Hold Me Close by Rosalind James
Series: Paradise-Idaho #2
Also in this series: Turn Me Loose
Published by Montlake Romance on December 8th 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Kayla Chambers knows what love is—and what it isn’t. When her boyfriend turns abusive, she and her son escape to a new life in a place where he’ll never find them. The idyllic town of Paradise, Idaho, has everything she needs to get back on her feet. Survival is her only goal, and the last thing she wants is another man in her life.
But Kayla’s new neighbor, high school principal Luke Jackson, is determined to change her mind. Luke usually takes the fast lane with women, but he can see that Kayla and her son need help, and he wants to earn her trust—even if that means taking things slow. He strikes up a friendship that soon simmers into something passionate and real. But when Kayla’s past catches up with her, Luke knows he has to find a way to keep her safe…or risk losing her forever.
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
There’s only so much bad luck one person can withstand, and Kayla has had a really rough patch through the years. A widowed young mother with no one to turn to she had fallen prey to an abuser. We meet her and her 9 year old son Eli, just as they’re finally getting away, and she is going to the one place she has ever felt safe, a small town she lived in when she was 6 and her mother was with the best stepdad she could remember.
The man she is running from is a prosecutor and works for the State so she must be really careful, since she knows he will be looking for her. Getting back on her feet, she is weary of men, including her neighbor Luke, who happens to be the 8 year old she played with on the farm that summer she lived in Paradise.
Luke is the hunky principal of Paradise’s high school. It takes him some time but he soon realizes Kayla is little Kay, the girl who’d been his “cousin” for a summer. But even before this, he was already charmed by her and her son, and he was breaking all of his rules about dating. Soon, Kayla has more family than she knows what to do with, gets a better job, things are going great with Eli and Luke and everything seems to be getting better. But the threat is always lurking in the shadows, keeping her afraid and worried.
Kayla was an amazing woman, married and a mother at 19, widowed by the age of 25, she had some really rough periods on her life. That she had the strength to keep smiling for her son, well, it is commendable.
Eli was a great kid and I loved him. I really liked how the author captured the feelings of a young boy in his situation, and it was really moving.
Luke, oh Luke! He was super dreamy. Hot, sweet, considerate, a little rough in the bedroom if you know what I mean, but once he saw Kayla, he pretty much only had her on his mind, how to take care of her and Eli, what they needed to get better, what he could do to make them happy. He was awesome.
I think Hold Me Close was a great read, though at times it felt a bit slow paced. Still, it was very emotional, I was invested in all of the characters (except for the asshat) and I had watery eyes on more than one occasion.
Sparkles’ Rating: 3.5 I’m-a-bad-student-Please-send-me-to-the-Principal’s-Office Stars
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