by Maggie Carpenter
“Held Firm” by Maggie Carpenter is a fast-paced story filled with action, interesting characters, unexpected developments, domestic discipline and some scorching hot scenes. This is a tricky review to write because I want to be careful and not give away anything you should experience discovering for yourself.
Nick is minding his own business on the beach when he spots a beautiful, distressed woman clearly trying to evade a disreputable-looking man in aggressive pursuit of her. Fortunately for her, Nick is a security specialist with the knowledge and skills necessary to help her. He quickly finds out that she’s not just a damsel in distress; she’s the only daughter of a powerful mafia boss. It’s a dangerous world he’s all too familiar with because he himself is the eldest son of another powerful mafia boss. Although Nick walked away from that life and stays outside of it, he understands it all exceedingly well. The journey we are taking on to find out what has happened and why, and who is and has been involved and why, is truly entertaining. The book is written from primarily the POV of Nick and Bianca, but at key times we get the points of view of other characters who are central to whatever action is occurring. It is an effective way to keep everything clear, plus it heightens the tension and urgency of the action.
The connection between Nick and Bianca is something that shines brightly from within the pages. He needs to be in charge, and she needs to trust him completely, otherwise there’s no way he can save her. When combined with the chemistry between them, these necessary factors in their relationship quickly morph into a D/s dynamic. He is a perfect balance of compassion and intensity. I appreciated how many times the author really surprised me! This book takes you on a wild ride to a wonderful place