Listen Up! #Audiobook Review: Hold on to Me by Karen Grey

Posted March 10, 2023 by Jen in Listen Up!, Rating B, Recent History/Nostalgic Fiction, Romance Tags: , , , , , ,

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Audiobook review: You Get What You Give by Karen Grey

Audiobook cover of Hold on to Me by Karen Grey

Sully, hurt by Whitney’s decision not to leave town with him, spends time alone with his cat on his boat. When another boat collides with his, Sully finds himself injured, unable to work, and a bit adrift in life. In an effort to get him out of his funk, Dani finds him an assistant job for Helen, a line producer she knows. Helen may be hard to work for, but it’s because she’s a perfectionist. She’s unsure of hiring untrained Sully, but he makes a good first impression. 

Hold on to Me is a delightful and emotional romance about moving beyond past hurts and assumptions, while accepting that compromise doesn’t mean giving up a piece of yourself. The pair feel a strong pull and attraction from the start, but Helen refuses to act on it; she’s had a past work relationship go poorly. But when production shuts down for two weeks, the pair decides to give into passion.

Sully is a great character, and I loved seeing him get out of the funk that hung over him during the first book. I like watching Sully realize anger, frustration, and his own negative perception are keeping him from being happy. This allows him to repair his friendship with Ford and relationship with his father. It’s emotional in all the best ways. He learns to open himself to Helen and shares much of his pain and joy.

On the other hand, Helen is hard to read. The listener gets glimpses of Helen’s past via her inner monologue. She rarely shares herself and stories with Sully. I don’t know that I really got to understand Helen until near the end of the book. I love that she’s there for Sully, and over time, we witness how wonderful they are together.

Narration: The story is shared via the alternating first person POVs of Helen and Sully, with Mackenzie Cartwright performing Helen’s POVs and JF Harding Sully’s. Both narrators do a very good job, finding the right voice for their respective characters. JFH uses a slight southern accent that is easy to enjoy without becoming overwhelming. He captures Sully’s zen attitude with slow, even pacing and a calm tone. That said, he is able to infuse emotion into the character when called for by the storyline. MC’s Helen is direct and infused with confidence. She is quick to change the pace and amp up the intensity matching Helen’s busy life. Both narrators effectively alter dialogue based on gender, age, and accent. The two narrators compliment one another. 

In the end, Hold on to Me is a lovely romance. I loved watching them break down barriers and fall in love.

My Ratings
Story: B+
Narration: B+

About the Book:

After a devastating accident at sea, the only job Sullivan Calloway can get is one that few have survived.

If time and tide wait for no man, neither does Helen O’Neill. She’s spent years forging her own path in the movie business. The young hunk she’s hired to replace her latest assistant to leave in tears may be a sight for sore eyes, but expectations will not be lowered. If he can’t do the work, he’ll be out on his very fine behind.

If only her heart would get the memo.

Author: Karen Grey
 Mackenzie Cartwright & JF Harding
 Carolina Classics #2
Genre: Retro/Nostalgic Romance
Audiobook Release Date: March 9, 2023
Publisher: Home Cooked Books
Length: 6 hours; 55 mins
Source: Author
Audio Speed: 1.3x

Purchase info:
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)

Reviews in the Series:
I’ll Stand by You by Karen Grey (Boston Classics #4.5; Carolina Classics #0.5)
You Get What You Give by Karen Grey (Carolina Classics #1)