Author: Stephanie Rowe
Release Date: Jan. 1, 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Soulfire Series #3
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Escaping Hell was the easy part…
Nigel Aquarian has escaped with his life, and with his inner demons. He needs beautiful Natalie Fleming, the woman he’s admired from afar for years, to soothe his turmoil…if only she wasn’t consumed with her own problems…
Staying out is going to be the real challenge…
Ever since her brush with death, all Natalie wants is to run her famous chocolate shop and be left alone. But the only way she can kick-start her powers is by giving free rein to her sensual side, which Nigel is more than happy to help her explore…
With Nigel making quite a convincing case for losing control, Natalie is finding the temptation darn near irresistible…
What B is talking about:
Natalie Fleming is ready for a fresh start. She’s the only Sweet to ever survive a deedub (“demonic leprechauns of hostile origin”) bite, she has three days to get her chocolate shop ready for inspection, and the temporary restraining order against the creatures that attacked her is supposed to keep her safe. As a Mystic, as well as a Sweet, her sole desire is to create magick male mojo-increasing chocolate treats to help restore hope to the impotent. Unfortunately, her power of suggestion is on the fritz just now.
As a healer and an artist, Nigel Aquarian has dedicated himself to saving every warrior under his care, while finding lasting inner peace, and escape from his internal demons, for himself. But when the new leader of the Den of Womanly Pursuits uses Nigel’s gift of art, his only source of calm and healing energy, to kidnap one of his friends and threaten another, he needs help to get himself under control. The kind of help only Natalie can provide.
Unlike the first two novels in this series, Hold Me If You Can is a little bit more serious in places and adds more levels to the already busy list of conflicts Rowe has woven into her story. While this unpredictability works well to keep the pace of the novel quick and fun, I had mixed feelings about it here as the hopelessness of the two main characters continued to build. I found myself extremely eager for them to have some sort of respite. Still, as the story progressed, then drew to a close, I happily ignored everyone and everything around me, furiously going through the pages, unable to put the book down until the very end.
One of the best things about every book in this series so far is Rowe’s unapologetic infusion of humor into otherwise desperate situations. Hold Me If You Can follows in this tradition beautifully. Clever, snarky lines like, “Ah, it was always unfortunate when someone else had a valid point,” and, “Nigel. Chocolate. Nigel. Chocolate. What should she choose?” are scattered throughout the novel, practically waiting to ambush unsuspecting readers.
Although Hold Me If You Can could be read as a standalone, I highly recommend reading this series from the beginning. Rowe doesn’t spare her conflicted heroes anything, and the backstory definitely adds to the overall understanding of her characters.
The Soulfire series is one of the most unique I’ve read yet, and although it seems to have more conflicts and internal turmoil, Hold Me If You Can handily continues in that tradition. Rowe writes some of the most confused heroes I’ve ever seen, and some of the most beleaguered heroines, but she somehow makes it all work out in the end, with plenty of laughs along the way. I thoroughly enjoyed this addition and can’t wait to find out what delightful torture awaits the next hero.
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)