Title: Hard To Come By (Hard Ink, #3)
Author: Laura Kaye
Genre: Erotic Romance
Release Date: November 25 2014
Caught between desire and loyalty…
Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.
When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.
As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…
“Hard Ink was turning into the goddamned Love Boat.”
Hard to Come By is book three in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series. With each book and novella in this series I become more and more enthralled and invested in this “merry band of misfits” who are trying to clear their names. The overall story arc in this series essentially flows from one book to another. For this reason I highly recommend reading the previous books and novellas 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. They also realize in this book that all is not what it appears to be. The tangled web of lies and deceit they are attempting navigate is becoming more and more complex.
Thirty-four year old Derek DiMarzio and the rest of the team continue on their hunt for information. Derek would do anything for these men and he has done just that in the past by pushing Beckett Murda, his best friend and comrade, away from a grenade blast. This act of bravery cost Derek most of one of his legs. This has not stopped Derek though. He’s resilient and determined, a lethal combination in their efforts to get to the bottom of exactly what was at play when the team was ambushed overseas. The men are now on the hunt for Manny Garza, a person of interest who they believe was involved in what happened to them overseas. They want answers and they need to capture the elusive Mr. Garza to obtain those answers. When Derek is charged with making contact with Manny’s sister he has no idea he is about to be put between a rock and a hard place.
Thirty year old Emilie Garza is a clinical psychologist who is worried about her brother who has come back from serving overseas a changed man. Emilie is beginning to wonder exactly what her brother is involved in and whether he poses a danger to himself and to others. She is ready to have him forcibly retained in order for an assessment to be done. Her brother needs help. When Derek comes into her life, a handsome stranger she coincidentally runs into, Emilie welcomes the distraction his attention brings. When she discovers the reasons behind why Derek has come into her life, Emilie is torn between her loyalty to her brother and family and knowing she must do the right thing.
Derek and Emilie find a deep seated connection in one another that goes beyond a simple mutual attraction. Their connection is established immediately and only intensifies as they spend more time with one another. Both are taken aback by the profound feelings they begin to develop quickly for one another. As the team gets closer and closer to revealing the truth behind what happened to them and matters become more dangerous, Derek and Emilie must prove where they stand.
The book equally focuses on the suspense and romance storylines and this author does a great job balancing both. This made me appreciate the quiet, steamy and sweet moments that Derek and Emilie share even more as there was a lot going on with murders, explosions, intrigue, etc. I also appreciated that there was no unnecessary angsty bull-shit thrown in when it came to the developing relationship between the pair. Emilie is a lovable heroine with a great head on her shoulders and despite the fact that she has a brother who has made some very poor choices in his life, she remains steadfast in her determination to get him the help he needs. Derek was this honorable man found acceptance in Emilie. Their relationship was as heart-warming as it was sexy and steamy.
All in all, Hard to Come By is a well-paced and suspense-filled romance that had me completely enthralled. As the teams digs deeper and deeper in their quest for answers, the danger increases and matters get more complex. Laura Kaye has given us a group of very intriguing and drool-worthy men and she takes the time in this book to establish their characters. This story is far from over. I am looking forward to what else Laura Kaye throws out way in the next installment.
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Marz was playing with fire. He damn well knew he was. But that didn’t make him want to pull away.
He just wanted more of the heat.
Marz nuzzled the side of Emilie’s face with his nose, his lips. She turned her face toward him and offered her lips. He couldn’t refuse.
Capturing her mouth on a tortured groan, Marz poured every ounce of his longing and confusion and desire into the kiss. They grasped at each other and Emilie turned in his arms. He pinned her against the railing and planted his hands in her hair. She opened to him and accepted his tongue, sucking him in until Marz’s blood ran hot and his hard-on ached. He ground himself against her and devoured every little moan and whimper and gasp she spilled.
Trailing kisses from her mouth to her jaw to her ear, Marz dragged a hand down her body and grasped her breast in his palm. She cried out and her head dropped back, drawing his mouth to her neck, where he licked and sucked and nipped as he kneaded her soft flesh. “You are so damn sexy.”
Her hand flew to his hair and grasped the back of his head. “Touch me,” she said. “Don’t stop touching me.”
Marz pulled away long enough to do a three-sixty scan. The lighthouse cast a dark shadow over them, and the pier was otherwise empty. His heart raced and his pulse hammered. He dove back in, trailing kisses down her neck to her collarbone, which he traced with his tongue. Her nails scratched deliciously at his scalp and her grip urged him down.
Through the thin material of her blouse and bra, he mouthed and flicked at her nipple. He shifted the deep vee of the neckline to reveal a lacy royal blue bra. He tongued her through the lace until she was panting and moaning and writhing against the railing.
“Oh, my God,” she rasped as he shifted her shirt and moved to her other breast. This time, he tugged the lace down to bare the deep pink of her nipple. She tasted and smelled like something fruity and sweet, and it made Marz hunger for more. “Derek,” she gasped. “Yes, yes, yes.”
Her palm cupped and squeezed the bulge of his erection through his jeans. His hips jerked into the touch, craving more of her, all of her. He groaned and it seemed to egg her on, because she pressed and rubbed her hand against his trapped cock until he was panting and imagining taking her down to the ground.
“Jesus, Emilie, you’re driving me fucking crazy,” he said as he worked kisses back up her body to her mouth.
“I know just what you mean,” she said. Her molten hot gaze met his. Eyes hooded, lips shiny and swollen, cheeks flushed, she was a freaking goddess standing under the moonlit sky. He felt the force of her beauty every bit as much in his chest as in his cock.
“You sure about that, babe?” he asked as he took her mouth in a deep, wet kiss. “Because my imagination has me stripping you of those fuck-hot jeans.”
“Yeah?” She rubbed his cock in a long stroke with the heel of her hand. “Mine has us getting a room at the hotel back there. So I’m sure,” she said with a smile.
Marz’s heart hammered against his breastbone and his cock jerked, clearly liking her idea, too. Except, if he took her up on it, he was going to end up buried inside her for as long as she’d have him. And so long as this clusterfuck of a situation defined their relationship, he couldn’t take things that far. Could he?
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. 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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