Jennifer's Reviews > Holding Out

Holding Out by Serena Bell
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's review

really liked it
bookshelves: caretaker-alpha, contemporary-romance, military, self-pubbed

The fourth book in this series features Becca, the younger sister of Alia, the heroine of book 2, Can't Hold Back. In that book, Alia introduced Nate, the hero, to Becca rather than dating him herself because she'd always taken care of Becca and wanted her to have a good man. That didn't work out too well for anyone, and Alia and Nate finally ended up together. From the glimpses we got of Becca in that book, I was looking forward to her story as she came off as a level-headed young woman who'd been sheltered by her older sister due to a learning disability, but who was taking charge of her own life and trying to work through her own lack of confidence. It's absolutely not necessary, though, to have read that book (or any of the others in the series) to greatly enjoy this one.

As the book opens, Becca, who lives in Seattle, has just found out that she's losing her job as a receptionist at a day spa, so she's come to the Oregon coast to visit Alia and figure out what to do next. She also has another problem, which is that she's 24 yrs old and still a virgin for various reasons, and it's now becoming a problem in her dating life since the guys she's meeting either don't want to sleep with her because of it, or have a fetish about it. Poor Becca can't figure out which is worse, but she does know that she just wants it gone!

At Alia's, she once again connects with Griff, a good friend of her sister and brother-in-law's. The two have always been powerfully attracted to each, but Griff, a veteran, is still hung up on his ex-wife, who walked out on him while he was on a tour of duty. Griff has closed himself off to love and limited himself to one-night stands ever since his ex left. Because of the attraction between them, and knowing that he's an all-around good guy, Becca proposes to Griff that he do her the favor of taking care of her pesky virginity with the understanding that it will be a "one and done" deal. Of course, they are both lying to themselves and there's no going back once they become intimate.

This was a lovely story, fairly low angst, although with plenty of strong emotions and two engaging, likable lead characters who were easy to root for and whom I thought were very well-matched. Both Griff and Becca had some emotional roadblocks to work through but I love that they approached things as adults and were both striving to grow, although at least initially, Becca was more in touch with her needs than Griff was. I think that Serena Bell excels in depicting characters who are on an emotional journey to move forward and get past trauma that has happened to them in the past. This was a great end to a wonderful series.

I received an ARC from the author and voluntarily reviewed this book.

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Reading Progress

Started Reading
May 22, 2019 – Shelved
May 22, 2019 – Finished Reading

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