Today, we have author Laura Kaye stopping by with a guest post! Wee! Laura's new book: HARD TO COME BY (A Hard Ink novel) is available now, and we'll make sure to give you all the info you need to get this baby in your hands - plus, stick around for an awesome giveaway!
I’m super excited to I’m very excited to be here today to celebrate the release of my new book, Hard to Come By! This book is part of my super sexy and suspenseful Hard Ink series about the surviving members of an Army Special Forces unit investigating the suspicious circumstances that got them dishonorably discharged from the military. Hard to Come By is about amputee hero and team techie Derek “Marz” DiMarzio, who finds himself falling for the sister of one of their known enemies.
I have something special to share with y’all today! Occasionally, I find that I’ve written something in drafting a book that ultimately has to go. That happened while I was writing Hard As You Can, the second book in this series. There were a number of events that, in my first thinking, seems to need to be told by Marz because neither Shane nor Crystal/Sara could be in a particular place when I needed them to go. So Marz initially had 7 scenes written from his point of view, all of which were eventually cut. That was the right decision in the end, so Marz could reveal all his goodness in his own book! *grins* But it means I have some deleted scenes I can share, and what follows is one!
This scene takes place in the bad guy gang’s strip club called Confessions, a short while after the team managed to bug the club so they’d have some eyes and ears on the inside. In the finished version of Hard As You Can, this scene is recounted by Shane started near the end, when Easy rescues Jenna from the over-eager men at the bar. Here are the moments that led up to that, in Marz’s point of view:
“Life’s a party, boys. Charlie Mike,” Marz said, lifting his beer and taking a long draw. Beckett and Easy got the message—Charlie Mike, Continue Mission—loud and clear and did the same. The three of them looked like the most chill motherfuckers in the whole club, when in actuality they were wound tight as tops thanks to Shane’s disappearing act a few minutes before.
Marz felt for the guy. He really did. No one had raised the subject of Shane McCallan’s love life in general conversation, so Marz didn’t know what the rest of the team had or hadn’t yet noticed. But to Marz it was, heh, crystal fucking clear that Shane was into the waitress. Which was why the guy hadn’t appreciated the sight of some big bruiser manhandling the hell out of her. Especially after what they’d heard her say via the bugs in her apartment.
That she didn’t have a choice but to work here. Kinda put an aggressive, controlling boyfriend with a penchant for hitting into a whole new light.
With a look that begged Marz to trust him, Shane had talked his way into a return trip to the club’s private hallway. Who the hell knew what he might’ve said. But Shane was notoriously smooth talking, quick witted, and observant, and had some sort of sixth sense when it came to judging strangers—all of which made him a crackerjack intelligence officer, not to mention soldier. And friend. Given how the guy had saved his life in the middle of an epic shit storm, Marz would never forget that.
But now they had a bit of a problem in the form of a beautiful redhead. The one who was working her way under Shane’s skin and quite possibly screwing with his head. The one whose name was actually Sara Dean, age twenty-two, daughter of Robert “Bobby” Dean, long-time member of the Church Gang who’d risen to the rank of Apostle before being killed in prison. Three years ago, Dean had been convicted on several counts of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute, conspiracy to defraud the United States, extortion, and various and sundry more minor charges. It hadn’t taken Marz long at all to trace a phone number to her current address, from there to find Crystal’s real name and, with that, find her rather unhappy family tree.
What remained to be determined was whether the father’s role in the gang or his downfall was useful or important to their current investigation. The four of them had discussed it on the ride to Confessions, but once again were left with more questions than answers.
But Bobby Dean was ancient history. And just then, Marz was far more concerned with the present and the future. Namely, that they were going to have one. Which would be best ensured by getting the hell out of there before anything happened that might make the natives suspicious.
After all, they’d done what they’d come to Confessions to do. Marz had planted several highly sensitive bugs in the ductwork via his visit to the latrine in the first party room, which with the right amount of remixing voodoo might give them ears for distances up to five offices or rooms away. And, using a micro PC he’d brought in the pocket of his cargo pants, Marz had hit the jackpot in identifying the wireless frequency on which many of the security cameras ran. Bless their arrogant and money-loving hearts, but it appeared the Churchmen had chosen easy and convenient wireless installations in a number of locations over the more costly but more secure hard-wired versions. Sitting on the john with the index-card-sized machine on his lap, Marz could’ve kissed Jimmy Church himself as, one by one, the camera feeds appeared on the tiny monitor. Now they had eyes, too.
Which meant they could blow this popsicle stand any old time. Except, here they were, cooling their heels.
Easy tapped Marz’s arm and gestured with a nod.
Marz followed his friend’s gaze to a red-haired cutie sidling up to the bar, the death grip she had on her purse and the way she kept looking over her shoulder broadcasting her clear discomfort for everyone to see.
“Excuse me,” she said, waving her hand at the bartender, who had gotten a good bit busier while they’d been taking the tour. The young woman’s black jeans, black Chucks, and worn concert T-shirt gave her a college grunge meets girl next door vibe that was hot, sexy, and way the hell out of place for Confessions. “Excuse me?”
“What about her?” Marz asked. But a moment later, the girl answered the question herself when she turned her face toward them. “Oh. Oh, shitballs.”
It was like looking at a carbon copy of Crystal, or Sara, except shorter, curvier, and darker red. Which almost certainly meant this lovely young lady was none other than Jenna Dean.
From everything Shane had said and they’d overheard during the women’s argument—not to mention the fact that they were ninety-nine per cent sure Church was running a trafficking operation targeting young women through this club, Jenna’s presence here was ten shades of problematic. Jesus Christmas, why had she come when her sister had been pretty emphatically clear that the place was off limits? Could she really be intending to confront Crystal’s boyfriend? Because the guy that’d had Crystal pinned up against the wall in the back a few minutes before could eat this little thing for breakfast. And be hungry for more.
Add Jenna’s arrival to Shane’s disappearing act and the night had just officially made a sharp left turn into a full-on gagglefuck.
Of course, it took about two point five seconds before the first fine, upstanding Y-chromosome patron decided to hone in on the obviously attractive and apparently single woman hanging out at the bar in a strip club. Alone. If Shane or Crystal saw even one of these jackholes touch—
Easy shoved up out of his chair and crossed to the bar.
“Never a dull moment,” Beckett said under his breath as he watched Easy intervene.
So, what do you think? Do you enjoy reading deleted scenes?
Thanks for reading!
Hard to Come By (Hard Ink #3)
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…
And don’t miss the other Hard Ink books, now available:
Praise for Hard to Come By:
"Rough sex and explosive fights power Kaye's third Hard Ink novel, a thrilling adventure that feels more like an action movie with a romantic subplot than a typical contemporary romance. New readers will head straight for Kaye's backlist after powering through this installment." ~Publishers Weekly Starred Review
"TOP PICK! If you're looking for danger, gritty action, and sizzling passion, then Kaye has just the book and the series for you." ~RT Book Reviews Magazine
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.
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