We so excited to be able to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Laura Kaye’s HARD AS STEEL!! HARD AS STEEL is a Hard Ink/Raven Riders Crossover Series Novella brought to you by 1001 Dark Nights. It is due to be released on September 22, 2015! Grab your copy of this sexy novella today!
About HARD AS STEEL: A Hard Ink/Raven Riders Crossover Novella
After identifying her employer’s dangerous enemies, Jessica Jakes takes refuge at the compound of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. Fellow Hard Ink tattooist and Raven leader Ike Young promises to keep Jess safe for as long as it takes, which would be perfect if his close, personal, round-the-clock protection didn’t make it so hard to hide just how much she wants him—and always has.
Ike Young loved and lost a woman in trouble once before. The last thing he needs is alone time with the sexiest and feistiest woman he’s ever known, one he’s purposely kept at a distance for years. Now, Ike’s not sure he can keep his hands or his heart to himself—or that he even wants to anymore. And that means he has to do whatever it takes to hold on to Jess forever.
I’m thrilled to be here celebrating the release of my 21st book, HARD AS STEEL! After a midnight break-in at her apartment, close friends and Hard Ink Tattoo co-workers Ike Young and Jessica Jakes are forced into hiding—and forced to confront the feelings they’ve always denied for one another. I have always adored friends-to-lovers and forced proximity stories, and HARD AS STEEL delivers that and more, including a taste of both my award-winning and best-selling Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series! Check out this excerpt:
“Last rule while we’re here,” Ike said. “No busting my balls.”
“I wholly object to that one. I’m already going to die of boredom out here. You have to let me have some fun.”
Ike got right up in Jess’s space, so close that she had to tilt her head way back to look him in the eye. “You think I don’t see how you use humor to deflect when you’re scared? But I see it, Jess. I see you. So let me be clear. You are not gonna die. Not on my watch.”
A riot of reaction erupted inside Jess’s head. The uncertainty of being laid so bare. The scary satisfaction of being seen when Jess always worked so hard to only reveal what she wanted of herself. The red hot lust caused by Ike’s hard body being pressed so close to hers.
Despite the heat inside the house, Jess nearly shivered at the intensity Ike was throwing off. She became aware of him the way you become aware of the electricity in the air before a summer storm—slowly, insistently, magnetically. Her lips parted as she scrambled for a response, but her nipples were pebbling against his chest which made her wonder if he’d be able to feel her piercings there.
Ike took a small step backward, but it was enough to break the crazy physical connection pinging between them. Had he felt it too?
“Okay, so, no dying,” she said. To her own ears, her voice sounded like a throaty purr. “And, um—” She swallowed hard, trying to gather her wits about her. “—the boredom part?” She peered up at him, hoping against hope that she wasn’t the only one as affected by whatever had just passed between them.
Ike’s eyes narrowed as if he was on to her game. “Nick and his team know what they’re doing. Hopefully this situation will get resolved fast and you won’t have to be here that long.”
“Right,” she said. Jess hoped that, too. She wanted her friends safe and their enemies to be gone. For good. Still, she couldn’t help but wonder if Ike was eager for her to be out of here. In all the years she’d known him, she’d never been to his apartment in the city, nor had he ever invited her out to the Ravens’ compound for any of their parties or the races they ran at their dirt racetrack. It had always felt like, on some level, Ike held her at a distance. That there was a part of his world he didn’t want to share—with her, at least.
And now, here they were for the first time ever, hidden away from the world in a tiny cabin. All alone.
Get a grip, Jess. This isn’t some romantic cabin getaway.
Right. Ike wasn’t here with her because he wanted to spend time with her, he was here because she’d asked for his help, because he was a good guy, and because he knew she needed protection.
When Nick’s team finished its investigation and nailed their enemies, she’d go back to her regular life, and she and Ike would go back to being friendly colleagues. It was already embarrassing enough that everyone knew she’d unknowingly slept with one of the bad guys. The last thing she needed while they were stuck together here was to make it clear how much she wanted Ike. And cared about him. Despite the fact that she had no chance with him whatsoever.
Which meant Jess needed to put her fantasies about Ike Young aside. Once and for all.
Definitely worth the wait! This story’s happening while book 4 (Hard to Let Go ) is going on, though–I read that one way back in the beginning of July and almost felt as if I needed a cheat sheet to remind me of what was going on back then in the world of Hard Ink. So I wouldn’t say this one is the book to start the series with–too much backstory for sure–but now that it’s out, I heartily recommend reading #4 and immediately following up with this one for maximum impact. 😉
I really liked getting to know Jess and Ike better–I love it when an author fleshes out secondary characters and gives them their own stories. 🙂 Jess has been crushing on Ike as long as she’s known him, but it’s all one-sided…isn’t it?
