You know that series? The one you’ll talk to anyone about, the one where you rant and rave about the characters and the plot twists, the one you miss immediately after you finish it? The Hard Ink series, by Laura Kaye, will make you do all of those things. Over the course of novels, novellas and short stories, Kaye has you falling in love with her characters, weeping over their sordid history, and rooting for their success. If you’re a fan of the all-immersive, totally obsessive, can’t stop reading books, here are all the reasons the Hard Ink series is right for you.
1) There’s nothing quite like a fallen hero. Hard Ink is about loyalty, honor and finding who you are when life gets hard.
2) Her characters are amazing. Ensemble writing is challenging, and not all authors do it well, but from the flirtatious and silly Jeremy Rixey to the stoic and powerful Beckett Murda, to the adorable, three-legged German Shepherd, Eileen, Kaye’s characters are dynamic, unique and oh-so-lovable.
3) Um, hello, tattoos? Set in Jeremy Rixey’s tattoo parlor in Baltimore, Hard Ink, this series features muscled men sporting lots of ink.
4) These heroines aren’t afraid of a challenge. From ER nurse Becca Merritt to Crystal Dean, who’s willing to do anything to protect her sister, Kaye’s heroines don’t wait around to be saved.
5) These books are all about family. There’s the Rixey clan, the Merritt clan, the Garza family and the Dean sisters, not to mention the bonds of brotherhood formed by time spent in the military. Whether blood or friendship, it’s all about protecting the ones you love.
6) The cast is diverse. Romance has long been grappling with the issue of diversity, but this series pulls it off masterfully. Kaye doesn’t just include characters of different races and sexualities, but also characters grappling with physical and mental challenges, such as amputations, epilepsy and PTSD.
7) Kaye respects her characters. She doesn’t just include diversity for the sake of diversity, but she shows a deep respect and understanding of alternative perspectives. That respect extends to the military world as well, and the struggles that soldiers returning stateside often deal with. A percentage of the sales from Hard to Hold Onto were donated to The Wounded Warrior Foundation.
8) There are animals! Who doesn’t love an adorable German Shepherd puppy with three legs or a scrappy, stray cat with an attitude? Kaye makes her animal cohorts as much part of the story as the characters who love them.
9) The books are seriously researched. As a reader, you believe that Kaye did her homework and knows the ins and outs of Baltimore, military communications and medical terms. She gains your trust easily and never loses it.
10) We like a man in uniform! I mean, come on, there’s no question why Special Forces series are so successful – there’s nothing quite like a hunk who can pull off the camo. And then pull off the camo, if you know what I mean…
11) They’re sexy! Let’s not beat around the bush, these books are full of the steamy, raunchy, hide your book in public scenes that we’re all after. There’s wall sex, window sex, tattoo chair sex and… you get the picture!
12) There are a bunch of books in the series! If you’re ready to commit, there are novels, novellas, short stories, and companion series – which is great! Because once you fall in love with the cast of The Hard Ink series, you’ll have a hard time letting them go! ♥