Mandi Schreiner's Reviews > Hold Your Breath

Hold Your Breath by Katie Ruggle
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bookshelves: contemporary

Lou is new to Colorado having moved from the east coast about seven months prior. She had to get away from her controlling parents and wanted to start a life of her own. This new life includes working as a barista during the day, and working on the Field County Ice Rescue Team whenever an emergency arises. Lou lives in a remote cabin, and has made some good friends on her rescue team. During a practice ice water dive one day, Lou kicks something while in the icy water. What bobs up a few seconds later is a dead body without head. Shaken, Lou thinks it's pretty gross but also feels invested in finding out who this headless dead guy is.

Callum is Lou's boss on the rescue team. He is gruff and intense, and pretty no-nonsense. If you can get him to smile maybe once a year, it's a good year. Callum spends his days exasperated by the sarcastic and sometimes silly Lou, but deep down he is very fond of her - and she is fond of him. When Lou's tires get slashed, she realizes she might have a stalker - and Callum steps in to make sure she stays safe.

The good news is that I really enjoyed Lou. She is funny - she made me giggle with her great sense of humor. Working on a dive team of primarily men, she can give it as good as she gets it. She is a very well written heroine and that makes me like this author a lot. While there are some serious things happening in this book, Lou gives us a bit of comic relief, without being too blase about a headless dead guy or HDG as she calls him.

Stalker plots are not necessarily my favorite story line, but this one was okay. We have brief pages of being in the stalker's head - and his actions are pretty standard stalkerish...ramping up to major drama towards the end of the book. But it kept Lou on her toes and she took the threats pretty seriously.

The bad news is that the romance in this book isn't that well done. I liked Lou and Callum together - they have good chemistry. Callum is so quiet and intense, that I couldn't wait for Lou and him to have this explosive, pent-up sexual release. The problem is - when it finally happens (and it takes FOREVER) it was a let down. Heck, I didn't even need a super dirty sex scene, but give me a good make out session without the phone ringing. Or something! Callum and Lou go from this fun, build-up of a romance to...basically, oh hey - so, are we dating now?

"We've gone on dates," he protested, totally missing the point. "We went to Levi's."

"Fine. We've gone on one date."

"Plus, we went to the bar together."

"Uh, that was to talk to the coroner about a dead person."

"Still counts."

"Does not."


"Whatever. Two dates then. So, we're dating?"


"Are we exclusive?"


"Okay then."

That's pretty much how it goes. It cheats the reader out of a solid romance. Don't give me a half-naked man on the cover (standing in ice water for goodness sakes!) and then a romance which is barely shown.

I really enjoyed this author's voice - the story is fun. The characters are really engaging. I just needed more romance.
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Reading Progress

January 5, 2016 – Shelved
January 5, 2016 – Shelved as: to-read
April 8, 2016 – Started Reading
April 11, 2016 – Shelved as: contemporary
April 11, 2016 – Finished Reading

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