It's time to say goodbye to Laura Kaye's deliciously sexy alpha heroes from her Hard Ink series, and let me tell you - she saved the best for last. HARD TO LET GO is out today, and if you've been a fan of this series since book one, I promise you, this grand finale will not disappoint. Check out my review, a heart-melting excerpt, and of course, a kickass giveaway.
Hard To Let Go (Hard Ink #4), by Laura Kaye
Publish Date: June 30, 2015
Format: e-ARC, provided by the publisher
Genre: adult romantic military suspense
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble
Rating: 5 STARS
(From Goodreads) Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters the biggest complication yet—seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.
A tough, stubborn prosecutor, Kat visits her brothers’ Hard Ink Tattoo following a bad break-up—and finds herself staring down the barrel of a stranger’s gun. Beckett is hard-bodied and sexy as hell, but he’s also the most infuriating man ever. Worse, Kat’s brothers are at war with criminals her office is investigating. When Kat joins the fight, she lands straight in Beckett’s sights—and his arms. Not to mention their enemies’ crosshairs.
Now Beckett and Kat must set aside their differences to work together, because the only thing sweeter than justice is finding love and never letting go.
I have been DYING for this book. Ever since book one, when Beckett Murda showed up on the scene, I knew he'd be my favorite. I'm always a sucker for the strong, silent types. The ones who seem to shoulder everyone else's burdens before their own. The ones who have a hard time letting someone in. And, I like these guys the best because, when they meet that one person that makes them want to soften and help shoulder the load, the wait for that moment is so, SO sweet.
Beckett carries so many burdens, from his crappy childhood to the ambush that caused his best friend to lose his leg, all because of him. The pain and blackness and guilt eat away at him daily, but he shoves it all down so that he can soldier on and do his job. And, now he and his four Army brothers are so close to getting to the bottom of whatever it was that caused their bogus dishonorable discharge from the Army, there is a light that he can actually grab on to. But, Kat is in the house now, and she does things to him. All of a sudden, Beckett has another person to worry about, because he can't lose another person in his life.
My heart broke for this man. He was beaten and told repeatedly how worthless he was as a child. I hate reading about that kind of stuff, because I can't imagine how anyone could say such things to a little kid. I remember there was this one part in Hard To Let Go where Kat gives Beckett a hug, and he was startled by it because, in his entire life, that was only the second time that someone had voluntarily put their arms around him in affection. Can you even imagine?
Beckett grew up believing all the things said to him, and no one ever gave a damn about him until he joined the Army and was put on a team with Nick, Marz, Easy and Shane. These men were the closest thing to real family that he had ever had. The relationship that these five men have with one another is incredible. They really are family to one another. And, when each man found someone to love, that person was inducted into this makeshift family unit as well.
Kat was already sorta halfway there, since she's Nick and Jeremy Rixey's sister. She and Beckett had a volatile beginning to their relationship thanks to Kat's take-no-shit personality and Beckett's I-live-to-be-scary-and-broody way about him. They were like oil and water, until they quit talking and used their mouths for more fun things.
Man, these two had PASSION. The way they felt about each other, even from the beginning, was expressed in extreme ways. They could fight and argue like pros. And, then they could make up in ways that were so hot. Passion was definitely not a problem for Beckett and Kat.
What WAS a problem was learning to rely on someone else to help you through your crap. Both of them are very used to being self-sufficient and holding in their feelings. They try to pretend like things don't bother them. They solve their own problems. And, all of those things cause some major bumps in their road to happiness. Their trial-and-error way of working through all this was what absolutely endeared me to this couple. They weren't perfect by a long shot, but neither of them ever gave up, and when they realized they had made a mistake, they sought to rectify it.
Honestly, he'd never before seriously entertained facing his demons. Between football and the Army, he'd had other outlets for releasing some of the bullshit in his head. Otherwise, he'd shut himself off from the world and everyone in it, and let himself go numb. Now, he didn't have those outlets, and that numbness was hearing the hell off.
But, most importantly, now he had something to fight for, not just against.
Maybe he could fight for Kat. For a chance with her. There were at least a hundred big ifs standing between this moment and that possibility, but it was worth the try. She was worth the try.
The big mystery surrounding the team's commanding officer and his motives on that final mission has all culminated in this final book of the series. All the questions are answered. There is a ton of action and nail-biting moments. And, the payoff is HUGE. The final chapter is absolutely incredible. It makes me hope that Laura Kaye keeps on writing about these six couples that have found each other during this horrific and stressful month together. (Can you believe that's all the time that's passed in this series?) I don't want to let them go!
But, if I have to let them go, I'm glad it all ended with Beckett and Kat. Beckett's transformation was the bread to my butter. I love that man so hard, and I happen to think that Kat is perfect for him. This finale is how finales are done.
Taking a deep breath, Beckett knocked on the door.
He turned the knob, and the door opened.
“Go away,” came a strained voice.
Beckett poked his head through the opening. Kat sat in a ball in the corner, her legs pulled up to her chest, her arms hugging herself tight.
“Aw, Jesus, Beckett. Really?” Her face was splotchy and her eyes watery, though he didn’t see any tears.
Ten-to-one she was going through some adrenaline letdown right now, too. Which no doubt made it all worse. That shit could fuck you up even when you were used to how it left you feeling drained and shaky, by how all the stress you’d suppressed during the height of the crisis boomeranged twice over after the fact.
He came into the room, closed the door, and turned the lock for good measure. And then he crossed to Kat, scooped his arms under her knees and behind her back and lifted her up against him.
She smacked his chest. “Put me down.”
“No.” He moved to the edge of the bed.
“I don’t need this right now, Beckett. Put me down.”
“Yes, you do,” he said, sitting on the edge of the mattress. He pulled her face in against his throat and smoothed her hair back from her cheek. She trembled against him, just the littlest bit, her skin hot to the touch. He pressed a kiss to her forehead and hugged her tighter. “You did good, kid.”
Every one of her muscles went tight. Her hand fisted in his shirt. And her breath caught as she buried her face against his neck and shoulder.
Then Kat burst out crying.
And it was like being torn apart and put back together, all at once. He hated her pain, but he adored that she wasn’t hiding herself from him, and that she was letting him be there for her.
He didn’t shush her, or try to talk her down, or encourage her to dry her eyes. To be sure, her tears were like daggers in his heart—they hurt like fucking hell. But the only way she was going to feel better was to let this shit out. Ironic realization for him—he did actually see that. But just because you could see what was good for others didn’t mean you had the first goddamned idea how to apply those principles in your own life. And that was a problem for another time anyway.
What mattered right now was Kat. What mattered … was Kat.
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