Holding Out

Holding Out

by Serena Bell

NOOK Book(eBook)


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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...

Product Details

BN ID: 2940161423769
Publisher: Jelsba Media Group
Publication date: 05/21/2019
Series: Returning Home , #4
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 2,002
File size: 466 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 a RITA finalist spot, 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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Holding Out 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
DiiFL More than 1 year ago
Becca was holding out for that special man who deserved to take what she saw as her most valuable possession, but he hasn’t come along yet, and she isn’t getting any younger or happier about her situation. Why not turn to the man who wants no commitment, wants a one and one relationship and has the experience to make losing her virginity one to remember with passion forever? It doesn’t hurt that Griff is handsome and charming, either. Too bad he is her brother-in-law’s best friend which puts him clearly in the off limits category. Serena Bell’s HOLDING out has its moments of humor, pain and heat in spades. It also brings two very damaged people together in a very intimate way. Did they really think they could have a “one and done?” Would they discover it’s their personal demons and interfering friends and family that are a bigger threat to their cautious attraction? I loved Griff’s development, Becca was a little too infatuated with her virginity and feelings of self-worth to really make me like her. And all of that interference from friends and family? A bit much, perhaps, as they are both adults, not children. Seriously, it was a good read, topped off with some fun “sexy” times and amazing moments unrelated to losing the V Card that made this book for me. Serena Bell is an excellent creator of wonderful romances and this series is definitely worth the read. I guess this one just isn't one of my favorites. I received a complimentary ARC edition from Serena Bell!
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
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.
mamalovestoread22 More than 1 year ago
After a painful divorce Griffin Ambrose has turned himself into somewhat of a ladies man, the kind that doesn't do attachments and can only promise one night of fun... the emotionally unavailable kind of man. The last time he put his whole heart into a relationship it wound up shattered into a million pieces and his girl ended up in the arms of another man. So the idea of opening himself up to love again is a hard no, and keeping someone around long enough to catch feelings is far too dangerous so it's a one and done kind of thing these days. That is until... Becca Drake comes crashing into his world and makes him an offer he can't bring himself to refuse. She has forbidden written all over her, being that she is the sister of one of his best friends, but the idea of letting another man take from her what she wants to offer up to him, is something he can't let happen. She has never given herself to a man, and for some reason she has sets her sights on him, saying that a tumble between the sheets with him would be the perfect way to relinquish her of her "V" card. In her eyes he's safe because one: she knows him; and two: he's not into commitments or love, and neither is she. She just wants one night of fun, what harm could really come of that? Holding Out is a perfectly penned tale that will rattle your emotions, touch your heart, and keep you captivated from start to finish. As soon as these two wounded souls wandered onto the page I found myself becoming enamored with them and the story they had to tell. They had pain radiating off of them, but I also saw a lot of hope there too. They were so adamant that they couldn't catch feelings from one night, but they were sorely mistaken. You could see that they needed each other, there was an instant chemistry, but there was also a deep emotional connection too. This story did a number on me, I felt every ounce of pain, but I also felt the hopeful stirrings new love brings, and that did my heart SO good, what a beautiful story. I highly recommend you get your hands on this one, what you find waiting for you is certain to squeeze your heart! I requested an advanced copy of this title from the publisher, and I am voluntarily leaving my honest opinion.
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is book #4, in the Returning Home series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. For reader understanding, and to avoid spoilers, I recommend reading this series in order. Griff finds himself attracted to the most off limits woman. She is the little sister of his friend. He also does not do commitment. Best to avoid her for now. If only she wasn't so attractive...... Becca has a thing for Griff. If he could help her with her predicament, things would be so much better for her. She just needs someone she trusts for a one and done. As long as nobody starts to have feelings for the other..... This was a great story. I loved the banter. These characters so obviously should be together. The pace was good, the heat was such a good build, and goes great with the series. ***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.
JackiesBookWorld More than 1 year ago
