Hold on Tight: A Returning Home Novel

Hold on Tight: A Returning Home Novel

4.6 23
by Serena Bell


In Serena Bell’s heartwarming novel, a young mother and a battle-scarred veteran must decide if they can rekindle the sparks they once shared.

Fighting for his country gave Jake Taylor’s life shape and meaning. Now as an injured war hero he struggles to find purpose, until he runs into…  See more details below



In Serena Bell’s heartwarming novel, a young mother and a battle-scarred veteran must decide if they can rekindle the sparks they once shared.

Fighting for his country gave Jake Taylor’s life shape and meaning. Now as an injured war hero he struggles to find purpose, until he runs into the gorgeous woman he dated briefly—and disastrously—before being deployed eight years ago. Turns out Jake doesn’t just need to figure out how to be a civilian . . . he also needs to learn how to be a dad.
Eighteen, pregnant, and totally lost, Mira Shipley couldn’t track down the soldier who fathered her child, so she put college on hold and focused on making a good life for her son. Now she’s determined to be something more than Sam’s mom, her parents’ daughter, or Jake’s girl—as hot as she finds her old flame’s take-charge attitude in and out of bed. Soon Mira and Jake realize that their passion didn’t disappear when Sam was conceived—and that instead of running away, sometimes it’s better to hold on tight.

Praise for Hold on Tight
“Sweet, sexy and real . . . In Hold on Tight, Serena Bell has written a beautiful story about a wounded soldier and the woman strong enough to love him.”—Jessica Scott, USA Today bestselling author of Because of You
Hold on Tight is intensely sensual, with three-dimensional characters and a romance worth rooting for. Serena Bell is a master of sumptuous realism.”—Cara McKenna, author of Hard Time

“The authenticity of their story is resounding. This isn’t a story of instant love, but of an uphill battle and determination, of making decisions, and of living in the here and now.”Heroes and Heartbreakers

Hold on Tight is one of those romance stories that warms you right through to your very soul.”—Nicci’s Book Blog
“Bravo to Serena Bell for some truly astounding character work in this book!”—Smitten with Reading
“This contemporary second-chance romance is Bell’s best written book yet. It deals with the horror of war beautifully and with great care, weaving it into a great love story, and many, many swoons.”—The Book Hammock
“Just a beautiful, and yet not overly emotionally weighted, story of two people fighting their way out of a life they were dealt, toward a life they choose wholeheartedly. This book left me feeling warmed, encouraged, bolstered and full. Phenomenal writing by Serena Bell.”—Ripe for Reader
“Because it is captivating from beginning to end, because it is smart, because it reached into my chest and tugged on my heart, because the writing is beautiful, you gotta read Serena Bell’s Hold on Tight.”—You Gotta Read
“[With] a strong single mother any woman can relate to and a wounded hero you just can’t help but love, Hold on Tight is a great read with some really steamy romance and tender feels. . . . I just loved every minute of it.”—Globug & Hootie Need a Book

“I was completely swept away with the characters, story and the writing.”—Twin Spin
“This book was excellent. The author did an amazing job getting the emotions through the pages and into my heart.”—Libby’s Fun Books
Includes a special message from the editor, as well as excerpts from other Loveswept titles.

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Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Returning Home , #1
Sold by:
Random House
Sales rank:
File size:
3 MB

