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.
It happens. For people like us, baby. It happens, eventually. Just as long as we hold on.
What an incredibly bittersweet book this was for me to read. I first discovered this amazing series back in 2012 when I read For You. And I’ve been wanting and slowly dying for Merry’s book ever since. He’s been through a hell of a lot throughout the entire series and all of it finally truly coming to a head in Golden Trail. I had always assumed when I read those books that he would end up with his ex, but after finishing Hold On, I can’t be happier with the direction that the fabulous Kristen Ashley took it. I adored absolutely every single page.
Now if you’ve read the entire series, I’m sure there one huge question on your minds which I’d like to answer for you right now. Yes, Cher’s boobs are indeed real. Alright then. Moving on…
The only thing I know is, what’s at the end of the road we’re on is unknown. Along the way, I break through that fortress you’ve built around you and manage to extract your head from your ass, it’ll be worth the trip.
If there’s one thing I learned is that expectations are the bane of my existence. i built them up so high for some characters, only to be let down. But I can honestly tell you that Merry was everything I had hoped he would be and so much more. As a matter of fact, I’d go so far as to say that he’s not my second favorite in this series right after Joe. That’s high praise, people, because it simply doesn’t get any better than Joe. I loved everything about this man; his stubbornness, his protectiveness, his possessiveness, and his all around KA alpha male-ness. *swoon*
The romance between him and Cher is a slow build filled with plenty of bumps along the way, but when both the MCs are as endearing as these two, I didn’t even mind the bumps. Sure they have their moments where you want to knock some sense into them, but at the same time they stay true to themselves so it’s hard to judge.
Cher is one of those KA heroines that was impossible not to like. To be honest, I didn’t feel one way or another for her throughout the series. I wasn’t sure what to make of her. She’s a wild child and I was almost afraid she’d be borderline brash in her own book, but that was simply not the case. Kristen Ashley managed to endear her to readers so completely, you can’t imagine not liking her. She’s an amazing mother and while she has her hangups with men for very good reasons, she’s not a doormat. This is a woman that has her own breed of strength and she uses it to go to bat for her family. I loved that about her. I also loved how vulnerable she was when it came to Merry.
Being a victim of that psycho Danny, she certainly has her demons and emotional scars a’plenty. That doesn’t simply disappear when her and Merry get together. But watching her heal Merry’s wounds for him in turn to heal hers was easily one of my favorite things about this book.
Need you to get this, Cher. I wanna kiss you. But right now, I wanna kiss you because you’re standin’ in my arms, lookin’ up at me the way you’re lookin’ up at me. I definitely wanna kiss the girl who loves to make me laugh. And I wanna kiss the girl who put that dress on for me. I also wanna kiss you because after I kiss you, I’m gonna take you to my bed and I’m gonna fuck you. But you need to know, in this instant, I wanna kiss you because you’re the girl you are right now, the way you are right now, lookin’ up at me.”
You know how I was sure I had a 5 star read on my hands? I didn’t skim even one page. Not. A. One. Not any of the descriptions of the clothes, the furniture, the rooms, the clouds in the sky, nothing. I was enthralled in the characters and their romance from beginning to end and absolutely devoured every page.
I cannot picture a better book to end this amazing series with. If you were slightly disappointed with Frankie and Benny’s book like I was, this book will more than make up for it. Trust me. If you’re thinking of reading this as a standalone, don’t. I mean, you can definitely do so, but you’ll be missing out on the development of both these characters’ stories and why would you want to do that anyway?
That brings me to my final point: The epilogue. Hands down. Bar none. THE best epilogue KA has ever written. Period. And I’ve read practically her entire backlist so me saying that says a lot. I cried like a lunatic. Tears of joy. It was so incredibly perfect. Beautiful. Emotional. Ugh. Just…GAH. The most wonderful way to close the final pages on the characters I’ve slowly fallen in love with through the years. It was that perfect cherry on top and I simply adored it.