Hold Me Close by Megan Hart
Genre: Dark/Erotic Romance
Publication Date: November 24th, 2015
ARC provided by Netgalley and Mira
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!
Thank you to MIRA and Netgalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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