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Hard as Steel by Laura Kaye
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it was amazing
bookshelves: a-r-c-current-and-upcoming

While novellas aren’t my preferred choice when it comes to book-length, Laura Kaye has previously proven herself to be more than capable if packing a well-rounded story, complete with emotions, conflict, and romance, into an abbreviated amount of time. While Hard As Steel is a crossover novella between the author’s Hard Ink series and her upcoming MC series, Raven Riders, the story stands on its own, following the between protagonists, Ike Young and Jessica Jakes. Not only is Hard As Steel an emotionally compelling friends-to-lovers romance, but it’s hands down the sexiest book this author has written. The sexual tension…the combustible chemistry…the outrageously steamy love scenes with a side of kink – after I finished, I just wanted to give Laura Kaye a high five for a job well done.

Because the timeline overlaps with events from the Hard Ink series, Hard As Steel takes place during a lull in the action, instead focusing on the development of Ike and Jessica’s romance. This is a character-driven romance with two larger-than-life characters whose personalities simultaneously clash with and complement each other. The combination of the gruff and overprotective, tattooed biker, Ike, with the vertically challenged yet formidable force that is Jess is immensely entertaining. What should be a dark and ominous mood considering their situation is instead light-hearted and humorous because of their teasing repartee. Passionate, dirty (in the best possible way), and no-holds-barred, the romance between Ike and Jessica is too intense and all-consuming to be ignored. Oh how I wished this was a full-length novel, not because the story wasn't complete or satisfactory, but because I simply wanted more of Ike and Jess – more emotions, more love scenes, more everything.

What I love most about a good friends-to-lovers romance is that effortless connection between the two characters, the one that makes you fear for their friendship once their relationship combines physical and emotional intimacy. From their good-natured ribbing and their obvious concern for each other’s wellbeing, it’s evident that Ike and Jessica are close, yet there’s a wall between them, behind which each hides their true feelings for the other. The sexual tension between them is deliciously agonizing, their mutual attraction like a physical presence, silently urging them to act on their pent-up desires, and the results are nothing short of spectacular. If this novella is any indication of what the Raven Riders series will be like, I can’t wait to get my hands on those books.

*complimentary copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 5 Stars
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Reading Progress

January 10, 2015 – Shelved
January 10, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
September 29, 2015 – Started Reading
October 7, 2015 – Shelved as: a-r-c-current-and-upcoming
October 7, 2015 – Finished Reading

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