A wounded hero. The woman who can heal his pain. And a second chance for both of them.
Alia Drake loves her new job at the R&R veterans retreat. But there are certain lines a physical therapist can’t cross, and she’s face to face with one. Her newest patient is Nate Riordan. Alia and Nate have a history—and not one she’s proud of. Alia knows she has to ignore her feelings for Nate and keep her hands on the parts of him she’s treating. Besides, she long ago gave up any claim she could have to his heart.
Nate craves Alia’s touch, and not just the professional version. But he needs to keep his eyes on the prize and his feet firmly on the path he’s chosen: His Army buddy died on his watch, and Nate has promises to keep. His intense attraction to Alia—and the things she makes him want—have no part in his mission. Or so he tells himself, until his willpower knuckles under to the hottest temptation he’s ever faced.…
“Sweet, realistic and sexy as hell . . . I inhaled this book on a wet Sunday afternoon, and it was time well spent! Serena Bell writes some seriously smart, funny and sexy stories. They always hit you right in the gut.”—I Love Romantic Fiction
“The story was intense, passionate, thought-provoking, heartbreaking, and gave me a true glimpse of what life is like for soldiers returning home … Definitely a series everyone should add to the top of their reading lists, it is sure to satisfy all of your reading needs and then some!!”—Reds Romance Reviews
“Can’t Hold Back is a steamy romance, but it’s also so much more. You can’t help but love Alia and Nate and their journey together …. I love it when authors really make me feel something and when I end up sad a book is over.” —The Book Dutchesses
“Oh my goodness—there wasn’t much I didn’t love about this book. It was sweet, it was steamy, and it was filled with angst. … The writing was fabulous and the story line was entertaining. I love this series. Serena always delivers the best romantic yet steamy reads!”—Avid Reader
“With deceit and forgiveness, pain and addiction, healing and a second chance at love, Can’t Hold Back has it all. You do not want to miss this sexy story of a soldier coming home.”—Wendy S. Marcus, award-winning author of All I Need Is You
The Real Alia
Prior to a stint serving overseas in Afghanistan, Nate is introduced to the Drake sisters while attending a picnic. Although Alia feels an unmistaken chemistry between she and Nate, she isn’t looking for a relationship, so she introduces Nate to her sister. Alia has always taken care of her sister, more like a mother. Their own mother suffered mental illness and couldn’t be what they needed growing up. So Alia took over care of her younger sister, always putting her first.
Nate felt a connection with Alia, but instead dated her sister. During his deployment, Alia assisted her sister with letters, messages, and a care package to Nate. Alia’s sister suffered a learning disability and found it nearly impossible to write, so Alia helped her, but put “her” heart in it. Nate returns and is devastated to find the woman he thought was “the one”, wasn’t really her at all. Nate also returned a damaged man who suffered the loss of a fellow soldier, a friend. He vows to put his life together so he can keep promises he made to his fallen buddy.
Alia, looking for a new start, jumps at the chance to help injured soldiers. As a physical therapist, Alia uses unconventional methods to ease the pain they suffer. The men grumble, but find she’s truly helping them overcome pain without the use of pain medication. Being around other veterans who “know” what they’ve seen and done, also makes it easier to talk, get things out in open, and heal. As much as Alia enjoys her job, she’s shocked to see Nate.
If you read the Amazon excerpt, it starts off by claiming this story as a love triangle. It is NOT! So if that steers you away from reading this novel, that would be a travesty. At times, I wanted to shake Alia and tell her to “take what she wanted-Nate”, but I also knew they weren’t “there” yet. Will the time apart finally open their eyes to the possibility of THEM? This story ends with a HEA and no cliffhanger. I read a gifted copy and all opinions stated are my own.