I was given an ARC of this book in return for an honest review on its publication date, 28 April 2014 via ebook on Entangled:Ignite. I have also followed this writer’s progress and am very pleased to review her début book.
First of all, nice cover, mmm. Ahem:
Hard to Hold is a novel of romantic suspense, and I’m pretty sure the hero and heroine tell you from the get go just who they are, and what they’re all about! For a start – the heroine is Anna Key Marshall – did anyone else think ‘anarchy’ or was it just me (say her first two names out loud)? She’s smart and she can take care of herself. She’s also made the choice to become a mum via an anonymous sperm donor since her divorce and is an extremely successful business woman in her own right.
Unfortunately for Anna, a seeming accident which puts her in hospital right at the beginning of the book is about to send her on a collision course with her ex…
Nick Marshall is a Black Ops Specialist for the British Intelligence and is one tough son of a…well you know. Mind you, they strike sparks off each other as they’ve both needed to be tough to survive. In fact they know each other from childhood, which we learn as their characters develop. The hero and heroine are both strong leads in which we are privileged to discover softer sides, but in finding these it didn’t sacrifice any of the spark that they had by the conclusion of the story. But when we meet him he is not a happy bunny with Anna and is not someone who forgives easily.
The danger and tenuous situation that Anna finds herself in is a tough subject and I didn’t know whether or not I would enjoy reading about it, but the relationship between the h/h is strong enough that the dark parts are worth bearing with to reach the end with them. It certainly is a fresh modern twist on current topics.
What I loved in particular was the dialogue between the h/h, very sassy. I liked that it was set in England and not abroad elsewhere for a change. I also enjoyed many of the other secondary characters, but particularly Will – who I hope to see again but not sure about that one! Oh and the baddie – very creepy.
What I did not enjoy so much certainly at the beginning was the introduction of many Americanisms such as Police Department, when the setting was London and at least two of the characters talking were British born. It was very confusing and I felt like I should be in New York at times. Even Anna’s home made me think of there. As the story moved on and the characters moved about this was dispelled for the most part however.
This is a really enjoyable début covering some meaty subjects along with some sensual scenes and a satisfying relationship between the hero and heroine – giving the reader characters we can care about and a story that will keep you guessing.
This author has a strong voice which I look forward to seeing develop even further with her next novels very soon.
A copy of this review will also appear on my Goodreads page in due course.