Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard To Hold On To, Hard To Come By, Hard as Steel, Hard Ever After, Ride Hard, Ride Rough
Series: Hard Ink #3.5
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard To Hold On To, Hard To Come By, Hard as Steel, Hard Ever After
Published by Avon Impulse on April 14, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
Goodreads Buy the Book
Hard Ink Tattoo owner Jeremy Rixey has taken on his brother’s stateside fight against the forces that nearly killed Nick and his Special Forces team a year before. Now, Jeremy’s whole world has been turned upside down—not the least of which by a brilliant, quiet blond man who tempts Jeremy to settle down for the first time ever.
Recent kidnapping victim Charlie Merritt has always been better with computers than people, so when he’s drawn into the SF team’s investigation of his army colonel father’s corruption, he’s surprised to find acceptance and friendship—especially since his father never accepted who Charlie was. Even more surprising is the heated tension Charlie feels with sexy, tattooed Jeremy, Charlie’s opposite in almost every way.
With tragedy and chaos all around them, temptation flashes hot, and Jeremy and Charlie can’t help but wonder why they’re trying so hard to be good...
Erin: If you’re like me, and you’ve devoured the first four books of Laura Kaye’s intense, gripping Hard Ink series, you have been DYYYYYING for Jeremy to have his own book. Laura Kaye delivers, and then some, with the novella, Hard To Be Good, book 3.5 of the series. It is everything I wanted and more (though I would have LOVED a full length book for these guys!) Jeremy Rixey and Charlie Merritt are two of my favorite characters in the series and my favorite couple as well.
As an avid reader of M/M fiction, I have to begin by stating how impressed I was by Kaye’s portrayal of both men. Jeremy has been a favorite of mine from the very beginning. His humor and energy, not to mention the punny, often inappropriate t-shirts he wears daily and Charlie, the quiet, shy computer geek seem like total opposites but that’s really not the case. I really loved how Laura Kaye built and built on their relationship through all the books so that once romantic feelings come into play, it feels totally organic and easy, not forced because they’re the only two characters left and hey, let’s give them a book and put them together. There was absolutely none of that here and I appreciate it so much.
Jeremy and Charlie are Nick’s and Becca’s brothers respectively and their friendship makes total sense. Charlie’s recent kidnapping and rescue makes him skittish and it’s Jeremy’s personality that really shone in Hard To Be Good and it was so nice to see him get his time in the spotlight. Jeremy has been dealing with A LOT thus far—his tattoo parlor has become mission command for his brother Nick and the group of ex-Special Forces soldiers called upon to rescue Charlie. No matter what’s thrown at Jeremy, he keeps giving his all to do whatever he can to help Nick and the others that are quickly becoming their family. Drawn to Charlie, Jeremy leans on the one person that can truly understand him and sympathize with the swirling chaos they find themselves in.
“Look at me,” Charlie said, the unusual command of his words making Jeremy turn. “You helped save my life. You gave me and my sister a home. You’ve made a thousand sacrifices these past weeks.” The wind blew longish dark blond strands across Charlie’s intense blue eyes and he stepped closer, nearly backing Jeremy against the brick. They were evenly matched for height, which meant Charlie’s eyes were right at Jeremy’s. And so were his lips. “You are more kind and generous than anyone I’ve ever met. So don’t pretend it doesn’t hurt you that those guys died yesterday. And don’t think I don’t know you blame yourself for it.”
(EEEK! I won’t tell the who or the why of what happened, you see that in Book 3!)
Charlie is endearing. He’s sweet and loyal and even though he was battered and bruised while he was kidnapped, he’s ready to be whatever, do whatever for his newfound family … and most especially Jeremy. The ghost of Charlie’s father and the lingering disappointment he showed Charlie clings to him and is a demon he must conquer. I thought it gave Charlie great depth to show how he came to terms with himself and with his fear of losing Jeremy’s friendship. The chemistry between these two is sizzling and just goes to show how deep their connection to each other truly is.
Jeremy ditched his shirt in an instant, and his skin heated at how Charlie’s gaze appeared to drink in all of the art covering Jer’s body. “Look at me,” Jeremy said. Blue eyes cut up to his. “How can I put you at ease? Because you don’t ever have to be uncomfortable with me. You have something to say? I will listen. You want something? Ask. You need something? I will gladly give it. Every damn time.”
These two guys. So freaking awesome.
This was such a fabulous installment of the series and I’m so SO glad to see that Jeremy and Charlie will get their HEA. If you have not started this series, fix that immediately. And if you have but haven’t read
Hard To Be Good
yet, what are you waiting for???