January 26, 2016

REVIEW, EXCERPT & GIVEAWAY: Hard Ever After (Hard Ink #4.5)

The Hard Ink series could be one of my most favorite series of all time. And HARD EVER AFTER is the cherry on top. Read on for my review and an excerpt, then enter the giveaway. And if you haven't started this series yet, please. For the love of doughnuts. Start it now.

Hard Ever After (Hard Ink #4.5), by Laura Kaye
Publish Date:
February 2, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins
Format: e-ARC, provided by Inkslinger PR
Genre: adult suspense romance
To Buy: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Rating: 5 STARS

(Synopsis) Justice served. Honor restored. Team reunited. 

After a long battle to discover the truth, the men and women of Hard Ink have a lot to celebrate, especially the wedding of two of their own—Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, whose hard-fought love deserves a happy ending.

As Nick and the team shift from crisis mode to building their new security consulting firm, Becca heads back to work at the ER. But amid the everyday chaos of demanding jobs and their upcoming nuptials, an old menace they thought long gone reemerges, threatening the peace they’ve only just found.

Now, for one last time, Nick and Becca must fight for their always and forever, because they know that when true love overcomes all the odds it lasts hard ever after.

You guys. For serious. This series is one I just can't get enough of. I was so bummed when it came to an end, even though the end was amazing and perfect. So, when I learned that there would be one final exclamation point in the form of a wedding, it was like my birthday all over again. 

Nick and Becca are the original couple from the Hard Ink series. They started it all. So, it seems poignant that they finish it. But, of course, despite a perfect proposal and being surrounded by their family and friends, things don't run smoothly. There's someone taunting Becca and putting her in danger. And it's messing with her wedding plans. So, once again, the team is back in play trying to figure out who it is and how to neutralize him or her so that Nick and Becca can get started on their happily ever after. 

Even though this is just a novella, there is plenty of story packed in there. Just like with Easy and Jenna's story and Jeremy and Charlie's story (which were both also Hard Ink novellas), Hard Ever After felt like a full-length novel. There was a mystery to be solved, action, and lots of hot lovin'. Of course - this IS Laura Kaye, after all.

Nick is as amazing as always. The way he loves Becca and the way she loves him back is of the absolute best romance stories. The way he calls her "Sunshine" and protects and cherishes her above all others - it is beautiful. And sexy.

"The best way to fight back the darkness is with love and light. The best way to cheat death is to live life with no regrets, holding nothing back, just throwing yourself into the messy, vibrant, unexpected beauty of it. That's what I want. I don't care about what happened. I refuse to let that win. I don't want to wait to be your always and forever. And for you to be mine."

What I loved the most was how the team took center stage. Yes, this was Becca and Nick's story. It's impossible to forget that. But, all the couples we've come to love are featured in different ways. And, when things get hairy, the team does what it does best. It pulls together and rallies around Nick and Becca when they need him most. They each have their areas of expertise and they use them to figure out who is tormenting Becca. 

The ending came too quickly for me. And now it's over, and I'm sad. But, what a story. 

“I think we’re all pretty guaranteed to get laid at Becca’s wedding,” Kat said with a mischievous grin.

They all burst into laughter. “When do you not get laid, Kat?” Emilie asked with an arched eyebrow.

“Aw, don’t even talk to me, Miss Garza, because you and Marz are loud as hell. Not that I mind, because, dude, does he have a mouth on him,” Kat said with a big grin.

“Oh, my God,” Sara said, her cheeks turning bright pink but her smile saying she was enjoying the teasing.

“He really does.” Grinning, Emilie shrugged. “The hazards of sharing an unfinished apartment. Can’t be helped.” Kat and Beckett had been staying in the room Nick and Jeremy reserved for her in their apartment until one particularly loud session of lovemaking had apparently caught Jer’s ear. His teasing had been relentless. Finally, Kat and Beckett relocated to an empty room upstairs. As much as they all enjoyed each other’s company, everyone was going to be thrilled when the new building was done, that was for sure.

Becca could only laugh as the good-natured ribbing went on. “Well, I know I’m getting laid. The rest of you are on your own.” By the time they’d all been fitted and had paid for their gowns, Becca was pretty sure they were on the verge of getting thrown out of the store.

They spilled out onto the street, laughing and hungry for lunch. Becca fell behind while she fished for her cell phone in her purse and paused to shoot off a quick text to Nick.
All done dress shopping! I’m gonna knock your socks off! ;)

Nick responded immediately. Sunshine, you already do.

Grinning, she glanced down the block—and nearly gasped out loud. Tyrell Woodson, the man who’d attempted to abduct her months ago, stood at the corner, glaring at her.

“Hey, Becca, come on,” Kat called.

Becca blinked and the man was gone. Vanished. A figment of her imagination. Not that her body seemed to know the difference. Heart racing, she caught up with the group as they made their way to an Italian place they’d agreed on earlier.

“You okay?” Kat asked.

“Yeah. Great.” Her voice sounded flat to her own ears. She glanced back over her shoulder. Woodson wasn’t there. Of course he wasn’t. She let out a long breath. Clearly, her subconscious wasn’t done worrying about Woodson, though, however unnecessary—and unfounded—that worrying was.

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. 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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1 comment:

InkSlinger PR said...

Thank you so much! ~Jessica, InkSlinger PR