Hold Me Close by Megan Hart

We're always happy to read a new story by the amazing Megan Hart. Although, maybe "happy" wouldn't be the right word for the emotional roller coaster you're on for the duration of the book. She unfailingly delivers a story that makes you want to weep for so many reasons, and feel everything the main character is feeling. 

Hold Me Close was no exception. I knew it would be a difficult one when I read the blurb. But wow. Ms. Hart deals with dark and difficult subject matter in a way I have yet to see another author do. 

Apart, they are broken, but together, they are whole. 

Effie and Heath are famous. Not for anything they did, but for what happened to them as teenagers. Abducted and abused by the same man, they turned to each other for comfort until they were finally able to make their escape.
Now adults, their relationship is fraught with guilt and despair. Whether fighting or making love, their passion is strong enough to destroy them both — and Effie's not about to let that happen. She knows it's time for her to have a 'normal' relationship, and Heath is nothing but a constant reminder of the dark past they share. Heath, on the other hand, knows Effie is the only woman he can ever love. She may want to forget what happened, but he's convinced that they must face their past together in order to move forward. So while Effie continues to bring new men into her life, Heath becomes obsessed with proving he's the one she needs.
Then a new crisis arises and Effie begins to lose every scrap of self-control she ever had. As she struggles against her desire to return to the one man who understands her, she discovers that sometimes the only safety you find is with the person who is the most dangerous for you.

Click through to see what I thought! May contain mild spoilers!

“People are complicated, and they hurt each other. Effie Linton had known this for a long time, just as she knew that sometimes those wounds were inflicted deliberately, over and over, and not with fists or weapons. Sometimes, they did it with love.” 
This book is told through Effie's point of view. And what a point of view it is. You can tell from the beginning that Effie is dealing with a lot, including her past, and with parts of her past she carries around even now. She thinks the decisions she's making will help her finally break free of the past, move past it, even though it very much seems like a permanent part of who she is now. From the man who kidnapped her and Heath and made them call him "Daddy", to her issues with food and hot showers that have stayed with her since her abduction. And her complicated relationship with Heath.  

While the story is about Effie and Heath, and their shared, tragic past, it was more about Effie dealing with the very toxic relationships she tries to build and the decisions she makes based on some misguided attempts at "normalcy" and moving on. She is very much the person with all the power in their relationship, with the power to make or break them.
"All they've ever known, really, is each other, but that was not a choice either of them made. It was forced upon them. How can either of them know if there isn't something better, if she doesn't do this now? If she doesn't try, for both their sakes?"

You can't help but sympathize with Effie and Heath. And as always, Megan Hart makes you see exactly where the characters are coming from, where they are in their heads when they make bad decisions over and over again. When they lie to themselves and everyone around them. Nobody does it like Megan Hart does. And I couldn't help but get teary about Effie's situation, while my heart absolutely broke for Heath as well. 

As expected, the smut is unbelievably hot. And more than just the sex, you really get a feel of their personal relationships with each other in every sex scene. There are so many layers to the scenes. Heath and Effie seem to connect on every, single level. And every time they have sex, it's explosive! 

“That was the thing about love, though, wasn’t it? When you loved somebody, you wanted to give them everything you could. You wanted what was best for them, no matter what. You wanted them to move beyond what was awful and terrible, beyond anything that had ever hurt them.” 
There is no doubt about the love Effie and Heath share. And the love he has for Polly, even though he knows she's not his daughter. Heath is absolutely sure about where he belongs. But Effie isn't so sure that their love isn't something twisted, something that they should work to get over. And who can blame her? It can't be easy to accept that something beautiful or right can come out of such an ugly situation... and it doesn't mean it would be something right for someone else. But it is for them. And all I wanted throughout the book was for Effie to stop torturing herself trying to find someone "normal" for herself. 

The details of their ordeal are revealed gradually throughout the book. And they've both kept up unhealthy relationships with people from that past. They both deal with it every day. But at the end of the day, this is a story about Effie coming to terms with her feelings for Heath. And not fighting them. Not making excuses to distance herself from him. And for her to realize that, sometimes the only person you want on your journey through life, is the person who saw you at your worst. The person who walked with you through every circle of hell, and still managed to see you as beautiful, as bright, as worthy. The person who wasn't just there, a bystander, but who went through each ordeal with you. Sometimes, only that person will do. To pick up the pieces of you that were left behind, and to make you feel whole again. To make you feel "normal" whatever that might be for each of us. That when you do find that someone, it's not the details that matter, but the fact that you are no longer alone.

“Some of us have already found all we ever want.” 

This Wench rates it :


  1. I just saw that this was released and was a little concerned about the dark theme, even though I know Megan Hart makes dark so intriguing and unputdownable, but after reading your review I'm looking forward to reading this! Thanks!

  2. Yeah Kathi! I was a little wary going on, but it was very different than what I expected!


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