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Hard Ink #3

Hard to Come By

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Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…

384 pages, Kindle Edition

First published November 25, 2014

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About the author

Laura Kaye

74 books7,459 followers
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 life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura also writes historical fiction as Laura Kamoie, and lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 629 reviews
Profile Image for UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish.
1,166 reviews1,597 followers
November 20, 2015

Happy Release Day to Marz and Emilie and their awesome story!

5 'hard to beat' stars!!!

Hard to Come By is the third book in the Hard Ink series, and continues with the team’s efforts to get to the bottom of the ambush that cost them so much. It’s an action packed story and a fantastic read, start to finish.

Caught between desire and loyalty…

Derek DiMarzio would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team—sacrifice his body, help a former teammate with a covert operation to restore their honor, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want the beautiful woman he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek’s easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn’t trust.

As the team’s investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is too hard to come by to let slip away…
My thoughts…

If you’re a fan of military conspiracy/suspense and love sexy tatted heroes, this is the series for you. If you swoon over wounded warriors who risked their lives for the country they love, only to be betrayed by a man they trusted and are now out for revenge, you’ll really want to give this series a go. If you crave all of these things in your romantic suspense reading then you need look no further than Laura Kaye’s amazing Hard Ink series which delivers all of this and more!

Derek DiMarzio is an amazing - and I do mean amazing - man. I love his sense of humor, his honor, his integrity, and his devotion to this team of men who have banded together and are once again risking it all – this time to get to the truth. Emilie has a lot to hide, but I love that she’s no TSTL heroine, and once she sees what the team is about and what they’re up against, and even though it might cost her dearly, she knows she must do the right thing and help them get the answers they need and deserve.

The bottom line...

Murder, car chases, shoot-outs, explosions, romance and burn up the pages passion… Hard to Come By has it all and has taken this series to a whole new level of amazing!

An ARC was provided by Avon Books via Edelweiss and in return I’m giving them an honest review.
Profile Image for Claire.
2,307 reviews703 followers
November 25, 2014
5- "It's the easiest thing I've ever done." Stars!

Hard to Come By literally picks up from where Hard to Hold on To left off, you 100% need to read this series in order, too much has happened on the previous books, which amazingly only actually cover 10 days in the life of The Hard Ink Special Forces Team!

”We’re just some guys who are trying to do the right thing.”

Derek DiMarzio has figured quite heavily in the previous books in this series, being the tech guy of the team it has been his brains and gadgets that have kept eyes and ears on the ground where there would under normal circumstances be none. Like all of the other guys his outward persona, does not necessarily give the full story as to what is going on inwardly. Learning to live with his prosthesis after the ambush the team went through in Afghanistan has had massive changes on his life, and also on his friendships, as well as how the guys view and treat him.

”I just don’t want you to think I can’t protect you.”

Emilie Garza, like all of the other women who have come to know the Hard Ink guys in this series, isn’t a woman who is afraid to stand up for herself. Marz is initially bought into contact with her in relation to the team’s interest in her brother, but it becomes apparent from their first meeting that there is more than a little chemistry between the two of them.

”Next time, you’ll come on my tongue.”

This series just goes from strength to strength; Laura has managed to weave another love story into the developing story as a whole, Marz being the ‘happy-go-lucky’ member of the team, has a lot of depth to him, but then this book is as exceptionally well written as has every other guys whose story she has told before him. You want a whole lot of kick-ass with your romance, then this is definitely a series you need to check out.

”Resistance is futile.”

ARC generously provided by the publisher, and it was my pleasure to provide the above honest review.
Profile Image for Syndi.
2,895 reviews634 followers
May 13, 2022
Hard to Come By is not exactly hitting the right spot. In fact, I found the middle of the story is kind of boring and lack of origanility. Miss Kaye trying so hard to make her suspense miltary aspect stood out, but it fell flat.

The entirity of the story is still OK. I only want to have more spice/ twist/ complex plot. The chemistry between Derek and Emily is not too bad. Although it was insta lust, their attraction still bearable.

3 stars
Profile Image for Beanbag Love.
565 reviews246 followers
January 5, 2015
Even though the setting is the series title (the Hard Ink tattoo shop), it’s actually suspense romance about a group of former special forces soldiers who were run out of the military by villains whose nefarious purposes had already killed 7 of their brothers-in-arms and yoked them into “less than honorable” discharges.

The first two novels were excellent and the third book – a novella – was even better, IMO. So, naturally, I was preparing for the series to start to crash and burn. Beanbag Cynicism borne of experience, sad to say.

Welp, I was wrong. This story was great! Heartbreaking and harrowing at some points, and seriously sexy at others, it had everything I wanted from romantic fiction.

I love that each of these stories is truly part of an over-riding plot. They’re more than just the romance, but the romance does not get shunted to the side. The romantic leads get tons of page time together and – for the most part – their behavior is realistic. We’re not hit with complete idiocy as a catalyst to big events (although I was truly afraid it was going to happen at one point, Laura Kaye did not let me down – sorry I doubted).

