Listen, as readers we get sad when a series concludes. On one hand, we apprecaite an author’s vision, and can certainly appreciate a story arc successfully completed. But that doesn’t mean we don’t want MORE! MORE! MORE! We’re so greedy. Nevertheless, this week Laura Kaye‘s kick-butt romantic suspense series, Hard Ink, draws to a close with Hard to Let Go. (It is, isn’t it?) We’ve got an excerpt to whet your appetite, and a chance for you to win the entire series set below! Get to it!
“Now that the meeting’s done, you heading our way to pick us up?” Beckett said, his cell on speaker phone.
“That’s what I was calling about,” Marz said. “Emilie’s mom is down with a migraine. No way we can travel tonight. Things are pretty rough here.”
“Oh, no,” Kat whispered, her brow furrowing.
Frustration at being separated from the team sat like a boulder on Beckett’s chest, but he felt nothing but sympathy for Emilie and her mom. Who could blame a mother for being so distraught over her son’s death that she fell ill? Certainly not Beckett. Most of his life he would’ve given his right leg to have someone care about him half that much.
The room went on a tilt-a-whirl around Beckett at the thought. Given his right leg … Exactly what Marz had done. For him. Beckett’s chest went tight and he gasped for breath.
“Are you all right?” Kat said, grasping his arm.
“B?” Marz said. “Did you hear me?”
“Yeah. Yeah, I heard. Was just thinking that you … uh, gave your right leg for me,” Beckett choked out, lowering himself onto the couch. Kat settled next to him, and though Beckett couldn’t bring himself to meet her gaze when his head was caught in the midst of all this churn, he could feel concern radiating off of her.
Marz chuffed out half a laugh. “Uh, this is not news, is it?”
Beckett shook his head. “No, right. But it just smacked me in the face. You sacrificed yourself for me, because …” He scrambled for just the right words.
“Because I love your grumpy ass. And you love all my epic awesomeness.”
“Yeah,” Beckett said in a voice so low it was almost a whisper. “No one’s ever done something like that for me, Derek. Until you, no one else ever cared if I lived or died.” Beckett was acutely aware of Kat’s presence for this conversation even before she scooted closer, wrapped her arm around his shoulders and laid her head against his bicep.
There was a long pause, and then Marz said, “I love yoooou, maaan!”
“And you wonder why I hate talking.” Beckett pushed End on a huff.
His phone buzzed a half minute later. LOL Pick you up at 7:45 a.m. Let you know if anything changes here.
Roger, Beckett replied.
Also: I love you, man!
Fucker. Beckett tossed his cell to the coffee table. And then he got hot in the face. Because Kat had witnessed that whole little scene. Like she needed to see him lose it one more time.
Kat pushed him so that his back rested against the couch as she straddled his lap. She cupped his face in her hands and got up close, her breasts against his chest, her forehead nearly touching his, her soft hair forming a curtain around them. Beckett’s heart beat like a bass drum. She kissed him.
A soft brush of skin on skin at first, and then a nibbling tug at his bottom lip that made his cock jerk where she sat on him. “I care if you live or die, Beckett. I care, a lot.”
He swallowed hard as that odd, warm pressure filled his chest again. “Why?” he asked, meeting those too-perceptive jade eyes.
“You really need me to spell it out?”
He really fucking did. Beckett nodded.
Kat kissed him. “Because you’re loyal, protective, and taking time away from your life to help my brother.” Another kiss. Beckett’s hands grasped her hips. “Because you’re smart, strategic, and a genius when it comes to gadgets and fixing things.” Kiss. “Because you keep trying to get Cy to let you pet him.” Kiss. “Because you’re gorgeous and sexy as hell.” Longer kiss. “And you fuck like a god.” Much longer, wetter, hotter kiss. “And because you called me ‘Angel.’”
Chest full, throat tight, heart pounding, Beckett kissed Kat on a groan, his thoughts struggling to process—to believe—that someone as beautiful and bright and together as Katherine Rixey could see all that in him when he couldn’t see most of it in himself. Hell, not even his parents had seen it.
Her arms wrapped around his neck and she sucked his tongue deep into her mouth, and Beckett was hard and aching and overwhelmed and more in need of being wanted than at any other moment in his life. And Kat gave that to him in spades. With her kisses. With her touch. With her desperate moans and grinding hips and pleading words. “I want you, Beckett. If we’re here for the night, I want you in me as deep and as hard and as often as you can. For just tonight, I don’t want to think about anything else but you.”
“Jesus, Kat,” he rasped, banding his arms around her back and pinning her to him. He devoured her mouth, sucked on her neck, bit the soft tendon that led to her shoulder. “I want that, too. But not here.”
“Why?” she moaned as his hands kneaded at her ass.
It was the silver lining in the cloud of being stuck away from Hard Ink overnight. “Because for once, I finally have you all to myself with no need to hurry. I’m taking you to your bed, stripping you down, and spreading you out just like I said I would.” Beckett rose from the couch with her legs hooked around his waist and her arms holding onto his neck. He carried her from the living room into her bedroom, a warm, sexy space decorated in purple and gold with a large wooden bed in the center. The room sat at the corner of the building, creating two walls of windows that seemed to welcome the city inside.
With a last hungry kiss, Beckett slid Kat down his body until her feet touched the ground. She gave him the sexiest damn smile he’d ever seen. “I’m not sorry we’re stuck here together.”
Beckett winked. “Neither am I.” He crossed to the shorter wall of windows, scanned his gaze over the row houses below, and lowered the blinds.
Kat chuckled. “We’re on the eighth floor.”
“Uh-huh. And I’m a greedy bastard. I don’t even want to share you with the sun.”
Her head tilted to the side and her smile turned sweet and soft.
At the longer window, Beckett repeated his survey, his gaze running over the windows of the hotel across the street. Down below, traffic rolled by in an endless rotation of cars and trucks and buses. He shut the blind and closed the world out.
The room got darker, more intimate, and Beckett turned to Kat and gave her a long look from bare feet to sexy curves to tousled chocolate-brown hair. He stalked toward her, taking his time, looking his fill. And what he saw? Was a woman who was a perfect fucking fit for him. Soft and comforting when he needed solace. Tough as nails when he needed strength. Strong-willed and independent-minded when he needed to be called on his shit. A woman who thought his scars were beautiful and wanted to help him fight his demons. A woman who understood sacrifice and loyalty and doing whatever it took to protect the people you loved.
A woman worth fighting for—even if what he was fighting was himself.
Beckett took Kat into his arms and kissed her deeply, their tongues swirling, their lips sucking and nibbling. The sweet taste of her made him realize, for the first time in his life, that he was fucking starving. And always had been.
“I want your taste in my mouth, Kat. Your scent on my body, your skin all over mine,” Beckett rasped as he kissed her cheeks, her nose, her eyes. “Tonight, I want it all. With you.”
So good, right? Enter to win the whole series below! Sorry, U.S. and Canadian residents only. One randomly selected winner will win one print copy of Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Come By and Hard to Let Go, and e-copies of the novellas “Hard to Hold On To” and “Hard to be Good.” Good luck!
Hard to Let Go is out today, so you can go get your print or e-copy right now! And for more love stories, be sure to visit our Everything Romance page.