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Hard as You Can

(Hard Ink #2)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  9,051 ratings  ·  879 reviews
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 rev
ebook, 384 pages
Published February 25th 2014 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  9,051 ratings  ·  879 reviews

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UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

4 Hunk-a-licious, Ink-tastic Stars!!

Hard as You Can is the second installment in Laura Kaye's Hard Ink series, and just like the first, all kinds of awesome!

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
Lana ❇✾DG Romance❇✾
3 It was just OK stars

He made her lose focus. He made her wish things could be different. And he made her want to throw caution to the wind and, for just once in her life, take what she wanted

I wanted to love this book, I really did. But in the case here, it was sadly just not my cuppa at all. So, book

The story and the suspense were great. The writing was fantastic. So where did it fall flat? On a number of things.

1. The insta-love scenario. Or as I call it, the insta-lady boner defl
✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ ✝✝
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing

Well well, Shane ooo Shane, he definitely was another sizzling hot ex-military!!! When this book is out, just grab it! No questions asked!!

Laura Kaye is simply brilliant!!!!!!!

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The story continues to fill in the blanks and answers that we need to know from Hard As It Get. The plot is so fresh and it just keep me going. I wanted to know what comes next! Not from one moment, I wanted to part with my Kindle..... that how is interesting this story was.

Laura's writing was superior and excellent!
Nov 11, 2013 marked it as to-read
I want the sequel and I haven't even read the first one!!!

Nov 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shit-hot-series
4 - "How may prior military does it take to drill in a screw?" Stars!

I think this is going to be one of those series, where I fall in love with each successive book a little more than I did its predecessor. I loved Nick Rixey in Hard as it Gets but Shane McCallan, ticked all the Southern charm boxes and then some for me.

”I specialize in pain in the ass, darling.’”

I think the other big thing about this book, and I am hoping for more of in the rest of the series, is reading of the rebuilding of th
Jan 06, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: for_review
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: D+

Shane first ran into Crystal, literally in Hard As It Gets when he and his friends/teammates were on a rescue mission that took them through a strip club. Crystal is a waitress at the club where she helped Shane and his friends find the man they were searching for and Shane hasn’t been able to get her out of his mind since. The club is connected to a crime organization that has a long reach. The organization is connected to a man who once l
[~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥
Oct 01, 2013 marked it as did-not-finish
DNF at 50%

Shane and Crystal had an almost instant connection that I just couldn't connect with. The story didnt move fast enough for me personally. I needed a bit more dialogue. I wanted more storyline. I needed more sexual tension and steam. I think I just needed a new story altogether.

Unfortunately it didnt work for me but I really hope it works for you. I love Laura Kaye's Brazen titles much more x

ARC provided by the publishers via Edelweiss
Sep 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Just as good as the first one. Still no definite ending for the bad guy, but serious damage done to his organization. Shane and Crystal and a serious case of insta-love, but it was an amazing story. Did I mention a MC shows up to help save the day..spin-off series. Now on to the next book.
Beanbag Love
Apr 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is the second installment of the Hard Ink series, and I'm still pretty happy with it. Great characters, decent suspense, a good overall plot arc that connects the books to each other. The women are good characters rather than numbskulls who do nothing but moon over the men.

Sara aka Crystal was introduced very briefly in the first book. I figured she'd be the next heroine and I'm glad she was. She's got major problems, issues and burdens, but Shane McCallan is going to save the day. He's go
Geri Reads
Feb 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Full review to come!!
Chris- Bookaddict
Oct 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing

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

I love this series. Honestly if you like hot ex- military men, who are total Alpha, protective, sexy, sweet, caring, and loving all rolled into one, then you need to start this series.

Hard as You Can is book #2 in the series and it follows where book #1 left off but with a different one of the military men. This is Shane’s & Crystal’s story.