So, yeah, if you like suspense romance with characters who have military background then this would be a great series for you.

And I can’t even express how excited I am that are next!

It looks like after the next two books we will finish with this crew. Does anyone who follows Kaye know if the focus will switch to the Raven Riders? I’d love to see Kaye do a MC series. While there are so many out there, there are also many bad ones and this author could really do a great job with that genre, I think. ;)

Profile Image for Lover of Romance.
2,837 reviews814 followers
November 16, 2014
After I read Hard To Come By I wondered why has it taken me so long to read this author!! I was very surprised how much I enjoyed this one, as I look back on how much I enjoyed this story, I realized I definitely need to try out the earlier two books. I do love this genre, its so exciting and sexy, and I really enjoyed what the author has done with this story. Even jumping into the series out of order, I never felt like I was totally lost. The author does a fantastic job of introducing the set up of the story and a bit of past events that never made it feel like I was out of control and needed to read the previous books first. Although I do wish I had read the first two books to get a deeper understanding of past events and what was going on, but I do think that if you catch on quickly than you can read it out of series if you like.

The story begins when Derek DiMarzio, along with his team, have been betrayed by their commander and for Derek, its a betrayal of the hardest kind, because this commander is like a father to him. He along with his team and trying to get the bottom of the deception, and their investigation leads them to Emilie Garza, and her brother. Her brother is at the top of their list, and a way to get to him...his sister Emilie. Emilie is a psychologist, and loves her family, but she notices her brother acting strangely and out of character ever since he returned from the war.While having lunch, she meets Derek, who is gorgeous and charming and sweet, and can't resist going on a date with him. But soon her peaceful and normal life goes topsy turvy, and she enters Derek's world of danger and suspense, she learns truths about her brother and who Derek really is and the kind of life he leads. But can Emilie trust a man that has already broken her trust? Or can she trust the man she has started to love?

I adored this pair...they were so good for each other and really help each other along the road of danger and intrigue. I love seeing these two learning to trust each other. Derek...well what a hero we have here. He is quite a hoot to see and I was very amused by him. Derek sacrificed one of his legs to save a teammate, and unlike most people, he is good humored about it, and makes jokes all the time relating to it. He is easy going, charming, and passionate about EVERY aspect of his life :). He definitely is the type of man you want as a friend or mate. He is dedicated, good humored, sensitive, and a protector for those he calls family. What's not to love right?

Now Emilie, I loved her!! She was such a good match for Derek, and her personality was just great. Emilie has trust issues, with bad experiences in the past, and even though she wants to hold back when it comes to Derek...she doesn't. I loved the way her character really pulls through when needed. Emilie was just a sweet heroine, and I loved her from the first few chapters. She is strong, independent, intelligent and willing to do what it takes to save those she loves. She is committed to doing the right thing, even if it hurts her. It was quite fun seeing her with Derek and the dangers he comes with, but all she is adamant about is honesty...anything else she can handle. I love how upfront she is and there is nothing deceptive about her. She was quite refreshing to read and I really came to admire her.

Overall a winner of a romance...and when it comes to romantic suspense...this story has it all!!! Be ready for some thrilling action, super steamy scenes, entertaining moments between the team and Derek, and a intense love story to blow your socks off!!! NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR!!
Profile Image for Victoria.
1,188 reviews95 followers
December 2, 2014
“Does this feel good?” he asked as he continued to tease and rub.

Her breath caught and she gave a fast nod. “Oh, yeah. So good.”

He flicked his tongue over her lips, loving the way she attempted to capture it. “I bet you’re really fucking hot here,” he said, pressing a little harder between her legs to make sure she knew exactly what he was saying.

“Yeah,” she said in a breathy little gasp that made him thrust against her palm.

“Bet I could make you feel even better,” he said, sucking her bottom lips between his and giving it a little nip.

“Please,” she said, one hand fisting around the side of his shirt.

The word speared through him, spiking his pulse and turning his cock to steel. “Right here, Em? Right now?” The very idea turned his blood molten and silenced every bit of argument against taking this even one step further.

Her body trembled everywhere they touched . She stared at him a long moment, and then she nodded. “Here,” she breathed.

3.75 RATING-
This series continues to confound me a bit. The writing is good. The characters are all ex-military, my favorite...There's a lot to like. But something just falls a bit short and I haven't been able to figure out what it is. I should love this series! But I only like it and I can't tell you why. It's frustrating. Something just doesn't work as well as it should. That doesn't mean I haven't enjoyed reading it. I definitely have. But none of the books have rated higher than a four for me. (The book I liked the most was the novella, Hard to Hold On To.)

