Review: Hold Me Close

Hold Me CloseCompelling, devastating, dark and tumultuous, Hold Me Close is not to be missed @MEGAN_HART
Hold Me Close by Megan Hart

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Compelling, devastating, dark and tumultuous, Hold Me Close is not to be missed. I loved this book. I started this book with great reservation mixed with a bit of dread. When I see a Ms. Hart book, I must read it because I know chances are good I will love it and feel completely exhausted at the end. I love her writing style and I hate it. Not unlike Effie and how she loves yet loathes Heath, I'm in a similar albeit a non-destructive relationship with Ms. Hart's books.

Effie is a woman who is not able to move past a defining moment in her life. There are many different moments which are memorable, but this one where she was held captive by a sick mad man for three years overshadows it all. Her one person she depended upon during that time was Heath. The two of them together are toxic. Toxic because they can't help but keep reminding each other what they suffered at the hands of a psychotic abuser.

This story is dark not because Ms. Hart graphically describes what happens to Effie and Heath. In fact, she does not go into detail. There is little sexual abuse from the time the two were held captive. What is dark is the negative effect it has upon Effie and how she relates to lovers, friends and family after her ordeal. The character development in this book is fabulous. Effie is lost and stuck in a never ending cycle of hell she places herself in. She becomes a black hole dragging everyone within her sphere of influence into a universe of despair and anger. I am not happy with Effie, yet I do not hate her. She is a character who is so flawed and broken yet is designed in a way that I just hurt for her. I know there is no one who can fix her. Just as I understand she is the cause of her own misery. She is not a spiteful person. She is a person who needs to have her festering wounds lanced and finally able to heal. Heath as the faithful friend and lover at Effie's convenience is a strong man. What I really liked about Heath is that he isn't a fantasy man. He's not rich. He's not famous. He's not super intelligent. He doesn't turn his life around in an awe-inspiring way after his release. He is so realistic to how people can be in real life. The one difference is his unending patience and his giving heart in spite of all he has suffered.

This journey through darkness finally ends in a cathartic release that moves me beyond words. It's story about how bad things happen to good people. Sometimes, it is not possible to overcome it. Sometimes it takes years. Sometimes only death and confrontation will give the finally spark to break free from heavy mental chains. For Effie, watching her struggle against herself and others, it is both frustrating and disheartening. She is an anti-heroine who in the end eventually finds peace. This little hidden fragment of hope is something I can always count on from Ms. Hart. This dark romance is recommended for those who derive pleasure from angst.

*provided by NetGalley

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