I received this book for free from the publisher . This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hard to Hold On To by Laura Kaye
Published by Harper Collins on 2014-08-19
Genres: Contemporary, Fiction, Military, Multicultural & Interracial, Romance, Suspense, War & Military
Source: the publisher
Edward "Easy" Cantrell knows better than most the pain of not being able to save those he loves—which is why he is not going to let Jenna Dean out of his sight. He may have just met her, but Jenna's the first person to make him feel alive since that devastating day in the desert more than a year ago.
Jenna has never met anyone like Easy. She can't describe how he makes her feel--and not just because he saved her life. No, the stirrings inside her reach far beyond gratitude.
As the pair are thrust together while chaos reigns around them, they both know one thing: the things in life most worth having are the hardest to hold on to.
I adored this entry in the series because of how much both of our pair have to lose but also how much they have to gain if they give in to what they want.
Jenna has just made it thru an ordeal that no one should ever have to experience. She’s coming out from under the drugs that her kidnappers gave her and dealing with the nightmare of what happened while in their custody. She finds herself drawn to a soldier that should be frightening to her but he gives her peace. As she spends more time around him she finds herself wanting to be more to him than just a friend but is unsure of herself. She’s felt like such a burden to her sister for so many years so doubts if the connection she feels for him and that he seems to have for her is anything more than an illusion. I loved her strength and especially adored how much she helped our hero by just being there and not running when he shares his burden.
Easy… my dear sweet, strong soul…. He’s in so much pain all the time since the loss of his best friend but amazingly finds a sense of peace when he is around Jenna. He’s so convinced that he isn’t the right man for anyone and is struggling with PTSD/depression as a result of the incident that resulted in the death of his friend and others in his unit. Being kicked out of the military was the final straw and since then he’s just been going thru the motions pretending to live. You see our Easy has a secret that he’s keeping from his team and that secret is devastating. I was happy that he found someone who wanted him for him even with his secret. His struggle is palpable and realistic as you don’t want him to become one of the 22. He deserves so much happiness and seeing him work so hard to protect Jenna and himself from his demons were amazing.
This story does get under your skin but I appreciate that Laura didn’t whitewash what he was dealing with and I hope that his struggles will result in some additional awareness of the struggles faced by those who witness or are part of violent acts or the stressors of combat. The struggles result in an unacceptable body count as these people struggle with the demons in their heads and should be treated with all the resources we can muster. While we can’t save all of them it is unacceptable to not try as 22 is not a count that should be considered an acceptable cost of these actions.
Please take the time to read this wonderful story with a powerful message even with the sparks that fly between our pair. It is worth it!
Special thanks to the team at HarperCollins for giving me access to this title as part of a tour. I really love this entire series and am looking forward to all of them still to come. I do have a special request —- Can we get more of Easy and Jenna??????