Review + Excerpt: Hold You Close by Melanie Harlow and Corinne Michaels!

Posted August 29, 2018 by JennDiaz in 5 Star Reviews, Reviews / 0 Comments

Review + Excerpt: Hold You Close by Melanie Harlow and Corinne Michaels!Hold You Close by Melanie Harlow, Corinne Michaels
Published by Amazon Digital Services on August 20, 2018
Pages: 250
Source: Author
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From NYT Bestseller Corinne Michaels & USA Today Bestseller Melanie Harlow, comes a second chance standalone romance novel.

Ian Chase broke my heart at seventeen, and I’ve spent the last eighteen years hating him for it. He makes it easy, with his smart mouth and playboy lifestyle—which I unfortunately have to observe since he lives behind me. Every time I see him climbing out of his pool, practically naked and unreasonably sexy, my blood boils. I’ve always loved to loathe him. I never planned to need him. ~ ~ ~ London Parish is my little sister’s best friend, not that it stopped me from falling for her. Our history is complicated. The only thing we have in common is being godparents to my sister’s three adorable kids—until our lives are changed in one tragic moment. Now we’re trying to raise the children we love, mourn an unthinkable loss, and fight an undeniable attraction. My life is already upside-down, and the last thing I need is for old feelings to resurface. Because I’ll never be able to keep her, no matter how hard I try to hold her close.

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Review + Excerpt: Hold You Close by Melanie Harlow and Corinne Michaels!

My Thoughts….

Oh my lord!!!  I am so blown away by the writing team of Corinne Michaels and Melanie Harlow!! Wow.. wow… wow!!!  I’ve read just about every word Ms Michaels has written and Ms Harlow has always been on my radar and it just seemed like when she had a new release, I was never able to fit her book in to my reading schedule.  I’ve always heard amazing things about her books so when I heard the pair teamed up I was very excited and Hold You Close did not disappoint!! I seriously loved this book!!!  I devoured it and could not tell that this was written by two people. The writing was just seamless! It was perfection! I hope that we will see more for them writing together because it was just that good!!!  London is sharp as a tool and doesn’t put up with anyone’s crap and Ian is sexy and charming and the leading male we all love to fall for. Their banter is so entertaining and the writers make you feel like you are in the room with them! This is a complete standalone that needs to be read and is told in alternating points of views.

London has had a crush on Ian for as long as she remembers.  He is her best friends older brother and when her prom date dumps her a week before prom, Ian is there to save the day.  It looks like her dreams will come true.  Prom comes and its exactly how she dreamt it to be. She and Ian have a connection and it looks like they both are ready to take the next step in their relationship. Only problem, Ian attends UNLV and London will start her freshman year at Northwestern. She received a full four year scholarship but with the possibilities of Ian being in her life, she’s ready to transfer to UNLV to be with him.

Ian knows how important it is to attend Northwestern. He doesn’t want her to make a huge sacrifice that has always been her dream to transfer colleges just for him.  He knows he will have to make the hardest decision he’s ever made, he is willing to sacrifice his happiness so that London will follow her dreams.

Fast forward eighteen years and London is a top financial advisor and Ian just opened up the hottest club in Las Vegas. They haven’t been able to be in the same room let alone talk to each other. The years have not been kind to them, London doesn’t date and spends her time focusing on climbing the corporate ladder while Ian has an unsuccessful marriage and has a revolving door of beautiful women coming through his door.  The only reason London and Ian see each other is because of London’s best friend who is Ian’s sister.

A tragic accident forces Ian and London to work together to raise three kids.  They haven’t been able to stand each other for the past years and now they must put their differences aside for the sake of these innocent children who experienced the unthinkable.  What has been years of hate is now on the backburner and children’s wellbeing is at the forefront.  Can they work together or will old emotions start to bubble up? There is a thin line between love and hate and It seems those lines are about to be blurred.  Will Ian and London learn from their past mistakes or will history repeat itself?  You will need to read Hold You Close to find out!!!

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Excerpt

“Ian,” my bartender, Toby, calls with his hand out.

“What’s up?”

“You have a call.” He pushes the phone toward me.

No one calls the club for me other than vendors, and it’s eleven-thirty at night, so whoever it is can wait.

“I have to deal with something now, send them to my voicemail.”

He shakes his head. “She’s called three times.” The annoyance in his voice is clear, even over the music.

She?

The only woman that would resort to calling the club is my ex-wife. God only knows what bullshit she wants now. For all I know she broke a nail, it’s my fault, and she thinks I should pay for her new manicure, or a hand replacement. She’s like the gift you’ve tried to return but can’t find the receipt for, so you’re stuck with it. I hate unwanted presents, and I hate Jolene.

“Send the devil to my voicemail,” I say and walk away.

I head out to the sidewalk. Drea wasn’t kidding, the line is nuts. “Hello, Officer,” I say to the pudgy cop standing next to the bouncer.

“Mr. Chase, we’re getting complaints,” he says, looking down the sidewalk at the line.

“I can’t help that we’re popular.” I shrug. “I’m at capacity, and can’t kick out the paying customers to take care of the line.”

“You’re obstructing the entrances of other businesses because of the way your overflow lines are set up.”

How the hell would they like me to handle it? We’re not inside the casino, there’s no way to control the line. I’m not about to turn away people when we hit the number ten. This is a business, and part of the free marketing I get is thanks to the line.

