook are priceless in so many situations. As he opens up to Emilie and gets to know her, a completely different side of him began to emerge -- a side that was both caring and protective, and honest to a fault.
Emilie emerged as a strong complement to Marz. Handling the knowledge that her brother wasn’t who she thought he was, and dealing with the danger that occurs as part of being connected to him, she continually surprised me with her level head and clear thinking. This was no wilting flower, nor was she willing to let things go on around her without knowing what was happening.
As far as the investigation goes, there were some big reveals over the course of the book. Between Manny Garza’s involvement and the continued threat of the Church organization, there were threats from multiple sources. At one point near the end I was ready to close my book for the night and pick up in the morning, but the mistake of reading “just one more chapter” meant I had hit events that I couldn’t wait for morning for resolution.
For the first time (I think) in this series, I was brought to tears. This was maybe the most emotional fallout of the investigation so far. But the team is still working solid, adding members and allies as they find them, and trying to protect their women while getting to the bottom of their dirty commander and how all these pieces they keep finding fit together.
This was a great next piece of the Hard Ink puzzle and I can’t wait until the next one fit into place. From the time I started the book to the time I finished I hardly put it down, and even when I had to I was wondering what the boys were going to turn up next, and how Derek was going to keep Emilie from running when she found out who he was and how he connected to her brother.
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Praise for Hard to Come By:
"Rough sex and explosive fights power Kaye's third Hard Ink novel, a thrilling adventure that feels more like an action movie with a romantic subplot than a typical contemporary romance. New readers will head straight for Kaye's backlist after powering through this installment." ~Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"TOP PICK! If you're looking for danger, gritty action, and sizzling passion, then Kaye has just the book and the series for you." ~RT Book Reviews Magazine
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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.