The best part of Hard to Come By for me was Marz. I love a wounded warrior and always appreciate a hero with a dirty streak and Marz wasn't afraid to talk his way through some sexy bits. Sometimes it seemed like the dialogue tried a bit too hard but overall I liked it and Marz was one of my favorite hero's from this series. I'm really looking forward to getting Jeremy's story and then I think after that...I'm ready for this series to wrap up. It's just been so involved and there's so much going on in such a short amount of time and even with all the romance and suspense and questions, at times it's a bit boring. Still, I'm three books and a novella in, I've riding this till the end.
Profile Image for Sarah.
3,336 reviews1,016 followers
August 22, 2015
I knew I was going to love Derek from the moment we met him in the first book, he is without a doubt a hero, someone who sacrificed a lot to protect his best friend and fellow Special Forces team member and who has no regrets about any of it. Derek has a great sense of humour but more than anything I love his strength of character and the way he is so loyal to his team. He's the kind of guy that any woman would be lucky to meet and it doesn't take Emilie long to realise how great he is. The connection between them is fairly quick but in spite of that I didn't have a problem with things feeling rushed, they're in the middle of a high pressure situation and that is bound to help fan the flames between them.

Emilie is in a really difficult situation, her brother has always been the one person she can rely on to protect her but the man who came home from the war isn't the boy she remembers. He is now secretive, paranoid and jumpy, Emilie can tell he's showing signs of PTSD and she's terrified he might be a danger to himself or others. For the first time in her life she's actually scared of her brother and she's not really sure where to turn to. I have to say I was really pleased with the way Emilie handled things, she doesn't bury her head under the sand and hope that the problem will go away but instead she chooses to fight things face on and make the difficult decisions that are needed. She meets Derek because he is investigating her brother and although it takes time for her to open up to him once he has earned her trust she puts her faith in the Hard Ink team to protect her.

One of my favourite things about this series is the bond between the Hard Ink guys, the banter between them is so much fun to read and I thoroughly enjoy the way that the friendship they share has increased throughout the series as they work to clear their names. Derek has had a lot to deal with and there are times he feels a burden to the team because of his physical injuries but really he's just as capable now as he ever was and the rest of the guys help him to see that. There may be things he can't do now but they don't stop him in the long run and he deserves the utmost respect for that. I don't think it's easy to write about a hero who has suffered from an amputation but Laura Kaye did a fantastic job of it, she takes a difficult subject and handles it sensitively but with her trademark humour too.

This series is getting better and better with every book, the guys are getting closer to unravelling the mystery of what happened to them and they make some very important discoveries in this book. The story is full of heart stopping action, a fantastic romance and brilliant friendships. If you're a fan of romantic suspense you're going to love these books but I really would recommend reading the series in order and starting with Hard as It Gets. I can't wait to find out what happens next!
Profile Image for Tpagirl Loves Romance.
1,620 reviews130 followers
October 26, 2018
Hard to Come By was the third book in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series highlighting former Special Forces team members that find their forever love while investigating a cover up on their last mission.

Derek “Marz” DiMarzio was a computer whiz that could hack into anything. He lost his leg in an ambush that ended his military career and killed seven of his fellow team members. Brothers, Honor and Justice were the codes he lived by.

Emilie Garza was the sister to one of their enemies, a fellow military man that went rogue and dirty when his military career ended. She was beautiful, independent, a psychologist and loyal to family.

Derek and Emilie met under contrived circumstances while Derek and his investigative team were secretly looking for Emilie’s brother. Kaye took us through a genuine friendship with tons of chemistry. Kaye also continued the suspenseful theme from previous books to advance the investigation. As typical with the series, the plot progressed answering some big questions but leaving others open for continuation throughout the series. Kaye also introduced other key players for spin-off series, Raven’s Riders MC and Blasphemy.

All in all, I loved the storyline, suspense and the characters and I can’t wait to continue the series with Beckett in Hard to Let Go. In the meantime, I look forward to a quick novella for Charlie and Jeremy, Hard to Be Good.
Profile Image for Daniella.
183 reviews11 followers
March 24, 2021
Няма смисъл да се повтарям, поредицата продължава да си задобрява. Усеща се развитието на героите, още повече привързаността им един към друг. Кой не иска такова "семейство"?! Става ми и носталгично, че след малко започвам и 4тата книга, не ми се иска да приключва. Толкова свикнах с героите и шегите им, както и с тъжните им моменти и подкрепата, която си дават. Двойката в тази книга беше на ниво, много романтични, много сладки! Как да не се влюбиш в тях?! ♥
Profile Image for  ~*~Princess Nya~*~.
1,003 reviews7 followers
August 2, 2020

I was very uncertain of how I would feel about this one. Especially when the first 25% of this book wasn't really grabbing me. Though the things given during this time were very central to the story for what would come later, it just wasn't really holding my interest too much. But because I LOVE these men and their hearts beneath their issues, I kept going. I'm so glad I did!

Marz and Emilie were on fire together, and Marz OMG! I fell in love with this dude. I've loved him since his first appearance and meet with Becca in book 1, but getting this story through his eyes and experiences were beyond awesome for me.

