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Hard to Handle

Book Review
Hard to Hold
The Love in the Balance Series
Book 2
By Jessica Lemmon
Grand Central Publishing
Oct. 1, 2013
Available in kindle and paperback

Aiden Downey found a woman he cared to spend the rest of his life with. Unfortunately, Sadie came into his life at a very difficult time. In an effort to provide his mother with the treatment she preferred and with a dignified final chapter, he pushed Sadie away. The chain reaction that followed caused a wall of hurt with his siblings and with Sadie, who he had just met. His siblings felt they were left out of the decision-making process and Sadie felt rejected.

How do you make things right when all you meant was to “be there” for your mother? Aiden allowed her to have the alternative treatments she wanted in Oregon. He gave up his possessions to make it happen.

Now that she’s gone, he has to deal with the reactions of those he hurt. Being in the wedding party of Crickitt and Shane meant he’d have to face Sadie. Though they had only spent a short time together, there was more than attraction. Had the circumstances been different, it might have evolved into a relationship. Aiden hoped his siblings would forgive him in time. He also hated how he ended it with Sadie. He needed to apologize and see if there was a possibility of rebuilding trust and firing up that sizzling level of attraction. He also wanted to take it to the next level if that was at all possible.

Sadie thought she found her Mr. Right. Because he pushed her away, she didn’t feel comfortable with anything beyond first dates. Clearly, she didn’t want to get hurt again. But fate has a way of taking you out of your comfort zone and putting you in the driver’s seat headed for a highway. Aiden and Sadie find themselves working in the same place, even for a short time, and that’s going to push them together. But will it be forever? Read the book and find out.

I’ve recently read a number of books about second chances and sons and daughters pushing away the people they love. It’s not because they’re afraid of commitment. They merely are wrapped up in an emotional blanket of caring for a love one who has a terminal disease or is fighting for recovery. Each time I want to ask the characters, if there was a way, why can’t they say what they feel? That applies to real life, as well.

Hard to Hold was well written, fast moving and dealt with real life issues. Not only were the primary characters easy to relate to and dimensional, the secondary characters had a real purpose: being supportive or a pain in the rear. This was definitely a character driven book with lots of tension between the two main characters. What really got me is the nerve of her ex-fiance. I think Sadie was too forgiving. Clearly, she’s the better person. All in all, I would recommend this book and look forward to other novels by Jessica.

Four out of five vintage motorcycles
Denise Fleischer
November 10, 2013