Series: Hard Ink #4
Published by Avon on June 30th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
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Five dishonored soldiers.Former Special Forces.One last mission.These are the men of Hard Ink.Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters the biggest complication yet—seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.A tough, stubborn prosecutor, Kat visits her brothers’ Hard Ink Tattoo following a bad break-up—and finds herself staring down the barrel of a stranger’s gun. Beckett is hard-bodied and sexy as hell, but he’s also the most infuriating man ever. Worse, Kat’s brothers are at war with criminals her office is investigating. When Kat joins the fight, she lands straight in Beckett’s sights—and his arms. Not to mention their enemies’ crosshairs.Now Beckett and Kat must set aside their differences to work together, because the only thing sweeter than justice is finding love and never letting go.
This is certainly one of the most aptly named books I’ve read in a long time. It’s going to be very hard to let go of this series and these characters. This is the fourth full-length novel in the Hard Ink series (there are also 2 novellas) and I’ve glommed them all in the last two months.
Beckett Murda and the rest of his Special Forces team have been trying to clear their names for the entire series. Their CO and seven members of their team were killed and the blame for the entire screwed up mission was laid squarely at the feet of the five surviving members of the squad. They were sent packing with other-than-honorable discharges from the Army, their records riddled with false accusations and reprimands that made it look like they were dirty. The five of them reunited after about a year to try and clear their names. They all stayed at Hard Ink, the tattoo parlor owned by Jeremy Rixby, the brother of one of the soldiers. Well, them and the ever-growing bevy of women they continued to pick up.
Kat Rixby arrived to the party late. She’s a prosecutor in DC, and she needed to escape a stalkery ex-boyfriend who wasn’t getting the hint. Not that she’s going to tell anyone that. She was intending to, but when she arrives at Hard Ink and sees what’s going on, she decides to keep it to herself for the time being. She’s certainly not going to tell her two brothers, one of whom is one of the soldiers in this whole mess, the other of whom is the owner of the tattoo studio.
Beckett has been my favorite of the guys since the first book. What can I say? I like a hero who broods. He and Kat have had amazing chemistry since she first appeared in the middle of the night and wasn’t intimidated by the huge man in the dark hallway holding a gun on her a few books ago. It was clear from that first instant that these two were going to end up together, but we had to wait a bit for it.
But, oh, man, was it worth it. The sparks between these two never let up for a second. They were having sex less than fifty pages into the book, and it was good sex. These two were absolutely amazing. I thought Jeremy and Charlie were hot, but these two blew them out of the water. (Pun definitely intended. ;-)) In Kat, Beckett finally found someone he could fully trust and open up to. And he needed that. Everyone sees Beckett as a big musclehead, and he is, but there’s a lot more to him than that.
I’ve been asleep, Kat. For so long I almost don’t remember ever being awake. And now… I’m all pins and needles. And I can barely breathe.
He’s the first one to agree with her when she volunteers to be part of some of the scarier parts of the mission they’re on. Even though he knows she could get hurt, and he’s terrified that’s going to happen, he realizes that she is the best person for it and she’s smart enough and tough enough to take care of herself. Which she does, even when things go sideways and she has to improvise to get everyone home safely. Never once does he talk down to her or dismiss her without listening to what she has to say. Even if he disagrees, he talks it out with her.
And, Kat, for her part, is all of the things Beckett credits her with. She’s smart and tough and knows how to handle herself and her guns. She was smart enough to file a restraining order against her ex, Cole, before she left DC, and smart enough to realize that while she does need to tell her brothers what’s going on with him, this is not the time. I thought she put a little more faith into the restraining order than she probably should have, though. That was her one misstep. As I’ve mentioned before, crappy exes are Chekhov’s gun in these books, so there was no way that was going to stop Cole. They very rarely stop anyone, really. But at least she opened up to Beckett and one of her brothers about it eventually.
… if I could’ve dreamed, if I’d have even known what to dream of, it would have been of you.
This was a wonderful end to this series. There’s going to be a spinoff series starring the Raven Riders, a MC club that lent a hand throughout a lot of these books. I really hope we get to see some of these characters in that series. If you haven’t read this entire series, do yourself a huge favor and do it right away.