Can't Hold Back

Can't Hold Back

by Serena Bell

NOOK Book(eBook)


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A love triangle gone wrong. The power to heal his pain. And a second chance for both of them.

Nate Riordan came home from war hurting—everywhere.

Alia Drake can touch him and make it all better.

Nate craves her touch, and not just the professional, physical therapist version. But he needs to keep his eyes on the prize and his feet firmly on the path he's chosen: His buddy, J.J., died, and Nate lived, which means he has promises to keep. Plus, Alia hurt him once, and he's afraid she'll do it again.

Alia knows she has to ignore her feelings for Nate. Her job is to take care of him professionally, so she has to keep her hands on the parts of him she has a right to touch. Besides, when she lied to him two years ago, she forfeited any claim she could ever have to his heart.

Now she just has to find some way to stick to her guns, leave him alone, and do her job. Even—or especially—when he's shirtless on the table in her office...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161416020
Publisher: Jelsba Media Group
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Series: Returning Home , #2
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 144,442
File size: 456 KB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Serena Bell writes contemporary romance with heat, heart, and humor. A former journalist, Serena has always believed that everyone has an amazing story to tell if you listen carefully, and you can often find her scribbling in her tiny garret office, mainlining chocolate and bringing to life the tales in her head.

Serena’s books have earned many honors, including an RT Reviewers’ Choice Award, Apple Books Best Book of the Month, and Amazon Best Book of the Year for Romance.

When not writing, Serena loves to spend time with her college-sweetheart husband and two hilarious kiddos—all of whom are incredibly tolerant not just of Serena’s imaginary friends but also of how often she changes her hobbies and how passionately she embraces the new ones. These days, it’s stand-up paddle boarding, board-gaming, meditation, and long walks with good friends.

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Can't Hold Back 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Jennann3 More than 1 year ago
Prior to a stint serving overseas in Afghanistan, Nate is introduced to the Drake sisters while attending a picnic. Although Alia feels an unmistaken chemistry between she and Nate, she isn’t looking for a relationship, so she introduces Nate to her sister. Alia has always taken care of her sister, more like a mother. Their own mother suffered mental illness and couldn’t be what they needed growing up. So Alia took over care of her younger sister, always putting her first. Nate felt a connection with Alia, but instead dated her sister. During his deployment, Alia assisted her sister with letters, messages, and a care package to Nate. Alia’s sister suffered a learning disability and found it nearly impossible to write, so Alia helped her, but put “her” heart in it. Nate returns and is devastated to find the woman he thought was “the one”, wasn’t really her at all. Nate also returned a damaged man who suffered the loss of a fellow soldier, a friend. He vows to put his life together so he can keep promises he made to his fallen buddy. Alia, looking for a new start, jumps at the chance to help injured soldiers. As a physical therapist, Alia uses unconventional methods to ease the pain they suffer. The men grumble, but find she’s truly helping them overcome pain without the use of pain medication. Being around other veterans who “know” what they’ve seen and done, also makes it easier to talk, get things out in open, and heal. As much as Alia enjoys her job, she’s shocked to see Nate. If you read the Amazon excerpt, it starts off by claiming this story as a love triangle. It is NOT! So if that steers you away from reading this novel, that would be a travesty. At times, I wanted to shake Alia and tell her to “take what she wanted-Nate”, but I also knew they weren’t “there” yet. Will the time apart finally open their eyes to the possibility of THEM? This story ends with a HEA and no cliffhanger. I read a gifted copy and all opinions stated are my own.
Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
Can't Hold Back puts a twist on some traditional romance tropes. Technically, you could say that there is a love triangle and other woman drama, but not exactly. This one is also kind of a second chance romance, but kind of not. To explain further would certainly give spoilers, so I'll just say that Nate and Alia's romance isn't what I would expect from any of those tropes. Nope, it's better! The romance is sweet, a bit angsty, and absolutely scorching hot. One of my favorite things about this series and its wonderful characters is the touch of realism the author gives us. Life is messy and even perfectly perfect moments have their pieces of that mess. We get that here, and it always serves to draw me in to the story a little more. This is part of a series, and I love that we get to catch up with characters from the first book but at the same time, this one still works as a standalone.
flchen1 More than 1 year ago
Can't Hold Back by Serena Bell is the second in her Returning Home series, about wounded veterans returning to civilian life, and the unique challenges they face, wrapped up in a bit of a Cyrano de Bergerac frame. This story is about Alia Drake and Nate Riordan. Being the older sister and a physical therapist, she's used to being the caregiver, the one to take away pain. She puts others first, period. Nate's in pain frequently if not constantly. He realizes that he's becoming addicted to the pain meds and tosses them, preferring to endure the pain than to lose more of himself to the pills. He finally decides to give R&R a try--a retreat of sorts founded by Jake Taylor (hero of the first Returning Home title, Hold On Tight) for healing veterans. Serena Bell does a beautiful job with Can't Hold Back. Alia and Nate are real and sympathetic characters. Neither is perfect by any means, but their budding relationship gives us hope that we can recover from what seem like damning mistakes, that love can free us to need and want, that sometimes we give care and sometimes we can receive it, and that those we love can help us become more of our truest, best selves. Can't Hold Back is a very satisfying read, and I look forward to more in the Returning Home series!
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
Nate Riordan is a broken man who is in need of help, he is relying on pain killers to numb the pain of his injury and the loss of his friend. He has returned stateside, only to discover he doesn't really have a home to return to. He's suffering from survivors guilt and feels like he owes it to his friend to take care of his friends family, so he steps in to help, and begins to put their needs in front of his own, and ends up adding more stress to his life than he can handle. He is in need of an escape, so when another friend invites him to a veterans retreat he jumps as the chance to have a little escape, not expecting to find himself face to face with a woman from his past... Alia Drake has always had a crush on Nate, but instead of making a move for him, she let her sister have a chance with the sexy soldier, and it's something she has always regretted. So when he walks back in to her life a part of her is hoping for a second chance with him, but the other part of her, the therapist side of her, says it's inappropriate to make a move on a patient. When she begins to see how much he is suffering, and how much he needs someone in his life, she begins to cross lines she knows she shouldn't, but she just can't help herself... This story really struck a cord with me, and drew me right into the character's lives, which made it really hard for me to put this book down, it was so addictive!. The story was intense, passionate, thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and gave me a true glimpse of what life is like for soldiers returning home, and the struggle they go through to readjust to civilian life. Definitely a series everyone should add to the top of their reading lists, it is sure to satisfy all of your reading needs and then some!!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this story. A great romance, strong writing, and the characters were complex and interesting. Alia Drake and Nate Riordan met a few years ago at a picnic and had an instant attraction but when Alia's sister Becca also showed interest in Nate, Alia backed away. Mostly! Now Alia is working as a physical therapist at a veteran's resort where Nate is staying. That same attraction is there but with the job complication and secrets from that time he dated her sister may be too much to overcome. Definitely one I would recommend.