Serena Bell contacted us not too long ago asking us if we’ve be interested in helping with the rerelease of her Returning Home Series. As a big romance fan, these books sounds really interesting. Hold on Tight is the first book in the series and tomorrow is its new release day! The author sent me an ARC of this book to read and review! Keep reading to see what I thought of this book.
A wounded soldier. A secret baby. A second chance.
Jake Taylor has made a few terrible decisions, but none worse than the one in Afghanistan that cost him his best friend and his leg.
Or so he thinks, until he comes home from war to discover a seven-year-old son he never knew existed.
Jake can’t regret the blissful nights he spent with Mira in his arms, or the boy with his eyes, but he can leave them alone so they don’t become yet another one of his mistakes.
He’ll rehab his body, figure out how to find purpose again—and keep things simple with the woman he once craved desperately.
Except the sizzling attraction that drew him to Mira is still fierce, and staying away from her is a lot harder than he ever expected…
Mira Shipley has promised herself that if she ever sees Jake Taylor again, she’ll tell him he has a son.
She isn’t expecting to run into him at the physical therapist’s office, where he’s learning to live with an above-the-knee amputation.
She can’t blame him for being a grumpy jerk under the circumstances, but it would be a lot easier to ignore him if she didn’t desperately need child care for her son.
And if Jake didn’t make her feel brand new and dazzlingly alive.
She knows she needs to protect her son’s feelings—but no matter how hard she tries, she can’t forget the long, sweet nights she and Jake spent learning each other’s bodies and each other’s secrets…
Serena Bell is a new to me author, but definitely didn’t disappoint! Hold On Tight starts off eight years ago when Jake and Mira were kind of together! After an evening of bad ‘almost sex’, they never expect to meet again. Except that night changes their lives more than they’ll ever know.
I have to say this could’ve gone either way. I’m not a fan of books where a child is hidden or the mother doesn’t think the father deserves to know. I loved that that wasn’t the case in Hold on Tight. Mira tried looking for him the moment she found out she was pregnant. Even if everyone was telling her not to. The only reason Jake doesn’t know, is because Mira just doesn’t have enough information.
Fast forward eight years later. A lot has happened in both of their lives. Mira and Jake running into each other at a physical therapist was something neither expected. I loved the awkward feel to these moments and the fact that Mira was honest without a second thought! Mira thinks he deserves to know and doesn’t let his grumpy mood stop her.
Hold On Tight gave me all the feels. I love that it’s about healing, finding something to fight for, learning to go after what you want and that love is never a bad thing. I loved Mira, because she is so strong. Getting pregnant that young could’ve changed a lot. It didn’t slow her down though, even if she gave up part of her dream. She is an amazing mother and learning how to think for herself (her father is rather controling). Mira is caring and Jake definitely brought some emotions along.
“She hurt for him. For the boy he’s been the night at the lake, for the soldier who’d lost his leg, and something much bigger. For the man who had laid out in raw detail all the ways he believed himself not a man. She wanted to wrap him in her arms and stroke his hair and move her lips against his cheek and his ear, whispering words of comfort she could’ve even articulate yet.”
Jake went through a lot being deployed. He didn’t only lose his leg, but his best friend. Jake doesn’t know how to let go of the guilt of what happened before losing his leg. Finding out he’s a father changed him though. Once he started looking through the eyes of a boy who is still learning so much about the world, he started thinking and fighting. The connection he feels with Mira lets him open up and really feel and start to heal.
Mira and Jake have great chemistry and it only feels right that they get a second chance after their one night eight years ago. What I loved about their chemistry is it was not insta-love at all. It’s clear there’s history and they slowly let themselves connect again. It felt all really natural! Sam was the icing on the cake and I love how honest kids are. He really completed this story!
My only ‘issue’ (that doesn’t seem like the right word, because it’s not that big of a thing) is the switch in POV. This happens at times in the middle of a chapter without warning. I could catch on quick, but it made the story flow a little less at times for me. All in all, this author had me sucked in from the start and I could really feel for these characters!
If you’re looking for a romance with family, healing, growing up, learning to love, humor and some romance, Hold on Tight is definitely for you!
I think I found a new author to keep an eye on! Next month is the new release for the second book in this series and I’m very excited!