I would suggest to fully understand the se
Some books just grab you and hold on, this was that book.
This was not a steamy, sex-filled novel, with a knuckle-dragging hero, but it was just beautiful to read. There was a slow build up to the romance and the action, not everything was resolved because the rest of the team have to get their stories but I can't remember the last time a book left me feeling so satisfied. In large part, due to this amazing hero, there's a scene halfway through the book where the hero helps the heroine into the c
Lover of Romance
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance My Review
When Crystal first meets Shane McCallan, he rambled in the dance club where she was working, gorgeous and charming, she got a glimpse of what it would be like to really be treated with respect and affection. But Crystal is in a bad spot and must be careful of her actions or her sister may pay the price. But when she sees Shane back with a few other men, to rescue their friend who has been tortured and hel
Tpagirl Loves Romance
Hard As You Can was the second book in the Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye. As expected, it picked up exactly where the first book left off.

Shane McCallan was part of the former Special Forces team that was working to clear their name from a betrayal on their last mission that killed six of their team. He also had guilt from a childhood tragedy that he carried on every mission.

Crystal Dean was living in hell. She promised her late father that she would take care of her younger sister. She was a su
Tina "IRead2Escape"
Hotness Rating 3 out of 5

Hard As You Can is the second book of the Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye and it just keeps getting better and better. In the first book we learn of the double cross by their commander that killed so many members of the special ops team and left the others injured and shouldering the blame. Dishonorably discharged these men were sent home to heal both physically and mentally without the support of the very country they fought for.

Shane McCallen was one of these men that h
Feb 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really didn't think that LK could top the first book in the series, but darned if she didn't do it! There was several times that I was on the edge of my seat for Sara, as she really was in a very bad situation. I WAS not ready for the book to be over and can't wait for the next book in the series. I would read the first book, as there going to be a story arc over the 5 books. Is the MC gang going to be the next series....I am in! ...more
 ~*~Princess Nhya~*~
Liked this one a lot more than I thought I would. It was a good follow up from book 1 and moving the secondary plot along. I didn't like the abrupt ending however. Felt like a mini epilogue would have benefited Shane and Crystal/Sara's closing.
But everything else was strongly on point here.

Reading book 2.5 now, Edward "Easy" Cantrell's story.
Enjoying so far :)
Jane Stewart
2 ½ stars. I wanted to know what would happen, but I skimmed parts. Too much being a victim and bad luck.

Back Story:
Jimmy Church is head of a gang that kidnaps and sells women as sex slaves. Crystal’s dad worked for Church and owed him money. Dad died. Church kidnapped Crystal saying she had to pay her father’s debt. She was raped and beaten. One of Church’s thugs, Bruno, did a deal for her. Crystal would work as a waitress in a strip club giving half her income to Church. She would also be Brun
I'm a huge fan of Laura Kaye and I loved the first book in her Hard Ink series so I have absolutely no excuse for why it's taken me so long to get around to picking up the second, Hard as You Can. Happily it's kind of paid off in my favour because the series is nearly complete so I can pretty much devour the remaining books without any long waits between instalments. This book picks up the story pretty much immediately after the end of Hard as It Gets, the group have started to uncover just how ...more
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Talk about an intense book !

I read book one maybe two or three years ago and I liked it. Obviously, I didn't continue the series after that but I can't remember why. Well I'm glad I had a second chance because Hard As You Can was memorable. Both touching and impactful, I can't deny that Shane was a perfect hero, but it's the heroine who truly shined by her strength of character, her courage and the amazing kind spirit that she never lost after everything she has been through. I'm speechless.

Natasha is a Book Junkie
Mar 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc
“… her life was a house of cards, one light blow away from falling to pieces and disintegrating to nothing.”

There is nothing more exhilarating than discovering a new series that suddenly keeps you glued to its pages until the wee hours of the morning, unable to even blink away because your heart is racing so fast and your curiosity won’t let you quit. I have to say that when I first dove into this story, I already knew what a tremendous storyteller Laura Kaye is from some of her prev

Hard As You Can picks up immediately after the events of Hard As It Gets. The courageous waitress who helped Shane and his team rescue Becca’s brother, Charlie, from the Churchmen is front and center of this action-packed story, and things are about to get more intense for her and for the men of Hard Ink.

Crystal was a wonderful heroine with depth and many layers. Through no fault of her own, she got dragged into the sordid world of human trafficking, drug dealers and gangbangers. Her dreams of a
Do you ever get into a reading rut and just need a change. For me, my go to genre is normally ex-military or special ops romance. Something about a former Special Forces coming to save the day is a perfect pick me up read. Hard As You Can just did it for me!

