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I Belong

Review: Hard as Steel by Laura Kaye

Hard As SteelTitle: Hard as Steel

Author: Laura Kaye

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Series: Hard Ink (Book #4.5)/Raven Riders MC

Publication Date: September 22, 2015

Format: Paperback, 100 Pages

ISBN-10: 1970887291 (Evil Eye Concepts)

ISBN-13: 978-1940887296 (Evil Eye Concepts)

Reviewed by: Kristie


After identifying her employer’s dangerous enemies, Jessica Jakes takes refuge at the compound of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. Fellow Hard Ink tattooist and Raven leader Ike Young promises to keep Jess safe for as long as it takes, which would be perfect if his close, personal, round-the-clock protection didn’t make it so hard to hide just how much she wants him—and always has.

Ike Young loved and lost a woman in trouble once before. The last thing he needs is alone time with the sexiest and feistiest woman he’s ever known, one he’s purposely kept at a distance for years. Now, Ike’s not sure he can keep his hands or his heart to himself—or that he even wants to anymore. And that means he has to do whatever it takes to hold on to Jess forever.

Quick & Dirty: Hot and steamy contemporary romance with sexy characters and a story that really sucked me in.

Opening Sentence: Jessica Jakes had been lusting after Ike Young from almost the day she met him, back when she was a newbie piercer at Hard Ink Tattoo and Ike first came looking for a job as an artist.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Hard as Steel is another installment in the 1001 Dark Nights series. It is also the first in a crossover series featuring the Raven Riders/Hard Ink series by Laura Kaye. I will say this is the first that I have read in the Hard Ink series, I think it is best if you know what is going on in that world but it really isn’t necessary for this story. I think it would help with understanding the whole war going on with the Hard Ink Tattoo and the dirty Special Forces. Apparently, they run a renegade operation against an organized crime ring out of the back of their tattoo shop.

Jessica Jakes is in hiding. Last night, the dirty Special Forces/crime ring that are at war with the Hard Ink Tattoo guys broke into her house and tried to attack her. Thankfully she had a hiding spot so she was never discovered. When it was over she called Ike Young, a gorgeous tattoo artist whom she hoped would come to her rescue. Now, Ike is taking her to a safe house in order to protect her until the war can be over with. The war is played out off the page. I can only assume that it actually happened in the last Hard Ink novel, Hard to Let Go.

Jessica has had a huge crush on Ike ever since she met him years ago. She has flirted hard core with him but he never seems to reciprocate his feelings towards her but he does seem to want to protect her. That is why Ike is the first person she calls after her attack.

Ike Young has a thing for ladies in trouble which is why he needs to be as far away from Jessica as possible. He takes her to his cabin in the country. It is the safest place until the rest of Hard Ink can figure out how to finish this war. Ike hates that he’s not with his brothers fighting but protecting Jessica comes first. He takes her to Raven Riders Motorcycle Club territory, a group that has helped the Hard Ink guys a time or two.

This novella it was all about fighting your demons and making new friends. Overall the subject matter is dark with the war, but this novel really didn’t feel that way. The writing immediately sucked me into this world. I felt I was along for the ride with Jessica and Ike. I could feel the sexual tension between Jessica and Ike.

Ike has some really terrible baggage the he needs to work through before he can ever love again. Ike is a big man with a big heart but he’s closed himself off from emotions that he isn’t really living a happy life. He is just living until Jessica makes him see otherwise. I really liked him even though he tried to push her away with some mean words.

Jessica was awesome. She had no problem expressing what she wants even if that big lug isn’t quite taking her up on her offers. She doesn’t make excuses for what she does, including when she slept with the bad guy, yes she didn’t know he was bad at the time but she doesn’t lie about it. She was a fun character.

Overall, I enjoyed this novel immensely. I really want to check out the rest of this series even though I think I know the outcome on the Hard Ink side of things. I also want to check out the spinoff Raven Riders MC series.

Notable Scene:

“Night,” he replied, watching her hips sway in a pair of silky black shorts. Combined with the form-fitting black tank top and those perfect-for-grabbing pigtails, she was going to make it damn hard for him to fall asleep tonight.

Damn hard, indeed.

He turned out the light and went horizontal, the soft couch so comfortable against his sore back even though it was a little too short to fit his whole body. He adjusted his erection, willing it to get with the no-sex-with-Jess program. Problem was, in the quiet darkness, Ike could hear her moving around in the loft. Soft footsteps on the wood floor. The shifting of covers. The squeaking of the box spring. And all that did was invite his imagination out to play. Easy, since he had so much material to work with after sleeping with Jess wrapped around him the past two nights.

His shoulders and chest knew what the silk of her hair felt like when it skimmed over his skin. His hip knew the heat of her core when she slept with her knee across his thighs. His hands had memorized the curve of her lower back and the shape of her biceps and just how much of her luscious ass he could fit in his palms.

Ike knew what her mouth tasted like, how tight her legs could wrap around his waist, and how fucking beautiful the combination of ink and steel was on her skin.

Jesus, his cock was never going to let him go to sleep at this rate.

Hard Ink Series:

1. Hard as It Gets

2. Hard as You Can

2.5 Hard to Hold on To

3. Hard to Come By

3.5 Hard to Be Good

4. Hard to Let Go

4.5 Hard as Steel

5. Hard Ever After (January 19, 2016)


FTC Advisory: Evil Eye Concepts, Incorporated/InkSlingerPR provided me with a copy of Hard As Steel. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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