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.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Susan on 31-10-17
Promising start, but didn't finish
I have loved many books by this writer, including the first in this series, but this one disappoints. It starts really well, with a chilling depiction of how someone can be sucked into an abusive relationship, and how difficult it is to escape, both emotionally and financially. However once the h starts her new life it just gets very tedious. The story had every small town cliché possible with “good honest country folk”, lovable dogs, friendly locals who show little curiosity in life of the h before she arrived, country kids who welcome the h’s son into their fold like a long lost brother and, naturally, there is the welcoming extended family of the H who live, of course, in a picture-perfect white farmhouse with the veranda, porch swing and nearby red barn. Even the threat of the violent ex failed to raise tension as he behaved like a cartoon villain where no one questioned him as he freely abused his legal powers.
I did not finish this book as I did not really care about any of the characters. The H was too perfect to be true, as he inserted himself into every part of the h’s life and didn’t put a foot wrong as he became an instant father figure to her son. Meanwhile the h seemed unrealistically ready to fall into another relationship (while constantly denying that she was doing so). I gave up at about the 50% mark when their first date was, of course, to the stereotypical happy country fair, complete with funfair rides and corndogs. Lots of reader will love this book, but it was just too sugary sweet for me to finish.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Petra on 18-12-15
Love the narration
I listened to Carry Me Home, the first book in Rosalind James' Paradise, Idaho series a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. With this second book of the series, she has totally won me over. While I found Carry Me Home quite light-hearted with lots of witty banter and humor, the atmosphere of Hold Me Close was much more serious and highly emotional. I've read several books this year that focused on domestic abuse, but this one definitely affected me the most. The way the author portrayed the fear and insecurities of the abused, especially the effect it had on a young child, was really heartbreaking. The chapters from the abuser's point of view were totally creepy and disturbing.
That said, it wasn't all depressing and sad. There was plenty of fun stuff and romance, too. In fact, there were a lot more sex scenes in this one than in the previous one, so the emphasis was definitely on romance rather than suspense. My reason for giving this 4 instead of 5 stars: Luke was a bit too perfect to be real, and the shooting of the detective was a bit of a loose end. The suspense side of it just got resolved too easily and quickly for my taste.
Nevertheless, this series is now among my favorite romantic suspense series. Some of that may have to do with the absolutely awesome narration of the audio books by Phil Gigante and Natalie Ross. Love the way the narrators stick to their gender for narrating the male and female parts and swap back and forth within the chapters. Great audio production!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By Michele Z on 24-12-15
Another hit from Rosalind James
I read and loved this book so much. The author puts a lot of emotion into her characters, and I had to wipe my eyes every time I read a chapter with the young boy, Eli, in it. That being said, the narrators were good but could have been more awesome at bringing out the emotion in the characters. I did like the male/female switcheroo; it's just the narrators seemed a bit too old for the characters.
That being said, this is a GREAT STORY. and I can't wait to read & listen to the next one in the series.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful