Narrator: Seraphine Valentine
Length: 12 hours 43 minutes
Series: Hard Ink #1
Published by Avon on November 26, 2013
Genres: Romantic Suspense
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..
Hard As It Gets starts out with Becca looking for help finding her brother. She thinks she is doing what her brother requested by enlisting “Rixey’s” help, but ends up walking into a big disappointment. It doesn’t take Rixey long to decide that he’s not going to help Becca. Fortunately, he can’t resist the mystery behind her appearance at Hard Ink.
Nick Rixey is definitely a damaged hero. He went through a hell of a lot with his career and then the fallout from that last mission. I felt like he was putting way too much responsibility on himself. I think that if he had of kept in contact with all his comrades, he would see that he was not the failure to them that he thought he was. He was a guilt hog. He lets that guilt color everything he does, both with Becca and his former team. I started to get quite irritated with it. I kind of didn’t blame his team mates their attitude with him since he cut himself off from them when they should have stayed together.
Becca was a good heroine. She handled the creepy attempts by the bad guys to get to her pretty well. She was very believable in those situations. She was compassionate and seemed to be drawn to those she could try and help. Sounds about right for the life of a nurse. Ilean was definitely proof of this, and this was a funny part of the book for me. Imagining these big, sexy men singing at the top of their lungs had me grinning while I listened.
The plot unfolded in a very short period of time, and I was surprised by how much we were able to fit into a couple of days. Both in the suspense aspect, as well as the romance part. Rixey’s team knows how to get stuff done and done quickly. I liked that the suspense plot is connected to the past that the team has been trying to forget. This could be their chance to make things right as well as helping Becca’s brother. Hard As It Gets was a flat-out race and things moved fast. It was hard to find a spot to put the book down because it was constantly moving from great scene to great scene.
I was really pleased with Hard As It Gets. It is left open-ended so the main thread of the suspense is going to continue on in Hard As You Can. I am excited to get to learn more about the lead characters for that one. There was one part of the book that I did find difficult. I listened to the audio for this one, and I found that the switching between using first names and last names left me confused at times. With Rixey it wasn’t so bad, but with the other team members I was always left wondering who was actually in the scene. That might work itself out, though as I get to know the characters better in the upcoming books.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: