Tag: Laura Kaye

Book Spotlight: Ride Wild by Laura Kaye

Posted October 30, 2017 by Rowena in Promotions | 3 Comments

Ride Wild by Laura Kaye comes out tomorrow and it’s the third book in the Raven Rider’s series. It’s a pretty popular series that features characters from a motorcycle club and I’ve been hearing good things about it. We’re excited to share an excerpt of the first chapter with you lovely readers today.

Check it out.

Ride Wild by Laura Kaye
Series: Raven Riders #3
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Harper Collins, Avon
Genres: Contemporary, Romance

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders…

Wild with grief over the death of his wife, Sam “Slider” Evans merely lives for his two sons. Nothing holds his interest anymore—not even riding his bike or his membership in the Raven Riders Motorcycle Club. But that all changes when he hires a new babysitter.

Recently freed from a bad situation by the Ravens, Cora Campbell is determined to bury the past. When Slider offers her a nanny position, she accepts, needing the security and time to figure out what she wants from life. Cora adores his sweet boys, but never expected the red-hot attraction to their brooding, sexy father. If only he would notice her…

Slider does see the beautiful, fun-loving woman he invited into his home. She makes him feel too much, and he both hates it and yearns for it. But when Cora witnesses something she shouldn’t have, the new lives they’ve only just discovered are threatened. Now Slider must claim—and protect—what’s his before it’s too late.

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It was their normal routine, and it was awkward as crap.

Cora Campbell bit back a smile as she sat in the passenger seat of the beat-up pickup truck. She didn’t think Sam Evans, her boss-of-sorts, would appreciate her humor. Or, like, any humor. He filled the driver’s seat beside her, his big hands on the wheel and black tattoos snaking all down his lean, muscled arms. From the corner of her eye, she sneaked a glance at his face, and one word came to mind.


Longish wild brown hair, like he couldn’t keep from raking at it in frustration. Wild brown beard that Cora sometimes imagined chopping off just so she could better see the face it seemed like he purposefully hid beneath it. Pale green eyes, mesmerizing in their uniqueness, but also wild with emotions at which she could only guess . . .

“So, um, Slider,” she said, her use of the nickname his motorcycle club had given him slicing through the uneasy silence, “anything special I need to know about Sam and Ben for tonight?”

That pale gaze slashed her way, and she felt the chill of it into her bones. Slider didn’t scare her—he was too good to his boys for that. But it was entirely possible that his glances appeared in the dictionary next to Intimidating as Fuck. And maybe even If Looks Could Kill. And definitely Like, Whoa. It was a good thing he paid her so well to babysit his sons. In truth, he was doing her a pretty big favor giving her a part-time job while she figured out her life, so she put up with his… moodiness.

He huffed out a breath, as if mustering the energy to reply sucked vital life force from his soul or something. “Sam has homework he wants your help with,” he said, his tone almost apologetic. “And Ben… is Ben.”

Cora nodded. Having babysat the kids four or five days a week for the past three months, she had a decent idea what Slider meant. At six, Ben was a sweetheart of a boy, but nightmares and monsters under the bed gave him more than a little difficulty sleeping. “Okay.”

They came upon the two-story white farmhouse where Slider lived and Cora sometimes worked. Empty, overgrown flower beds. A misshapen wreath on the door, so bleached from the sun Cora could no longer tell what color it’d originally been. Shutters hanging at odd angles from years of neglect. The house had an abandoned, decaying feel about it, and Cora didn’t really have to wonder why that was.

Slider hadn’t even parked when the front door exploded open, the creaky screen door wobbling like it might just give up and fall off its hinges. A little boy darted out next to the gravel driveway, hopping excitedly as if the grass hid a trampoline. Except for the lighter brown hair and happiness shaping his face, there was no denying Ben was Slider’s kid.

Cora stepped out of the truck into the warm early September evening wearing a smile. “Hey, jumping bean.”

“Name’s Ben, not Bean,” he said, his grin all the cuter for the big gap where his front teeth should’ve been.

“You sure? I could’ve sworn it was Bean.” She hugged him as he threw his arms around her waist. Where Slider was a walking, talking wall that kept all his emotions barricaded, his younger son wore every single emotion on his sleeve.

“No.” He laughed. “It’s Ben!”

“Okay, Bean.” Hiking up the backpack that served as an overnight bag, she glanced at Slider and found him watching her through narrowed eyes, like maybe she was a foreign language he couldn’t decipher. Tall and broad-shouldered, he had a ranginess about him that, like the house, spoke of neglect. She’d seen him sit with the kids at meals, sometimes even with a plate of food in front of him. But it was possible she’d eaten more watching movies in bed with her friends Haven and Alexa last weekend than she’d seen Slider eat in the past three months combined.

The youngest Evans let loose a long-suffering groan. “No, Cora, it’s Ben,” he said, pronouncing her name more like Coowa. It was so cute it almost killed her.

“Finally, you’re here,” Sam called from the front door. At ten going on eleven going on thirty-five, the kid was the definition of an old soul. It was in his eyes, the seriousness of his personality, the way he took care of his little brother, as if, without being asked, he was trying to relieve some of the burden of being a single parent from his father’s shoulders.

“I am, in fact, here. Now the party can begin,” Cora said, ruffling the older boy’s hair as she stepped into the neat but shabby living room. Sam tried to hold back his smile as he dodged her hand, but didn’t quite manage.

“Wait. We’re having a party?” Ben asked as she dropped her bag on the couch.

Sam rolled his eyes. “No, doofus, it’s an expression.”

Ben’s shoulders fell, and now Cora was the one holding back a smile. “If two certain someones I know take their showers without any complaints, maybe, just maybe, we can have a party.” The littler boy’s grin was immediate, but what really caught her attention was the way that Sam’s attention perked up, even though he tried to hide it. “Deal?” she asked.

Just as both boys agreed, Slider cleared his throat. Cora turned to find him shrugging into his button- up uniform shirt with its Frederick Auto Body and Repair logo, the movement causing his T-shirt to ride up his side. Just a momentary glance. Just of one small part of his body. But it revealed two things that stole her breath—more ink, and a frame that was all raw muscle and sinew.

Like a wild animal.

The comparison should’ve been alarming, but for some reason, that wasn’t how her body interpreted it if the flutter in her belly was any indication. Never in a million years would she have described Slider as attractive, but there was something unquestionably attracting about him, even if she couldn’t quite articulate what that was.

“Leaving?” she managed.

He nodded. “On seven to seven,” he said. “You have my cell.”

“We’ll be fine,” she said, bracing her hands on Ben’s shoulders. “Won’t we?” she asked, hugging him against her as she peered down into his little face.

“Yeah,” he said. “Don’t worry, Dad.”

Slider gave a single nod as his gaze skated between Cora and his sons. “See ya later, alligators.”
Sam rolled his eyes, but Ben grinned and said, “After while, crocodile.”

Slider winked at his youngest. Just a single little wink. But, together with the way he said good-bye to the kids every time he left, it proved to Cora that there was a sweet, playful man in there somewhere. Or at least there used to be.

Either way, it was clear that what Slider had left of himself to give, he gave to his boys. And given what a miserable piece of crap both her dad and her best friend’s father had been, Cora knew how much having a good father mattered. It mattered a lot. She had to respect that much about Slider, whatever else his faults might be.

From RIDE WILD by Laura Kaye. Used with permission of Avon. Copyright © 2017 by Laura Kaye.

Raven Riders Series

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About the Author

Laura Kaye


Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary and erotic romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink, Raven Riders, Blasphemy, Heroes, and Hearts of the Anemoi series. Laura’s hot, heartfelt stories are all about the universal desire for a place to belong. Laura grew up amidst family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses, cementing her life-long fascination with storytelling and the supernatural. Laura also writes historical fiction as Laura Kamoie, and lives in Maryland with her husband and two daughters, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

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Review: Hard as You Can by Laura Kaye

Posted March 31, 2014 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Hard as You Can by Laura KayeReviewer: Holly
Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink #2

Publication Date: February 25th 2014
Genres: Fiction, Suspense
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

Five dishonored soldiers.Former Special Forces.One last mission.These are the men of Hard Ink.

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he's shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister's sake, Crystal can't get too close. Until her job and Shane's mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn't want him to uncover. Too bad. He's exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can—and never let go.

I really need to start paying more attention to these books blurbs. I thought this book was going to be about a former military man who is now a tattoo artist. Uh, no. This is actually a romantic suspense featuring mobs, government conspiracies and dishonored soldiers who have gone rogue in order to clear their names. It wasn’t a bad read, but it sure wasn’t what I was expecting.

Crystal is stuck working as a waitress in a strip club until the debts her father wracked up with the motorcycle gang who own it are paid up. She would run far and fast if it weren’t for her little sister. As it is, she needs the help and support of her boyfriend, Bruno, just to get by. Until Shane McCallan walks through the door, Crystal is just biding her time, waiting until her sister graduates college so she can get away. But seeing Shane changes everything. He makes her want things she can’t have. When he asks for her help in getting information about her employers, she’s terrified – but knows she can’t say no.

The last thing Shane expected to find when they pulled a rescue mission at the strip club was a woman who had courage and fire – with damaged eyes and a wounded soul. He needs Crystal’s help to uncover secrets about his former commander, but more, he needs to help Crystal get out of her bad situation. It’s an impossible place to be in, but he’s dealt with worse.

This isn’t the type of book I would normally have chosen to read. If I had paid more attention to the blurb I probably would have skipped right past it. It was interesting. I do feel like I missed quite a bit by skipping book one. This book takes place almost immediately after that one ends (I believe it picks up the same day the first book ends).

Crystal comes off as a victim at first,  but as her reasons for being where she is become clear, it’s easy to sympathize with her. I wanted to see her kick ass and take names, but her quiet defiance worked on me as well. She was in an impossible situation and trying to do her best with what she was given. I like that her sister was more important to her than anything else.

Shane had a hero complex due to events from his past. He wanted to help Crystal because he knew she needed it, but also because he needed to cleanse his soul. I know someone like this in real life and that made it easy for me to understand where he was coming from.

Shane and the team’s search for answers about how and why they were betrayed was interesting. I really wanted to know what happened and how that played out. That part ends on a cliffhanger, but I can see how it can’t be resolved in one book. I’m interested in seeing where things go next.

What bothered me about the book is how fast everything happens. It’s only a matter of days before Shane and Crystal feel a deep attachment to each other. I can’t recall the exact time frame now, but I believe the entire book takes place in less than a week’s time. I don’t think a week is enough time to meet someone and decide you like them, much less fall in love and decide you want to be together forever. Especially during a high-stress situation like the one presented here. I got the impression the first book took place over a short time frame as well.

Though I liked Shane and Crystal separately, I didn’t really buy into their romance. It happened much fast to be believable. I did find the story interesting and look forward to the finding out more about their situation.

3.5 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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Review: Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye

Posted February 25, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Five dishonored soldiers.
Former Special Forces.
One last mission.
These are the men of Hard Ink.

Ever since hard-bodied, drop-dead-charming Shane McCallan strolled into the dance club where Crystal Dean works, he’s shown a knack for getting beneath her defenses. For her little sister’s sake, Crystal can’t get too close. Until her job and Shane’s mission intersect, and he reveals talents that go deeper than she could have guessed.

Shane would never turn his back on a friend in need, especially a former Special Forces teammate running a dangerous, off-the-books operation. Nor can he walk away from Crystal. The gorgeous waitress is hiding secrets she doesn’t want him to uncover. Too bad. He’s exactly the man she needs to protect her sister, her life, and her heart. All he has to do is convince her that when something feels this good, you hold on as hard as you can—and never let go.

