I Couldn’t Let Go of Hold on Tight by Serena Bell

Posted September 12, 2014 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 2 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I Couldn’t Let Go of Hold on Tight by Serena BellHold on Tight by Serena Bell
Published by Loveswept on June 17, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 278
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Goodreads

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.

Quick summary

Eight years ago, Jake Taylor was on a one-week leave before his deployment to Afghanistan when he met Mira Shipley and found himself falling for her. He abruptly ended their time together because he didn’t need the distraction before going to war. Now, he’s back stateside having lost his leg and is face-to-face with the woman and the 7-year old son he unknowingly left behind because Mira never could find him.


What this story isn’t

This wasn’t about “insta-love” or the same old tired story about a secret child. Mira always wanted Jake to know she was pregnant but when they parted, she didn’t know enough about him to locate him and she tried hard. Their romance was one of those situations where they just fit and were really well matched. So, the story starts at a really good place…both of them plenty wary and with lots at stake.


What really works

Mira is pretty young but has her head screwed on right. She wants her son to know his father but needs to make certain Jake’s committed. He’s really struggling, going through the motions of life and is shocked into a wake up call but it doesn’t happen immediately. Everyone takes their time here, not making any fast decisions and examining personal motives, aspirations and feelings. Sam is a great kid who lightens things up wonderfully without being used as a cheap story device.


My one “nit”

As much as the introspection by both characters was extremely valuable, the story could have used more “doing” than “telling.” Those moments slowed the pace and bogged down too often.


The bottom line

It’s a wonderful, true and authentic story of two people who were probably destined to be together but life’s obstacles got in the way. Their journey back was made more interesting because of those challenges. Bell is a gifted writer, giving us a unique perspective of the realities of someone who’s lost a limb and how that reshapes him or her mentally and physically. It’s also a story of triumph and is inspiring.

About Serena Bell

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.

Serena took a break from penning love stories to explore the world as a journalist, where she spent time shadowing and writing about a cast of fascinating real-life characters.

She recently survived a cross-country move and is still plucking dishtowels out of her lingerie drawer. 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.

Serena is a member of RWA and blogs regularly about writing and reading romance.

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Co-Blogger/Full Time Reviewer at The Book Nympho
I LOVE reading and am just crazy about so many series and writers. I’m open to exploring new authors and genres and appreciate those who not only write well but can deliciously craft a character and a tale. Your suggestions for new authors and titles are very much welcomed.

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2 responses to “I Couldn’t Let Go of Hold on Tight by Serena Bell

  1. Celeste S

    This one sounds like it’s right up my alley. I’m putting it on my TBR list. You ladies are dangerous – my TBR list is getting so high it’ll kill me if it ever falls over. LOL Thanks for the wonderful write-up.