Book #3 in the Hard Ink Series
By Laura Kaye
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…
Gabrielle's 4 Star Review:
Derek and Beckett start out by checking out Emilie's home and the ground around her. They needed to find her brother, Manny, because he was a big part of the team's investigation. But they didn't find anything so Derek had to initiate a conversation with the therapist inside a coffee shop while on break.
To no one's surprise, considering how smoking hot Derek is, Emilie is immediately attracted to him.
When Beckett and the team need more time, Derek seeks Emilie out and asks her on a date, that night. In most circumstances that would be EXTREMELY creepy but as I stated before, HE'S MEGA HOT, so she didn't really think much about it. She is hesitant though because her ex-husband cheated on her, so she tries to keep up a wall.
As time goes on, Derek tries to spend more and more time with her even though he knows she's a mission asset and he shouldn't get involved. It takes a while but he finally comes clean to his team and Beckett freaks out big time. (Which turns out to be funny in the next book because he falls for a girl mid-mission, too.)
While Emilie doesn't know about Derek's secrets she starts to worry about her brother more and more with his erratic behavior. Finally, she submits a report for him to be taken to the police or hospital so he could be evaluated... But she didn't know it would set off a chain of reaction causing a police officer to kidnap her, hoping it would bring Manny along... But instead, it brings Derek and his team and they do what is needed to get her out of the warehouse, alive and well. Or physically well, considering she was an emotional wreck.
Derek finally comes clean about why he initiated a relationship with her and it backfires on him. She hates secrets because her ex kept so many from her... But as time goes on, Emilie can't hold a grudge because no one was sure if they'd make it out of this mission alive.
I was looking forward to this book of the Hard Ink Series because Derek instantly became my favorite. Even though he lost his leg while in Afganistan, he still tried to keep everyone's moods up by always joking. He adjusted to having a fake leg and tried to prove to himself and his team that he was just as capable as they were. But this isn't my favorite installment in Hard Ink. It was a great read, and a wonderful addition to the series but I think I built Derek up so much in my head that I was let down.
Emilie is a great addition to the Hard Ink family. She's a therapist so she takes the job of team therapist without hesitation. Without her, some of the team probably would have fallen apart (although her duties is more in the next book). Even though her brother was killed, she was a trooper and kept moving, never faltering whenever someone needed her.
The steamy romance between the two was immediate and sparks flew everywhere. I felt their every emotion and it was an amazing ride to be on with them. When she found out he had a fake leg, she didn't look at him any different than before. Which, as sad as it is to admit, most people would think of him as less, but he wasn't. He's a solid teammate and he proves himself time and time again throughout the entire series.
Another well done job, Laura Kaye! I recommend this book to anyone who loves a good military romance, or anyone who just enjoys romance in general!
Hard Ink Series is wildly addicting. You've been warned! :)