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Hard as It Gets (Hard Ink, #1)
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Hard as It Gets

(Hard Ink #1)

4.02  ·  Rating details ·  16,768 ratings  ·  1,543 reviews
Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander's daughter. Loyalty won't let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed ki
ebook, 368 pages
Published November 26th 2013 by Avon
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Average rating 4.02  · 
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 ·  16,768 ratings  ·  1,543 reviews

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Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition



Find Rixey, the Colonel's team, Hard Ink Tattoo.

When Becca Merritt's brother, Charlie disappears leaving only the above message for her, she seeks out Nick Rixey. Nick, former Army Special Forces, has been out for a year with an Other Than Honorable discharge from the military. With his brother, Jeremy he now owns and works the Hard Ink Tattoo.



I’ve never met a Laura Kaye hero I haven’t loved. Nick (and the rest of the team!) is no exception. Characterisations are one of Ms Kaye’s strengt
✝✝ Ⓓaisy ❣ ✝✝


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My first book and I am in love with her writing and this series!

Nothing can go wrong in this book - all the right mixture is in it!
Ex-Army Special Forces, Tattooed, Impressive Biceps, Hard Chest, Intelligence, Super Adorable, Hot, Delicious

Let's me introduce this fine specimen of man to you, Nick Rixey!

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And our cute heroine, Becca Merritt,

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Becca has no choice but to seek Nick's help! Her brother Charlie goes missing! She seeks Nick for help and everything between th
Jennifer Kyle
3.5 Stars


This story although well written felt so damn long …


The writing is really good BUT for me it was way too much of both characters thoughts (PAGES and PAGES) and not enough actual dialogue.


I’ll be honest, I actually started skimming just to find Charlie because that’s the whole point of the story after all.

”Where’s Charlie?

Becca is the hunt for her missing brother Charlie. He has left her a clue which leads her to Hard Ink Tattoo Parlor in search of Nick Rixey.

Through Becca’s journey
UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

4 “Ink me up, baby” stars!!

Hard As it Gets, the first book in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series, is one of those stories that turned out to be not at all as I had expected, but more than I had hoped for. It’s fast paced, romantic, sexy, poignant… an exciting and entertaining read!

Cover blurb
Tall, dark, and lethal...

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey's tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome--pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He's left his military life behind to become co-own
*J* Too Many Books Too Little Time
3.5--Too Much Suspense and Not Enough Romance--Stars!!

The only other LK book I have read was Hearts in Darkness and we all know what that elevator sex!!!

So imagaine my surprise when I reach the 50%+ mark and there's NO SEX and very little romance at all?!?!?!

I like a good romantic suspense....and honestly this book wasn't bad, it just wasn't great either. There just wasn't enough dialogue, making the story seem to drag.

The suspense portion did keep me reading...after all I had to fin
Madison Warner Fairbanks
Hard as it Gets by Laura Kaye

1st book in the Hard Ink series. Contemporary romantic suspense.
Nick Rixey is Ex-military special forces. Their investigation into organized crime to help Becca find her missing brother takes the group into a war zone of danger.

Fast moving and intense. Sexy hot and engaging. A romantic suspense week worth reading.
4 stars
her soul looked at this harshly beautiful man and thought, mine.

Becca brother is missing and after the police proved to be anything but helpful she follows the only clue she has, which leads her to Hard Ink Tattoo parlor looking for a man named Rixey. Nick Rixey takes one look at his former Colonel’s daughter and wants nothing to do with her, just seeing her in his brother's shop, makes all the memories come back.
Seeing her had brought the whole friggin’ mess with he
Smitten's Book Blog
The words 'hard' and 'ink' in a series title??? I'm in! ...more
Sheryl C. Nash
OMFG????!!!! Why the HECK did I wait SO LONG to read this???!!! (excuse me while I curse...) IT WAS FUCKIN' BRILLIANT!!!!!!!! Can't wait to start Shane's story next; Hard as You Can!!!! ...more
[~Ami~]♥Sexy Dexy♥
Nov 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
4 stars

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

My fourth Laura Kaye book and I enjoyed it as much as the others. Becca finds a note from her missing brother to seek help from Nick who is an ex-military.

I love Nick and I felt an instant connection with all the other side characters.

Jess: I still vote for tripod
Jeremy: or Hopalong

Compared to her other books, this book had more action/mystery/suspense. I thought it focused on the 'finding Charlie' storyline more than the romance. Not to say there wasnt any, as there was
Jan 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
4 Stars


Action, courage, loyalty, honor, passion, love, conspiracy...Yep, I really like this book!