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Hold on Tight: A Returning Home Novel 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
Bethany_G More than 1 year ago
I ABSOLOTUELY love this book! I laughed, cried, got frustrated and thought about these characters after I finished reading the book. I love second chance romance stories and this one did not disappoint! The characters were relatable and the story was well told. This is a great read and I'm looking forward to reading more from this author.
Sailon More than 1 year ago
Eight years ago a single night changed everything for Jake Taylor and Mira Shipley. The passion they shared was innocent and explosive leaving Mira pregnant and no way to find Jake, who left to serve our country in the war torn Middle East. Returning from war as an amputee, Jake Taylor is finding it hard to face his new life without his leg and his best friend, who was killed in action. Mira Shipley is a single mom who finally just broke away from her parents help. A chance encounter at a physical therapy session reunites Jake and Mira. But now there is a new person between them, an eight year old son, Sam. The passion has never died between Mira and Jake but struggling to find their new places in life takes priority. Both Jake and Mira have emotional issues which get in the way of their second chance at happiness. Bell slowly peels back the layers of tragedy facing our returning injured heroes in this modern storytelling. We are given a realistic and heart felt view of how grueling this transition and loss can be. With likable characters with amazing strength, Hold on Tight was an extremely inspiring and heartfelt read.
RomanticReadsandSuch 6 months ago
Hold on Tight is fantastically written – the perfect balance of emotions, with Jake learning to live again and Mira learning to stand on her own two feet. Plus both have to deal with the fact that they made a child together and now have to decide what that means for them going forward. But Bell does a great job of not letting things get too bogged down. Instead she manages to keep all of her characters steadily moving forward to something better and that HEA that we want so badly for them. (Complimentary copy provided in exchange for an honest review) Full review available at Romantic Reads and Such on wordpress.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was exhausting......most of the storyline took place in the heads of the characters. It had way too much thought dialogue. Decent story..decent character development but the style of writing...I didnt care much for.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yawned. He brought you close, "Goodnight my love."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book, good read for enjoyment and pleasure reading.
slz52 More than 1 year ago
4.5 STARS........................Awesome story, written mostly really well, I think there was just a little to much inner dialogue from both Mira and Jake, some of it redundant, it was a bit frustrating that these two kept second guessing themselves. All and all it was a truly inspiring book as far as Jake's realization that his loss of leg no way made him less a man, the way the author wrote how Sam and Mira reacted to Jake's leg was great.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sweet_Pea0 More than 1 year ago
I ABSOLUTELY loved this book...Sam drew me in...Way to go hoping for another good book by this author....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very good book in spite of the ponographic and foul language. I never give 5 star and the bones of this book deservef a 5 if not more.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mebuffy More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book.  It felt raw and real.  I love Mira!  She’s strong, smart, and brave, even if she didn’t always give herself that credit.  I liked Jake, but thought he needed a good smack upside the head on occasion.  I also loved that there weren’t any villains or anything, it was just two people and their story.    The only complaint that really stood out to me was the “reptilian brain” reference and its frequency.  Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed it and just could not get enough of its authenticity. Hold on Tight is a fast paced, sweet, emotional read that will get you invested from page one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hold on Tight was such a great book and eye opener. It's not everyday you read a book about a wounded soldier finding out he has a family he never knew about. The characters in this book were all so strong and they all worked for each other. Well most of the time. Any book with a man isn't always selfless. lol But in this one Jake was indeed always thinking of others and what is best for those he cares about. Especially after getting hurt in Afghanistan and losing his best friend it truly changed him inside and out.  I adored Jake because of how strong he was in every way throughout this book. But also because he was an amazing character as a soldier, father and lover.  Mira made me so proud because of how strong of a woman she was by raising her son at eighteen by herself. Although she had help from her parents she insisted on doing things on her own and that in it's self is amazing.  Sam will just make you want to hug his neck and run away with him. He is such a good little boy that just melts your heart. He might have grown up so far without a father but Mira did a great job of making him such a thoughtful, loving, and understanding little man.  Serena did an amazing job with this book. I have read her work before and she did an amazing job yet again. I truly look forward to reading more of her work. Five stars have been granted :) Review left by Natalie of Behind The White Picket Fence
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love anything involving a great story with a wounded warrior. Loved all the charactors, espescially Jake. Will read more from this author
WiLoveBooks More than 1 year ago
I loved this. A second chance romance that is a whole lot more. Mira and Jake are real characters with real issues. Mira wants to feel like she can stand on her own and raise her son without a man to help her. Jake just hasn't been the same since coming home from the war. Then they cross paths again by accident and Jake finds out he's a father. This is real, messy, sweet, and inspiring. Plenty steamy as well. And yes, there were tears. I highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book and very realistic but it had WAY too much internal dialogue. She would ask a question and three.pages later he would answer. Sometime i had to go back to rerrad the question. Sweet story!