Crystal Dean is working off her father's debt to some really bad characters. Loosing her father wasn't hard enough but the evil of his past destroys Crystal's hope for a future...but she will do anything to keep her baby sister out of their s
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
ARC Review: 4.5 stars

There is something about a Southern man...pair that with a special forces experience and a heart of gold, you've got a winning combination for a heart-stopping hero. In this book, it is Shane McCallan.

Crystal Dean has more courage and perseverance than just about any character I've read in a long time. She is beyond resilient. Every time I think about what she has endured and overcome, my heart hurts a little. If any one deserve a little (or a lot) of special attention fro
Crystal Dean is working hard as a waitress to pay off her father's debt. Despite his death, his problems are still very much haunting Crystal's life and it seems that nothing will ever get her out of this mess.

Shane McCallan first met Crystal on another operation where she risked her life to help them. Unable to forget the fearless woman, Shane is now returning the favour when trouble finds Crystal and she needs someone to rescue her.

As the second book in the Hard Ink series, Laura Kaye plays up
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shane. Shane, Shane, Shane. Love ya, babe. He is the perfect combination of sweet, southern and Alpha. I thoroughly enjoyed Shane and Crystal’s story. This one had a very slow build up (build up meaning, it took forever for the sexytimes to happen) BUT and there is a good reason for the but… it was warranted. It took awhile for Crystal to get out of the situation she was trapped in and realize that Shane had made up his mind and that she was going to be HIS. Awwww, don’t you just love it when th ...more
Carol (StarAngel's Reviews) Allen
4 Stars

See Review on February 25 at:

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4 1/2 stars (rounded up to 5 stars, because I've got to love a RS heroine who doesn't act TSTL just to add more "suspense" to the story) ...more
4 stars

This was a very good book. I liked Crystal and Shane and was happy that things worked out for them. This was a good addition to the series and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Crystal is a waitress at a strip bar but not by choice. Her mother and father are both dead and her father died with a debt to a gang. This gang then came after Crystal for the money. Crystal has a little sister named Jenna that has epilepsy and Crystal is determined to take care of her and protect
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Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink, Raven Riders, Blasphemy, Heroes, and Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura's hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her lif ...more

Other books in the series

Hard Ink (4 books)
  • Hard as It Gets (Hard Ink, #1)
  • Hard to Come By (Hard Ink, #3)
  • Hard to Let Go (Hard Ink, #4)

News & Interviews

  Mahogany L. Browne is the author of Chlorine Sky, Woke: A Young Poets Call to Justice, Woke Baby, and Black Girl Magic. She's also the...
26 likes · 5 comments
“No. What he did out there, that wasn't okay with you. Jesus. I could see it in your eyes, your body, the way your fucking hands shook." He heaved a deep breath, like he was attempting to calm himself. "And if it wasn't okay with you, it's sure as hell not okay with me." Closer, yet. So close his chest brushed hers. "In point of fact, I have a major fucking problem with a male forcing a woman to do anything," he said, his eyes burning with molten silver. "But let me be clear, Crystal. Seeing him all over you like that would do bad things to me even if you wanted his attention. So my intentions here" --he pursed his lips and shook his head-- "they're not all honorable. Because I want you. I want you so bad I can hardly breathe.” 7 likes
“Why were you so happy to see me? You know, besides my general awesomeness."

Marz pushed out of his chair, big grin on his face, and held out his hands. "I'm getting married!"

Shane sighed. The expressions on the other two said they'd already been down this road. "All right. I'll bite."

"I think the appropriate sentiment is 'congratulations'," Marz said, crossing his arms and feigning insult.

"Just spill the brilliance of whatever this is about," Shane said.

"Only because you acknowledged its brilliance." Marz sat excitement rolling off the guy. "I figured out how to solve the problem of getting us eyes and ears in the back of Confessions."

"By getting married?"

"By pretending to get married. And what does every pretend groom need?" Marz's grin was full of anticipation.

"A bride?" Shane said.

Marz rolled his eyes and waved his hands. "Okay, but what else?"

Shane looked between the three of them. And then the lightbulb went on. "A bachelor party," Shane said.

Marz clapped his hands. "Ding ding ding. Give the man a cigar."

Yup. The idea was, in fact, brilliant. Really brilliant.”
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