Review – Hold My by Betsy Horvath

Publisher: Carina Press
Publish Date: Out Now!
How I got this book: NetGalley

Katie McCabe’s life is going nowhere fast when FBI Special Agent Lucas Vasco jumps into her car at an intersection. Luc, his undercover guise blown, is on the run from the Mafia and expects to be killed at any moment. What he doesn’t plan on is finding himself attracted to the firecracker beside him. He feels compelled to protect her when her life is threatened, and insists she stay with him for her own safety.

After learning she has become the target of a psychotic hit man, Katie is whisked off to Luc’s house to hide. Once there, she’s shocked to discover that she and Luc have an unexpected connection—a connection Luc already knew existed, but withheld. Will their intense attraction reach flashpoint despite their misunderstandings and the pain of the past?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

This was the third and final September suspense release from Carina Press I got, and the debut novel for author Horvath. Although I didn’t think it was as good as the other two I read, it also wasn’t bad. I did enjoy the story overall.

Katie has broken up with her fiance, changed jobs and is avoiding her mother. She is going through major changes and when a stranger jumps into her car, she freaks out, but drives recklessly around town to save his life. When she bests a mafia boss’ son, threats against her life are made immediately.

Luc knows he needs to protect Katie, but he also has ulterior motives. She has been the one woman he had fantasized about for years. When he and Katie get closer, things heat up between them, but finding out about their connection throws their relationship into an awkward territory. Then, things get out of control and Katie and Luc set out on a task that might get them both killed. But when all is said and done, will they be able to set aside their pasts and move forward to a future?

There were a lot of things I really liked about this book, and some I really didn’t. At times I felt as if Horvath struggled with keeping the story moving at a pace the reader could keep up with, stay engaged in, and keep interest in. There were some parts that moved very, very slow and others that had just the right amount of action and drama to keep the story going.

I really enjoyed Luc’s character in the beginning. He was reserved, yet protective of Katie. He was funny and yet always serious. It was obvious he would do anything to protect her, and yet he was constantly pushing Katie away. It got to the point where I wanted to smack him towards the end. He went on and on about how much he loved her, how he had always loved her. But when the goings got tough, he didn’t want to put in the effort. He was ready to throw in the towel for reasons that I didn’t think were strong enough. I ended up wanting so much more from him.

Katie was the opposite for me. She started off as a weak heroine, someone who needed to be coddled and led along. But as the story progressed she seemed to really come out of her shell more. She took more initiative in keeping herself safe, she wanted to fight by Luc’s side and protect him while he protected her. She grew a backbone and I loved that. Granted, she had a few moments that I thought were a little ridiculous, and her willingness to not fight for Luc at the end was a little out of the character she had become, but I enjoyed her at the end.

One of the things that impressed me about Horvath’s writing was how well done her secondary characters were. Between Katie’s brothers and sisters, the fellow FBI agents, and even Katie’s parents, I will definitely be picking up more of Horvath’s books in this series. I hope that we get either David or Justin next, and that Katie’s sister Melanie gets a chance at an HEA. I also hope we can see more of Katie’s parents and potentially get their story, I loved their moments together.

The suspense part of the plot wasn’t the best, but like I said it wasn’t horrible either. The slow then fast moving plot had a lot to due with my lack of interest in the suspense, but I did like the mafia aspect of it all. It made for some fun comparisons in my mind while reading. =)

All in all I think this was a good debut novel. There is definite room for improvement, but I think Horvath has the potential to be a great suspense author. I spent parts of the book frustrated, and other parts so engaged I had tears streaming down my face.  If she continues on with this series (which I hope she will), I will be picking up the other books to check out the strong characters and fun relationships.

I give Hold Me a C


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