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Hard to Hold On To: A Hard Ink Novella by [Kaye, Laura]
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Hard to Hold On To: A Hard Ink Novella Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Description

Product Description

Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves--which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight.  He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago. 

Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.

As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to. 

About the Author

Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over a dozen romance novels, including Hearts in Darkness, Her Forbidden Hero, and One Night with a Hero.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 800 KB
  • Print Length: 200 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Impulse (Aug. 19 2014)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers CA
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #53,028 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
4.5 stars-- HARD TO HOLD ON TO is the third instalment and first novella in Laura Kaye’s adult, contemporary Hard Ink romantic suspense series focusing on a tight knit group of ex special forces Green Beret soldiers trying to prove their innocence in an Afghanistan operation that went completely wrong. This is Edward “Easy” Cantrell and Jenna Dean’s storyline. Jenna had been held prisoner by the ‘Church Gang’ and Easy is one of the men who helped in her rescu . The storyline covers about a day in the life and the series covers about a week in total (to date).

HARD TO HOLD ON TO commences immediately following the events of HARD AS YOU CAN. Jenna is Crystal’s (Hard as You Can) younger sister and finds herself the victim of a kidnapping and human trafficking ring. With her rescue, Easy begins a slide into an emotional abyss where flashbacks and guilt begin to eat away at the heart and the mind. Suffering the effects of PTSD Easy knows that without help the nightmares and guilt will force his hand to do the unthinkable.

The relationship between Easy and Jenna fast becomes friends to lovers. Easy and Jenna have an immediate attraction to one another but Jenna’s injuries require that Easy try to remain distant. In the end, Jenna only wants and needs one thing-the strong arms of Easy to make all the evil-disappear.

HARD TO HOLD ON TO is a quick and intense read that looks at PTSD and the effects of war, death and tragedy on the human psyche. Some people are stronger and able to live through the atrocities while others struggle with the reality of what happened.
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Format: Kindle Edition
We got a taste of Jenna and 'Easy' in Shane's story. This novella delves deeper into their budding relationship--as they both struggle to overcome adversity from their past.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I have read similar stories by another author.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d1e70cc) out of 5 stars 295 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9cf8a918) out of 5 stars Truly special Aug. 19 2014
By MsRomanticReads - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Hard to Hold On To was a slight departure from the fast paced action of the first two books. This story took place right where Hard as You Can left off, with the rescue of Jenna Dean, Crystal/Sara's sister. The connection between Jenna and Easy was briefly established in the previous book, and the fierce determination that rode him to bring her back home. However, this story was so SO much more than a soldier who had lived through the hells of war, lost brothers in arms and was dealing as best as he could. It was also more than a woman who had been kidnapped, mistreated and suddenly faced with a man who was always in her orbit, protecting her while she healed physically and emotionally. Their connection went beyond mutual attraction and a simmering lust.

Easy and Jenna made being together look so simple. I liked them before, but after this, I was enamored. For a twenty year old, Jenna was mature beyond her years. I loved her ability to analyze her feelings without any major drama, she didn't try to hide them or talk herself out of her feelings or emotions. It was so refreshing to just watch her process and express herself organically and let the chips fall where they may. Their ability to communicate openly and honestly also came almost as naturally as breathing.

My heart went out to Easy. The depth of his anguish and mental weariness punched me in the gut. When he opened up to Shane, then the rest of the guys - that particular moment made this story truly special. But it didn't end there. Sweet, compassionate Jenna and her ability to put her feelings out there; she really saw Easy and was able to look beyond his insecurities and defenses.

The development of their relationship up to the consummation of it was so beautiful and romantic. I was sucked into every moment they shared, every talk they had. There were too many special moments to mention here, but make sure to look for this: I believe. I hope to catch more glimpses of them throughout the series.

The back story of the series was briefly recapped, therefore I would say this can stand on its own. The first two books were full length novels and packed with action and romance. This novella zeroed in on a serious and heartbreaking topic facing veterans, and after reading this, I doubt you'll look at the number twenty-two the same way again.

**Complimentary copy provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for the purpose of an honest review.**
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d9179b4) out of 5 stars beautiful characters and wonderful ending Aug. 19 2014
By Shayna Renee's Spicy Reads - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
"I believe."

