⭐️⭐️⭐️ Unique premise, flawed execution

Held (The Twin Bay Saga, #1)

While I definitely enjoyed parts of this story, the writing itself didn’t have an overly polished feel. I’m not sure exactly how to describe it, but the style made it difficult to truly immerse myself into the story and get lost in the book. That being said, it’s a unique premise with a hero who would be an absolutely great guy… if not for the terrible things he’s been forced to do. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a book quite like this one, and it was quite the ride.

The story follows Nick, a hardware store employee who has spent the last ten years practically raising his little sister. She means the world to him, and when she is held hostage, he would do anything to get her back – and that is most definitely put to the test. Night after night, he’s been getting texts with hits to complete. If he kills the target, he gets a phone call with his sister. The marks started out with guys who are obviously up to no good, but as time wears on Nick starts to question his actions more and more. Just after completing one of the hits, he sees a woman in danger and comes to her rescue. There are instant sparks between them, but Nick would never willingly let a woman into the chaos that is his life at the moment, so as they continue to run into each other he feels he has no choice but to push her away.

Our hero is definitely put into a no-win situation; choosing not to complete the hits means his sister will almost certainly be killed, but continuing to kill others for the sake of one woman is also not an ideal solution. Based on the description of the book, I knew Nick would be put in this position, but seeing it all play out felt pretty dark. His sister has been held hostage for WEEKS, so we’re not talking about one or two murders here; he’s starting to rack up the kills. I’m not sure how a man can justify that, but it’s clear that his sister means everything to him. I think it’s these nuances that really showed the lack of polish in the writing – there’s not a sufficient heaviness to him after he completes the kills; he literally kills a guy and then starts lusting after the heroine 5 minutes later. And when there’s a big reveal later in the book… it all got glossed over very quickly. So while I definitely see potential in the author’s work, I also think there’s some room for improvement.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.

Held by T.K. Barber. My rating: 3 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

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