Ike’s been convinced from the first that he’s not good enough for Jess. He’s got a tragic backstory which makes him believe that he’s not worthy of the love and trust of a good woman–especially Jess. He knows he can only bring her heartache, so he stays away. The daughter of a cop with the son of a man who was mixed up with the Mexican drug cartels? Couldn’t happen…or so he thinks.
From start to finish, it’s pretty much Ike keeping the two from being together with his good-intentioned, but seriously mislead ideas. Poor Jess has to suffer through some pretty rough scenes as he tries to push her away–for her own good, of course–but the other scenes (you know the ones I mean!) almost make up for it. Then they get some bad news, and Ike is forced to reconsider Jess’s place in his life…finally!
A very satisfying end, and an excellent intro to the Raven Riders MC series that is coming soon. Can’t wait!
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
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.
Laura Kaye’s HARD AS STEEL – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:
The Book Hammock – Review & Excerpt
What I’m Reading – Review & Excerpt
Smut Book Junkie Reviews – Review & Excerpt
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews – Review
JB’s Book Obsession – Excerpt
Love Affair with an e-Reader – Review
Book Reader Chronicles – Review & Excerpt
Coffee-Books-Life Blog – Review & Excerpt
East Coast Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt
Obsessive Reading Disorder – Review & Excerpt
Blushing Reads – Review & Excerpt
Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review & Excerpt
Red Hot + Blue Reads – Review & Excerpt
Kelsey’s Corner Time – Review & Excerpt
Wicked Reads – Review & Excerpt
A little fiction of every flavour – Review & Excerpt
Fangs, Wands and Fairy Dust – Review & Excerpt
Naughty Book Eden – Excerpt
Reviews by Tammy and Kim – Review & Excerpt
Deluged with Books Cafe – Review & Excerpt
What Is That Book About – Excerpt
mignonmykel : reviews – Review & Excerpt
Adventures in Writing – Excerpt
Hot Guys in Books – Review & Excerpt
JordansBookReviews – Excerpt
Books According to Abby – Review & Excerpt
Little Read Riding Hood – Review & Excerpt
I Heart YA Books – Excerpt
Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt
Becky on Books – Review & Excerpt
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess – Review & Excerpt
A Tasty Read Book Reviews – Review
Ashleyz Wonderland – Excerpt
Those Crazy Book Chicks – Review & Excerpt
Ramblings From This Chick – Review
Connected by Books – Excerpt
Ripe For Reader – Review
Inner Goddess – Review & Excerpt
Cocktails and Books – Excerpt
Southern Vixens Book Obsessions – Excerpt
Ticket To Anywhere – Review & Excerpt
My Favorite Things – Review
MrsLeif’s Two Fangs About It – Review
Echoing Books – Review & Excerpt
Book Sojourner – Review & Excerpt
Edible Pages Book Blog – Review
Dark Faerie Tales – Review & Excerpt
The Book Reading Gals – Review & Excerpt
My Girlfriends Couch – Review & Excerpt
Romancing the Readers – Review
Bewitching bibliophile – Review
Obsessed With Myshelf – Review & Excerpt
Sultry, Steamy Reading – Review & Excerpt
Love Affair With Fiction – Excerpt
Feeling Fictional – Review
Alleskelle Blogs – Review & Excerpt
Becky’s Book Bytes – Review & Excerpt
Teatime and Books – Excerpt
Wickedcoolflight.net – Review & Excerpt
The Fairest of All Book Reviews – Review
Typical Distractions – Review & Excerpt
Booklover Sue – Excerpt
Renee Entress’s Blog – Review & Excerpt
The book obsessed momma – Review
Always YA at Heart – Review & Excerpt
We stole your book boyfriend – Review & Excerpt
Friends Till The End Book Blog – Excerpt
Books Need TLC – Review
The Book Junkie – Review
Bitten By Love – Excerpt
Sweet Reads: You’re In For A Treat – Review & Excerpt
Sofia Loves Books – Review
Viviana, Enchantress of Books – Review
Confessions of a Bookfreak – Review & Excerpt
Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt
Somewhere Lost in Books – Review & Excerpt
Cupcakes and Vodka Book Blog – Review & Excerpt
Grownupfangirl – Excerpt
My Book Snack – Review & Excerpt
Talking Books Blog – Review & Excerpt
Nose Stuck in a Book – Review & Excerpt
Once Untold – Review & Excerpt
G & T Indie Café – Excerpt
Brooklynn Gibbs – Excerpt