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…
I freaking love Marz! I freaking love the Hard Ink Series!
Okay, now that I got that out of my system, let me tell you all about the book I just read, Hard To Come By byLaura Kaye. It was awesome. It has everything I love in a good story – action, romance, friendship, first dates, first loves, flirting, danger, food, animals and some naughty talk in the bedroom. Hard To Come By is the third book in the Hard Ink Series and it’s Marz’s story. He is one of the men trying to help his special forces team figure out what went down in Afghanistan that caused them to lose several of their teammates and to be discharged from the military not so honorably.
Derek DiMarzio, aka Marz, is an amputee who never had a family and finds himself surrounded by one. He saved the life of his best friend Beckett Murda, which led to Marz losing part of his leg in the process. Beckett is having a tough time with he guilt that eats him alive over it. Marz just wants him to get over it. This relationship in the story is emotional and funny has heck. I applaud the author for the way she crated Marz and how he handles his life post-amputation. I read in the acknowledgements of her book that she watched a lot of videos from someone who explained what it was like to live as an amputee and I think Laura did a fantastic job portraying that in Marz. I don’t have any experience with this so it gave me great insight into the mind of someone who has gone through it. It added so much to the story.
Emilie Garza is a girl who is mourning the loss of her marriage, trying to figure out what to do about her brother, Manny, who suffers from PTSD and just trudging through her life the best she can. Enter Marz. Her life is not the same. Emilie is so dang sweet and I love how good and polite she is but also how much she is willing to let loose in the bedroom with Marz. The two of them have an amazing romance. Marz’s honesty alone with Emilie is refreshing for a romance novel. I love how Laura is able to tailor the intimate scenes for each of her characters throughout the Hard Ink series. Marz and Emilie were completely unexpected in my opinion but I quickly realized how perfect they were together. Emilie likes it a little naughtier than you would expect and Marz knows exactly how to bring out that side of her and in a way that makes her feel incredibly sexy and loved. Very well done!
The overall plot in Hard To Come By continues from the previous books, so you really need to read the series in order to get the full enjoyment out of it. Laura does a fantastic job of creating a story plot that starts and ends in each book while continuing on with the series plot. It has kept me engaged in each book and with the series in general. Each story also has many (if not all) the characters back in various scenes, some with bigger roles than others, but always entertaining. I so love watching them work as a team when things get nuts. And things get very crazy in Hard To Come By. You will be on the edge of your seat more often than you think.
Hard To Come By is a captivating story filled with so much emotion that you will find yourself laughing one minute and crying the next. The pain that some of the characters experience is so heart wrenching yet the joy they find later is very heart warming. If you like action-packed, sexy, romantic suspense, give Hard To Come Byand the Hard Ink Series a try. You won’t regret it.
Reviewed by: Amy R