When I first began reading this book, I thought that it had all of the makings to be a sweet romance that would just bring a smile to my face. Boy, was I wrong! Oh, there were definitely some sweet, melt your heart moments, but it had so much more than that. Hold On to Me put me on an emotional carousel – crying, swooning, laughing, and wanting to yell and shake some sense into the main characters.
John is an all-round good southern boy. He was raised by a loving family and has spent his time being surrounded by friends who are more like brothers to him. When this easy going, fun loving guy meets the new girl in town, he is more than a little bit interested.
Alyssa is not a country girl. She’s all city. She is feisty, snarky, and hates…dirt. When she meets John and his friends for the first time, they are out on their four wheelers getting more than a little bit muddy. Needless to say, this city girl was not the least bit interested in this type of activity, but she was a little bit intrigued by one of the riders.
What starts out as a new found friendship, soon becomes an attraction that builds between John and Alyssa until they finally succumb to their desires. Alyssa doesn’t want a relationship. She doesn’t usually have many friends. She has come to enjoy her friendship with John and doesn’t want to ruin it by starting anything deeper with him.
Being with Alyssa has only increased John’s desire for her. He wants to have more than a friendship with her, but Alyssa pushes him away any chance that she gets. Knowing Alyssa’s background, I can understand why she likes to distance herself from people, why she likes to keep everyone at arms-length. This doesn’t mean that it didn’t annoy the bejesus out of me at times. This created a tug of war of emotions between John and Alyssa for much of the story. It kept me flipping the pages just to see how long it would take her to realize what she had right in front of her.
When a tragedy takes place, John’s life is shattered. He isn’t sure how he is going to hold himself together. This is a time where he needs the comfort that only Alyssa can afford him, but John is struggling. I won’t get into the details of what happens in the book, but it is utterly heartbreaking – I could feel their pain as I was reading.
John is the type of character that you can’t help but fall for. He doesn’t always do the right thing, but the one thing that you never doubt is his love and devotion for Alyssa. He is a patient, patient man who despite being pushed away time and time again, still persists and doesn’t give up on the girl who owns his heart. Did I mention that John is patient?
Despite all of the moments that had me pulling my hair and threatening to fling my Kindle across the room like a Frisbee, Hold On to Me gave me all of the intense, heart pounding drama that I enjoy in a book.
Disclaimer: No Kindles were actually harmed during the reading of this novel. ;)