Review and Excerpt Tour: Hard Ever After: Laura Kaye

    Hard Ever After - cover
HARD EVER AFTER (Hard Ink #4.6)
Laura Kaye
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Expected February 2, 2016

Justice served. Honor restored. Team reunited. After a long battle to discover the truth, the men and women of Hard Ink have a lot to celebrate, especially the wedding of two of their own—Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, whose hard-fought love deserves a happy ending. As Nick and the team shift from crisis mode to building their new security consulting firm, Becca heads back to work at the ER. But amid the everyday chaos of demanding jobs and their upcoming nuptials, an old menace they thought long gone reemerges, threatening the peace they’ve only just found. Now, for one last time, Nick and Becca must fight for their always and forever, because they know that when true love overcomes all the odds it lasts hard ever after.

HEA Teaser 3     HEA Teaser 1
Hard Ever After Excerpt, Proposal Scene

Holy hell, had Nick ever been this nervous in his life? He’d faced down warlords, captured terrorists, survived IED explosions, and been shot on multiple occasions. Yet he’d never felt the kind of queasy, can’t-quite-manage-a-deep-breath nerves he felt just then.

He retrieved the little black box from the drawer where he’d hidden it, fisted it in his palm, and came to stand in front of Becca. He gave her a hand to stand up, then slowly sank to one knee.

“What are you—” Becca gasped. “Nick?”

“Becca.” Looking up at her beautiful face, he grasped her left hand. “When you walked through my door, you changed my whole life. You gave me purpose when I had none. You brought my family back together when I was so alone. You believed in me when no one else did, including myself. You fought for me and loved me and made me a better man.” Glassy, bright blue eyes stared down at him with so much love. “You shined light on places inside me I thought would never emerge from the dark, and you helped me reclaim my integrity, my honor, and my life.” A knot lodged in Nick’s throat. “You saved me from becoming someone I didn’t recognize, and because of you I have a life worth living. But only if you’ll walk it with me.”

“Nick,” she rasped, her voice thick with unshed tears.

He flipped open the box and pulled out the diamond and platinum round-cut ring. A halo of smaller stones surrounded the center stone, creating what to him looked like a sun. More accent stones lined the band, giving it a classic, vintage look. He’d known it was the right ring as soon as he’d seen it.

Slowly, he slid the diamond onto Becca’s ring finger. “I love you with everything that I am, and everything I want to be. Please do me the greatest honor of my life and say you’ll be my wife, my partner, my best friend, my companion. Becca Merritt, will you marry me?”

They've taken down their enemies, they've found love, reunited their friendships, and built their own pseudo family. Now it is time to move forward, enjoy life, and be together. They are building their business and new homes, and they are making plans...everything should be smooth sailing, right?

Well this is Hard Ink so there is bound to be at least one or two little complications. This novella mostly focuses on Becca and Nick and their plans. Becca is also trying to get back to work as a nurse and put the nightmares behind her. Their lives should be perfect, but it seems like maybe some of the loose ends from their ordeal might not be completely tied off. Becca is struggling to cope with issues that never really got resolved.

Nick has changed so much from the moody, sullen, loner alpha male we first met. He is so caring, devoted, and protective...and scared to death of losing his sunshine now that he has found light in his darkness. He has become a swoony, loving hero and he will stop at nothing to make sure she is safe and remains by his side.

All of the team and couples are back for this final installment. We get to check in with all of them and how their lives and relationships are going. They have all come such a long way and have truly created their own extended family and support system.

But when another threat emerges, once again the team will have to band together to protect one of their own. This is what they do, and this is their family.

I really enjoyed this novella. It is a mix of the ultimate Happy Ever After extended epilogue peppered with suspense, tension, and danger. With this group nothing ever comes truly easy, but when things get hard, they just get more determined and serious. 

