by Laura Kaye
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romance
After identifying her employer's dangerous enemies, Jessica Jakes takes refuge at the compound of the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. Fellow Hard Ink tattooist and Raven leader Ike Young promises to keep Jess safe for as long as it takes, which would be perfect if his close, personal, round-the-clock protection didn't make it so hard to hide just how much she wants him—and always has.
Ike Young loved and lost a woman in trouble once before. The last thing he needs is alone time with the sexiest and feistiest woman he's ever known, one he's purposely kept at a distance for years. Now, Ike's not sure he can keep his hands or his heart to himself—or that he even wants to anymore. And that means he has to do whatever it takes to hold on to Jess forever.
*ARC received in exchange for an honest review*
Hard As Steel is part of the 1,001 Dark Nights Novellas and serves as a cross-over for the Hard Ink Series and a sort of prequel to her Raven Riders Series coming in (DATE). While the story is considered to be a sort of standalone in the Hard Ink series, those who haven’t read the series may not entirely understand what’s happening and why the other characters being mentioned are important. This, to me, felt like a little slice of heaven for the fans that have stuck it out with the series and finally get insight as to what happened with Ike and Jessica.
“He wanted Jess. Not just in his bed, although that had been fucking fantastic. He wanted her in his arms. By his side.”
Let me say, for a short story, it packs a huge punch. Smoky, sexy, and steamy, I seriously couldn’t get over how HOT it was! Ike and Jessica’s heat for another explodes and damn, can Laura write a dirty sex scene. Break out the cold shower or your man, you’re gonna need it.
Sexy, bad boy Ike and stubborn, headstrong, fiery Jessica make a hell of a pair. Both have tried to deny their attraction for one another but when Jessica’s life is in danger, Ike goes to the one place that he knows he can keep her safe which forces them into a sort of seclusion. The sparks fly and soon, these two can’t keep their hands off one another. Finally!! But Ike’s ghosts threaten their chance at happiness, not to mention how stubborn he is about fighting his feelings for her. Jessica is a spitfire and uses that to hide a bit of her own vulnerability to hide the hurt when Ike tries to push her away. Try being the operative word.
“I’m not sure that I deserve it. I’m not even sure that I’ll be any good at it. But if you’ll let me, I’d like to try.”
I adored this entry in the Hard Ink series. I loved everything about it and I read the book in one sitting because I just didn’t want to stop. The plot, the characters, the sexual tension between the two characters. I can’t get enough about how I fell hard for both characters. Everything was spot on and worked so well. You’re introduced to the Raven Riders as well and just gave me something to look forward to now that Hard Ink is almost over. If you are a fan of the series, I would highly recommend. Those who haven’t read the series (how could you!) can start with it but there is a little bit of a spoiler issue, although it won’t make sense until you actually read the books. As for me, I have the desire to reread the entire series while I impatiently await the next and last novella in the Hard Ink series.