Book: Can’t Hold Back
Series: A Returning Home Novel #2
Author: Serena Bell
Re-release date: 26 March 2019
Main characters: Alia Drake, physio who adores her job and helping others; Nate Riordan, ex-servicemen with a host of demons that need to be slayed.
Plot: Alia Drake thrives on nurturing others and being needed. Her job as a physical therapist is something she excels at and she feels she can make a real difference in the lives of her patients. When she has the opportunity to work at R&R, a veterans’ rehab centre, she jumps at the chance. Even the prospect of treating Nate Riordan isn’t about to put her off her dream job.
Nate Riordan has returned from service battered, both physically and mentally. Struggling with a pain-medication addiction, he can’t deny he needs help any longer. When he arrives at R&R, he isn’t prepared to come face-to-face with Alia – the girl who helped wreck his romantic dreams the year before. He may be unable to trust her, but if he’s going to manage his constant pain, he will have to put his hostilities on hold, if only temporarily.
Alia is determined to reach him and help Nate connect with the pain. This means facing some hard, painful memories and also dealing with the fact that their shared history is far from over…
Why you should read it: I inhaled this book on a wet Sunday afternoon, and it was time well spent! Serena Bell writes some seriously smart, funny and sexy stories. They always hit you right in the gut without being too drama filled or ridiculous. Nate and Alia’s story was sweet, realistic and sexy as hell. Alia is a level-headed heroine who needs to face her own demons. It’s good to see her gradually let go of her issues. Nate is hot! He’s sensitive, hot, well-rounded. Hot. (Ok, you get the point.) I honesty couldn’t put the book down until I finished.
What you might hate: Nada – this is a military romance – so I guess if it’s not your thing, then that may be an issue. I don’t read a lot of stories set in this world, but the ones I have read are so well done that I enjoyed them immensely. It’s a very human story, set in a world that felt authentic.
Rating: 5/5 – for a thoughtful, romantic and insightful story. Definitely recommend it!