Hard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye gives us Edward "Easy" Cantrell's story. I have to be honest...this book wrecked me! I was torn apart by how much emotion Easy's story brought out of me. You get a small sense of what E is going through in the first two books of the Hard Ink Series, but I never knew it was going to be this intense and this real. This book moved me, gutted me, and soothed me with its beautiful characters and wonderful ending.

We begin right where we left off at Hard As You Can, book two in this incredible sexy, suspenseful, and emotional series. The team is coming back from a successful rescue mission, where Jenna, Sara's younger sister, was the main target. The things that were done to Jenna were unspeakable and when she finally came to, she sought out the security and warmth of one person, Easy. Easy felt an intense connection with the fragile red head immediately. She made him feel needed, normal, and protective. Jenna chases away his nightmares, and soothes his troubled soul. She chases away the darkness, and actually makes him feel. Just being in her presence, pulls him from the disturbing thoughts in his mind, making him feel centered, and far from a failure. Jenna has always felt like a burden to her sister, and being kidnapped only made that feeling stronger. Easy makes her feel beautiful, smart, and sexy and chases away insecurities. Together these two make each other whole and heal one another. It's a short and sweet journey of a budding love, but no less beautiful and emotional. It's a start, and I can only hope that we will continue Easy and Jenna's story in the next installment of the Hard Ink Series, Hard To Come By, due out in November.

"You will beat this f****ing thing. For you. For her. For everything you could be together."

Hard to Hold on To gives us such a realistic picture of how difficult it can be living with PTSD. Not only will this book hit home for a lot of military husbands and wives, but it will also hit home to anyone who has ever gone through something so horrific, so difficult, that it constantly ****s with the way you try to live your life. Ms. Kaye has written this story with such care and awareness, bringing Easy's issues to the forefront, and somehow bringing us an incredible romance between two people that feel such a strong connection that no demons, no nightmares could tear them apart. I applaud you Laura Kaye, for giving us Easy's story, and for giving some people out there, who are dealing with the same darkness, hope for a better tomorrow. You are an amazing writer. Don't ever stop sharing your incredible gift with us avid romance readers.

"You were never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed or unworthy. You were created to be victorious."

*Gifted copy provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d0945e8) out of 5 stars Easy to Read and Hard to Put Down Aug. 19 2014
By cwlcl - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Laura Kaye’s HARD TO HOLD ON TO: A Hard Ink Novella, the third book in her Hard Ink Series, is not just a passionate love story, but also an intense story of survival. I did not want to put this book down once I started reading it. When I finished the last word, I let out a big sigh, and the only word I could think of that described this book was “intense.” I sat very still and realized that I felt like I had been smacked in the chest/heart and also mentally. Edward Cantrell, i.e., “Easy” and Jenna Dean, were both survivors of abuse. Easy by his tormented mind trying to deal with the death of one of his team and best friend while in Afghanistan, and from his dishonorable discharge from the Green Berets/Army when he and his team were disgraced and disowned by the U.S. government. Jenna had been abused by gangbangers from the actions of her late father, a drug dealer. She also had epilepsy. To “hear” Jenna tell what happened to her and hear Easy finally admit to his Hard Ink family and to Jenna that he had suicidal thoughts, had me teary eyed, with a lump in my throat. Both Easy and Jenna felt alone until they met and immediately bonded, and when the Hard Ink family, Easy’s “chosen family” accepted his problem, this was a turning point for him. Admitting to his family and to Jenna that he was depressed, was what he needed to do to embrace hope for him.
In this story, Laura Kaye handles this real and horrible problem of military and ex-military trying/committing suicide in a way that builds until the reader now realizes that the signs of depression by an ex-military, i.e., Easy, have been in her first three books in very subtle ways. Easy did not suddenly become depressed and announce he was depressed in this third book. If you have read the first two books, HARD AS IT GETS and HARD AS YOU CAN, go back and reread them and focus on Easy. Depression creeps up on individuals and one can see it with the progression of it with Easy. This is a remarkable book, and a difficult but also hopeful and beautiful story. This book is one that will always be in my mind and heart and for that, I thank Laura Kaye.
I also looked up military causes and I will make a donation to one that helps military and ex-military soldiers. After reading HARD TO HOLD ON TO, I simply have to do it.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d921bdc) out of 5 stars Emotional Aug. 20 2014
By annare - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I read this for Hooked On Books