“Sometimes you plodded through life with nothing changing from one month to the next no matter how much you yearned for a revolution to erupt beneath your feet. And sometimes your whole world imploded and rebuilt itself in a matter of seconds.”

Becca’s brother is missing. She tries the police but soon decides to try her only other option- one of the guys that was under her father’s command in Afgh
bella farren
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars

UGH YES. SATISFACTION. I am so glad that I decided to give this author another go after being extremely disappointed with one of her other books, Hearts in Darkness. This was a fully fledged, full length novel unlike Hearts in Darkness, and it made me feel all the emotions.

I'm a sucker for a little bit of a mystery, especially if it involves a group of hot ex-military men. This had all my favourite things—romance, action, drama and mystery.

Becca Merritt is on a mission to save her o
Chris- Bookaddict
Full Review now posted !!!!

4.5 stars

“Happiness wasn't something you found, happiness was something you made-by living in the moment, by cherishing the people in your life right now, by finding the courage to change those things you didn't like.”

This is the first book of Laura’s that I have read and it surely will not be the last one.

This story has it all, sexy tattooed Special Forces men, it was Gritty, sexy, suspenseful, fast paced.

Becca Merritt is an ER nurse when he younger brother, Charli
Nov 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: shit-hot-series
4 - All Gave Some. Some Gave All. Stars.

I have been saving up the Hard Ink series as I love me some Laura Kaye, and I hate having to wait for books in continuing series to be released. I am now in the enviable position of having 4 to read on the trot, YAY me!

Nick and Becca are characters that you grow to love as the book progresses, add in a whole troupe of delectable, yet damaged and diverse ex-serviceman, a tattooist brother and a three legged puppy and you know you are in for a right treat.

Kim Bailey
Let's break it down:

Storyline - Not bad. There is an interesting concept here & it's somewhat unique.

Characters - The main characters are interesting and fairly well written. I actually buy into their chemistry and don't mind the insta-love in this case. The secondary characters are alright.

Writing Style - The pacing seemed a bit slow for a book with a mystery/suspense theme. It gets bogged down by details. Lots of details.

The best part - Not Tripod, or Trinity, or Shiloh, or Eileen ... oh wait,
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had to put down the ARCs before I threw my Kindle across the room.

This was so good especially after three DNF's. Loving this team. Nick and Becca are just amazing. Great suspense, drama, action, romance, sex. Can't wait to read the rest of their HEAs. I guess you would consider the ending a cliffy, but not really. There's an ending, but the bad guys aren't caught or in any way figured out. Guessing that part will be resolved in the future books.

Now do I finish this series or go back and alter
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was my first military alpha male book! The main characters had such an angsty relationship that kept me on my toes! The story had an interesting crime and suspense aspect that was entertaining and allowed great plot development. The only reason why I gave it a 4 star is because the characters fell in love in such a short period of time. I wish they would have had more time to explore each other before admitting they “love” one another.

Also, this book ends on a cliffhanger!
Oct 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars (rounded down to 4 stars because something, not sure exactly what, was missing in the romance department)
 ~*~Princess Nhya~*~
This was an intense first entry to a series. What made it even better was that it doesn't suffer from First Book Syndrome as I like to call it. When there is a very substantial plot on top of other layers with a colorful spectrum of very diverse characters sharing the same plight, but on different levels.

This first book lays the land very well with everyone involved and the mysteries surrounding them as individuals as well as their shared nightmare. All of this is given without causing you
4.5 Special Forces Stars

Doing the happy dance right here baby. Yep. Its that good. H-A-P-P-Y DANCE. I have read several of Ms Kaye's books and I have come to the scientific conclusion that she is mind reader. Pure Science. What other explanation is there for her to know exactly what I want in a read? She hits all the marks:

Sexy, damaged hero (more about him later).....Yep
Strong heroine.......she's there
Actual plot with twists and turns and in and outs (wink wink)...oh Yeah!

So you can see why I a
Beanbag Love
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure how I ended up with this book. I think it must have been a Book Bub alert or maybe I picked it up off a friend's review. However it got on my Kindle, I'm glad it did!

I've been having trouble enjoying romantic suspense lately, even though I've been kind of craving the genre. I find they're annoyingly padded and the leads seem to become absolute, inept morons the moment they become attracted to each other. The lengthy and repetitive inner monologues seem to be a staple for many author
Val ⚓️ Shameless Non-Snowflake ⚓️
Some definitions of OK include "fair," "acceptable," and "all right" and that's how I would rate this book.

