October 5, 2010

New York lobbyist Michael Davoli feels like he’s been sucker punched when he meets Anne Miller at a concert. When fate leads him to move into same Albany apartment building where Anne lives, Michael falls hard. After all, Anne’s hot, his dog likes her, and she’s catnip to the senses after she picks a lock faster than Sydney Bristow can disarm a nuke.

Always fiercely independent, Anne’s crackerjack reporting skills and keen intellect are no match for the chemical reaction she has to this man with electric blue eyes. But while Mike effortlessly holds her with his gaze, he withholds the embrace she longs for. Why is he so distant? Has Anne misread his signals? When he finally confesses that he suffers from a neurological disorder that he’s learned to disguise from others but could keep him from ever holding her through the night—she makes a choice that changes the rest of her life.

Anne isn’t about to let anything like Tourette’s Syndrome keep her from the man of her dreams. But Mike has a second secret. Will this secret be the one that even a grand passion cannot survive?

Title: Hard To Hold
Author: Julie Leto
Series: True Vows, Reality Based Romance ™
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: HCI Books
Year of release: 2010, September 14
Format: Tradesize Paperback
Source: received e-copy for review from Publisher as part of a blog-tour from TLC
First line: "Your problem is that you're too picky."

Anne Miller is a journalist, a crime reporter. She’s witty, bubbly, cheerful, and open. She’s in a knitting-group and an avid fan of Jack Bauer. The moment she decides that she’s quite happy being single and not going to search after love, fate bumps into her in the form of Mike Davoli at a music concert. Mike is a campaign coordinator for the Quality Education Initiative. He has Tourette's Syndrome. He’s organized, sweet, honest and a very big fan of a band called Phish.

I really like this concept of romance novels based on reality. Reading romance in various genres has made me believe in easy, almost magical solutions to hurdles that inevitably surge in a starting relationship and HARD TO HOLD made me see again that building and maintaining a relationship is hard work and the road to a Happily Ever After is paved with struggles, disappointments, conflict and challenges to go with the chemistry, sexual attraction and soul-mate kind of love.

There was one minor thing that bothered me reading this books and that was the conflict/argument between Anne and Michael and Michael's reasoning. This felt a little forced and didn't quite work for me, but I did love that it wasn’t brushed over or easily solved, which made the romance that much stronger in my opinion.

The second half of HARD TO HOLD tells the story where other romance novels end and to me portrayed the real story after the Happily Ever After where most romance novels end. Reading this book was refreshing and I heartily welcome this new brand of romance.

A sweet, warm and funny contemporary was just what I needed and just what I got from HARD TO HOLD. This book proved to me that you don't need hot and heavy dirty sex scenes to write an excellent and poignant contemporary love story and make me a fan. Don't get me wrong, I like hot monkey sex scenes, a lot, but they are not obligatory for me to thoroughly enjoy a book as reading HARD TO HOLD definitely proved to me.

Seeing the attraction build, slowly but intensely was just delightful to read. I smiled and grinned numerous times at the subtle humor that was delivered as easily and smoothly as the love story. And the wedding put the cherry on the cake by making me tear up.

I highly recommend HARD TO HOLD if you love subtle humor, sweet romance dosed with a healthy bit of reality and a HEA that is just perfect. And I am also definitely going to read more of Julie Leto's work as I do have some on my huge TBR and this first encounter with her writing has definitely left me wanting more.

Favorite Quotes:
There was a special place in hell for people who insisted on fixing up their friends--a place only slightly less horrifying than the dungeons reserved for those who sprang arresting-looking guys on their neighbors with no advance notice.

"You like dogs?" he asked.
Okay it was a stupid obvious question, but with moisture absent from his mouth and his bloodstream pumping with the kind of powerful attraction he hadn’t felt in a very long time, he was lucky to form even three words of coherent conversation

One of them shut the door, probably with a foot since both arms and hands were engaged in the finest make-up kiss ever shared between a guy who’d temporarily lost his mind and the woman who had the amazing capacity to forgive.

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SusiSunshine said...

Ohhh that sounds wonderful. I always found myself wanting to see how the story goes on after the HEA while reading a book. Sometimes it's just too perfect and I wonder how this would work in real life. It really seems like a good way to write a novel like this.

Dwayne said...

Not much of a contemporary fan, but sounds good nonetheless!

Barb said...

You make me want to read this book!! It's on my shopping list for this weekend!

Tracy said...

I really liked this one as well. I thought that it was fun and there was a subtle humor that I appreciated. It was slower in parts but I didn't think it detracted from the book at all.

Great review!

JennJ said...

This one sounds very different! May have to check it out! :) HUGS

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39, married to my real life romance hero, addicted to TV shows, reading romance novels and Twitter. I'm a chronic (e)book hoarder and my absolute favorite genres within romance fiction are contemporary romance and romantic suspense, but I don't shy away from historical, paranormal or erotic romance either. Even the occasional (urban) fantasy romance, futuristic and sci fi romance may make it to my Mount TBR. This is my corner of the world wide web where I let you know what books I'm hoarding, reading and reviewing.
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On My TBR Shelf

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  • Crazy for Love - Victoria Dahl
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  • Vampire in Atlantis - Alyssa Day
  • Vampire Dragon - Annette Blair
  • Captive Spirit - Anna Windsor
  • Chosen by Blood - Virna DePaul
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  • Stranger - Zoe Archer
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  • Tempt Me - Shiloh Walker
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