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New Release Review: HARD TO HOLD ON TO by Laura Kaye (Hard Ink #2.5)

 If you haven’t already, make sure you check out the release day post and giveaway (and buy links) here!

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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.


Hard to Hold on To was just so good! The last few pages had me in tears–the good kind, fortunately 😉 Easy’s story isn’t at all an easy read (see what I did there?) but it’s definitely worth it.

Both Easy and Jenna come into this story with a whole lot of baggage–which undoubtedly contributes to why they are so good for each other. Who else can better understand your pain, after all, but a person who’s also gone through hell and lived to tell the tale? Their story is short, but it packs a wallop in terms of emotion and substance. I’ll admit it isn’t the best story to start the series with–it begins right after the events that ended book two, and you’re thrown right into the action from the first page–but I picked up on what I needed to know pretty quickly without getting too lost. Still, I’d recommend reading the other two books first (Hard As It Gets and Hard As You Can) first if you have a chance, because then you’ll be up to speed with what is going on from the very beginning. (But buy Hard to Hold on To right now, while the proceeds go to such an awesome cause. Thanks, Laura Kaye!)

The Hard Ink series centers around a group of former soldiers who have pitted themselves against an organized crime ring. The five men–Easy included–operate out of a tattoo shop. (I know! Ex-Special Forces AND tattoos!) In addition to fighting the criminals, they are also trying to clear their names after an event that preceded their discharges from the Army (and apparently it’s all connected in some way). The exact event that lead to them leaving isn’t gone into detail here, which is another reason it’s probably a good idea to start with book one in the series. The events of a year ago–just before he left the Army–are still having a major impact on Easy as this novella begins. Jenna is a recent kidnap victim and also the younger sister of Sara, the heroine of book two.

After the events of this past week, it seemed especially timely to be reading a book about a veteran with survivor’s guilt and PTSD, leading him to consider committing suicide. Ms. Kaye is donating 100% of the proceeds of the book purchased in the first two weeks  to the Wounded Warrior Project, whose mission, vision, and purpose is:

To honor and empower Wounded Warriors. To foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history.  To raise awareness and enlist the public’s aid for the needs of injured service members. To help injured service members aid and assist each other. To provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members. – See more at:

(Coincidentally, it’s also the organization I selected to support by doing my Amazon shopping through AmazonSmile. Have you seen this option? Check it out here: There’s many different charities that you can help just by doing your usual online shopping.)

After getting a taste of the series through this novella. I’ll definitely be backing up and reading the first two books. That way I’ll be ready to go as soon as the next series novel (Hard to Come By) is released!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy (but also bought one, to support WWP) in exchange for an honest review. 

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