Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Release: Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye. Q&A, Review, and Giveaway.

Today is the release day for Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye!! We are all so excited about this amazing series. Today, Amber reviews it, and we have a Q&A with the author.
Be sure to mark March 5th at 8:00pm EST down on your calendars, where we will be hosting a live chat with this amazing author over on our Facebook page (The Geekery Book Review)! We hope to see you there!!


Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He’s exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can—and never let go

Amber's review:

A 5+++++ Star Review by Amber Presley Boyd

Holy freakin wow! Seriously I thought when I read Hard As It Gets that Laura had blown me away with this new series start but this follow up is AH-FREAKIN-MAZING!! It starts off right at the climax of the action of the previous book and never looks back!! I mean Becca and Nick were hot together but Shane and Crystal/Sara are just smoldering from the start and only get hotter!!

McCallan is tough and struggling to make amends with his friends, especially Nick. Shane is still angry with Nick for disappearing after they returned and it takes a lot for them to come to terms with their fractured friendship.  I love the camaraderie among these brothers in arms, the loyalty that comes from their bond of battle and the way that they all are working to restore their honor but also protect those that are in danger. This is where Crystal, ok I’m just gonna call her Sara from here on out because that’s who she is and I loved her strength! Shane and Sara are electric together. There was a trust there that just seemed to be and even though Sara doesn’t trust easily it was as if she inherently knew that Shane was true to his word. So even when she tries to convince herself that Shane is trying to play her, she continues to help him despite the fact that it could put her in danger. Shane is drawn to her from the first encounter and when he calls her “Sweetness” for the first time, sigh. . . just love this! He is truly a Southern gentleman despite his hard lines and tough exterior; Shane falls fast and falls hard. As for Crystal/Sara, she has had a life that no one should have to shoulder but she’s done it with her head held high (and at times eyes down to stay safe). She bears scars both physically and emotionally but she is determined to make a better life for herself and her sister and will do anything to make it happen. I think this is both why she helps the guys and why it scares her to trust that Shane can help her. One of my favorite lines is when Shane tells her about her scars, “they’re proof of survival. They’re badges of honor. They’re marks of strength. You don’t have to show me, but you do need to know there’s nothing on your body I won’t love and respect. Because it’s you.” I mean could this man be any more amazing?!

 Laura keeps you on the edge of your seat as the drama heats up in the battle for the guys to take down these bad guys terrorizing Sara and her sister, finding more heinous things and new enemies along the way. But amidst the steamy encounters, the desire to prove love to another, building trust amongst them all there is a humor present that keeps it all real to me. I had such a hangover finishing this book that I had to pause before writing this review. But I found there were so many things that have stayed with me. From Shane sharing the fact that “the definition of courage is action in the face of fear; by that definition, Sweetness, you’re the bravest person I know” to his realization that Sara was “like a phoenix rising from the flames and somehow this magical creature had pulled him inside the ring of fire and allowed him to stand witness to the miracle of her rebirth”.  It was really beautiful to realize that Shane and Sara were teaching each other about strength, about honor and most importantly about love.

So well done Laura! Keep the boys coming because these Hard Ink guys are a force of nature for sure and I can’t wait to see where you take us next! So let’s all go take care of our “swass and swalls” and raise a glass to Laura, the awesome Hard Ink Crew oh and someone get Eileen a treat too! (I love that sweet little pup!!)


Read an Extended Excerpt of Book 1, Hard As It Gets

Buy Hard As You Can at Amazon | B&N | iTunes | Kobo


HARD AS YOU CAN is your second book in the “Hard Ink” series (after USA Today bestseller, HARD AS IT GETS). What can readers look forward to?


Readers can look forward to tons of sexy alpha male goodness, awesome bromance between the Hard Ink men, more antics from the Hard Ink puppy, and another great love story between Shane and Crystal. But readers should also be ready for a book that is darker, more intense, and more emotional. This book pushed me to emotional places that were tough as a writer, and might be tough for readers, too. But I think that just makes the payoff at the end so much sweeter!


Describe Shane and Crystal. What are their best traits? What are their weaknesses?


Shane and Crystal are such an amazing couple to me. They’re each exactly what the other needs. Shane’s best traits are his protectiveness, his fundamental kindness, and his soul-deep loyalty (his southern accent and humor are also right up there!). His biggest weakness for sure is a tragedy from the past for which he blames himself—and it’s something that continues to motivate him in Hard As You Can. Crystal’s best traits are her courage, protectiveness, and selflessness—she’s willing to do anything to keep her younger sister safe. Her biggest weakness is also that selflessness, because the sacrifices she’s required to make are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.


If you could describe your book in a 140 character tweet, what would it be?


When a woman in trouble assists an ex-soldier's covert mission to regain his team's stolen honor, he finds a new mission to save her, too


What are you most excited about with this second book release?


I’m really excited to take readers deeper into these awesome characters and into the mystery behind the Hard Ink team’s ambush and discharge!


What books are you reading right now?


I’m almost done with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander (yes, I’m very late to the party but OMG JAMIE FRASER!!!). And I’ve recently devoured and loved Juliana Stone’s Offsides and Shelly Thacker’s time-travel historical romance, Forever His.


What can fans of your “Hard Ink” series look forward to next?


There will be two more Hard Ink books in 2014!


Hard to Hold on To – August 2014

Hard to Come By – November 2014


About Laura Kaye:

Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen books in contemporary and paranormal romance. 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.