Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Review: Can't Hold Back by Serena Bell

In this tender military romance from the bestselling author of Hold on Tight—perfect for fans of of Jill Shalvis and Susan Mallery—a war-shattered veteran gets a second chance at love with the one that got away.

No girl can resist a man in uniform—especially if that man is Nate Riordan. But after an injury in the line of duty leaves Nate broken, body and soul, the soldier finds himself addicted to his pain meds, with no place to call home. Desperate for an escape, Nate reluctantly accepts a friend’s invitation to a new veterans’ retreat. Expecting a little R&R, Nate is shocked when the sight of his physical therapist opens up another old wound: heartbreak.

Years ago, Alia Drake fell hard for Nate, but never made her move. Instead, she set up her sister with the sexy, confident military man, a foolish decision that continues to haunt all three of them. Now, with Nate as her patient, she can make things right—even if it means getting too close for comfort. A healing touch and a little honesty work wonders, fueling a physical intimacy that crosses professional boundaries. This time, with desire in the air once more, Alia won’t hold anything back.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: December 15th 2015 by Loveswept 
Series: Returning Home #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Loveswept via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

Can't Hold Back is the second book in the Returning Home series but can be read as a stand alone. I was fortunate enough to read Hold on Tight, the first book, and although it is not necessary to read it to follow along I highly recommend it only because it was a really great book.

Serena Bell writes contemporary romance really, really well. Her characters and plot are messy, complicated, full of angst and issues, difficult and somehow way easier to relate to because of it. Can't Hold Back is not a long book but it is packed full of relevant and serious issues that will hold as much interest as the romance aspect of it.

Alia had always been more of a mother to her younger sister than her mother ever was. Becca had many insecurities stemming from a learning disabilty which kept Alia on her toes. She wanted her to be happy. That is why she set her up with Nate even though she had felt an imediate connection with him. When he went overseas she had no idea how much her help would ruin everything.

Nate suffered a serious injury in the line of duty that left him in pain and dealing with an overwhelming case of survivors guilt and an addiction to prescription pills. To fullfil his unspoken promise to his dead partner he headed to a veterans retreat (owned by Jake from the 1st book) for help with his pain and addiction. Old wounds are opened again when Alia is the one in charge of his pain management.

It wasn't long before there were even more complications such as broken promises, ethics, possible job opportunites and heartbreak to add to the mix.

I devoured this book just like I did the first one. There is just something about Bell's writing that draws you in and keeps you there. I'm not sure if it how she manages to pen someone who is completely broken yet is still sexy has hell or if it is the depth and seriousness of the issues she gives them. Whatever it is, it manages to get to me every time. I was in Alia and Nate's corner the entire time and hoping with each turn of the page for a favourable outcome. Their chemistry was off the charts and the sexy time was enough to make me blush.

I am absolutely loving this series and can't wait for the next instalment!

Check out my review for Hold on Tight (the 1st book) here.

About the Author
Serena Bell writes stories about how sex messes with your head, why smart people do stupid things sometimes, and how love can make it all better.

Serena wrote her first steamy romance before she was old enough to understand what all the words meant and has been perfecting the art of hiding pages and screens from curious eyes ever since—a skill that’s particularly useful now that she’s the mother of two school-aged children.

When she’s not scribbling stories or getting her butt kicked at Scrabble by a seven-year-old, she’s practicing modern dance improv in the kitchen, swimming laps, needlepointing, hiking, or reading on one of her large collection of electronic devices.  

Connect with Serena

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