Hold Me If You Can by Stephanie Rowe
Sourcebooks Casablanca (Jan 2012)
Paperback, 359 pages
Natalie Fleming is a Sweet with a problem. Bitten by a Deedub when she was a small child her life has been a series of ups and downs ever since. She has gone through hell just trying to have a normal life and has even died in the process! Now she is back, and on the verge of opening her new chocolate store Scrumptious which will allow her to help people find their sensual side! That’s if she can avoid being eaten by the Deedubs. Something that the delicious Nigel Aquarian is only too happy to help her with. Having watched Natalie from afar over the years, the time has now come for him to teach Natalie how to release her natural sexual side in order to save herself from the Deedubs and him from the new mistress of the Den.
I haven’t read any of Stephanie Rowe’s work before and I am disappointed to say that I was glad to finish reading Hold Me If You Can.
I really struggled with the main character being a person whose veins were filled with chocolate scented blood, in other words a Mystic breed called a Sweet. Sweets are a type of people whose “soul needs to work with chocolate” in order to make delicacies such as virility balls which will help her male customers by… actually I think I am going to leave that to your imagination.
Her family was wiped out by a bunch of baddies (Deedubs) that resemble leprechauns, who have a very sweet tooth, and crave chocolate. One of the Deedubs bit Natalie when she was a child and this caused her to slowly change over the years, to a point where she craved orgasm after orgasm until she finally had the big one that killed her. This was all in a previous book and she has since managed to come back to life to pursue her dream of opening Scrumptious, and gaining recognition with the Michelin-O gold star rating team.
Add to that, the hero, Nigel, a tulip shaped, star wielding, warrior, artist, who has been held in The Den of Womanly Pursuits for over 150 years along with some of his team, being taught (read tortured) by Deaths Grandma and being instructed how to be a Quality Male. He has to draw in order to centre himself before a battle, or to stop himself becoming totally taken over by his inner demon. I actually quite liked Nigel, although he was rather flowery.
There are actually some parts of this book that I really enjoyed, but they were swiftly followed by sections with so much saccharine sweetness, that I found Hold Me If You Can just too syrupy for me.
The kiss was of bright sunlight, of fresh air, of the silken touch of rose petals. It awakened in her a sense of freedom, of lightness, of carefree delight. It was the kind of kiss that young girls dreams were made of. The kind that would turn a raggedy washer girl into a princess.
Hold Me If You Can could have been really good had the author stepped away from the adjectives, and chosen some different nouns! I haven’t read the previous books in the series but Hold Me If You Can certainly has a style of its own. There were some aspects of the story that I enjoyed but overall it just wasn’t for me. However, if you like tongue in cheek humour in your books then you may well enjoy the book.
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