Emilie I really liked her in the beginning. And her place here in this crazy roller coaster got me. Some heartbreaking stuff she's had to witness and a lot of it touched her world personally. Her integrity of choice though, when faced with what she wishes, hopes for, and what was the right thing to do; REALLY made me feel for her, and love her by the time this book ended.
Her and Marz together really surprised and shocked me into a perpetual state of blushing. My Gawd!
*Fans self*

This book was crazy intense. MANY ups and downs here. Some brutal stuff here too, and just wonderfully touching and at times, hilarious interactions between these beautiful Hard Ink Males.

I would definitely recommend this read. And because of how the plot(s) placements go, I strongly recommend you read them all in order(Including the Novellas).
Profile Image for Serial Romance Librarian.
745 reviews166 followers
January 16, 2021
*** Book Q & A***

* How did the book make you feel?: I enjoyed the premise, but all of the adventure, suspense, and intrigue overshadowed the romance.
* How do you feel about how the story was told?: The romance begins under false pretenses. The book is action-packed. The secondary characters are very active throughout the book.
* What did you think about the main characters?: I enjoyed Marz, but his bedroom persona didn’t match his regular persona. Emilee’s self-righteousness got on my nerves. How was she so naive?
* Which parts of the book stood out to you?: I really appreciated Marz’s vulnerability about his amputation. I think that aspect of the story was very tastefully-executed.
* What themes/tropes did you detect in the story?: Espionage romance
* What did you think about the ending?: It has a twist, but this is the only book in the series I’ve read so far so I may not have appreciated it as much as some of others.
* What is your impression of the author?: I love this author but this series isn’t really my cuppa.

Triggers: graphic violence and death, human trafficking
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Lisa B..
517 reviews579 followers
May 4, 2018
I'm a complete sucker for these guys!
Profile Image for Bj.
1,217 reviews262 followers
October 4, 2015
4 "Love is Hard to Come By" Stars! Could true love possibly grow out of deception? Lovers of action-packed, passionate reads, who love their heroes alpha strong and reassuringly protective, along with a bit of suspense mixed in, will not want to miss Hard To Come By.

The pace of this book is sure to keep your undivided attention. From the intriguing scenes that will leave you guessing as to the underlying conspiracy surrounding the circumstances that led to the downfall of the ex-military special forces team that forms the backbone of this series, to the romantic, and, let me say, highly erotic, encounters between the main hero and heroine of this story; there is nonstop action to keep you entertained the whole way.

First off, it is worth noting, that although the romance of this book generally functions as a standalone, the underlying suspense is a continuation from the prior books in the series and ends in a cliffhanger. Accordingly, while this book can be read on its own, to fully enjoy the entire story line, the Hard Ink series is best read in order.

A more loyal team of men you will never meet. Chief among them is Derek "Marz" DiMarzio. Growing up as an orphan, he never knew what it meant to have family until he joined the military. There his teammates became his family. A family he would give up anything for, including his life and health. A conviction that unfortunately became a reality when he sacrificed himself to save his friends and lost one of his legs in the process.

On a mission to avenge the deaths of the fallen teammates who were not as lucky and died that day they were ambushed, as well as, to clear the survivors' names of the wrongdoing that the conspiracy has left them tarnished with, Marz along with the other remaining members of his team, and few related parties they have picked up along the way, have gotten together to uncover the truth.

It is during one of these covert operations, that Marz meets Emilie Garza. His assignment is to divert her attention long enough to allow his teammates to explore her home for evidence of her brother's whereabouts, who is suspected of being involved in the conspiracy. The last thing Marz expects is to fall for an "operational asset." Emilie too is clearly taken with Marz, but will she still feel the same way, once she learns he's after her beloved big brother?

I enjoyed Marz's and Emilie's love story. What seems initially as an unlikely scenario, is well developed and understandable by the time the connection between this couple, born out of equal parts desire and danger, comes to fruition. Additionally, I applaud Laura Kaya for sensitively bringing to light the difficulties that amputees face, both physically and emotionally, as well as demonstrating how they can overcome seemingly invincible hurdles towards resuming normal life activities.

All in all Hard to Come By was a hit and I look forward to reading more action-packed, romantic and erotic, suspense-filled reads from the Hard Ink Series!

Source: ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
1,109 reviews564 followers
December 12, 2014
Originally posted at The Book Nympho
It just blows my mind that this series' time line is just a couple of weeks. There is so much going on that it feels like it should be longer. This band of brothers are getting closer to taking down the bad guys and the plot thickens. Just when they think they know what they are up against new information comes to light. Laura Kaye has written a great romantic suspense series. She continues to hold my attention with fast plot lines and sexy romances.

Speaking of sexy romances, Marz. WTH?! I had no idea he was going to be my fave. WOW What a sweet heart and dirty talker. Marz it total swoon worthy. He is the heart of group. Anytime the mood needs to be lightened he is there. He is the first to laugh at himself.

Marz has a physical handicap if you could call it that. Sure he lost part of the his leg protecting one of his own but damn he is still bad ass and doesn't let slow him down.

