Hold on to Hope by A. L. Jackson
Series: Fight for Me #4
Also in this series: Show Me the Way, Follow Me Back, Lead Me Home
Publication Date: October 28, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating First
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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Evan Bryant wasn't your typical hero.
But he was mine.
Broken by the worlds’ standards, he was still the strongest boy I would ever know.
My best friend. The boy I’d given everything to. My heart, my body, and the promise of forever.
The day I’d needed him most, he walked away.
He left me shattered and questioning the love I’d thought we’d shared.
Three years later, I wasn’t prepared for him to return to Gingham Lakes.
It wouldn’t have mattered if he wasn’t the most beautiful man I’d ever seen.
My fingers still would have ached to caress his skin.
My body still would have begged to get lost in his touch.
And my heart . . . it would have always sung his name.
But time changes things. With it, secrets that could ruin everything.
Can we find a way to love again, or have the fears of our past stolen the hope of our forever . . .
Holy shit. This book packs quite the punch. It’s a rollercoaster from beginning to end. I so enjoyed Frankie Leigh and Evan’s story. After reading about them as kids, it was only logical that they would end up together. Their connection was something for the ages.
When Frankie Leigh turned eighteen, she made it clear to Evan that she wanted him in every way. They had been best friends since Evan came into her life when she was five and he was seven. Their connection was immediate and intense, especially for children. As they got older, their feelings morphed into a young love that they didn’t know how to quite handle. Finally Evan gives in to the inevitable and they both know that they can no longer be apart.
Then something happens that makes Evan run. After three long years, he is back. Frankie isn’t sure how she is going to handle his return. She’s over the moon to see him, but at the same time she is still feeling destroyed. She feels that she has been in limbo for three years. At odds. Not knowing where Evan was or even if he arrives. Then he shows up with a child in tow. A child. Something he told her he could never give her. What that tells Frankie is that Evan has moved on. Which devastates her.
Evan only has eyes for Frankie when he walks into his mother’s coffee shop. He didn’t have any intention of returning. Not until a woman he hooked up with a few times showed up with a kid that looked just like him, telling him that she was in trouble and to please protect the child. His only choice at that point is to go home, where his family will rally around him and Everett and do whatever it takes to protect his son.
I don’t even know how to describe the emotion of this book. It’s so intense that I couldn’t sit and read it all the way through. I had to take breaks. The epilogue just about killed me. Frankie Leigh and Evan have been destined for each other since they were children. Now it’s finally time to finish their story. Technically this is considered a standalone, but the Fight for Me series is about Frankie’s parents, Evan’s parents, etc. It will really give you more perspective if you know what both Frankie and Evan have gone through in their lives.
You will not be disappointed in this book. A.L. hit it out of the park with this one.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5.