Saturday, March 7, 2015

5 Star Book Review | Hard to Come By by Laura Kaye

HARD TO COME BY (Hard Ink #3)
by Laura Kaye
Published: November 25th, 2014
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Military, Romance
Borrowed from the Library
Purchase: Amazon

My Rating: ★★★★★
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…

Cover Review:

What I like most about the cover of Hard to Come by, besides the hot muscly guy, is the tattoos. I mentioned in another review for a different book about how I like when small, but important details are included on the cover of books. Every tattoo that Marz has that was mentioned in the book is shown on the cover.

I like how the model portraying Marz is standing in front of the model portraying Emilie in a protective stance. The other covers for the books in this series all had the characters embracing in some way, and it's the same here, but it's more in a protective way. The look on Marz's face gives the feeling of him warning you away from his woman. And it's made more so by the vulnerable look on Emilie's face.

The only thing I can say that I may have a problem with with this cover is the metalic-ness it has. You kind of have to tilt it a certain way to get a clear look.

Book Review:

In the previous book, the Hard Ink team learned of a man named Manny Garza who may be involved with the people who helped set up their Special Forces team. In Hard to Come By, the team is on the hunt trying to find Manny, but he's been eluding them. But they do find out about his mother and his sister, Emilie Garza. Derek "Marz" DiMarzio decides it's time for him to get out from behind a computer desk and get out in the field. During a set-up spontaneous run-in with Emilie, Marz finds something in her that he's been searching for his entire life. When Emilie learns the truth about her beloved brother, she can't believe what's happened to him and her heart breaks for the man he used to be. As the true power of their enemies is revealed and the attacks against them become more life-threatening, Emilie and Marz need to present a united front or risk losing everything.

Every one of the Hard Ink guys has a personal struggle, beside that of their honor being tainted when they were falsely accused, but Derek has a dual-struggle that he has to deal with. The first is his childhood of growing up in foster home to foster home, not knowing the love of family. The other is dealing with people, specifically his best friend Beckett, being careful around him and thinking him weak without his leg. Both of these struggles are eased by the two people closest to his heart.

Emilie has a large family and they mean the world to her, so her stories of family events and holidays both confuse and enthral him. Even though he's never had a true blood family, he considers the Hard Ink team to be his family and is extremely happy that they all got back together, even if it was under such a distressing situation. Now when it comes to Marz having lost his leg when he saved Beckett's life during the ambush, Beckett has feelings of guilt and is always careful around Marz, and that makes Marz feel like his best friend sees him as weak and unable to be a fully functional member of the team. It takes a while and a few fights to get the truth out, but once Beckett tells Marz what he really thinks about him, some of the tension between them is released. Beckett and Emilie ease a part of Marz that has been weighing on him and I loved seeing his journey.

The situation with Manny Garza was really heartbreaking, especially for Emilie. Family is one of the most important things to her in life and what's happening with her brother breaks her hearts as much as it scares her. What she thought of as just PTSD ends up being so much worse. I really don't think Emilie would have survived had it not been for Marz and the team. When she learns the truth of their meeting, she's hurt and rightly so, but once she's told the whole truth of what's happening with her brother and his involvement in the conspiracy against the men of Hard Ink, she can't deny how much she loves Marz. Their relationship is rocky, but their attraction is intense and steamy. I particularly liked the lighthouse scene.

Marz is one of my favorite members of the team. He's really funny, insanely smart, and by no means weak. I love how he tries to ease the tension that can develop between the group when something particularly not good is uncovered. He in no way dismisses the seriousness of the situation, but he tries to make it easier for everyone to deal with. Being one of the two computer techs, most of the information gathering is on his shoulders and it's quite a bit of pressure, but he handles it the best he can. I also really admired how he dealt with his leg loss. His prosthetics give him a great deal of pain around the amputation site, but he's still able to live life in a normal way. Marz is a character that you can't help but love.

One of the things I love most about the books in this series is that each one has teaser-like moments about the main characters of the next book. In this book, we get teaser scenes about Jeremy and Charlie that will be expounded on in their book, Hard to Be Good. We even get a little tease about Beckett and the Rixey brother's sister, Katherine. That'll be an interesting one.


I gave Hard to Come By a 5 STAR rating. Marz is one of my favorite characters in this series and I loved reading his story and learning more about him. The romance between Emilie and Marz was equal parts sweet and enticing. The danger has increased and it's even more important for them to keep those they love close, while keeping themselves alive long enough to learn the whole truth of the conspiracy against them. With the teasers for Jeremy and Charlie's book, I can't wait to read the next installment in the Hard Ink series.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink, 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 lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.


Post a Comment

I love reading comments from my visitors - your thoughts on the post, questions you have for me, or just to say hi - all I ask is that you are respectful to me and anyone else who comments on the posts. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you'll consider sharing this post on your various social sites.

ATTENTION: Any award nominations and TAGS need to be posted to the comments of my About page from now on!

Copyright © 2015 Once Untold
| Distributed By Gooyaabi Templates