Shane is part of a group of men who were once in a Special Forces team that was sold out by their commanding officer and ambushed.  Six men died but the remaining five men now want to find out why their CO did what he did and possibly bring down the people he was working with.  
Shane McCallen is part of that team.  In the previous book he helped save a man from the basement of a strip club where he was being held against his will.  He was “helped” by a waitress there, Crystal.  She didn’t really help but she didn’t stop them when she realized what they were doing.  Shane hasn’t stopped thinking about the woman since then. When the team needs more info Shane thinks that maybe he might be able to get info from the waitress.  He heads back to the strip club to seek her assistance.
Crystal would love nothing more than to walk out the door of Confessions and never look back.  Her father worked for the Church organization (organized crime) and when he died they came to Crystal to get the money he owed them.  After selling their house and all of their belongings it still wasn’t enough.  Crystal was taken and after horrific events forced to work at Confessions as a waitress to pay off her father’s debt.  She does this, as well as dates the head of security there, to take care of her younger sister who is in college and has epilepsy.  Once Jenna is done with school Crystal plans on taking her and running far, far away.
Shane is a huge speed bump in the road. Crystal is attracted to him so very much and realizes that he’s a good guy – something she’s not seen much of in the past four years.  She wants to get closer to him but her boyfriend Bruno is a possessive ass.  She tries to help Shane as much as possible but eventually her help puts not only herself but Jenna in danger and that might screw everyone’s lives up.
I must admit after the way I loved the first book in this series I truly thought that the high could not be held.  Oh how wrong I was.  This story is every bit as good as book 1 but with it’s own unique story line.  I loved reading the ins and outs of the men of Hard Ink as well as getting to know Crystal (whose real name is Sara).
Sara – my God what a strong woman she was.  After all of the crap she’d been through she was still standing strong.  Yes, she had to do things she didn’t like but she was constantly thinking of the end game and just carried on.  She had been through hell and while she had to play a part and though she’d lost part of herself, it was there, growing stronger by the day.  I admired her so much!
Shane. *sigh*  What a total hottie who had a huge heart!  His past had been tortured as well and he’d lived through not only his sisters kidnapping but the ambush on his team.  Despite those, or maybe because of those things he was a compassionate and caring man who was also one big badass.  Loved him.
The secondary characters were awesome – just as I expected them to be.  We got more of all the men and we even got a Motorcycle Club thrown in there as well.  Yum. lol  It was great to catch up with Nick, Becca, Charlie, Jeremy, Marz, Easy and Beckett – as well as the 3 legged dog, Eileen.
The story flowed so well and was very readable.  I got completely wrapped up in the characters and didn’t want the book to end.  I can’t wait to see what happens next in this exciting series.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted February 24, 2014 by Tracy in Features | 0 Comments

Hidee ho neighbor!

Wassup? Did you all have a wonderful week last week and a great weekend? Last week was pretty good but then I was down for the count with headaches all weekend. It was beautiful here, too, so not getting out of the house sucked.

Nothing much happening around here so I’ll get right to what I read last week:

My first read was Before You Break by Christina Lee. This was a wonderful story about a guy who is dealing with guilt over a car accident that killed his best friend – when he was driving –  and the woman is dealing with her own guilt over her brother’s suicide. Together they deal with their emotions and fall in love. It was oh, so good. I’ll post my review this week. 4.25 out of 5

Next up was Have You Any Rogues by Elizabeth Boyle. The novella is about Crispin and Henrietta who are members of rival families. They fall in love but then different events occur that keeps them apart for years. The story takes place while the pair are locked in a wine cellar and is told mostly in flashbacks but it’s like the characters are telling the story to each other. I really liked it but admit that I wanted more of the current time period but unfortunately there wasn’t much. I also thought Henrietta was way to impulsive over the years and was surprised that A) Crispin still wanted her after all of her rash decisions and B) she was even available after getting married so many times! 4 out of 5

Scent of a Mate by Milly Taiden was the story about a girl who is writing a book, per request, on the history of werewolf traditions…or maybe history. Anyway, she and her friends stake out a scenting ceremony but she gets a bit distracted when her mate, who is her best friends’ brother, decides to claim her that night. The book was cute although the heroine kept getting hurt which was annoying. This was definitely more erotic romance than straight paranormal with sex added – just fyi. 3.5 out of 5

The Bancroft Affairs: The Beginning by Liberty Valens. This short was free from Amazon and I’m really glad I didn’t spend money on it. The story is basically about Jillian who is blackmailed and forced to work as a call girl/prostitute. She is looking for a way out of her situation and trying to help her friends who are in the same sitch. I didn’t care for the story all that much (although there were parts that were ok), or the way the story was set up. It kind of felt like 2 stories in one which was amazing since it was so short and there was no conclusion. 2 out of 5

Stranger Delight by Tabitha Levin is a short erotic romance (also free on Amazon) about a woman who is at a party and is watching through a window as her friend has sex with her boyfriend. While watching a man comes up and has sex with her but she has no idea who it is – when she looks he’s gone. It was an ok story but was just too convoluted for me. 2 out of 5

Best Gay romance 2014 edited by R.D. Cochrane & Timothy J. Lambert was an anthology of short gay romance stories. I wouldn’t call this the BEST gay romance but there were definitely some good ones in there. I’ll post my review of this one later this week. 3.25 out of 5

Hard As You Can by Laura Kaye is book 2 in the Hard Ink series and it was really good! This is Shane and Crystal’s story. My review will post tomorrow to tell you my thoughts. 4 out of 5

