We are over the moon excited to bring you the Review & Excerpt Tour for Laura Kaye’s HARD EVER AFTER, a novella in Laura’s New York Times and USA Today bestselling Hard Ink Series releasing February 2, 2016!Hard Ever After
by Laura Kaye
Hard Ink #4.6
About the Book:
Justice served. Honor restored. Team reunited. After a long battle to discover the truth, the men and women of Hard Ink have a lot to celebrate, especially the wedding of two of their own—Nick Rixey and Becca Merritt, whose hard-fought love deserves a happy ending. As Nick and the team shift from crisis mode to building their new security consulting firm, Becca heads back to work at the ER. But amid the everyday chaos of demanding jobs and their upcoming nuptials, an old menace they thought long gone reemerges, threatening the peace they’ve only just found. Now, for one last time, Nick and Becca must fight for their always and forever, because they know that when true love overcomes all the odds it lasts hard ever after.
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Taking place a short time after the conclusion of the major story arc, Nick asks Becca to marry him and the wedding is on. Unfortunately, Becca is still dealing with the trauma of being kidnapped twice and injured by a member of the Church gang. And now she is "seeing" her attacker. Will this derail Nick and Becca's happy ever after?
This book is lovely. It is perhaps the most romantic of the series. Because we are already acquainted with the characters, we experience the growing depth of love between Nick and Becca. Nick continues to articulate throughout the story about how much Becca means to him, what she has done for him, and how much he needs her. In his words, "Becca Merritt had saved his life in every way that mattered." If you have been following the series, you know that given everything the Hard Ink characters went through, this is no small declaration.
There are beautiful little moments and gestures including a tattoo scene that signifies their commitment to one another. I got a little teary-eyed at Nick's wedding proposal and the wedding is beautifully written and packed with emotions (as weddings should be).
If you are looking for high level of suspense, you may be disappointed. The mystery and suspense is secondary to the love story (stories, if we include the check-ins all the other couples). It adds a little extra drama, which fits, but is not the center of the story.
In a Nutshell:
Their story reminds me of the awe of falling in love. Reaching a depth of emotion beyond the other books, this is a beautiful little topping to the Hard Ink series.
She shook her head, and his heart fucking broke as he saw her struggle to find her voice and hold back the tears.
Kat grasped something from Becca’s lap and held it out to him. “Someone left this in front of Becca’s locker at work today.”
Frowning, Nick accepted the small, floppy, black-and-brown stuffed animal into his hand. He guessed it was supposed to be a German shepherd, and the damn thing was missing a leg. It looked like someone had cut the back leg off and stapled the opening closed. What the hell?
“Look at the neck, Nick,” Kat said, her voice serious.
He flipped it around, and that was when he noticed that the animal was so floppy because the head was connected to the body only by a thin strip of material along the back. He might not have thought much about that if someone hadn’t gone to the trouble of spray painting the torn opening red. As if the neck had been slit. “Sonofabitch,” he said, hot prickles running down his back. “Talk to me, Sunshine.”
She heaved a deep breath. “I found it at the end of my shift,” she said. “I went to get my stuff, and this was sitting upright on the floor in front of my locker. I thought someone had left me a present until . . .”
“This is fucking twisted,” Kat bit out.
The words echoed Nick’s own thoughts. Twisted and threatening. The removed leg was clearly meant to communicate that the person knew Becca’s dog had only three legs, which made the threat personal and specific.
“Did you talk to security about this?” he asked, making sure to keep his voice even.
Becca shook her head. “I was so freaked out, I just wanted to get out of there.”
“I didn’t know about this until just now, or I would’ve brought us home earlier,” Kat said.
“I’m sorry,” Becca said, turning to Nick’s sister. “I just wanted to forget about it for a few hours.”
“I know,” Kat said. “You don’t have to apologize, but I’m worried about this.”
Nick nodded. “Can you think of anyone at the hospital who would do this? Who would have a problem with you?”
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. 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.