I hadn’t read the books before this (but certainly will now) so I was not familiar with the characters. That did not matter as Laura described them so perfectly, I felt I knew them.
This follows Edward “Easy” Cantrell & how he feels deep inside & how he copes with Jenna Dean & the trauma she has been through.
This short story carries a very strong message about the affects war has on veterans & just how they manage to get through everyday life.
I really enjoyed reading this story; I cried for Easy & really felt his anguish.
Although it was an emotional story it was also fun & sexy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d141e94) out of 5 stars Powerful, passionate, life-changing. Aug. 19 2014
By Emsy Van Wyck - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As I'm writing this review, I'm still brushing away some tears. First of all, Laura Kaye's novella, HARD TO HOLD ON TO, is amazing. I'm saying that upfront, so if you want to stop reading this now and just hop over to whatever eRetailer you prefer - do. Simply said: Buy this book and read it.

The third title in Kaye's Hard Ink series about a now-disbanded Special Forces team is an unbelievably powerful read. The story picks up immediately following the events of Hard As You Can and the rescue of Sara (aka Crystal) Dean's sister, Jenna. If you haven't read Hard As It Gets (book 1) or Hard As You Can (book 2) - do. You could read each of these as stand-alone titles, because Kaye fills in just enough back story to let you know what's going on. But why on earth wouldn't you want to read these books. Kaye is a writer whose ability to share empathy and understanding of her characters flattens me. Guts me. Reminds me why I love to read.

When I read Hard As You Can, it was evident that there could be something special between Jenna and Easy. Sure, Jenna is an epileptic student who's been pretty sheltered by her sister and Easy is a soldier who knows both despair and loss, but truthfully they aren't so different under the skin.

From the moment that Easy carries Jenna into the apartment after rescuing her from the drug dealing gang, The Churchmen (and her sister's ex), their connection and tie solidifies. If you're expecting a lot of physical action in HARD TO HOLD ON TO, don't be disappointed. But the psychological action, as we learn about the demons that surround Easy and now Jenna, is equally powerful as any commando rescue.

I know many of us love stories about returning soldiers who are reintegrating into life in the states on black ops teams, as investigators, or bodyguards. It's a really popular trope. Many authors explore some of the steep tolls that warfare brings to these men and women. Well, my favorite authors do. However, I don't know if any author has really moved me to this extreme, as Kaye has accomplished so powerfully in HARD TO HOLD ON TO.

Perhaps it's because she knows her bromance that it all feels so real. But that's too simple an explanation. To me the most powerful, strong, and sexy alpha hero is the one who can show and embrace his softer inner core. Who doesn't need remain stoic in all things, but can reveal who he is deep down to those he cares about. With this story, Kaye lets us get into Easy's skin and there is a scene where I'm just bawling, because I'm taking every step of this journey along with him.

And Jenna. OMG, Jenna is key to this as well. Here is this relatively young (just turning 20) girl, who's been kidnapped, drugged, beaten and abused who's still trying to protect her sister from taking on any guilt. I totally buy into the connection she feels with Easy, because I can see her, tiny against this tree trunk of a man, brilliant red hair against his mocha skin, just drawing on his strength and caring to get through the day - and night. When he holds her, shelters her, as she's sick from the drugs. Scavenges in the kitchen for the making of a milkshake. Or when he's not even there, but she envelopes herself in his Steelers shirt that scents of him. It's as though the invisible bond between them becomes visible, like a golden string that ties them together.

It's not a one way street either as it's clear that Easy finds solace with Jenna. When he lays down with her the first time - and I'm not talking about a sexual bedding, but one where two souls find comfort and home in each other - I just smiled. It was so beautiful.

Yes, there's some humor here too. It's not all serious. But this book is a real reminder about what love is. How important it is to be open to our close friends - and to receive their care as well.

So, I'm hoping you all will be one-clicking through to add Laura Kaye's amazingly passionate and powerful, HARD TO HOLD ON TO, to your library. Your purchase these first two weeks will help support a program that aids veterans as Laura will be donating the profits from the sales. No one can wonder why Laura Kaye is at the top of my must-read, auto-buy list. She just ROCKS!

Hard Ink fans, remember to mark your calendars for November 25 and the release of book 3, Hard to Come By. I can't wait to read the story of Derek and Emilie!