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A Hold on Me (Dark Heart Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Anyway. Knowing about Pat's expertise with antiques isn't necessary to fully jump into this story of antique dealer Annie and her dementia-stricken father's forced return to his family home of Moonhill. But the mentions of auction behavior, lovingly described antiques, and authentic take on dealing sure made me smile :)
Annie has lost the legal guardianship of her demented father when a customer, to whom she'd just sold a poison ring, blabs to Annie's estranged Aunt and Grandfather that her father is no longer quite in his right mind. She is forced to bring him to Moonhill, the seat of Freemont family, who have inhabited many of her father's wild tales about finding rare objects.
What follows is a spin on the old return-to-gothic-ancestral-home-and-find-ghosts kind of tale. Only this isn't quite your usual gothic, nor are the shadows Annie begins to see your usual ghosts. Annie finds a pentagram drawn with salt under her bed the first day, encounters a handsome servant--Chase--with a fondness for knives and sheep, and begins to see her father's strangeness might not actually be dementia at all.
This is not YA. There is an assumed sexual experience with twenty-something Annie as well as references to throbbing nether regions. Things get a bit hot and heavy between her and Mr. Love Interest, although it never teeters all the way into bodice-ripper territory. It's definitely in the territory of New Adult, as Annie is still finding her own identity.
Kudos to Pat for not giving away too much of Moonhill's secrets in the beginning. It took me a while to catch on to the nature of the shadows as well as what exactly the Aunt and Grandfather saved Chase from. The timeline of Annie's mother's death, etc, got a little fuzzy for me at the end of the book, and sometimes Selena seemed a bit erratic personality-wise, but Annie herself had a great mix of phobia, questioning, and moxie to pull off a great tale.
I enjoyed the book the most when Annie brought the sass to her inner thoughts:
"The last thing I needed right now was a romance-- especially with a hot, baffling guy who said scary s***, told half-truths, and had already sizzled his way into my fantasy life."
A Hold on Me was not at all what I expected, while I had an idea there would be some fantasy paranormal to it, I definitely didn't expect the extent. Pat Esden does a phenomenal job of setting the scene with the spooky location, the mythological history, and the strange secondary characters. The concept, without giving anything away, was very unique for me and I really enjoyed the arabian themes mixed with witchcraft. I enjoyed Annie as a character, though at times I was annoyed with her. She was caring of her father, intrigued by her unknown family, and dedicated to her future and her current hobby of knowing artifacts. The secondary characters stole the show for me, from Chase the groundsman to Kate the suspicious aunt, and even the secretive cousins, all brought a lot more to the story than the main character did. I felt like we saw glimpses of the story over time, but none of it ever gave away the twists. The themes of loyalty and good versus evil were very prominent and I enjoyed the impact they made on Annie as a character.
While A Hold on Me was well-paced and included all the details for a perfect paranormal novel, I felt like some of the plot lines could have been more explored. At times Annie seemed fine with receiving very little information and other times demanded more, and as a reader what Annie was told was all we were told as well. I didn't feel the chemistry between Annie and Chase either, which makes for a huge part of the book. I think it was just personal feelings though and others would definitely get behind them. While their histories were well developed, they didn't mesh for me and Annie's fear from her past I would think would play a huge part in who she dates in her future and Chase just wasn't it for me.
A Hold on Me is a unique book in the new adult paranormal genre, with mixes of horror and suspense, this one will grab your attention and hold on tight. If you're anything like me, you'll want to read it with the light on. There are tons of twists and it was impossible to guess what was coming next.
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