As soon as I started Hard to Hold, I realized that it was the first in the series of which I have already read several
- Hold on Tight, Lie with Me, Promises in the Dark, Too Hot To Hold. Iíve clearly read them the wrong way round - not that it seemed to matter at the time - but it did feel a bit odd reading about Chris and Nick, heroes of subsequent novels, before they have found their women.
is very like the others by Stephanie Tyler - lots of Special Forces stuff, partly set in Africa, lots of guns and hiding and violence and danger and sex.
As the first book in the series, it doesnít spent ages setting the scene - particularly of the three brothers (two of whom are adopted)
- but information is gradually revealed.
The story focuses on Dr. Isabelle Markham, daughter of a U.S. Senator and a medic working in Africa who has been kidnapped. She is rescued by a SEAL team including Lieutenant Jake Hansen, who finds himself with a more personal interest in Isabelle than he previously thought. When he is tasked with being her bodyguard (without her realizing she has one), he discovers that despite being back in America, she still isnít safe. Can he keep her safe from her former captor, and can she ever learn to trust a man again?
I found Hard to Hold a reasonable read, if rather formulaic in many of its ideas.
Some other threads of story (Rachel and Clutch, for
example) are woven into this one, and there is a great deal of information about the brothers and their relationships with each other forged through their shared youth.
Less successful is the conclusion, which ends up as rather a damp squib and is over surprisingly quickly. However, it
isnít a bad read, and Isabelleís coming to terms with her experiences in Africa
is reasonably well-written.