I adored Nick and Becca and was glad to continue their journey with them.  I have become attached to all of the couples and  I especially have a soft spot for their brothers Jeremy and Charlie. I loved getting to spend more time with all of them especially since they have some happy times in this one and it was not all about danger and missions. Laura Kaye did a great job reminding us of what transpired in the other books while still focusing on the present and moving forward. It ties everything together and gives us another chance to hang out with these characters we have come to love.  I am looking forward to more with the spin-off  Raven Riders MC series and hope we get some cameos from this beloved team in those books. 

ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Becca Merritt and Nick Rixey came together in dangerous times and have fought side by side with their friends and family to clear the men's’ names and protect each other. Now they are rebuilding the Hard Ink building, setting up a new security company, and planning their wedding. But one of their previous threats was not neutralized as completely as they thought and their happily ever after is once again in danger.

I love this whole group. Though the main story focuses on Becca and Nick, the entire Hard Ink family is here, living in close quarters, as they work together for their futures. With the exception of the single threat here, everyone is moving beyond the fear and tension that had covered them for the last few months. Now they are building, looking ahead, and setting in. There is a great mix of moving forward with everyday kinds of events, things that none of these couples faced as they got together in their original books.

This was a great bit of final tension before the happily ever after. The balance between the conflict and letting Nick and Becca have some normal was perfect -- there was enough danger that the threat felt real but not enough that it completely shut down their daily routines. 

As a final send off for the Hard Ink boys before we move on to the Raven Riders, this was a great trip down memory lane and glimpse of the future. Each couple is in a great place and I can’t help but hope that the Ravens call on Hard Ink sometime in the future so we get to see these guys again (and with the security company in the works, I don’t see that as too much of a stretch).
ARC provided by author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Author Photo
Laura Kaye
About Laura Kaye: Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. 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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Laura Kaye’s HARD EVER AFTER – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

January 25th
I Love Romance – Review & Excerpt
My Book Snack – Review & Excerpt
Provocative Pages – Review
Sofia Loves Books – Review
January 26th
Reads All the Books – Review
Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads – Review & Excerpt
Biblio Belles – Excerpt
Krista's Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt
January 27th
NightWolf Book Blog – Excerpt
Barbara Book Blog – Excerpt
January 28th
She Hearts Books – Review
JordansBookReviews – Excerpt
Write for Your Life! – Review & Excerpt
Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt
January 29th
Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt
Brittany's Book Blog – Excerpt
Obsessive Reading Disorder – Review & Excerpt
Smut Matters – Review & Excerpt
January 30th
Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous – Review & Excerpt
mignon mykel : reviews – Review & Excerpt
Only One More Page – Review & Excerpt
Bookalicious book babes – Review & Excerpt
January 31st
Extreme Bookaholic's – Excerpt
It's About the Book – Review
Ticket to Anywhere – Excerpt
Kelsey's Corner Time – Review & Excerpt
Cocktails and Books – Review & Excerpt
February 1st
Read-Love-Blog – Review & Excerpt
Bambi Unbridled – Excerpt
Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt
First Dream of Books – Review & Excerpt
Carol Kittie Reviews – Review & Excerpt
February 2nd
The Book Hammock – Review
I A-M a Bookaholic – Excerpt
About That Story – Review
What I'm Reading – Review & Excerpt
FMR Book Grind – Review
February 3rd
Books Need TLC – Review
My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt
February 4th
Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review & Excerpt
Book Lovers 4Ever – Review & Excerpt
Jax's Book Magic – Excerpt
Ripe For Reader – Review
Sultry, Steamy Reading – Review & Excerpt
February 5th
Vera is Reading – Excerpt
Wickedcoolflight – Review & Excerpt
JB's Book Obsession – Review & Excerpt
Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt
February 6th
Love Drug Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
She's a Lip Biter – Review & Excerpt
Book Nook Nuts – Review & Excerpt
I'm A Sweet And Sassy Book Whore – Review & Excerpt
Shelf_Life – Review & Excerpt

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