Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Hold On Tight by Serena Bell

Title: Hold On Tight
Author: Serena Bell
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: -
Main Characters: Jake and Mira
Release Date: June 2014
Publisher: Loveswept
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
In Serena Bell’s heartwarming novel, a young mother and a battle-scarred veteran must decide if they can rekindle the sparks they once shared.

Fighting for his country gave Jake Taylor’s life shape and meaning. Now as an injured war hero he struggles to find purpose, until he runs into the gorgeous woman he dated briefly—and disastrously—before being deployed eight years ago. Turns out Jake doesn’t just need to figure out how to be a civilian . . . he also needs to learn how to be a dad.

Eighteen, pregnant, and totally lost, Mira Shipley couldn’t track down the soldier who fathered her child, so she put college on hold and focused on making a good life for her son. Now she’s determined to be something more than Sam’s mom, her parents’ daughter, or Jake’s girl—as hot as she finds her old flame’s take-charge attitude in and out of bed. Soon Mira and Jake realize that their passion didn’t disappear when Sam was conceived—and that instead of running away, sometimes it’s better to hold on tight.

My Review:
What an incredible, amazing story...wow. I loved this book. 

Jake and Mira met at the worst time in their lives. She was 18. He was 20 and about to deploy. They had three weeks of bliss which resulted in bad sex (she was a virgin) and two broken hearts. He couldn't commit. She couldn't ask him to. They separated and didn't see each other for another 8 years. 

When they met again, it was in the physical therapists office where Mira's 7 yo son Sam was being treated after a bad fall from a tree and Jake was still adjusting to his new leg prosthesis. Surprise. 

There was so much I liked about this story, but at the forefront was that Mira never meant to keep Sam a secret. She tried to find Jake, but after only 3 weeks she knew virtually nothing about him...his name was Jake Taylor and he was in the Army. She didn't know his real name was Jackson Taylor and that he was a Ranger so she met brick wall after brick wall when trying to locate him until she finally gave up. 

Jake has his own really harsh story. He grew up in an abusive home where people and alcohol were readily abused. He had no idea that a happy relationship could truly exist. That combined with his obligations to the Army meant that he pushed Mira away despite his really strong feelings for her. After they meet again, then he's dealing with a whole new set of issues...mainly that he doesn't know who he is anymore now that he's not a soldier and that his body isn't one he knows anymore. He's drifting and unhappy and doesn't know how to fix that. Jake had an amazing character growth arc in this book. When I thought he was where he needed to be, the author took him even further and higher and astounded  me with simply the depths in which she took him. Bravo to Serena Bell for some truly astounding character work in this book!!

This book has so much to it. 

There's 7 yo Sam which Serena Bell nailed. I have a 7 yo daughter and I could see her asking the exact same questions and analyzing things just like Sam did in the book. She got the age and maturity perfect on him. 

Then there's the whole difficulty of dealing with a prosthesis. There's so much more to that then most people realize and Serena Bell did an amazing job pointing the difficulties physically as well as mentally from adjusting to that huge change. Also for a soldier, there's the whole coming home from war and loss and change...she really nailed all those issues in this book. 

But the book isn't just about Jake. Mira got pregnant at 18...first time...bad sex, but they used a condom...just too late. Her relationship with her father is a complicated thing. In his eyes, she never grew up mainly because she had to rely so heavily on him when most kids are spreading their wings. That's a difficult thing to break away from, but Mira is doing it...but it's painful in so many different ways. And can I just say I loved how much Mira could joke about the bad sex...when most characters would have been curling up inside themselves wondering what they did wrong. That moment of levity was SO FREAKING PERFECT. That scene alone exemplified why this book is so good. 

This book had everything and I'm so glad that I accepted it for review. Go buy it and read it...you won't regret it!!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.


Mary @ BookSwarm said...

Sounds like serious drama and a lovely romance! I enjoy a "secret" baby story -- even though she didn't mean to keep it a secret.

Mary @ BookSwarm said...
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