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
Hold on Tight, A Loveswept Contemporary Romance, Serena Bell Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Well, it is what it says, a short and sweet romance. Sometimes I think I'm looking for things that aren't in the genre I’ve chosen, and I guess that's what happened here. It's a gentle romance, no great drama but there are lots of problems to overcome. What I did like was the parts where Jake was struggling to pick up his life again, after the amputation. As an AKA myself I can empathise with how tough that can be, and how it needs a different mindset. I'd dream about something, get up next day, fix leg on and try it and ...it wasn't possible. You have to learn yourself what will work and what won't. Jakes describing taking off his false limb at one point though and ...it seems to be a suction limb – which wouldn't need the sock inserts, they stick to skin and need to have close contact, then he's talking about the silicone sheath, so he must be a low AK, hence his ability to run etc – mine is a high AK, and one consultant suggested a suction sheath would solve my fitting problems, my prosthetist thought it wouldn't work – but, knowing we need to find that out for ourselves, he duly made me one. Well, the comfort was fantastic, unfortunately the minute I stood up it fell off....you need most of your limb for it to fit, and I have only 4 inches of bone so for me :-( but that's what I mean about how we need to learn ourselves what works and Jake is finding that out. The down-set he was in mentally improved once he began to find what he could do, and not focus on what was lost and that's just so, so true and really worked well. I don't know if Serena has family, friends, work experience in this field but she's spot on with that. So, the practical side – even down to finding what works with sex! Been there done that...was excellent, its just that the actual romance was a bit soft, a bit tame for me. I needed a bit more deep drama, but felt it was very “all works well” feel to it instead. Even when things went wrong it still felt to me as though I knew it would work, that there were no real barriers holding out. So its a mixed bag to rate. Practical stuff, the emotions connected to amputation and rehab, a good four but the romance I’d give a three.... Stars: like I said, mixed feelings but overall a three and a half. ARC supplied via Netgalley
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
Jake and Mira have a chance meeting and are hot and heavy until he has to be deployed overseas. A chance meeting again in a physical therapist's office finds a surprise for both of them.  Loved this story for, I believe, what truly happens when a soldier comes back from war and has to deal with a loss of a friend on a limb. Add in the girl that got away and the consequences of one night, and it's a beautifully written story.
RipeForReader More than 1 year ago
My rating: 5 of 5 ¿¿ Wow!!  I was completely bowled over by this novel, did not expect the deep reaches of the subject matter nor was I prepared for the immediate and total engagement I experienced with the characters and their story. I have read Serena Bell's work before and have always enjoyed it, but I believe of the novels I've read, this surely rises to a different level. Written with such incredible insight into and understanding of her characters, one of whom struggles with the loss and guilt-ridden aftermath of traumatic experiences during military service, and the other who has given up all sense of herself and her future, in order to care for her child alone.  Mira carries her own guilt. Guilt towards her child, guilt towards her parents and guilt towards Jake. It is almost as if she has lived in a state of penance for years, not necessarily in caring for her son, but in molding herself to her family's expectations and so denying herself her own dreams. Ironic that just as she is starting to break free from that tether, the next subject of her guilt appears in her life - Jake - who challenges her to put herself out there.  Jake is numb. It's easier that way, because feeling anything at this point is a painful experience. He exists, no more, simply goes through the motions on a daily basis. That is until he meets Mira again and feels himself yanked back into living, something he is not sure he even wants. His journey back from the desolate place he existed in is symbolized by the gradual adjustments he makes on his prosthesis to fit the life he is now working towards. Just a beautiful, and yet not overly emotionally weighted, story of two people fighting their way out of a life they were dealt, toward a life they choose whole-heartedly. This book left me feeling warmed, encouraged, bolstered and full. Phenomenal writing by Serena Bell. ¿A potent, intelligent, empathetic and deserving fight for happiness.¿ **Copy provided in return for an honest review.**
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Who knew a visit to the physical therapist could change the life of rehabbing Vet Jake Taylor. Struggling not only with the loss of his leg but also his identity as a Ranger he is shocked to see the girl he walked away from eight years ago but has never forgotten. This is an amazing story told with the flair I have come to expect from a Serena Bell book. Well written storytelling, endearing characters, dealing with realistic issues makes this one of the best books I've read so far this year. Absolutely a recommended read.
Peachey04 More than 1 year ago
This was a very interesting read! Young love, different life paths and second chances. One night changes Mira's life forever, a horrific war accident changed Jake's. Both, in their own way need to become their own person and find purpose in their lives. Being brave enough to fact your fears and focusing on what you want isn't easy. But a second chance at love could be worth what ever you need to do. A wonderful story with great character interaction. Well written, delightful story you should not miss reading. Gifted copy from Net Galley for review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book, the characters, the easy reading style.