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New Release Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway! HARD TO BE GOOD by Laura Kaye (Hard Ink #3.5)

Jeremy’s book! Charlie’s book! Yay! 🙂

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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…



I was so glad that Jeremy (not to mention Charlie!) was getting his own book!

A possible relationship between Nick and Becca’s brothers was hinted at–I think as early as Easy’s book? definitely in Marz’s–and I was counting the days until its release. Hard to Be Good did not disappoint!

I really liked getting to see things from both Jeremy and Charlie’s POV. Jer has always come off as a totally laid-back kind of guy with absolutely hysterical taste in t-shirts (“I’m trying to give up sexual innuendos. But it’s hard..SO HARD!”), but we can see from this book that there’s a whole lot more going on below the surface. Charlie too is much more than he seems, and his awkward geekiness is totally endearing.

Hard to Be Good is a friends-to-lovers story, and Laura Kaye does a great job with it. After the events of the last three books, both men have had a lot to deal with and it’s fantastic that they’re going to continue to be there for each other, to help each other heal. And of course the other men and women of Hard Ink are going to be there for them as well–I love this group. Even when they’re engaging in snarky banter and teasing, you can totally see how much they all care about each other.

Hard to Be Good would probably work as a standalone if necessary, but as it follows right along after the events of book three (Hard to Come By) and shows the characters dealing with its aftermath, it makes more sense to read it with the rest of the series. There aren’t any huge revelations with the main arc here–it is a novella, after all, and Jeremy and Charlie’s relationship is the main focus–but it does set up the next two books in the series nicely.

Plus, Charlie gets a tattoo. 😉 And Nick plans an awesome surprise for Becca. Also, there’s a cat.

All good things. Now, bring on the rest of the series!

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.



“I really admire you, Jeremy,” Charlie said.

“I really admire you, too, Charlie,” Jeremy said.

Carefully, Charlie lifted his head and looked over his shoulder to where Jeremy sat. “Why?”

Jeremy paused and his light green eyes absolutely blazed at him. “Are you serious?” Charlie nodded, because he couldn’t imagine what someone would find admirable about him. “Because you are a survivor. And you’re courageous. And you’re good in a crisis. And you’re brilliant. For starters.”

“Oh,” Charlie said, laying his head down again. That’s how Jeremy saw him? Because he sure as hell liked Jeremy’s view of him more than his own. Maybe that was something else he could work on. Right after he conquered the fear thing. It didn’t hurt to dream, did it?

“Can I tell you something else?” Jeremy said after a while.

“Of course.”

“It’s very unprofessional,” Jeremy said, amusement in his tone.

“Okay,” Charlie said, unable to hold back a smile.

“Putting my ink on your skin is making me really fucking hard.”

Charlie’s heart tripped into a sprint, the words heating his blood and engorging his dick. “Yeah?”

“Yeah.” After another minute, Jeremy said, “All done.” He wiped down his side and pointed to the mirror. “Take a look.”

Charlie eased off the table and stepped up to the mirror. The line of black characters stretched down his whole right side. His skin was fairer than Nick’s, so the black ink stood out even more starkly. Charlie loved it immediately. “It’s great, Jeremy. Exactly what I had in mind.”

The door clicked shut behind him, which did absolutely nothing to slow Charlie’s racing pulse. Because the more he looked at the tattoo and thought about the fact that Jeremy had done it, the more just the idea of that turned Charlie on, too.

“I’m glad,” Jeremy said, busying himself with cleaning up. He waved Charlie over. “Let me bandage you up.”

Charlie stood in front of where Jeremy sat on the stool. He held his arm out of the way as Jeremy smeared on an ointment and loosely taped gauze pads to Charlie’s side.

“All done …” Jeremy looked up Charlie’s body. “… with the tattoo.”



Buy at  Amazon | | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | iTunes| Kobo

HARD TO BE GOOD on Goodreads


Hard Ink Series

And don’t miss the other Hard Ink books, now available:

Hard As It Gets

Hard As You Can

Hard to Hold On To

Hard To Come By

Praise for the Hard Ink Series:

“TOP PICK! If you’re looking for danger, gritty action, and sizzling passion, then Kaye has just the book and the series for you.” ~RT Book Reviews Magazine


About Laura Kaye:laurakaye-34 crop 2

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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