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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…
“Hard to Be Good” is book 3.5 in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series and her first foray into m/m. Laura Kaye is a go-to het romance author for me and her “Hearts in Darkness” novella is one of my favorite sexy reads! That being said, I was no less nervous for her crossing over…and though it’s being done much more successfully these days by many authors, it’s not a guaranteed home run.
Thankfully, she completely stuck to what I love about her other books and remained really true to her style. And it worked.
First, this book…well, I’m gonna say it though I’m not sure if this is the official line…it really CANNOT be read as a standalone. I think the author tries to do some backtelling of the stories that lead up to Jeremy and Charlie falling for each other. But those summary statements really fall short. And frankly, they make the book weaker…muddied. I personally would have preferred a lot less review of the lead up and more of the story itself. Though I’ve read the entire series, I will say that you probably can just read book 3, Hard to Come By, and have a good grasp of what’s going on.
Jeremy is the owner of a tattoo shop and Charlie is a computer-expert…and they have family ties to many of the characters introduced in earlier books. Jeremy is bi-sexual, outgoing, and sexy-as-fuck. Charlie is a bit shyer, has gone through hell and back, and warms my heart. The two of them together make SUCH a sweet couple, I wanted to jump for joy that it was finally happening.
Laura Kaye knows how to write sexy…not just sex…but sexy. Every interaction between the two was FILLED with sexual tension and it was HOT and also SWEET and at times FUNNY. The connection and pull of attraction between Jeremy and Charlie was so strong, I felt RIGHT THERE the whole time I was reading. Like I was some tattood biker chick voyeur in the background! (creepy). And it was also great seeing some of my favorite characters from previous books play heavily into the story.
This novella is not as gritty or dark as the books that lead up to it, but no less a part of the continuing storyline. A bit of a breather in-between all the tough action.
So, I highly recommend reading this…if you’re a Hard Ink fan. And if you’re just curious about Laura Kaye writing m/m, you probably *could* read it on it’s own, but it just wouldn’t be as satisfying.
Looking forward, I hope, to more crossing over from this author!
PS – one personal beef…those cover models are NOT Jeremy and Charlie…like as FAR away from Jeremy and Charlie as you can get! Bummed me out…
Title: Hard To Be Good (Hard Ink #3.5)
Author: Laura Kaye
Release Date: April 14, 2015
Purchase Links: Amazon