Well another reviewer pointed out the huge plot point that was left unaddressed, so I don’t feel bad for thinking the big was a bit off without resolving that. I was happy well enough with the characters of Kayla and Luke as well as Kayla’s young son. This book has a tough subject matter though, domestic abuse. I think that James handles the subject matter delicately, and I liked that there are discussions about it with her son Eli about the fact that he knew that his mother was being hit and why she stayed until she finally ran. I liked that Luke wasn’t being pushy. He is interested in Kayla, but realizes he can’t and won’t rush things with not just her, but also with Eli.
“Hold Me Close” is part of James romantic suspense books. I didn’t much care for the first book, and this second one ran to good to meh to me as well. Still deciding about reading the next two books in the series or just passing on that. Back to this book. We have Kayla Chambers who after being hit again by her boyfriend, goes on the run with her son when he drops them off at the laundromat. We find out that Kayla has reached out to a domestic violence organization, and she’s going to leave her life behind and start over again in the town of Paradise, Idaho that she has fond memories of as a child.
Luke Jackson has a FWB situation finally ending and realizes that his new neighbor may be the answer. He quickly realizes that Kayla and her son Eli don’t need a pass through the night man, they need a solid person to be there. He quickly pushes (slightly) into helping them when he can and hanging back and not trying to do more than that with either of them.
We get reappearances by former characters and of course set up for the focus of the next book in this one.
The writing was good. We get POVs from Eli, Luke, Kayla, and even Kayla’s abusive ex. I think that James did a good juggling all of those voices and showing Kayla’s ex obsession with her and punishing her for daring to go against him. The guy gave me chills.
The flow though was a bit off jumping around like that. I didn’t think at times that Eli’s voice was authentic.
The setting of Paradise is hard to picture. It seems like a teeny tiny town, but at other times it sounds quite large. There are discussions about the hard times the farmers are going through so it touches upon real world events at times here and there.
The ending though was very well done. Except for the whole murder plot line. I wish that had been resolved. It was such a weird thread to leave hanging.