Sunday, July 2, 2017

Review ~ HOLD ON TIGHT by Serena Bell

Hold on Tight (Returning Home, #1)
by: Serena Bell
Series: Returning Home
Genre: Military Romance
Release Date: June 17, 2014
Publisher: Loveswept

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.

Hold on Tight is the first book that I have ever read by Serena Bell.  It’s a Military Romance that focuses on the fallout that comes out of a brief fling between a twenty-year-old soldier on leave and an eighteen-year-old girl.  Their attraction eventually leads them to have some seriously bad and considerably brief sex that results in a pregnancy.  The soldier goes back off to war not knowing about his impending fatherhood while the girl is left to lead an unfulfilled life trying to raise her son.

A majority of Hold on Tight takes place eight years later.  The soldier, Jackson “Jake” Taylor and the girl, Mira Shipley have both wound up back in Seattle.  However, they haven’t spoke since that odd night and Jake has no idea that he has a seven-year-old son.  Fate brings them together at a physical therapist’s office.  Mira’s son Sam is being treated for injuries from falling from a tree while Jake is dealing with the loss of a limb from an I.E.D. in Afghanistan. Mira immediately tells Jake that Sam is his son and emotionally scarred Jake doesn’t handle it so well at first.  Eventually, Jake agrees to babysit for Mira to help her during her transition to a new job since she has been having issues finding a reliable sitter.  Jake, on the other hand, is suffering from PTSD not only due to the loss of a limb but also because his best friend was killed too.  Jake has trouble getting out of his own way as he tries to rekindle the flame with Mira and be a good father to Sam.

As expected, the sexual chemistry between Jake and Mira is volatile.  They try to keep things simple but inevitably end up all over each other.  Plus, their emotions and insecurities play a major role in how they move forward.  Consequently, everything becomes a hot button issue. I really appreciated the fact that things were complicated and there wasn’t a simple resolution to their problems.  Their baggage was front and center and real.  In order to be a couple, Jake and Mira had to understand their flaws and put Sam ahead of everything else.  It was easy to root for them because they really tried to be honest with each other and didn’t hold much back.  Sam was adorable as the innocent kid in the middle who just wanted to have a father in his life.

**Received a copy from the publisher and voluntarily reviewed.**

Rating: 5

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