Early Review: Hold Me Close by Megan Hart

Hold Me CloseHold Me Close by Megan Hart
Genre: Dark/Erotic Romance
Publication Date: November 24th, 2015
ARC provided by Netgalley and Mira

Synopsis from Goodreads: Apart, they are broken, but together, they are whole.

Effie and Heath are famous. Not for anything they did, but for what happened to them as teenagers. Abducted and abused by the same man, they turned to each other for comfort until they were finally able to make their escape.

Now adults, their relationship is fraught with guilt and despair. Whether fighting or making love, their passion is strong enough to destroy them both — and Effie’s not about to let that happen. She knows it’s time for her to have a ‘normal’ relationship, and Heath is nothing but a constant reminder of the dark past they share. Heath, on the other hand, knows Effie is the only woman he can ever love. She may want to forget what happened, but he’s convinced that they must face their past together in order to move forward. So while Effie continues to bring new men into her life, Heath becomes obsessed with proving he’s the one she needs.

Then a new crisis arises and Effie begins to lose every scrap of self-control she ever had. As she struggles against her desire to return to the one man who understands her, she discovers that sometimes the only safety you find is with the person who is the most dangerous for you.

Angie’s Review – 5 Skulls – A+

I don’t even know where to start with this book, except to say that if left me reeling. Typical Megan Hart. Effie and Heath were such compelling characters. Even when I had to put this book down for pesky things like work and hygiene, it was consuming me.

After spending years being held captive by the same man, Effie and Heath find it impossible to give each other up completely once they find their way out, no matter how bad they think they are for each other. This was a hard book to read for several reasons. Effie was the queen of self-destruction on her quest to find ‘normal.’ She wasn’t always nice to Heath, and he was so good to her and her daughter, Polly, that it absolutely broke my heart. It was almost like she was trying to outrun him, but she just couldn’t resist looking over her shoulder, slowing herself down and inadvertently giving in to him. The push and pull Effie was suffering when it came to Heath was so exquisitely written. This story flows seamlessly from present day to events from the past that are significant in shaping Effie into the woman she is today. There are times when she isn’t very likable, but I liked her anyway. She was a survivor, and the guilt she carried for loving Heath when she felt like she shouldn’t haunted her. Heath’s character was enough to bring me to my knees. His love for Effie was unconditional, and for a man who’d never had love himself, it was killer to watch her cast him aside time and again. The things he endured not only at the hands of their captor but from the parents who never wanted him was devastating. That he was as functional, patient, and loving as he was was a miracle.

There were a whole host of secondary characters in this one: Effie’s daughter, Polly, a sweetheart who adores her mom and Heath, who treats her as if she’s his own; Effie’s mother, who tries so hard to be there for her daughter that she smothers her; and the men Effie parades in and out of her bedroom (figuratively, as she doesn’t expose her daughter to them.) They’re all major players in Effie’s life and give us a lot of insight into who she is.

This really was a beauty from ashes story about Effie’s journey to finally come to grips with her past and rid herself of the shame for feeling the way she did. As always from this author, this was a book with complex characters in complex situations, and then boom – one moment of simplicity where everything clicks into place, and you know that even if things didn’t end the way you expected, they ended perfectly. If you’re a fan of Criminal Minds and find yourself what happens to the victims after they’ve been rescued, this book was written for you. If you’re a fan of dark romance, this book was written for you. For me, Hold Me Close is one more stellar read from Megan Hart to add to my collection, and at this point, it’s nothing less than I expected!

Rating: ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

Thank you to MIRA and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Angie Badge

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