Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler

Hard to Hold is the first book in the Hold trilogy and my first read by this author. I enjoyed the writing and the story itself, finding it easy to follow and holding my attention. I’m in love with Navy SEAL stories anyway, and this was right up my alley! I’m not going to go into the plot in this review, as you can get that from the book synopsis, but I am going to give you my thoughts on the story as a whole.

As far as characters go, I really liked, but didn’t love, Jake and Isabelle, and the reason I didn’t love them is that I don’t feel like we were really given a chance to truly know them. The constant switching back and forth between secondary characters took away from the necessary page time to really become invested in our hero and heroine, who had stories worthy of more details than we were given. Granted, it did allow for a great lead up to Chris’ and Nicks’ stories, but I really wanted to connect with Jake and Isabelle on a level that I just didn’t reach. And given the nature of their pasts, well… I just needed more from them. For them.

And kudos to Ms. Tyler! Rape is such a difficult subject to address, but I feel like she handled it well, not making it too horribly graphic or detailed, yet giving us enough of the emotional aftermath to such a heinous crime that I was still able to feel the destruction and devastation it wrought, and the effect it had on Jake and Isabelle’s relationship.

The bottom line – I’ll definitely continue this trilogy, no doubt about it! While I there were some things I had a hard time accepting regarding Jake’s past and his military career, I was able to put those things aside and just enjoy the story for what it was – an action packed, exciting adventure! I know some people find it hard to believe that at 15 (or 16?) years old Jake was able to fake his way into the military, but I’m here to tell you, my own father faked his way into the Navy just before his 16th birthday – and he didn’t have anyone on the inside watching out for him! So, yes, it can be done!

3.5/5 stars

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