Review & Excerpt Tour: Hard to Be Good: Laura Kaye

Hard to Be Good
a Hard Ink novella
Releases April 14, 2015
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Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever.
Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way.
With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good… 
Jeremy pressed his lips to Charlie’s ear. “Can I touch you?”

Charlie nodded. “Yes.”

“Anywhere?” Jeremy asked.

A shiver passed over Charlie’s body. And damn if that wasn’t sexy as hell. “Please,” he whispered.

Slowly, Jeremy ran his hands down Charlie’s chest, then his sides, until he could finally do what he’d yearned to do this morning—burrow under the T-shirt and touch him skin to skin.

Charlie sucked in a breath at the contact, and the sound both aroused and cautioned Jeremy not to go too fast. He had no idea what kind of experience Charlie might have under his belt, but nothing about him read as a casual-sex-kinda guy. Unlike Jeremy, for whom sex was unquestionably his favorite form of exercise. No better reason to get hot and sweaty.

He dragged his fingertips up Charlie’s stomach to his chest, loving the feeling of his muscles jumping and twitching, until he exposed his nipples. Light blond hair thinly covered the center of the man’s chest, and Jeremy licked his lips as a yearning to taste flooded through him.

“Take it off,” Jeremy said. They worked the shirt off together.

“Yours, too,” Charlie said, his words shaky and quiet. Like he was nervous. Or unsure.

Jeremy ditched his shirt in an instant, and his skin heated at how Charlie’s gaze appeared to drink in all of the art covering Jer’s body. “Look at me,” Jeremy said. Blue eyes cut up to his. “How can I put you at ease? Because you don’t ever have to be uncomfortable with me. You have something to say? I will listen. You want something? Ask. You need something? I will gladly give it. Every damn time.”

“Okay,” Charlie said, his tongue flicking over his bottom lip. “Then don’t stop.”

I don’t normally read M/M, but will if it falls within a series I am already invested in, especially if one or both of the characters are favorites. Jeremy has been a favorite of mine since we first met him. With his quick humor and desire to help out even without military experience, Jeremy has been one of those characters I loved watching in the background.

This novella takes place during a lull in the action and investigation that has progressed through the entire series. The danger is in the background, but the timeline is so short and the events at the end of Hard to Come By mean that the danger is not forgotten, only taking a backseat to the tension between these two friends.

I loved watching Jeremy and Charlie find each other and and navigate the close quarters that confined the entire group. These two were sweet together. Charlie, with his shy, slightly socially awkward nature, and outgoing, unapologetic Jeremy couldn’t have appeared differently if they tried. That their siblings are also in love made it all the more cute to watch these two dance around each other.

Where many of the other Hard Ink couples have come together quickly and under extreme stress, Jeremy and Charlie have been living under the same roof since Charlie’s rescue several weeks before. Though the actual story only takes place over a couple days, it has been building for some time, behind stolen glances and quiet gestures.

This stands alone nicely as all the suspense aspects of the other books is not present within this storyline, but I love the way readers have seen glimpses of the attraction each man has been feeling along the way.

This was a fun, little glimpse at what normal everyday life looks like inside the walls of Hard Ink. Though no one is allowed outside, within these walls a family has developed. They are all mourning, planning, and researching, but the bonds that have formed are stronger than anything any of the characters have in their lives outside Hard Ink. And though they haven’t found all the answers, there are still a few unattached members of the group. I can’t wait to see what happens for Kat, Beckett, and the rest of the crew in Hard to Let Go. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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laurakaye-34 crop 2Laura Kaye
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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.


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