The characters were OK and the plot was OK.

It wasn't great and it wasn't bad, it just felt like other stories I had read before, but with nothing new or memorable about it...OK.
Series opener. I listened to the story, narrated by Seraphine Valentine. She is very good -- a solid hit -- but reads somewhat leisurely. My mind raced ahead, so I played it at a slightly faster clip. I think I would like this story more if I read it. It might be a 4-star story, if it weren't for fairly slow narration combined with fairly slow plot development (see quibbles below).

A sympathetic hero. My heart went out to hero Nick and his slandered SPECIAL FORCES team. Nick was second-in-command
Lady Heather

This was my 'virgin' read of this author.

I really liked Nick and Becca's characters (seriously, who doesn't like a tattooed warrior with a dragon clasping a sword tattoo on his back that actually looks like it's alive when he moves?), and the story-line holds a lot of promise for the series.

I just had a hard time getting into, and staying with the story. For a 'first' book in the series it should have grabbed me, and held me making me want MORE!
It seemed like it took FOREVER to finish this damn
~ Cariad ~
Apr 22, 2013 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Seriously?... JULY has a much better ring to it Laura!

As always, we'll get a gr crew together, come round and cook, clean, do chores, tie you to your PC?!
Whatever you need!

You have me drooling for this series already!
*The Angry Reader*
Jul 11, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Sometimes I go to the very end of my kindle library and make myself read whatever’s there. It serves a couple of purposes - getting a book from the Unread (548 books) to the Read (568 books) shelf. Plus it shows me how I’ve evolved as a reader. I bought this book in November of 2015. Now I wouldn’t add this to my kindle even if it were free. But, for a time, this was my bread and butter.
I’m happy to say it was far less he-man super hero BS than anticipated. The chick and dude were equals, and i
Tpagirl Loves Romance
Hard As It Gets was the first book in the Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye. I had read Kaye’s Blasphemy series where it referenced several characters from Hard Ink and couldn’t wait to dive into this series as well!

Nick Rixey was former Special Forces. He had been out for a year after half his team was taken out in an ambush. He was bitter and still had physical reminders daily of his loss.

Becca Merritt was an Emergency room nurse and the daughter of the Commander that Nick served under. She had a
Dec 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing
WOWZA!!! What an awesome read this was. Picked it up yesterday and finished it late last night! Nick was so lickable...uhmmm....likeable! loveable! LK is a new author for me and I am so glad I found her. The strange thing was the love scenes were of the spicy vanilla variety, but my goodness, they were HAWT! I had to fan myself a time or two. Can't wait for the next one in the series and they are all on my TBR! 2014 can't come fast enough. :-) ...more
Kelly Oakes
Hard as it Gets by Laura Kaye is a fantastic book one in the Hard Ink series.

The image the author paints of Nick, our main character, is a drop dead sexy, tattooed & ripped Adonis. I can picture him in my mind... His dragon tattoo lithe and magnificent spreading out across his back and dipping beneath the waistband of his jeans...
Oh yeah, you'll love Nick.

Ex-Miltary hottie,Nicholas Rixey, and the dire circumstances that bring him face to face with the daughter, Becca Merritt, of his prior CO. T
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, nov-2013
HOLY HELL! what did I just read! SOOOOO NOT what I was expecting, It was BETTER!
Love love loved it! Can't wait for the next instalment
Review to come
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Read Hard - Laura...: * Hard As It Gets #1 Becca & Nick 3 19 Jul 01, 2016 07:01AM  
Romance Lovers fo...: Hard as It Gets (Hard Ink #1) by Laura Kaye [Start Date: June 06, 2016] 101 50 Jun 18, 2016 08:29AM  
Sharing Reads: Bad Boy with tats 2 3 Apr 10, 2016 08:05AM  
The Hard Ink Series 2 36 Jul 13, 2015 10:21PM  
The Challenge Fac...: Sadie, LaurLa, Ezi, Danielle Book Mafia Enforcer & Nichole - Hard as It Gets 28 19 May 15, 2015 01:51PM  
Hard As It Gets 5 146 Jun 20, 2014 07:02PM  

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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 You Can (Hard Ink, #2)
  • Hard to Come By (Hard Ink, #3)
  • Hard to Let Go (Hard Ink, #4)

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