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New Release Review! HOLDING OUT by Serena Bell (Returning Home #4)

Holding Out cover

She’s done being a virgin. He’s willing to help her out. Only now he has a problem of his own: He can’t stop wanting more.

The answer has to be no, of course. No way Griff Ambrose is going to help Becca Drake lose her virginity. Not only is she his friend’s little sister, but Griff doesn’t do commitment—not since the day he came home from war to find his house empty and his wife gone.

But he can’t get Becca’s request—or pretty much anything else about her—out of his head. What can it hurt, anyway? If it’s awkward afterwards, they can just avoid each other. Right?

Becca Drake has turned her life around, and she’s proud of how much butt she’s kicking. The shy girl with the self-esteem problem has been shown the door, and New Becca’s in the driver’s seat. There’s just one more demon she has to exorcise. Virginity is messing up her sex life. Guys who might be okay with giving her a test drive act like they’re being auditioned for marriage when they find out she’s never had intercourse.

Griff is the perfect candidate to do the deed: He’s her friend, he’s sexy as heck, and neither of them wants anything serious.

Then Becca’s job goes belly up and she takes a temporary position at the veterans’ retreat where Griff works. Now she and Griff can’t stay out of each other’s way—and their entanglement keeps getting messier—and sexier. Worst of all, it’s getting harder and harder for Becca and Griff to lie to themselves about what they really want… 

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First rule of Operation V-Card is, there is no Operation V-Card…

I absolutely loved Holding Out! Griff and Becca’s story was just wonderful. It was sexy, funny, and fun–with a refreshing lack of BS (beyond the traditional “we’re just going to do a one and done and move on like nothing happened” that a premise like this demands–but let me tell you, when the delusional “one and done” is as good as this one is, I am here for it). They did attempt to hide their “Surprise! Even a ‘three and free’ isn’t enough!” sexcapades from their friends, but that lasted about a hot minute (with a painfully funny and awkward moment) and that too was a big ol’ checkmark in the plus column of this book. 

Even when the relationship’s black moment comes–and boy, does it come–the way Becca and Griff each reacted to it meshed up perfectly with their characters. They both had a part to play in the disaster, and they both had realizations to come to and reparations to make. It’s more of a mutual confession and declaration that gets them back together than a grovel–and it was perfect.

Since Griff and Becca are both invested in the R&R community, past series characters are throughout the book. If you haven’t read their stories yet, it’s not a problem–this book works fine as a standalone. I’m going to bet, though, that you’ll enjoy them all so much you’ll want to go back and read all the rest of the books in the series–you have been warned!

Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Published in4.5 starsABook reviewsBOOKS!new releasespotlight
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