Review| Can’t Hold Back – Serena Bell

Last month I read and reviewed Hold On Tight and couldn’t put it down. Today is the re-release of the next book in the Returning Home series, Can’t Hold Back. A big thank you to the author for providing me with an ARC to readn and review.

A love triangle gone wrong. The power to heal his pain. And a second chance for both of them.

Nate Riordan came home from war hurting—everywhere.

Alia Drake can touch him and make it all better.

Nate craves her touch, and not just the professional, physical therapist version. But he needs to keep his eyes on the prize and his feet firmly on the path he’s chosen: His buddy, J.J., died, and Nate lived, which means he has promises to keep. Plus, Alia hurt him once, and he’s afraid she’ll do it again.

Alia knows she has to ignore her feelings for Nate. Her job is to take care of him professionally, so she has to keep her hands on the parts of him she has a right to touch. Besides, when she lied to him two years ago, she forfeited any claim she could ever have to his heart.

Now she just has to find some way to stick to her guns, leave him alone, and do her job. Even—or especially—when he’s shirtless on the table in her office…


After reading Hold on Tight, I was a big fan of Jake and had a feeling he would stay the favorite of the series. I was wrong! Nate came storming in and stole Jake’s first place. Can’t Hold Back sucked me right in and I couldn’t put the book down.

Nate suffered a pretty bad injury while deployed and is still learning to live with the consequences. All he knows is there is a lot of pain and he doesn’t want painkillers solving the problem anymore! That’s when he ends up at Jake’s center set up for soldiers.

Alia is a physical therapist and isn’t happy with her job. She wants to try out new methods that really seem to work, but her boss wants nothing of it (it costs him money if patients get better sooner). An opportunity just happens to come across her path when Jake will be away for a week. If she can prove herself, she may just have a new job.

I loved the idea of this center for soldiers and what Jake wanted to accomplish. I can’t imagine what those soldiers go through and they really should have a place to relax and heal. Things get complicated though, because Alia and Nate have a past. They know each other and let’s just say, things didn’t go well in a certain situation.

Alia and Nate are clearly attracted to each other, but besides their past, it’s frowned upon while Alia is his physical therapist. They just can’t stay away from each other and Nate is very impressed that she can actually take the pain away. He doesn’t want to lose that! Can’t Hold Back is a perfect love story and I loved watching them fall in love. Of course, boundaries can be crossed when in a patient-therapist relationship, but this author was very clear in that. Alia was very concerned about this and honest.

Can’t Hold Back is a steamy romance, but it’s also so much more. Alia finds her way and a job she loves. Even takes big risks with that for Nate. On the other hand, Nate learns to open up, accept the pain and deal with it. He learns that he’s not responsible for everything and can follow his dreams. After everything he goes through, I’d say he even deserves it. There is some drama, but it’s not over the top and fits this story perfectly. My only complaint is that I want more of these two characters!

You can’t help but love Alia and Nate and their journey together and on their own. Past mistakes don’t always define you and sometimes there are second chances. I love it when authors really make me feel something and when I end up sad a book is over. I can’t wait for the next book in this series!

I really loved this book and I am very excited for the next book in this series. If you’re a fan of romance and military fiction, I really recommend picking up this series!

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