Hold You Against Me: A Stripped Standalone by Skye Warren
Published by Indie on May 31, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Suspense
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"Hold You Against Me quite literally grabs a hold and refuses to let go until the end. Truly one of the first Mafia books I've read that sucked me in with a completely original and brilliant storyline that had me guessing the entire time!" ~ #1 NYT Bestselling Author Rachel Van Dyken
Once upon a time the daughter of a mafia king fell in love with a foot soldier.
This fairy tale didn't have a happy ending.
My sister and I barely managed to escape alive, and we've lived in relative hiding ever since. I'm safe now, but I can never forget the boy who gave his life to save mine.
Except there's a chance that he's still alive. And he's fighting a war.
Even knowing the risks, I have to find him. I have to find some way to protect him, the way he protected me. But he isn't the boy I left behind. He's a violent man. A criminal. And he's been waiting for me--the final pawn in a dark game of survival and love.
This is my first book by Skye Warren and I have no idea what I’ve been waiting for. I have a few of her books on my TBR list but just haven’t made the plunge yet. So when we were given to opportunity to review Hold You Against Me, I was all over it. It can be read as a stand alone.
We first meet Clara and Giovanni when they are teenagers. She is fifteen and a mafia princess. He is seventeen and the son of a foot solider who is being trained to follow his father’s path. You can tell early on that there is an undeniable connection between the two. Clara is openly smitten while Giovanni (Gio) is a little harder to read. Both of their lives are full of the dangerous world of the mafia and have to live very calculated lives. When circumstances forces Clara to run, Gio is her only chance of escaping. He paid the ultimate sacrifice for her survival. His life.
“Giovanni is my secret, a shard of glass buried so deep in my soul it would kill me to remove it.”
Eight years later, Clara has attempted to move on with her life. She’s not longer threatened by the mafia and is living a semi normal life. However, she just can’t get Gio out of her mind. He’s always been the boy she loved and she can’t seem to get past her feelings. What she doesn’t know is that Gio is actually alive and she is about to face her past and her future. Both mixed with sadness and happiness.
This was a different twist to a second chance story that I enjoyed. Gio is no longer the sweet boy that Clara remembers. He’s cold, calculated and oozes indifference towards Clara. Every time I saw a glimmer of hope between them, Gio would do or say something maddening that would ultimate feel like they back to square one.
“I don’t need your pity, bella. Don’t waste it on me. I show you this so you’ll understand. So you don’t look to me for mercy. I have none.”
Now that Clara is back in the mafia world, she’s struggling between her heart and her need to survive. Even though she never wanted to be back in it, she stands up for herself and knows how to play the game. She tries to remain distant from Gio but that love never died and she can see that even the cold, calculated man that he is now is still digging his way further into her heart.
I was told by the author that this is probably her most romantic book to date. And I have to admit that the romance was great. Even with his cold indifference, we do see a side of Gio that is absolutely swoon worthy. He’s that guy that you love to hate in the beginning but slowly creeps your way into your heart. With that being said, I think I really want to go back and read some of her other books. If this is the most romantic then I want to see the darker side. I would have preferred some more of the darker, violent side of the mafia.
Overall, I really enjoyed my first book from Skye and I look forward to going back to read the rest of the books in this series and some of her other work. If you are looking for a light mafia book with some steamy scenes and some swoon worthy moments, then this book is for you!