Here's the blurb for Hard to Hold:
Anna Key Marshall is pregnant. Granted, it’s through a sperm donor instead of her ex-husband, but you can’t have everything. When she becomes the target for murder, she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her unborn child—even turning to her ex, the Black Ops specialist who broke her heart. Nick Marshall can't forgive the woman who betrayed him, but when she finds herself in trouble, he'll do what he does best—protect her at all costs. Fueled by a powerful love he can't leave behind, can he hold on to the woman he still loves?
Got your attention now? Well, I wanted to meet up with Incy to ask her about this book. I wanted to know how she came to write such a compelling story, with hard-as-granite characters, and enough action to leave you breathless. Here's our interview:
The title, Hard to Hold, hints at a relationship pushed and pulled; repelled by betrayal, yet drawn by undeniable magnetism. Can you describe how you came up with two such feisty, strong characters?
A man guilty of swallowing all the darkness of the night introduced himself to me thus: “Fuck, no! Not this side of Armageddon”. My mind reeled—What? Why? Who? The what and the why became the story, Nick Marshall was that man. A rigid, emotionally repressed hero, his soul bound tight in razor wire. Tactless, hard, numb rather than living, he needed a foil. Enter Anna Key, determined to live life on the fun side and swinging her own set of balls—just as big and brassy as Nick’s.
What inspired you to write about a British Intelligence agent?
My heroes, hardened, damaged, tongues like metal-tipped whips, Machiavellian, don’t recognise boundaries. They don’t much like rules, unless they’ve laid them down themselves. I needed a stage on which to show their lawlessness. The covert intelligence community (who knows what they really get up to) provides said stage. And British, because that dry sarcasm for which as a nation we are misunderstood, I find hilarious, though some find it offensive.
Your hero, Nick Marshall, keeps his emotions well hidden. As the author, were you tempted to soften his edges right from the start?
Nope, I write hard-core bastards, Nick’s one of the more civilized ones. As it is, I had to hold him against a grinder to blunt the worst of him. He has soft spots but he prefers to guard them. Anna knows the location and how to work each one.
My first thoughts are of Daniel Craig – did you channel the 007 type of tough/sweet guy?
LOL, but no. James Bond had finesse and charm—Nick’s not one to be arsed. Stand in his way, and he won’t politely ask you to move aside, he’ll shoulder you into the wall. He makes the narrowest of concessions for Anna. When she gets in his way, he picks her up, tucks her under his arm and keeps going.
Anna – she’s probably the only woman prepared to put up with Nick. Why?
Anna comes armed with a ‘what’s the worst that can happen’ attitude. She needs excitement to distract her from what’s lacking in her life—someone who gives a damn about her. What she wants she tries for, no matter how hard or how often she falls as she clambers the rock face of life. Nick’s one such rock face, the most difficult to scale of her life. She just doesn’t know how to give up, not on life, and not on Nick—though she did divorce his ass for five years so she could sharpen the spikes on her grappling iron ready for her next assault on him.
Ladies and Gentlemen - please allow me to introduce the fabulous INCY BLACK!
It took a swan dive from a roof to convince Incy (aged 5) she wasn’t an avenging fairy and that no, she most certainly couldn’t fly. Bruised but undefeated she retreated deeper into her make-believe world populated with the brave and the poisonous.
When not fighting injustice and righting wrongs on ‘Planet Incy’ she works as a Marketing Director. (Unfortunately, her law degree languishes unused, the distinction between good and evil proving too worrisome in real life.)
Her five children are well versed in what scares her (most things) and delight in pushing her neurotic buttons—at their peril.
Read more about Incy Black's 'Hard to Hold' here:
Jane Joliffe - 5 star review
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Tracey Rogers - 5 star review