My next read was a short novella called A Countess by Chance by Kate McKinley. This is mostly the reconciliation of a couple who had once been engaged but she had broken it off two years prior. There is a wager involved while they’re at a house party and erotic hijinks ensue. It was a cute story I just wanted more background. 3 out of 5 

In the Service of the King by Laura Kaye is a novella dealing with King of the Vampires (I thought he was THE king but since the series is Vampire Warrior Kings I’m guessing he’s A king. :)). He needs to feed every so often from either his mate or a virgin (called Proffereds) in order to hold on to his immortality and his humanity. His mate died 300 years ago so he feeds from virgins. He hates the ritual until he meets Shayla, one of the Proffered, who ends up being his mate as well. It was a cute story that was sexy and not too deep at all. 3 out of 5  

Come a Little Bit Closer by Bella Andre was last for the week – book 7 in The Sullivans series. This is Smith’s story and has him falling in love with the sister of one of his co-stars. I’ll post my review of this one later this week. 3.5 out of 5


My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
Fall For Me by Sydney Landon
Friends Without Benefits by Penny Reid

Happy Reading! 

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Review: Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye

Posted November 26, 2013 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins

Tall, dark, and lethal…

Trouble just walked into Nicholas Rixey’s tattoo parlor. Becca Merritt is warm, sexy, wholesome–pure temptation to a very jaded Nick. He’s left his military life behind to become co-owner of Hard Ink Tattoo, but Becca is his ex-commander’s daughter. Loyalty won’t let him turn her away. Lust has plenty to do with it too.

With her brother presumed kidnapped, Becca needs Nick. She just wasn’t expecting to want him so much. As their investigation turns into all-out war with an organized crime ring, only Nick can protect her. And only Becca can heal the scars no one else sees.

Desire is the easy part. Love is as hard as it gets. Good thing Nick is always up for a challenge…

Becca Merritt is trying to find her brother Charlie who has gone missing. She has no idea if he left on his own or was taken by someone. She knows that he sent her a message letting her know that she needed to seek out a man from her deceased father’s Special Forces team. She follows his advice and heads over to talk to Nick Rixey. Nick however, isn’t interested in even talking to Becca much less helping her in any way. He sends her away but can’t help thinking he needs to check up on her.

Nick wasn’t pleased to see Becca at all when she walked in the door of her brother’s tattoo shop, Hard Ink. Her father had screwed Nick and the other members of the Special Forces team and the surviving members of the team had their honor questioned and stepped on by the army. He’s still a good person, however, and can’t just let Becca go without making sure she’s safe – even if he wants nothing to do with her. Unfortunately when he heads to her house he discovers that someone’s inside and saves Becca. He then takes her to his house and agrees to help her.

When Nick realizes that Charlie’s been kidnapped he calls in the surviving members of his Special Forces team and they work together to try and find out who took Charlie and why. They discover that Charlie was taken by the Church organization which is a gang and major drug runners and they go on a mission to get him back. While this is going down Becca and Nick are falling in love but Becca still doesn’t know the details of her father’s past and when she finds out she may just kick Nick to the curb.

I’ll admit I love tattoos and the whole act of tattooing. I’m such a bad artist and stick figures are about my speed so seeing the amazing things that a tattoo artist can produce on someone’s skin blows my mind. I love it. When I saw that this story had to do with a tattoo studio I snapped it right up – I’m glad I did.

This was not what I expected – it was better. I thought that Kaye did a great job of incorporating the artistry of the tattoo business with the artistry of a special forces mission, cuz that’s what it really was – a SF mission that was just off the books. Nick and his team, Shane, Beckett, Marz and Easy (along with Nick’s brother Jeremy and Nick’s friend Miguel) turned the gathering of information and the execution of getting Charlie back into an amazingly beautiful well oiled machine. I really enjoyed the whole operation practically from start to start to finish. I’m invested in the story arc now and am anxious to see these incredible men get their honor restored.

As far as the romance went it was fast. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing in this case as the heightened adrenaline made everything get done in a hurry – this was true for the love between Nick and Becca. They met and fell in love within days but they went through so much together in those few days that it worked for me.

The characters, the action and the mystery made for an exciting read and I’m looking forward to picking up the next book, Hard as You Can.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Laura Kaye 

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