CAN'T HOLD BACK

CAN'T HOLD BACK                                    SERENA BELL

Can't Hold Back (Returning Home, #2)No girl can resist a man in uniform—especially if that man is Nate Riordan. But after an injury in the line of duty leaves Nate broken, body and soul, the soldier finds himself addicted to his pain meds, with no place to call home. Desperate for an escape, Nate reluctantly accepts a friend’s invitation to a new veterans’ retreat. Expecting a little R&R, Nate is shocked when the sight of his physical therapist opens up another old wound: heartbreak.

Years ago, Alia Drake fell hard for Nate, but never made her move. Instead, she set up her sister with the sexy, confident military man, a foolish decision that continues to haunt all three of them. Now, with Nate as her patient, she can make things right—even if it means getting too close for comfort. A healing touch and a little honesty work wonders, fueling a physical intimacy that crosses professional boundaries. This time, with desire in the air once more, Alia won’t hold anything back.

MY REVIEW:
     Alia Drake and Nate Riordan had an interesting beginning.  They met through Alia’s friend Jake.  She and Jake went to college and PT classes together.  Jake was a U.S. Vet who had lost a leg and a teammate on his last tour in the military and was now married to Mira and has a son Sam.  But at the time he came home he had no clue he even had a seven year old son.  But like the soldier he was he took it on the chin and got back in the game stepped up to the plate and won his girl back and met his son and became the dad his son needed. 
     Never feeling sorry for himself he got into the school program because he wanted to help vets who were coming back and having a hard time transitioning.  So he did talks “Life of Purpose.”  He does talks, triathlons, has gone to school and is helping other vets.  Never letting his lost limb stop him from doing anything.  Nate had heard him speak at college career week.  Got on his mailing list and puff he’s at the same picnic Alia and her sister Becca are at.
     Although Alia had seen and liked Nate first she naturally thought of him for her sister first especially since she had just been dumped.  You see the family had its problems as did Becca
Especially educationally so her self-esteem was always low so to make her happy Alia always took care of her needs first.  As she had always done and been told to do.  The thing is he had talked to Alia first and was liking her but when she showed no interest and said she wasn’t available he moved on to Becca.
     Things were good until…
Now two years later Jake had opened a retreat for struggling disabled vets.  He and Mira were going on a vacation for two weeks so he called Alia to come to take his place and work with his clients.  She is so grateful she hates where she is working.  Jake says after the two weeks they’ll see if he can keep her on, if the guys take to her methods.  Just before he turns to leave he says by the way Mira thought I should run this by you Nate will be coming to stay for a while he is coming of Oxy and she said that whole thing with your sister and all that it may be a problem?  She thinks hard about and then tells him no.  But in truth she is so, so worried about it because when they broke up she had a hand in it and her heart was involved too.  She wants the job just too much to blow it now so she know she can make it work plus Jake needs the time off for sure.
     No sooner does Jake leave town and Nate is scheduled for his visit with her the next day and he doesn’t show up for the evaluation for PT.  She has to hunt him down.  It is because he knows it’s her she thinks but then she thinks he can’t know Jake didn’t tell him he said.  So what’s the deal?  When she rounds the building she sees him getting into a kayak and starts to paddle when he is struck with a freezing pain.  She calls out and he sees it’s her and he’s pissed at her, at Jake, at his pain, at the world.  With no effort she takes down a kayak, life jacket, and an oar and glides into it.  Which makes him madder at her ease, yet proud at her strength and lustful over her body.  She goes out to try to help but he is too pissed off.  She finally talks him into showing up to the first visit.  After that things heat up yet not how you would think.  This author has a gift of descriptive storytelling that made me not want to put this book down.  It was intensely sensual without being lewd.

     This story will show you the pain vets go through that have been injured.  This was an unusual fictional story of a PT having a romance with a patient but this was a person she knew way before a she became a PT still fictional.  There’s the sadness, lust, erotica, pain, and humor of the lives of those that serve and how some deal with it.  I give this book 5++++ stars.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

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