Series: Hard to #2
Published by Entangled: Ignite on October 6th 2014
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Four years ago, Commander Jack Ballantyne followed Special Agent Lowry Fisk into a death trap. Fortunately, both of them lived to tell the tale, but when he had Lowry drummed out of the British Intelligence Service for her own safety—and his own peace of mind—he knew she’d never forgive him.
Lowry Fisk knew, she just knew, that the Assassins, the secret black-ops unit of the Service she and Jack belonged to, had a mole. And as the Assassins Commander, Jack should have believed her, even though she had little evidence beyond a gut feeling. But when he hadn’t, she’d taken it upon herself to find the traitor—and ended up assaulted, shot, and left for dead. Jack had come to her rescue, but it had been too little, too late. Now all she wants to do is forget the attack, the Service, and the sexy, steely-eyed Commander with the power to make her feel weak.
But the mole is on the move, and he’s coming for Lowry to finish what he started. Jack has to get the stubborn, dangerously gorgeous woman to let him back into her life and allow him the Assassins to protect her—without allowing her to worm her way into his heart.
I read ‘Hard to Forget’ straight on the heels of ‘Hard to Hold’ and felt that this book, unlike the first, was spectacular in every way.
Black seems to have found a more balanced, grounded writing voice in this book, and the result is a gritty and absolutely riveting tale (with some ludicrous moments of hilarity and heavy irony) of betrayal, forgiveness and redemption between two people who have much to lose as well as gain by the end of the story.
Incy Black’s heroes – Nick Marshall and Jack Ballentyne – are tortured souls, demonstrating a hardened brutality and impenetrable crust that made me wonder how her heroines actually get through them. The usual spiel of pushing someone away because of the fear of hurting them directly or indirectly is repeated here, but I loved how eloquent Incy Black articulated the nature of the demons that haunted Jack.
Jack, like Nick, is a much less likeable hero than the sort I’m accustomed to and my own sympathies for at least half the novel lay mostly with Lowry, but it’s impossible to ignore how much he grows into someone who’s finally worthy of her – which of course, accounts for a satisfying end. I only wished this had come before Hard to Hold (the events here seem to take place before the first book) so I could simply catch up on Jack, Lowry and their lives after the Service.