Book Review: Holding You by Jewel E. Ann

Holding you

Title: Holding You (Holding You #1)
Author: Jewel E. Ann
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 404 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Deep breath … I am peaceful, I am strong.

Free-spirited Addy Brecken is Milwaukee’s most talented vegan chef and co-owner of Sage Leaf Café. She has a genius IQ, a padded savings account, an amazing view of Lake Michigan, and a heart that won’t stop beating.

Deep breath … I am peaceful, I am strong.

An early April morning finds her drowning in the seductive fragrance of lilacs and the warmth of the morning sun when she’s nearly hit by a car in front of her café. The peaceful existence she’s desperately tried to maintain after the horrific loss of her family is suddenly shaken by the Range Rover driving, arrogant, sex-on-legs Quinn Cohen.

Deep breath … I am peaceful, I am strong.

A successful, Latino businessman from New York, Quinn has a taste for the finer things in life. A typical playboy, he has the money, the houses, the cars, and the women. Quinn is everything Addy avoids. Where she lives simply and prefers to help the less fortunate, he has no problem spending an obscene amount of money on a briefcase. Their opposite personalities lend to several heated encounters, and Addy finds herself propositioning Quinn for the one thing she never imagined needing … sex.

Offering only her body, Addy tries to keep Quinn at a safe distance from her heart and a world away from her past. Their passion-filled connection makes Addy feel something unfamiliar, alive. But with passion comes more feelings: anger, jealousy, love. When Addy surrenders to the unimaginable and lets go of her past, she’s faced with the impossible … holding on to her future.

Deep breath … I am peaceful, I am strong.

Grace and Michelle’s Review
I stumbled upon this series and the synopsis immediately intrigued me.  Peaking on Goodreads, I didn’t have any friends that had read this book, but ratings were high so I decided to give it a whirl.  20% in and I’m begging Michelle to read with me (big fan of group reading). And little did I know how much of an emotional support she would be for book 2.  But before I get ahead of myself, I’ll give you my thoughts on this book.

Addy (Adler Sage Brecken) is a seemingly carefree, fun loving, vegan chef with a kooky sense of humor and a klutzy side.  I immediate could relate, to the latter part that is.  I love all meat!  But I digress.  While Addy comes off as this free spirit, there’s another story there, one she isn’t willing to share.

Addy is Sheldon Cooper meets Kate Hudson, a hottie.  She has a very funny sense of humor which I think she uses as a defense mechanism so no one can pry into her past.  But one fateful day, she meets her polar opposite, Quinn Cooper, and the tension, both sexual and otherwise, begins to build.

Quinn is a Latin lover, with a Michelangelo physique but self-proclaimed playboy.  He was described as looking like Enrique Iglesias, but for me I pictured Adam Rodriguez.  He is also the typical Latino male, very self-assured, aka cocky, with a jealous streak and domineering attitude.

While there initial couple interactions are anything but sexy, this book amps up quickly.  What surprised me about their relationship was how random it all seemed.  Sure, the two lived in two different cities – Addy in Milwaukee and Quinn in New York.  Sure, they decide on an “acquaintances with benefits” type relationship.

“You just said I don’t have to spend half the night wooing you, so you can be damn sure I’m going to spend the whole night screwing you.”
“Ah, you’re such a poetic gentleman.”

But there we often weeks and months between their meetings.  So unlike other romance books.  Not saying that’s a bad thing.  It just took some getting used to, I’ve been spoiled by these insta-love books, and even the “friends with benefits” books I’ve read, have escalated quicker than this one.

Addy was the one who suggested a sex only relationship with Quinn. She has not had a relationship in over eight years and we do not find out for a while as to why.  The many reasons she meditates is in part due to her past.
Deep breath … I am peaceful, I am strong.
Although Quinn was such a man whore in the beginning, he sees how broken Addy is, he sees into her soul and falls in love.  At times I wanted to slap the shit out of him because he was so stupid at times, but he eventually won me over.

I too struggled at times with Quinn. I realize that he was getting mixed signals from Addy, but at first, it seemed like he truly didn’t care much for her, other than as a fun fuck.  Yes, if Addy showed up at the same place as him, he would literally dump his date and go home to fuck Addy.  How romantic, NOT!  But I never got the sense that he wanted more.  The kicker being a model, Olivia, that always seemed to be on his arm.  Every time Addy decided to surprise Quinn, I had to hold my breath.  And then my heart would break for her because all my fears would come true.

Christmas Eve. Brutal!
Quinn’s birthday. Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Although both those scenes were difficult, there were beautiful moments within them, such as when Quinn confesses his feelings for Addy in front of his whole family.  And I briefly fall for him.  Only to have him put his foot in his my mouth minutes later.

“Goodbye Quinn.” I closed my eyes to guard my courage. He rocked his forehead side to side against mine. “Never goodbye,” he whispered.

While Quinn had his obvious flaws, Addy wasn’t perfect (despite her genius level of intelligence).  I did not like how vague Addy was about her past.  How she wanted a lot emotionally from Quinn especially about his past, but she rarely reciprocated.

“Just . . . don’t! We may not bare our souls to each other, but when I’m with you, like this . . .” he ran his finger over my lips then reverently kissed them “. . . I’m taking all of you, if only for this moment.”

Her decision to hold back information leads to a life-altering event that impact the course of their relationship.  Lesson here: secrets are bad!

Thank God for Addy’s BBF Mackenzie (Mac).  She is able to read her friend well and knows that Quinn means more to her than just as a lover.  Mac’s encouragement leads to a change in the relationship, for the better.  Everyone should have a BFF like Mac.

Each time we were together, he peeled away the layers of self-doubt I felt about myself. I no longer saw ordinary Addy through my eyes, I saw the extraordinary version of myself through his eyes.

This book ran hot and cold, and by that I mean that there were A LOT of hot moment between these two.  Can you say, energizer bunnies? These two got it on anywhere, anytime. Their hunger for each other was insatiable.

Distracted by Quinn placing condoms around the suite like he was hiding Easter eggs, I stopped playing.
“What are you doing?”
“Putting a condom on every surface where I plan to fuck you.”

Holding You teaser

Between those hot moments, was A LOT of angst (the cold part of the book).  Jealousy causing the biggest issues.  However this couple find a way to make their relationship work, and build a beautiful love story.

“Sin ti no puedo respirar. Te necesito. Without you I cannot breath. I need you in my life.”

Holding You teaser 2

“Tú eres mi luz en mi oscuridad. Tù eres la mujer màs bella que he visto.”  You are my light in the dark. You are the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.”Te amo.” I love you.

Ginger down (I, Grace, am the ginger here, lol).
But wait little chickies, we have ourselves a cliffy. So get be prepared to 1-click again.

Note: Our review for book 2, Releasing Me, will post tomorrow.

– Grace and Michelle




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