I love that Laura Kaye gave Marz a strong heroine like Emilie. They are a perfect match! Marz is soft and sweet with Emilie when she needs it and takes charge in the times she needs someone to lead her. Emilie completely accepts Marz for who he is and all his so-called limitations.

HARD TO COME BY is my favorite in the Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye. It's going to be hard to top Marz! Although I have a feeling that Jeremy and Charlie's novella will be a winner too.

Fans of HOT romances with just the right amount of suspense should pick up a copy of HARD TO COME BY. You won't be sorry.



Seraphine Valentine does a great job with the narration of HARD TO COME BY. She nails the feelings and has top-notch timing in her delivery. Even though Valentine's male voices aren't that deep she did Marz right. With Marz being a big flirty and joker she had a smile and cockiness in her voice when she was delivering Marz's lines that had me smiling. This is my 3rd time listening to Valentine narrate this series and I will continue this series on audio.

Profile Image for Quynh.
203 reviews20 followers
February 25, 2017
This is my favorite book in the series so far! I love the growing bond between all of the characters and the build up of the plot gets more intense in this one. There were some surprises and revelations I wasn't expecting. Some parts here and there brought me to tears.

As a series, I think it's important if these books are read in order. You become more invested in these characters than if you read this one as a standalone.

The Hard Ink team is still trying to track down people responsible for what happened to them a year ago. I don't want to say too much at the risk of spoiling the story. Just be prepare for some gripping intense scenes.

I really love Derek DiMarzio (Marz) and Emilie Garza's characters. Laura Kaye has written a hero who has faced the worst of situations yet is still able to see the light in life. Abandoned as a child, Marz never knew love. The only connection he had to people were his SF team, and the only father figure he thought he had betrayed them. I love that LK didn't gloss over the physical aspect of being an amputee either. This added to Marz's character much more and make you love him more. Marz has the ability to make you laugh, squirm in your seat with his hotness and dirty talk, and also make your heart break a little. And those tattoos!! Yep, just gonna leave it there. I wanted him for myself at times! Lol. Emilie, on the other hand, is another great heroine. She's strong in mind and heart. The things Marz and Emilie had in common were their loyalty and their nature of doing right by people they love, even when it's hard. Plus, their chemistry is scorching. Make sure you have a fan nearby or lots of cold water when you read their scenes.

The plot in these books are intertwined but LK ends each book in places where you feel satisfy and not in so much of a cliffhanger, which I appreciate! While it does bring forth more questions, I'm happy with the outcome so that I don't hate waiting on pins and needles to get the next book.

P.S. One of my favorite scenes in the book involved a blushing Beckett. This cracked me up quite a bit. Can't wait for his story!
Profile Image for Alex (HEABookNerd).
1,652 reviews229 followers
March 19, 2023
Every time I think this series can’t get better, it does! HARD TO COME BY was so emotional and if you’ve read any of Kaye’s other series then you know she can really bring the tears when she wants. The team has desperately been trying to find out who was behind their ambush in Afghanistan and leading the research side of this investigation has been Marz. I loved, loved, loved Marz; his humor and goofy jokes were great and since I personally love a funny guy, Marz was like the dream book boyfriend. And I was not expecting the easy-going Marz to be such a dirty talker in bed but yes, please!

Emilie was the perfect match for Marz and they had such great chemistry. I adored how Emilie always validated Marz's feelings and she accepted him with open arms. Her compassion and loyalty were evident from the very beginning and after everything she goes through it's obvious how strong she is. And I loved seeing her find her wild and adventurous side because she felt safe with Marz and wasn't afraid to express her desires.

Like the previous books in this series, Kaye demonstrates a lot of different relationships and how they can all have their ups and downs. She especially does a phenomenal job showing how complicated family dynamics can be when someone you love has been inexplicably changed for the worst. It was also great to see Marz and Beckett work through their issues and I'm excited about Beckett's book because you can tell he has a big squishy heart under his gruff exterior.

Content Warning: death of a sibling and friend; references to human trafficking and gang violence

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Favorite Quotes:

“I’m all yours, baby. Whatever you need, whatever you want, I will give it to you freely. All you have to do is ask.”
Profile Image for Sarah Anne.
1,557 reviews131 followers
June 4, 2019
"Derek DiMarizo would do anything for the members of his disgraced Special Forces team - sacrifice his boyd, help a former teammate with a a covert operation to restore their honour, and even go behind enemy lines. He just never expected to want he beautiful women he found there.

When a sexy stranger asks questions about her brother, Emilie Garza is torn between loyalty to the brother she once idolized and fear of the war-changed man he's become. Derek's easy smile and quiet strength tempt Emilie to open up, igniting the desire between them and leading Derek to crave a woman he shouldn't trust.

As the team's investigation reveals how powerful their enemies are, Derek and Emilie must prove where their loyalties lie before hearts are broken and lives are lost. Because love is hard to come by to let slip away ..."