“All right, I’ll figure something out.” I grip the back of my neck.

I feel my phone vibrate in my pocket. If this is Jolene, I swear to God, I might lose my fucking mind.

The name flashes across the screen, London Parish. For fuck’s sake. Like I need to deal with my sister’s uptight, irritating best friend right now. London would be incredibly hot if she wasn’t such a raging bitch. I look at my call log and see this is the third time she’s called.

I walk down the strip a little, and after a few deep breaths, I call her back.

“Ian, you need to come to my house.”

I smirk. “Well, this is a first. Did you have the stick removed from your ass?”

“Don’t. Not today, please. Just come here.” I hear her sniff and my protectiveness kicks in. Someone made her cry. We don’t get along at all—partly because we’re polar opposites and partly because of our history—but no one gets to make her cry.

“Are you hurt?” I ask.

“Not in the way you think.” Her voice hitches.

I’ve known London for twenty-five years. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve seen or heard her cry—I was the reason one of those times.

“What’s wrong? Is it an emergency? Because I’m at work and the club—”

“Now, Ian. You need to come here now.”

She also doesn’t play games.

Fuck.

I look at my watch and blow a deep breath through my nose. It’ll take me at least thirty minutes to get there. This is seriously a shitty night. “I’ll be there as soon as I can.”

“Just . . . hurry,” London says and hangs up.

Dread pulls at my stomach, telling me there’s something going on. I don’t know what, but I know I need to get there.

“Get rid of the line, no more get in,” I tell the bouncer, and then head inside.

Drea is at the bar, and my anxiety is starting to grow. London needs me there, why? What happened? Did someone break into her house? Mine? Maybe it has to do with an ex, if she even has one, or it could be nothing like that. Regardless, her voice was shaky and I can’t waste time wondering.

“I have to go,” I tell Drea.

Her eyes widen. “Go? Go where? It’s a packed house.”

“I’m aware of that, but something came up. I need you to handle things tonight.” I turn to Toby. “Stay until Drea is done closing and I want you to escort her to her car at the end of the night.”

He nods.

I never let her walk out of here alone. Even if I have someone coming home with me, Drea’s not going to be unescorted. Too many men get the wrong impression because she’s nice to them. Over my dead body will she be hurt as a result of working at my club.

After I get in the car, my mind is racing. I drive faster than I should, telling myself that London is just being dramatic.

And then I remember . . . she has my nephew and nieces at her house.

My foot pushes down on the pedal of my Jaguar, making the engine howl with each mile. I turn into the development where we both live, pass my house, and head to hers. I still hate that our backyards touch. Every damn day I see her sitting out on her deck, reading her books, looking down at me with her disapproving attitude.

When I get there, the flashing lights of a police car brighten the road. I don’t think. I don’t know if I even put the car in park before I’m out of the vehicle.

“London!” I yell as I rush through the door. “Christopher? Morgan? Ruby?” I call out for the kids, praying it’s not one of them.

When I get to the living room, I release a heavy sigh—they’re all there, not hurt.

Then I see the tears streaming down Morgan’s face. London gets to her feet. Her eyes are red, puffy, and black mascara runs down her cheeks. “Ian.” She chokes on my name.

“What’s wrong? What happened?”

The girls start to cry again, and my nephew pulls them into his arms.

London moves toward me, placing her hand on my chest. “They’re gone.”

“Who?” I ask, confused.

“Sabrina and David,” she whispers.

Yeah, they went on a trip. Why the hell are they crying? “This is what you called me for? They’ll be home in a few days. Why are you crying too?” I ask.

Her green eyes meet mine and her lips part. “No.” She shakes her head. “They won’t.”

I look over at the kids again, and then to the muted television. My feet move closer, because I have to be sure the words flashing across the screen say what I think they say. “Flight 1184 crashes off the coast of Hawaii. Three hundred missing and presumed dead.”

My sister was going to Hawaii.

My sister is gone.

I sink to my knees in front of the kids, unsure what to say. They just lost their parents, and my heart is breaking. My sister was my best friend. She was the one who pushed me to open Veil and do what I wanted. I’ve always had her support, and now she’s gone.

Christopher lifts his head, his brown eyes filled with unshed tears. “They’ll find them,” he says with conviction.

“Okay,” I reply. We both know it’s a lie, but it’s one he has to tell himself. I remember being fifteen; there was no telling me I was wrong.

“Dad wouldn’t . . .” he starts, and then stops as his lip quivers.

My own tears start to fall, as Morgan grabs my hand. “What do we do now?”

I have no fucking clue. How do I tell these kids how to survive? I’m the last person in the world equipped to give this advice. I look to London. Her hand touches my shoulder and she wipes the tears that fall silently down her cheeks.

“We hold each other close,” she says.

About Corinne Michaels

Corinne Michaels is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling author of The Salvation Series and Say You’ll Stay. She’s an emotional, witty, sarcastic, and fun loving mom of two beautiful children. Corinne is happily married to the man of her dreams and is a former Navy wife. After spending months away from her husband while he was deployed, reading and writing was her escape from the loneliness.

Both her maternal and paternal grandmothers were librarians, which only intensified her love of reading. After years of writing short stories, she couldn’t ignore the call to finish her debut novel, Beloved. Her alpha heroes are broken, beautiful, and will steal your heart.

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