Angsty Romance – “Hold Onto My Heart” by Bella Andre

A whirlwind romance in Vienna sounds like a dream come true, and for single mom Ashley Sullivan, it was all that and more. When asked by her brother to help get rock star Nash Hardwin out of Brandon’s hotel without being mobbed by fans, Ashley was happy to oblige. Nash had long been Ashley’s secret idol so this assignment was a welcome bonus on her first trip abroad. Disguised as an American couple the mob paid them no mind as they walked out of the hotel free as the birds. Having dodged that bullet they spent the day sightseeing and were both amazed at their easy camaraderie and the pleasure of each other’s company. By evening their feelings had spilled over into a deep physical attraction. As the mother of an eleven year old son, Ashley promised herself it would be a once and done because of her parental reponsibilities, but her heart had different ideas.

Nash left home at sixteen and has been making music on the road ever since. During the early years as a musician he’d gotten into trouble more than a few times, even landing in jail for a while. But he’s grown up and has long been clean and sober. So yes, his past has a dark stain on it but that is all behind him. Unfortunately the abuse he suffered at home took a toll on his sense of self-worth. And even though Ashley is like a balm for his soul, he doesn’t feel worthy of her. But that doen’t stop him from showing up in her hometown of Bar Harbor, Maine.

Mea Culpa

Can Ashley forgive herself for getting pregnant in high school? Will the road warrior music star ever be ready to let the grass grow under his feet? Or will they both continue to let their past rule their future?

“Hold Onto My Heart” is Bella Andre’s fourth book in the Maine Sullivans and #22 in The Sullivans series. I loved both protagonists, especially the way they met in Vienna. But I grew weary of hearing Ashley bemoan her tragic mistake of getting pregnant in high school. Equally tiring was Nash nattering on about his checkered past. It felt as though they were beating a dead horse. I’m saying to myself, enough with the sack cloth and ashes! Yes, they made mistakes but who past the age of six hasn’t? Say mea culpa three times and let it go! Seriously, it was too angsty for words. Three stars.

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