Hold On by Kristen Ashley – Jenn’s Review

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WHY I READ IT

Is that a serious question?? It’s KA!! THE QUEEN!

WHAT I RATED IT

off the charts

WHAT IT’S ABOUT

Since she was young, Cher Rivers knew she was not the kind of girl who got what she wanted. A girl who could hope. A girl who could dream. She knew a happily ever after just wasn’t in the cards for her.

In love for years with the last bastion of the ‘burg’s eligible bachelors, Garrett Merrick, Cher worked hard at making him laugh. Being one of the guys. Having him in her life the only way she could. All this knowing he was in love with another woman.

The Merrick Family is known for loving deep. So when Cecelia Merrick was murdered, it marked the Merricks in a way none of them recovered. Both Cecelia’s children found love. Both turned their backs on it. But Garrett “Merry” Merrick knew in his soul the woman he divorced years ago was the one for him.

Until the night when Cher took Garrett’s back and things changed. The Merrick family loves deep. They also protect fiercely. And with his eyes finally open, Garrett sees the woman who truly is for him and he goes after her.

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JENN’S REVIEW

“You got good, you don’t let it go. It lets you go, you hold on.”

What can you say about the final book in a series that has brought us tears, laughter (sometimes together), and pure joy in its six books? One might think we have said all the words there were to say by the time Hold On is released….but then Kristen gives us Merry and Cher, and suddenly, there are more words to be said.

We can start with perfection.

Merry and Cher were not at all what I expected, but that’s what you get with KA, the unexpected. For five books, Cher has been the strong one; the take no prisoners woman raising a son on her own and doing whatever it takes to make that happen. She has been the voice of reason for the women of the ‘burg and has spent years  watching her friends fall in love, one by one, not just thinking that it wouldn’t happen to her, but that it didn’t happen to girls like her.

Garrett ‘Merry’ Merrick’s family has suffered a tragedy that no family should ever know, and each of the Merrick’s have dealt with it in their own, messed up ways. Merry pushed his wife, Mia away, the one he thought he would spend forever with, and threw himself into his friends, his family and his job. Thinking he had time, he dragged his feet, only for Mia to be the one to move on permanently, leaving Merry broken and lost.

As fast as Merry and Cher’s story starts, the breaks are immediately slammed, and you feel that familiar KA angst. The kind where your stomach churns with sadness and anger for our heroine. For me, it was the worst it has been, because Cher has always been that tenacious, feisty woman we all need in our lives and to find her defeated was difficult. Cher has been in love with Merry for quite some time, and you aren’t just told that, but you feel the fierceness of it every time Cher thinks of, speaks to, or looks at Merry.  It’s a love she pushes to the side to focus on her son Ethan, who is a standout character in Hold On. All the kids in the ‘burg play a special role, but I just LOVED Ethan and Cher’s relationship. It was honest and real and if I closed my eyes, I could actually see their interactions taking place off the page.

You know you are getting a happy ending with KA, so let’s not pretend that you aren’t sure if Merry and Cher are going to get together. Of course they are! It’s the way they come together and the journey that they take that makes Hold On unique and one of KA’s best. It’s not just a love story about two people, but about a family growing together and a community taking care of their own. Hold On brings us full circle from For You, and the ending is simply perfection.

Just when you think it can’t get any better, KA gives us the epilogue of all epilogues.  No one has written an epilogue so outstanding, not even the Queen herself. You thought you had greatness in Rock Chick, but you have no idea. Expect to be wowed, to cry, and to feel so completely satisfied, you are at peace with saying good-bye to Brownsburg.

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