Wednesday, April 30, 2014

REVIEW: "Hold Me Tight" by Faith Sullivan


He loves me. He loves me not.

Ivy's heart shatters upon hearing Eric's crushing ultimatum. Despite how much she cares for him, she won't give in to his demands. She has no choice but to leave, even if it's the hardest thing she's ever had to do. 

She loves me. She loves me not.

When Ivy walks out, Eric can't help feeling betrayed. Unwilling to put her at risk, he values her safety above all else. By refusing to compromise, he's blindsided when she moves in with a man who's already stolen so much from him.

I love you. You love me not.

Lauren sees Eric and Ivy's split as an opportunity to end their relationship once and for all. When Ivy places herself at the mercy of Eric's rival, Lauren plots to destroy the fragile tie binding them together, even if she endangers Ivy's life in the process.


"I really hate talking about myself. My goal is to have the shortest author bio imaginable. I would much rather have a conversation with my readers. Are you able to escape within my pages? Does my writing make you feel something? Are there characters that you can't get out of your head? Let me know!" 


I received an advanced copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review, which follows.

Many mothers make hard decisions to tend and care for their little ones.  Women make hard decisions as they work on tending and caring for their significant others.  People in general make hard decisions in order to protect those they hold dear....especially if the one they hold dearest is them, themselves, and they.  But what if protecting the life of a tiny tot could mean the end of everything?  What if looming secrets are revealed that will spell disaster for all?  What if...

Riveting characters.  Intense action.  Heart-pounding drama.  Surprising plot twists up to the very end.  Sullivan has crafted a thrilling finale to the trilogy following Eric and Ivy, and it kept me on pins and needles the whole time...and maybe just a bit glued to my Kindle screen (I could not put this book down)!  Discovering what love really means is hard, especially if the life of an unborn child hangs in the balance, as well as the conflicting dreams and aspirations of several individuals.  Sullivan's lovely writing style shines in this work, as it is super accessible, relateable, and down-right fun to read. Characters are just as endearing and maddening as ever, and events elicited real tears from this reader's eyes.  Just a down-right good read. 

That being said, it is a down-right good read for 18+ people (again, too much steam!).

On an ascending scale of 1 to 5, I give this book a 4!

The Good
Oh. Em. Gee.

Just.  Oh. Em. Gee.

Pregnancy is a difficult enough process when the man involved isn't being a hothead, the psycho woman who is obsessed with him isn't doing her d***dest to get him, friends aren't keeping lies, men with money and power aren't wielding their power over life and death, mortgages aren't due, and deadlines aren't looming.  Geez.  

Here we rejoin Eric and Ivy right after he has told her to do the impossible - give up her baby.  Of course, we as readers can be majorly angry at him...but he has his reasons: he has already lost one woman who was trying to make it through an impossible pregnancy.  Lost not just her, but the baby as well.  He can't stand to lose another.  Ivy can't stand to give up her baby.  She leaves and lands right in Lauren's clutches, who deposits her with Tim - Eric's one time best friend, and potential father of Eric's dead fiancee's baby.  

And Tim is a Chris Hemsworth worthy hottie.  As if Ivy's life weren't complicated enough.  

Will Eric see the err of his ways and win Ivy back?  What lengths are Lauren willing to go to in order to secure the future she desires?  What are the secrets that Ivy senses are still creeping along behind the scene, just waiting to jump out at the wrong time to stress her out badly enough to make her lose the baby she loves more than life?

I could barely put this book down during the entire time I was reading.  Okay, so maybe I should rephase - I could barely put my phone down during the entire time I was reading this book on my Kindle app.  Seriously, Sullivan's writing style is accessible, easy to read, majorly addicting, thorough, etc.  We still (of course) have the point of view switching between major players in the plot (namely Eric, Ivy, and Lauren) and Sullivan writes this so well that it just works.  Even without the name of the person at the top of a chapter, it is clear who is speaking.  It feels like Sullivan crawled inside of each character's head and method acted the chapters!  Gives me the shudders just to think about what it was like to be in Lauren's head.  */shudder*  See!

Anyways, it has been awhile since I've been so emotionally invested in a book.  It helps that I've read the first two books (Take Me Now and Meant for Me).  I'll be honest, I wasn't sure how Sullivan was going to pull off a plot that would match or beat these two books.  I should never have ever worried my reading little brain.  The exceptional plot that Sullivan worked through this book is more than worthy of its predecessors, and gave me a thudding heart more than a few times.  What is going to happen now?!  I have to read the next chapter.....

It was impossible to tear myself away from the drama, not just because of the war happening between individuals around Eric and Ivy's baby, but also because of the war happening within Ivy's body as she struggled to hold onto a baby who wanted to join the world too soon.  You see - I had an at-risk pregnancy with my 2-year-old son.  I know what it is like to see your body disagreeing with your every prayer that Baby stay right where it is until it is time.  It sucks (to say the least).  It is emotional.  It is gut-wrenching.  I just wanted to wrap Ivy up in a warm cozy blanket, and then go b****-slap all the jerks who were making her stress out.  All of them.  *huff*

But let's get back to the book: Sullivan jumped right back into the action.  After all, she didn't need to spend a lot of time setting the scene because hopefully readers had already read the first two books (if they haven't, they need to - they are super good books, and this one doesn't make a lot of sense without them).  What she did do was spend a bit more time on the back story of other individuals playing into the story either directly or indirectly, and this informed some of the "Oh em gee!" plot twists that happened near the end.  Let me just say this - I did not see that one...or that one coming!  Well, kind of.  I did figure out the biggest secret before it was revealed, but literally only a few paragraphs before it was revealed.  You did great, Faith - usually I'm ahead of the reveals by a few pages!

This book was an absolutely terrific finale to an absolutely wonderful series.  I loved seeing how the main characters grew and developed - and their growth trajectories made sense!  Eric and Ivy grew not only as a couple, but also as individuals.  Ivy grew some determination and more ability to positively stand up to those around her, while Eric learned how to not be an island.  Will learned about caring for others.  Other characters grew in other ways, but you're not going to squirrel all of it out of me....go read the books for yourself (unless, of course, you aren't 18 yet....then wait until you are old enough :P)!

(Side note: the fact that Faith dedicated this book to my son and I did not change my review of this book, just in case you noticed and were thinking my glowing review was a bit of schmooing.)

The Bugly (bad/ugly)
le sigh

So, unlike the second book in this series, I have a bugly.  The progression of time along with the plot does not flow as well as it could in a few places.  What do I mean by this?  Well, at one point they are at Thanksgiving, and a few things were coming to a head.  Then suddenly it was Christmas....and those things that had been coming to a head suddenly weren't happening as quickly as it would seem like they should. Something that seemed like it should have been a within-the-next-few-days thing suddenly turned into a wait-a-minute-it-is-going-to-take-weeks thing.  Also, Lauren's insistence on the screenplay was apparently forgotten as the Price family's focus was moved to something else...but that "something else" was part of the motivation for the screenplay to go as it was supposed to go, so how Lauren's insistence on the screenplay going how it as "supposed to go" changed made my brain go "huh?"

That said, I'm super picky.  If you've read my other reviews then you already know this.  Don't let my confusion over a couple of plot points stop you from reading this super good book.  It isn't a highly intellectual, deeply philosophical kind of good book - it is a Lifetime movie kind of good book.  I thoroughly enjoyed it (and its predecessors!)!!  Now go read it...but only if you are old enough.  :P

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