Sounds awesome! Can't wait for Fall 2014!
Profile Image for Caz Malpas.
668 reviews51 followers
May 24, 2015

This book had my favourite hero so far in the Hard Ink series.
I loved Derek, he was so adorable, honourable and sexy as hell. I loved his positivity towards his disability and how he didn't come across as a victim.

Loved the dirty talking from both the Derek and Emilie, she was a bit of a saucy minx with all her fantasies.

The suspense aspect was good too, a really good read/listen.

Next please.......
Profile Image for Jennifer.
2,417 reviews69 followers
September 6, 2015
Another great romance with lots of suspense and action. Kinda of a let down the way Church got dealt with. I think my only complaint about this series is the books just end. I guess that's cause the next one starts right up at that point. So here's hoping the last book in the series has an amazing epilogue.
Profile Image for Pat.
1,235 reviews30 followers
November 21, 2014
Action, suspence, and sizzling romance......love the Hard Ink men! Full review to follow
Profile Image for Bella Carstairs.
532 reviews42 followers
August 20, 2017
Hard to come by es el tercer libro de la saga Hard Ink de la que ya os he hablado en dos reseñas anteriores (Hard as it gets y Hard as you can), y nos presenta una serie de libros llena de acción, aventura, pasión y, también, romance. La autora ha sabido ir hilando la saga perfectamente, hasta el final. Todavía queda un libro más para que todo se descubra, pero antes, me centraré en el libro que protagoniza esta reseña.

Hasta ahora, creo que éste es mi libro favorito de la saga...

La serie ha ido mejorando desde el primer libro y me ha atrapado en el mundo lleno de peligros, acción, amor y pasión del universo Hard Ink.

Derek creo que es mi protagonista favorito hasta el momento. No sólo es sexy, inteligente y leal, sino una de las personas más fuertes (física y psicológicamente hablando), además, hace uso siempre del humor para enfrentarse a los marrones que le planta delante la vida y siempre está dispuesto a echar una mano y ayudar a sus compañeros, a su familia. Emily, por su parte, es dulce, muy inteligente también y generosa. Ha sufrido mucho y haría cualquier cosa por su hermano, pero tal vez no haya nada que ella pueda hacer. Es muy fuerte, a su manera, también. Encaja muy bien con Derek. Me gusta la pareja que hacen.

"Thank you for loving me," he said, and there was a note of pain in the words that nearly broke her heart.

"Oh, baby," she said, pulling his head down to her shoulder and wrapping her arms around him. "It's the easiest thing I've ever done."

Sin duda, Hard to Come by es una novela con mucho ritmo, vertiginosa, llena de acción, peligro, dolor, pasión y amor. Es inteligente, la trama principal de la serie se va desarrollando más y más y vamos respondiendo a muchas preguntas, aunque surgen muchas más. Descubrimientos, muertes, reconciliaciones...tiene de todo. Me ha gustado mucho.
Profile Image for Simply Love Book Reviews.
6,948 reviews828 followers
November 30, 2014
Slick‘s review posted on Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews


Review copy provided for an honest review

Holy hell author Laura Kaye has done it again; writing an absolutely brilliant story that was intricate, emotional, intriguing and sexy. When I first started reading this series I wasn’t sure how I felt about the ongoing suspense story arc but as time has gone on I’ve come to realize that it is the glue that holds these characters together and it adds so much interest into the story.
As each book unfolds we learn a little bit more about one member of this team of men and Hard To Come By is Derek DiMarzio’s story. We know he’s the computer whiz of the group, that he is loyal to a fault, he is a hero and his heroics caused him to lose part of one leg. During this book we learn that he grew up the in foster system, that he never really had a family and that the men he served with are his brothers and he considered their commander, the man they believe led them into the mission that cost them 7 men and in which none of the rest of them came out unscathed was the man he considered a father figure. He’s watched three of his teammates fall in love and that is something he wants badly, he just never expects to fall for a woman whose brother they suspect may be trying to kill them all.
The last two years have taken their toll on Emilie Garza; finding out your husband not only cheated on you but has a whole other family is bad enough but realizing your brother has returned from war and is suffering from undiagnosed PTSD which your mother refuses to believe is just the icing on the cake. So meeting a man that is not only attracted but is interesting, funny, and sweet makes her giddy and a little wary but she can’t help but decide to take a chance.
I’m going to admit right up front that I felt so bad for both Derek and Emilie and their situation. Derek had to mislead her for the good of the mission but it was killing him to do so once he realized there was no way she was involved in her brother’s misdeeds. And I hated that Emilie felt used and that the trust she had placed in Derek was broken when the truth came out about why they met and he did the things he did initially. My heart hurt for Derek who for the first time felt a real connection with someone; something he felt was huge and something he wanted more than anything. For Emilie I felt sympathy as she began to realize that so much of her world was crumbling around her and the only person she had to lean on was the man who had lied to her and his friends. There was so much hurt between these two yet there was also an understated calmness that they both felt when the other one was near; something they both so desperately needed.
I have to applaud Ms. Kaye for the way she handled everything about Derek’s amputation and his prosthetic; from his phantom pain, to his struggles when not wearing it, to his refusal to ask for help, for wanting his brothers in arms to see him as the strong man that he is, and for not trying to hide it from Emilie and patiently answering all of her questions and sharing everything with her. I especially loved Emilie’s reaction to it all and they way she accepted everything about him. Derek’s acceptance of his situation and his attitude towards what happened to him and how he would do the same thing again if he had to made me want to stand up and cheer for this amazingly strong man.
The ongoing suspense story really heats up in this book with this group coming under some heavy fire, taking some hits, and even losing someone close to them. Through it all these men, their significant others, and their friendly partners persevered and made some heavy decisions about their future.
With each book in this series I grow more enamored with these characters, want to see them succeed in clearing their names, and want to know that in the end they will all reach that happy place they all so richly deserve. This book was kind of a brutal read with so much death and destruction but on the other hand, you had this amazing love story for a man who has never known love and a woman who was hurt by love once before yet somehow they find each other in all the chaos and find the calm they both so richly deserve.
Profile Image for Beth.
3,129 reviews264 followers
October 6, 2014
A steamin’ hot romance, an ex-military trying to clear his name and a baffling conspiracy all make Hard to Come By a great read.

Derek has been discharged along with his fellow team from the military. Now they hope to uncover the plot behind the framing of their team. The deeper they dig the more enemies they uncover. Emilie Garza is the only link to a man they know, knows the answers to the conspiracy behind the team's framing. When Derek approaches Emilie, he quickly finds himself drawn to her like no other woman. Can he trust the woman that is growing to grab his heart or does her loyalties lie elsewhere.

The team must face the gang out for blood while a new and much bigger threat comes onto their radar.

Hard to Come By takes its action intense plot to an entirely new level with explosions, gun fights and a passion that can’t be denied. The characters face not only the danger behind the conspiracy but difficult choices that question their loyalty to family by blood and by choice.

If you are a fan of this series you will find the past character interaction a definite plus to Kaye’s writing.

I enjoyed this story. The characters are relatable and realistic. Facing insurmountable odds, the group has become a true family giving us something to really get behind. Kaye provided another highly entertaining, high velocity, smoking hot installment to Hark Ink series.

I received this ARC copy of Hard to Come By from Avon in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication November 25, 2014.

Written by: Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink
Sequence in Series: 3
Page Count: 384 pages
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: November 25, 2014
Rating: 4 Stars
ISBN-10: 0062267922
ISBN-13: 978-0062267924
Genre: contemporary romance | ex-military forces
Find this book on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Reviewed for: http://tometender.blogspot.com

Profile Image for Sylvie.
111 reviews27 followers
November 29, 2014
Every time a new book from Laura Kaye comes out I think to myself that this one can't possibly be better than the one before it. But every time, I'm proven wrong, and this time is no exception.

Hard To Come By continues the story of a group of Special Forces operatives who were disgraced through no fault of their own, and less-than-honorably discharged, and now seek to discover exactly who is responsible, and to restore their lost honor. If you haven't read the other books in this series, stop reading this and go pick up As Hard as it Gets. Really. Go do it now.

I won't say any more about the plot, and will instead focus on the main characters. Derek DiMarzio (Marz for short) is at varying times sweet, sexy, funny, and definitely tough and kick-ass, despite suffering an injury in Afghanistan that resulted in the amputation of one of his legs below the knee. Emilie is a clinical psychologist - she's smart, resourceful and caring, and she and Marz are perfect together! I loved Marz' integrity, especially, his guilt about getting closer to Emilie while knowing there are still some things he has to keep from her. And I loved that Emilie, even though she has little reason to trust anyone, especially someone she's attracted to, eventually comes to realize that Marz isn't like a certain person from her past.

I'd like to take a moment to mention the cover. Usually a cover is hit or miss. Sometimes the cover models have a passing resemblance to the characters, sometimes not at all. In this case, however, the cover models WERE Marz and Emelie, right down to the hair and eye color and (especially) the tattoos. Good job Avon!

In writing the Hard Ink series, Laura Kaye has created a great group of characters the reader can really root for. I found myself at turns laughing, crying, getting angry, getting scared, and mostly looking forward to seeing them get the answers they need and deserve so badly.

Next up is Jeremy's story in April. Gonna be a long wait!
Profile Image for Sunny.
1,426 reviews
November 20, 2014
ARC Review

All the men of the Hard Ink came back from their tour of the Middle East damaged. Physically and mentally they are hurting. Derek, perhaps more than the other, is the most physically damaged; he lost his leg. Yet, his attitude, easy humor, computer smarts, and pure grit make him one of the most attractive characters in the series. Plus, he has that dark sexy side. I love man who enjoys dirty talk!

