Monday, January 4, 2016

REVIEW: Hold On by Kristen Ashley

Since she was young, Cher Rivers knew she was not the kind of girl who got what she wanted. A girl who could hope. A girl who could dream. She knew a happily ever after just wasn't in the cards for her. 

In love for years with the last bastion of the 'burg's eligible bachelors, Garrett Merrick, Cher worked hard at making him laugh. Being one of the guys. Having him in her life the only way she could. All this knowing he was in love with another woman. 

The Merrick Family is known for loving deep. So when Cecelia Merrick was murdered, it marked the Merricks in a way none of them recovered. Both Cecelia's children found love. Both turned their backs on it. But Garrett "Merry" Merrick knew in his soul the woman he divorced years ago was the one for him. 

Until the night when Cher took Garrett's back and things changed. The Merrick family loves deep. They also protect fiercely. And with his eyes finally open, Garrett sees the woman who truly is for him and he goes after her. 

Kindle Edition, 641 pages

Published September 1st 2015
Source: Purchased
Purchase a copy: goodreads | Amazon


Shel: If you've been on a Kristen Ashley binge like I have it may take you a minute to remember who Cher is.. so let me remind you: she's featured in Feb and Colt's book as the serial killer's look alike/girlfriend for Feb. After that book we continued to see her in J+J's in this series and she always came off as this tough, hardened woman. In Hold On she is the exact opposite--she's funny and warm and caring and compassionate and a fantastic heroine to close out the series. Court: She is a badass chick to all of this badass men...and she likes it that way. But her gooey center made for her to be a great heroine to end this series with.

Shel: For me, this final book in the series was surprisingly emotional. Initially, I felt so horrible for the hope that Cher had (for a start of something with Merry), hope was lost in a blink, and then buried ...and that was just in the very first few chapters. Then with her son's father popping in to create additional problems I was bracing myself for all sorts of messed up things to happen. But Kristen Ashley wasn't about to let Cher go down like that. Nope. She gave us a Cher that sucked up the bad and moved on. She began making contingency plans and tried to make peace with her lot in life (and it broke me a little, I felt so bad for her!). Much to my relief very early on Merry got his head out of his ass and made a smart play and thank fuck that Cher gave him that play so we had many chapters of good and funny. But as you all know, KA doesn't shy away from giving her characters some obstacles to overcome and there are definitely some of those--mostly expected, though one that surprised me a little--but there were many chapters of seeing Cher and Merry build a relationship (all under the amused eyes of their buds).  Court: I love seeing all of the characters from our beloved books in each installment, lending their love and devotion...but also keeping their alpha-ness to an upmost extreme. And Merry was no different and MIKE IS HIS PARTNER. That made me happy. So, back on track...Shelley covers it awesome as always, but Cher really is a great mom. She did things that other people judge her for, but I love that she doesn't see it that way. She gets disappointed in herself, but remembers that every choice she's ever made was in the name of giving her boy a great life...and that outlook is the only one to have in this 'burg. Family is the central aspect of every KA story, and I loved how our secondary characters once again shined through and stole some scenes. And the off the chart sheet scorching scenes made my Christmas great. :)

Shel: There were many great moments in Hold On but these really stuck out to me:

  • The honest and upfront talk Cher and Merry had on their way to their first date. I loved that KA didn't have them muck things up with deceit and that each character took the honest talk in stride.
  • Any scene with Ryker just gave me the feels--mostly me laughing but some of me just loving that big guy.
  • How awesome Ethan and Merry were and how well the adults handled that entire situation. LOVED IT.
  • Merry's talk with his father when he needed help and Cher's talk with Merry when he told her about it/Cher's talk with her mom in the kitchen when the dinner with Merry doesn't go as planned and the action Cher takes to rectify things/Merry's talk with Cher about the different types of girls and how crying is okay. I think all of these resonated with me because of how each character chose to deal with something that bothered them and how they chose to do the work of building the relationship. All of these moments could've gone so differently and created major or minor problems but they were handled with such grace and maturity.
  • The epilogue. OMG. It was a beautiful beautiful thing and I hated to see it end, even as I was one hundred thousand percent satisfied with it.
Court: I have come to find that the characters in this series are a favorite of mine because of their age. I am almost 27, so I think that while I still love books no matter what age I am really appreciating KA series with characters across the board because the relationship status is much more fitting for my current real life stuff. Babies are born, people pass away, and it isn't always sunshine and rainbows...and I love her brand of that like no other. I too find Ryker to be one of the best characters in this series, and love him as much as Tex...because he is crazy dysfunctional but has a good heart under a wild and tough exterior. I too love how stuff is talked out and dealt with in these books too, because it lowers the angst but still makes me look at things in a different way than I might have before. Kristen Ashley is a soul whisper-er when it comes to really getting down to the nitty gritty of life, and I love it. SO MUCH.
Shel: I'm always sad when I finish a Kristen Ashley series but I'm happy to know that she has many books in the works and I absolutely cannot wait to read them all. Court: I too am so sad for this series to end, but holy epilogue batman. It was brilliant, and the peek we get into what is happening in Los Angeles was EPIC to the millionth power. Can't wait. Rock on, folks.


  1. Awesome review, thanks! I've just come off a KA binge, but I think I can sneak this on in.


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