Title: Hard To Hold On To (Hard Ink, #3)
Author: Laura Kaye
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: August 19 2014
Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.
Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.
As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.
4.5 “I Believe” Stars!
In the words of Edward Cantrell (the hero in this book)…..
“Son of a goddamn holy motherfuck.”
This short novella packed a powerful punch.
Hard to Hold on To is a novella in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series. Since the onset of this series, I have been a huge fan. It simply gets better and better. If you have yet to pick up this series, it is a darn great one to dive into. This novella picks up where book two ends and the story essentially flows from one book to another. For this reason I highly recommend reading book one first if you have not already done so. Five former Special Forces soldiers have rekindled their connection and bond that was severed one year prior when their commander betrayed them all with his involvement in illegal activities. Forced to leave the army with reputations in shambles, the men are now on a mission to uncover exactly what their ex-commander was involved in, to clear their names and restore their honor. The team is searching for answers and as they become more entrenched into the world of organized crime, drugs and the sex slave trade, they discover that more is at stake than what they could have ever imagined.
Edward “Easy” Cantrell was forever changed went a mission gone wrong overseas caused the deaths of his comrades, one of which was his best friend. Easy has been suffering in silence not allowing anyone to enter into his private hell since his return to American soil. With a military career now over and a tarnished reputation, Easy was forced to return home to work for his father. Easy was contacted by his fellow ex Special Forces team member with an opportunity to finally clear his name. As he and his military brothers slowly work to unravel exactly what happened that one fateful day in Afghanistan, Easy is unsure how much longer he will be able to keep the darkness he lives in from the men he was once very close to. There are also more players involved now and matters are becoming more complex and dangerous. One of those new players is a fiery redhead that makes Easy feel and look beyond his demons. For the first time since he has returned home, Easy finds himself thinking forwards to tomorrow.
Jenna Dean may have not had an easy home life while growing up, but she has always had an older sister who she has looked up to and has taken care of her. She has always felt like a burden to her sister and being kidnapped by her sister’s ex has only solidified those feelings. Being kidnapped and then rescued has definitely messed with Jenna’s sense of security. Her only reprieve is when she is around Easy, her rescuer. For some reason this beautiful ex-soldier who is hiding many burdens behind those soulful eyes of his is providing Jenna with a safe harbor.
Both Jenna and Easy become an anchor for one another, something to hold on to. Jenna gives Easy a reason to keep breathing and fighting. Being in her presence helps keep his demons at bay and allows him to push away those feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Jenna also helps him find the courage to speak to his fellow team members about his secret struggle. For Jenna, Easy is someone who gives her strength and is helping her deal with the after effects of being kidnapped. He becomes her blanket of security. There is no insta-love here. Nor is there an ending where the hero and heroine happily run off into the sunset carefree and shooting rainbows out of their asses. This is just the beginning of the journey for Easy and Jenna, a journey that will encompass a lot of healing but also one where there is hope. The pair found a profound connection in one another in a time of great turmoil and danger. This journey of sweet and burgeoning love is one that I am certain will continue to unfold in the books to come in this series.
All in all, Hard to Hold on To was a great and emotional novella installment to this series where two damaged souls yet again find one another in the midst of dismal circumstances. I commend Laura Kaya for tackling a subject that is so very real for many military families. We also get to know the men even better in this novella and as this storyline moves forward, things are definitely getting more intense and interesting. I am very much looking forward to the next book, Hard to Come By, which is due out in November 2014.
"You will beat this fucking thing. For you. For her. For everything you could be together."
Series Reading Order
1.Hard As It Gets
2. Hard As You Can
2.5. Hard To Hold On To
3. Hard To Come By – due Nov 25 2014
4. Hard To Be Good – due March 2015
Easy tugged down the covers and gestured for Jenna to get in. She chose the side that would allow her to lie on the uninjured side of her face.
“After what you’ve been through, I don’t want to do anything that makes you feel uncomfortable,” Easy said.
Propping herself on an elbow, Jenna shook her head. “You won’t. You’re the—” She blanched as if she hadn’t meant to say whatever she’d nearly said.
Which made Easy need to know. He crawled on the bed as if lured by the words. “Finish. That. Sentence.”
She eased back onto the pillow, red hair sprawling around her shoulders like silk, and stared up at him. And it took everything Easy had not to settle himself on top of her and tease the words out with his hands and tongue.
“The only one who makes me feel safe," she whispered.
Satisfaction humming through him, Easy turned and stretched out on his back. Because if he kept looking at her while she was looking at him like that, he might not be able to restrain himself from having what he wanted. A taste. A chance.
None of which she was in any shape for. And given the shitstorm in his head, probably neither was he.
“Good. That’s good,” he murmured, blowing out a long breath. Damn, he was tired. Not just because he hadn’t slept much the night before. But because of the size of the load he’d been shouldering for the past twelve-plus months. If he could only figure out how to put it down. He scrubbed his hands over his face, wishing he could shake himself out of this fucking slump.
If Rimes were here, he’d kick Easy’s ass for being such a morose motherfucker.
But he wasn’t here. Which was the damn problem in a nutshell.
He dropped his arms to the bed and peered over at Jenna.
She lay on her side facing him, hand tucked under her chin, not looking the least bit settled or relaxed.
“You.” She spoke the word without any hesitation, any doubt, any seeming self-consciousness.
“Have me, Jenna. Whatever you want,” he said, his cock stirring no matter how hard he reined himself in.
Holding his gaze, she moved closer until her head rested on his shoulder and her body trapped his arm between them. And, suddenly, she wasn’t fucking close enough.
“Here,” he whispered, lifting his arm and inviting her closer. And damn if his heart didn’t soar when she fitted herself the rest of the way against him, her face against his throat, her breasts against his ribs, her leg curling up onto his thigh.
He wasn’t sure whose sigh was louder. All Easy knew was that this was the first time in more than a year he didn’t feel alone. Wrapping his arm around her, he couldn’t resist squeezing her in just a little closer.
“Thank you,” she whispered, her breath ticklish against his neck.
He laced his fingers between hers where they rested on his chest. “I gotchu. You just close your eyes and know I’m here.”
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.
Laura is giving away Giftcards to celebrate the release of Hard To Hold On To – for your chance to win, please just enter the Rafflecopter below and Good Luck!!a Rafflecopter giveaway