Tuesday, June 11, 2024

Review: Held Against You

Dangerous secrets and hidden agendas threaten to tear them apart.

Held Against You, an all-new opposites attract, forced proximity, romantic suspense from bestselling author Season Vining is now available!

Accused of a horrific crime and on the run, Kat has been rejected by everyone she loves. She’s a fugitive from her past, flitting from town to town with nothing but the clothes on her back―until she meets a man who literally stops her in her tracks.

A notorious bounty hunter with powerful instincts, he never fails to capture his prey. But there’s something about Kat that gets under his skin. Behind his ice-cold demeanor, he has his own darkness… and now his lively, vulnerable captive is about to crack him wide open.

As they travel across the country together, the two are unable to deny the spark of attraction between them. But dangerous secrets and hidden agendas threaten to tear them apart.

adventurous, emotional, tense, fast-paced

Plot- or character-driven? A mix
Strong character development? It's complicated
Loveable characters? Yes
Diverse cast of characters? No
Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

This is a perfect fit for readers who crave a dark and intense romance, with a strong focus on complex characters, high-stakes suspense, and a slow-burning passion that ignites between two flawed and troubled souls.

Tags for Me: 

new-adult, contemporary, humor, romantic-suspense, kindle-unlimited, standalone, enemies-to-lovers, action-adventure, bad-boy, fiction, fan-fiction, bounty-hunter, strong-female-lead, taboo, road-trip, tatted, pierced, alpha-male, opposites-attract, forced-proximity, spicy

Start reading today!

FREE in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RmTPqe

Add Held Against You to Goodreads: https://tinyurl.com/3j3nhkzx  

Keep reading for a look inside Held Against You!

I drain the last of my coffee and slide to the edge of the booth. The bitter taste saturates my tongue or maybe it’s nerves pushing my lunch back up. My bag, which holds all my possessions, is slung across my body. I look down at the handwritten bill. Tessy’s Cafe. Seven dollars and fifty-three cents. I should have gotten pie, too. Then it would be an even ten. The waitress rounds the corner toward the kitchen, and for three-seconds I wait to make sure she isn’t coming back.

I take off, my sneakers squeaking against the wet floor like an alarm. My shoulder slams into a teenager loitering near the entrance before hitting the door. It swings open, getting caught in the wind and whips against the building with a loud crash.

 I keep my head down as raindrops pelt me like tiny rocks. I sprint past honking cars and parallel parkers, hurdling a small dog, whose incessant yapping sounds like “She’s right here! She ran that way!” I run until I can’t hear yelling anymore, until my lungs burn and my legs feel boneless. I find an alley and slide down against the wall, taking shelter from the rain. No one finds me here and I’m thankful. I wonder how—on top of everything else—I became a thief.

A couple hours later, my clothes are still damp and my shoes squish with every step. I pat down my bag and am thankful that most of the items inside are still dry. There’s a pair of clean socks, some snacks, and a few trinkets I’ve collected on this impromptu trip from hell. No need to worry about a cell phone. It’s probably right where I left it, restored to factory settings and sitting on top of my rarely used kitchen table. God, I miss technology. I miss my music and touch screens and chiming in on biased articles about Microsoft’s latest launch.

Avoiding the highway, I walk through a field of high grass toward the truck stop ahead. My hands skim the top of the grass, each blade tickling my palm. The bright lights lure me in like the insects that buzz around me. There’s a subtle eeriness to these places, especially after dark. The smell of diesel and the purr of generators add to the cold feel of machines and asphalt.

The big rigs are lined up neatly, tucked in for the night. I walk the maze of trucks and trailers, looking for any signs of life. I turn a corner and gasp when I catch a reflection of myself in a clean chrome bumper. Running my hands down my chest, I try to smooth out the damp and wrinkled clothes. Clothes I’ve been living in for weeks. It doesn’t help. My dirty hair is pulled up into a ponytail with my overgrown bangs getting caught in my lashes. My mother would die if she saw me like this.

I push away that hostility and focus on my reflection. No designer clothes, no makeup, and no manicures leave me feeling human again. It reminds me of where we came from, happier times and simpler dreams. My blue eyes look tired and dull reflected in the shiny metal. I’m a mess, and I can’t help but wonder how much more of the unknown I can take.

A husky voice cuts through the night and I turn toward it. Three trucks ahead of me, I spot a bald man leaning against the front of his truck. He’s got an overgrown white beard and rosy cheeks, Santa Claus of the open road. His T-shirt is two sizes too small, hugging his perfectly round belly. There’s an old model cell phone pressed to his ear as he talks quietly. He’s all warm smiles and I bet whoever’s on the other end of that phone call can feel them. I make my approach as he ends his call and sighs into the cool air.

“Starry night,” I say.

“He startles a bit, but nods to agree. He doesn’t give the usual what’s-a-girl-like-you-doing-in-a-place-like-this look.

“It is.”

“You here for the night?” I ask.

“Nope. About to get on the road north. Only got six hours between me and home.”

“Could I get a ride?” My left foot rocks onto its outer edge and flattens again, a nervous habit from childhood.

“I’m not interested in lot lizards,” he says.

“I’m not a prostitute. I just need a ride,” I insist.

His eyebrows slide high on his forehead as he appraises me. “I don’t know. You running from something?”

“Heading to Canada. My dad’s up there.”

“Yes, I’m a liar, too. There’s a long moment of silence. I wonder what he’s debating.

“Are you legal? Over eighteen?”


He’s leering at me and immediately, my defenses are up. I slide my bag behind me so that I can reach my knife, if needed. He quickly raises his hands in surrender and laughs.

 “Don’t get any ideas. I just don’t want to be totin’ juveniles around. I don’t need no trouble.”

“Oh,” I say, relaxing my stance. “Yes, I’m well over eighteen.”

“Alright. Get in. But, I’m only going as far as Tacoma. After that, you’re on your own.”

I bounce on my toes and clap my hands together.

“Thanks! I’ll be no trouble at all. I promise. Quiet as a mouse. You won’t even notice I’m there. The Silent Bob to your Jay.”

“What on earth are you talking about?”

I shrug at him and paste on a charming smile. He nods toward the truck and climbs inside. I hop up in the passenger seat and watch as he presses buttons on a dashboard that could rival a rocket ship.

The inside of the truck is much cleaner than I expected. There’s no smell of dirty socks or leftover food like some of the other trucks I’ve ridden in. A troll doll hangs from the rearview mirror, he’s got blue hair and a gem in his bellybutton. There’s a bobblehead stuck to the middle of the dash, a well-done likeness of the president. Lining the ceiling are various Seattle Seahawks pendants, rosters, and even a foam finger. Tucked next to the speedometer, and in a cup holder, are different photos of the same woman. She’s beautiful, with black hair and kind eyes. There’s something instantly comforting about her.

 She’s pretty,” I say.

He grins and taps the photo on his dash.

“That’s my wife. My only reason for living.”

I settle in, buckling my seatbelt. I ponder his only reason for living. Is it so bad to just float through life without a reason? Maybe I’ve already fulfilled my purpose. The way I see it, I had no choice. I did what had to be done and it led me down this path, one on the run.

When we’re finally in motion, I unwind, kicking up my feet.

“Get your feet off my dash,” he says, reaching over and tapping my shoes with his hand. I drop them to the floor. “Feel free to get some sleep. I’ll wake you when we get there.”

For more information about Season Vining and her books, visit her website: https://seasonvining.com