Having read and loved a previous book by Serena Bell, I couldn’t wait to read her newest book, Holding Out. As the fourth book in the Returning Home series, this book focuses on Griff Ambrose and Becca Drake as they navigate their way through ups and downs in order to be together. Now it is important to state that although this book is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. At the beginning of the story we get to meet Griff Ambrose, an army veteran who works at R&R, a retreat center that helps veterans by proving all types of care and services that they might need. He has been able to maintain close friendships with those that work with him and that has helped him a lot. Griff has been through so many ups and downs. After his wife left him while he was overseas, Griff has been struggling with PTSD and his inability of wanting to get into another serious relationship has turned him into a bit of a player. But there is one woman who has managed to catch his attention, too bad she is off-limits as she happens to be related to one of his closest friends. He shouldn’t want Becca Drake, but when she comes to him asking for his help he will have to decide if it’s worth losing friendships in order to help her worth it in the end. Becca Drake’s childhood is one full of tragedy and sadness. She has not only had family problems, but she has also struggled at school as well. It left her wondering if she was ever going to be good at anything. Her self-esteem took a hit when her ex made her wait until they got married in order to have sex, but he moved on and therefore she remained a virgin ever since. She is now twenty-four and she wants to create a new Becca and wants to get rid of her v-card as soon as possible. She wasn’t looking for anyone in particular, but her attraction to Griff made him the perfect candidate if she can one convince to do the deed things would all be better. But she wasn’t expecting to really get to know him in the process and now her heart is about to get hurt again. Griff made it clear that he doesn’t do relationships and she just has to find a way to make him see that they might just be perfect for each other. I very much enjoyed reading this story, it was well written and thought out. Serena Bell has managed to deliver such a great story with fully developed characters to keep you reading until the very end. It’s evident that both of the characters have their past and obstacles to overcome, but they are able to help each other in the end and we get to see the process from beginning to end. We do get to see characters from the past previous books making appearances which added more to the story. The author touches on PTSD and grief of losing a loved one which I think she did a good job on. The ending is sweet and ties the story nicely. All in all, if you are looking for a great book full of romance and good background stories then I would highly recommend reading this book and any other by the author! :) **I voluntarily read an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review**
Momma_Becky More than 1 year ago
If ever a book were suitably named, it would be this one. Griff and Becca certainly know how to hold out on each other - except in bed, that is. Both are so closed off to relationships, each with their own reasons, which makes them kind of perfect for each other. They certainly have great chemistry, and I loved how they pulled each other out of their comfort zones without even trying. This fourth in the series can be read as a standalone, but for those who have followed from the beginning, we get lots of time with the whole gang, so we see where each couple is now. As for this book. Griff and Becca are a great addition to a wonderful series.
Timitra More than 1 year ago
I simply adored Holding Out. It was sweet and sexy. I especially loved the way the things started between Griff and Becca and how their relationship progressed. I also loved their journeys individually and collectively. I definitely recommend this book and series.
flchen1 More than 1 year ago
Holding Out is the fourth in Serena Bell's Returning Home series, about veterans returning to civilian life after service. It's about Griffin Ambrose and Becca Drake. Becca's sister Alia is married to Nate (the focus of Can't Hold Back, the second in this incredible series), who works with Griff at R&R, a retreat focused on serving veterans and providing care and services to help them heal and reintegrate. Griff's been deeply wounded by the devastation of his wife leaving him while he was overseas. He's determined to protect his heart by guarding his emotions more securely than Fort Knox. If you want orgasms, he's your man. But he doesn't do relationships, period. Becca's finally got a handle on her life, and New Becca is going to stand up for herself, whether is at the workplace or with dates. One of the things on her to-do list is finding someone to help her get rid of that now inconvenient virginity. Becca and Griff have had a chance to get to know each other a bit as friends through get togethers, and during one of their conversations, Becca reveals that she's been looking for someone to help her punch that V-card. Griff declines, but he can't stop thinking about her request. Becca figures Griff's perfect for the job--they're friends, and he doesn't want more than a one-and-done anyway. But reality sometimes has a way of being different than we originally plan... Serena Bell's story is sexy and emotional and incredibly satisfying. Not only are the characters real and three-dimensional, they are a part of a warm and supportive community of the same. The Returning Home universe is one where the characters exist not in a vacuum but in a thriving network, where friends and family lend us strength and support and also don't pull their punches when that is needed. Becca and Griff navigate the sometimes choppy waters from a single night to understanding what they truly want, and being brave enough to work for that. And never alone. Holding Out is a deeply satisfying read. I look forward to more of Ms Bell's writing.