There is no formula for what makes an attractive alpha. I recently wrote a review where the hero was so over-the-top alpha (protective, controlling, etc), that I found him unlikeable. Whatever the alpha to sweetness ratio is, Laura Kaye has got it down. Derek is a hardcore hard ass, but he also has a genuine sweetness and vulnerability born of his upbringing:

“Truth be told, he craved belonging somewhere and with someone. He hadn’t had it as a child.”

His relationship with Emilie works because of his honesty. He is honest with himself, his team, and ultimately, with her. He is honorable – and that is his most attractive trait (well, that and a certain tattoo in a place that I didn’t even know you could tattoo.)

As for the story…
I really like where Laura Kaye is taking this story. There are some revelations that are not so startling and others that will knock your socks off. I’m keen to see how she resolves this mystery.

And the writing…
One of the things I like most about this story is the timeframe. Each story runs almost concurrently with the last. So even if it has been months since you’ve read the last book, you jump right back into the action. It is easy to pick up where the story leaves off.

A fantastic addition to the Hard Ink series, the story will satisfy you and make you begging for more….Begging, something I think Derek would appreciate.
Profile Image for Vanessa theJeepDiva.
1,258 reviews127 followers
November 1, 2014
Hard to Come By is the first book in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series that I have read. I was surprised that it worked as well as it did as a stand-alone. The key events from the past books that have brought these men to this point in their lives is mentioned throughout the book enough that I was brought up to speed, and it never felt like rehashing. Much is mentioned in dialogue between Derek and Emilie as she is the latest victim in the mess that the Hard Ink family has been thrown into.
Derek is sexy and funny. He can lighten the mood in any situation. He is the silver lining guy. Derek always sees every glass as half full. Derek is simply an all-around good guy. The bedroom Derek did not match personality wise and it made the sexy talk feel really dirty (in a bad way) to me. I didn’t like this contrast for Derek at all.
Many romantic suspense novels fall victim to the heroine that is too stupid to live. I realize part of the suspense has to be the sexy alpha hero saving his girl. Emilie puts herself in a situation that made me wonder how she survives on a daily basis. She made a very selfish decision and brought unknowing members of her family into it. Derek and his fellow teammates were more than willing to take advantage of the situation to meet their objective of apprehending a key figure in the investigation that will clear them of all of the perceived wrong doings.
The rest of the Hard Ink crew is interesting enough that I will most likely read more of the books in the series. There is a major game changer that is discovered at the end of Hard to Come By. I suspect that this will make some things easier for them, but it will also make them a brighter target for their adversary.
Profile Image for Malinda.
1,852 reviews225 followers
June 22, 2016
4 stars

This was a very good story and addition to the series. I liked Derek and Emilie and thought they worked well together once they got past their rough start.

Emilie is a therapist in a small town outside of Baltimore. Emilie was married at one time but her husband cheated on her and now they're divorced. Emilie lives on her own in a house on the lake and is relatively happy in her life. Emilie's main concern right now is that she's been worried about the increasingly erratic and paranoid behavior her brother, Mannie, has been showing and is considering having him forcibly brought in for a mental evaluation before he hurts someone or himself.

Derek is ex-special forces who (along with 4 other team mates) was framed and discharged from service (and not honorably). Derek lost a leg in the ambush that they were framed over but does pretty well with his prosthetic leg. Derek grew up in foster homes all his life and his SF team was the closest to family he had. Losing them was rough on Derek and now he's determined not to lose them again.

Derek and his team have been working on finding evidence to prove that they didn't do anything wrong and clear their names. In this search, they found another ex-SF named Mannie that had something to do with their situation and could answer some questions. After some creative information gathering, Derek is able to find addresses for Mannie's mother and sister. Since the sister lives near, they decide to check her out and see if she's in contact with Mannie. They scope out her house but don't have much luck. During their observation of Emilie, Derek goes to the same restaurant and they strike up a conversation. The situation ends up requiring Derek to use the attraction between them to keep Emilie busy and Derek's not too happy about lying to her since she seems really nice. Derek's even more unhappy about the whole situation when he starts to develop feelings for Emilie and realizes she's developing some for him in return.

The lies between Derek and Emilie make things rough on them...especially when Emilie finds out what's going on and has to figure out if she can trust Derek. It does help that Mannie's crap blew up in her face and so when she finds out about Derek, he had just saved her from a dirty cop working for a gang that wanted to use her against her brother before selling her off in a human trafficking scheme. With a bit of time and some effort on Derek's part, Emilie ends up trusting him again and their relationship progresses. The action storyline (that pretty much spans the series) progresses a lot in this book and there's quite a bit going on and a big surprise as well. While things still need resolved in the action storyline, Derek and Emilie end the story together and working on starting their HEA.

This was a very enjoyable story. I liked Emilie...she was nice and smart and didn't do stupid/annoying things that made me want to tear my hair out. Derek was a good hero...he was a bit injured due to his past and all he'd been through, but it worked for the story and made his bonding so closely with Emilie more believable. Overall, I was very pleased with this addition to the series and I can't wait to see how things end. I'd recommend this story and series. :D

* note - I listened to the audio version of this story and the narrator did a very good job.
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