I'm not a reviewer. I don't play one on TV either. I know Ms. Black because there are about three degrees of separation in publishing. Since I was cur...moreI'm not a reviewer. I don't play one on TV either. I know Ms. Black because there are about three degrees of separation in publishing. Since I was curious about her debut book, I willingly volunteered to review this. With that out of the way, let me ramble on about this book.
First, read the blurb if you want to know the gist, but this book is a reunion romance with crunch. Their initial break wasn't due to some perceived slight, though that's the surface reason. For that alone, I recommended the hell out of this book. Nick's scared his past (and genetics) marks him as a man unable to love, or God forbid, have a family. Anna doesn't define herself in the same narrow way. She's made her own future and plans to live to the fullest.
“God, he was actually counting off her sins on his fingers and still had a full hand to go.”
This is when I mentally decided I would likely love this book. I am a sucker for humor. The heroine kept up the kind of mental commentary that had me snorting. She's strong, willful and stubborn. She's decided she doesn't need a man in her life (least of all any complications that comes with it), but she yearns for a family. So she decides to make a family of her own. I tip my hat to Anna. She's not a typical heroine. She's a computer geek and not just a superficial one on the page. Her actions later on in the book cracks the case. I cannot stress how awesome that is. When Nick practically walks back into her life, she fights him tooth and nail because for her it's tantamount he leaves. I didn't always agree with her choices, but her backbone cannot be denied.
So how would I describe the hero based on my first impression...I wanted to kick him in his soft parts. lol Alpha? You betcha. What kept him from alphahole territory was how smart he was. In case you don't know, an alphahole is best described as a man who thinks because he has a dick, he is therefore right about everything. Earth doesn't revolve around the sun because he said so. And because he has a peen. That wasn't Nick. He had reasons, and not filler ones, for all his beliefs. His actions, though sometimes based in fear, were still logical. I didn't doubt he could protect the heroine. Or that he would unravel the somewhat complicated plot against the heroine.
But what made this book enjoyable is that the conflict was one that actually made me fear these two couldn't get their HEA.
“It ever occur to you, Anna, that if you’d done anything other than throw cheap, flippant comments whenever things got serious between us, we might still be together?”
That's it in a nutshell. For both of them. When she's vulnerable, he's an ass. When he's vulnerable, she cuts him deep. Nick didn't trust himself and he made sure Anna didn't either. I did not hold her prejudice against him, well...against her. The person who knows you the best is the one that can hurt you the most. Yeah. Crunchy, crunchy conflict. They were constantly on their guard for a good portion of the book but I did not blame them. Though most of this book is through Anna's POV, I have to say it was Nick's arc that had the most weight.
Now I will admit the complicated plot was a bit far-fetched. I didn't care because the heart of the story was about Anna and Nick. Could he redeem himself? Would it be enough for her to trust him again?
This book definitely reads like a traditional romantic suspense with a category-twist. I'd definitely recommend it for someone is who looking for good writing, angst and visceral sexual tension. I know this seems like a vauge-review, but I didn't want to write spoilers. So, check out this debut. It's worth your time. Hard to Hold was funny, gut-wrenching and sexy. There seems to be a bit of sequel baiting going on. I can't wait for the next book.(less)