Beginning January 1, 2013

Stop by the new site and take a look around.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hold Me If You Can by Stephanie Rowe

Hold Me If You Can by Stephanie Rowe
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Length: Full Length (359 pgs)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Xeranthemum

The third in a paranormal romance series packed with danger, sensuality and clever twists features Nigel Aquarian, a warrior with an artistic bent, and Natalie Fleming, a chocolatier who has a new lease on life. But her freedom comes with a dangerous gift she doesn't want.

Nigel and his fellow warriors have only just escaped imprisonment when an even worse threat emerges. Natalie is the only woman who can help Nigel–but she's also the one most likely to bring him down.

If a reader is looking for a book that teeters on the edge of a cliff, keeping them off balance with suspense and daring do, then this story will be worth checking out.

First, this is a part of a series but a new reader will have no problems with feeling connected to the storyline or characters. They are going to be consumed with Nigel and Natalie because the author focused solely on them. There are references to the previous book but in a natural way during conversations between characters so everything flows and is connected as it should.

For readers of the series, this book isn’t as funny but the tortured heroes are just as tortured and aggressive about escaping Mari’s influence in the Den as they ever were. Mari is a leftover villain who thinks she’s not evil or twisted or mean. I’ll let readers judge for themselves what role she truly plays once they’ve read this story. The author had my feelings for Mari’s character bouncing back and forth like a tennis match. I’m still not sure which side of the net I’ve landed on.

For Natalie and Nigel my sentiments aren’t as ambiguous. I liked Nigel. I’m warm to Natalie. I found Ella to be intriguing, and Christian is a man who needs saving. Pascal and Blaine haven’t been twisted in emotional pain enough to get their own story…yet. I’m betting that Christian is next. And I really want to know who he’s going to end up with because this book introduced some incredible options that beg to be explored. I’m already hooked for the next installment.

The author’s creation and use of smut, deedubs and dream genies continues to be ingenious and unique. The idea of men being part metal and having the ability to do amazing things with their bodies still entertains and fascinates. I never know what the author will come up with next. I can’t even guess. Ms. Rowe has an exceptional imagination.

Even with all the praise, Hold Me If You Can is a rollercoaster. After awhile, I got tired of the few steps forward and many steps back that Nigel and Natalie take on their journey to their happy ever after. Granted, it was suspenseful and many times dramatic; most certainly it’s well written. But, eventually I got inured to all the self flagellation and lack of confidence they both had in themselves. It slowed the story down and lasted too long. The ending didn’t seem like it had enough time to feel complete, to be enjoyed. The protagonists went through so much emotional and physical hardships, I had hoped for a more emotionally satisfying ending. I didn’t get it. Yes, they finally realized they loved each other and the final chapter had some cuteness to it, even a bit of humor. But there wasn’t enough of what I needed to keep the happy glow alive longer than it took to close the book.

Hold Me If You Can is a page turner. It has thrills and chills and quite a few fun parts to keep a reader entertained and interested. Natalie and Nigel are a vibrant couple with some quirks that make having a happily ever after a challenge to achieve. It’s how they eventually accomplish it that will amaze readers and keep them on the edge of their seats. It’s a book worth reading.