Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
Perfect, happy, “Jonah the Savior”, that’s how most people see Jonah Taylor. What they don’t always see is how incredibly overwhelmed he is with his new business or how lonely he is. When a painfully shy man enters his wellness center, all Jonah wants to do is help break him out of his shell. The problem is, the attraction he feels to the nervous, timid man is undeniable.
Cameron Vaughn has let most of his life be decided for him. A traumatic event from his past has caused him to doubt every decision he makes. When he’s forced into a new, anxiety-ridden situation, his first instinct is to run. So, what is it about the owner of the wellness center that has him questioning everything he’s ever been told?
Can one man convince the other he’s worth saving? Can the other realize he’s strong enough to save himself? Together, can they prove that what they’ve found is worth holding on to?
Hard to Hold by Jaclyn Quinn is another heartwarming contemporary romance in the Haven’s Cove series. The third story centers around Jonah Taylor and Cameron Vaughn. Jonah has been in the first two stories. He was Owen’s fiance’, although they were breaking up on good terms when Brody returned to town. And he was instrumental in helping Gabe and Nate find their HEA, hence the title “Jonah the Savior”. But while all his friends around him are finding their partners and HEA, where is Jonah’s?
With Gabe’s financial help, he has finally opened the health and fitness center of his dreams, now he would like a personal life. And a certain shy man has caught his attention. Unfortunately, that man has a load of demons he’s been carrying around for years.
Cameron Vaughn is a man in hiding. Fearful and indecisive, he’s withdrawn from life into his house, leaving only for work, visits to his parents and his brother’s family. Plus the occasional visit to his therapist. The only thing he’s admitting that he has done for himself is to lose most of the weight he gained overeating hoping to ignore his issues. Cameron is friendless and in stasis. The pressure from his parents to be someone he’s not is killing him and continuing the nightmares from his past. Something has to change but how? He has no idea until his brother and sister in law gift him with a gym membership to Jonah’s club for his birthday.
Cameron is really an amazing character. His full past which won’t be revealed here, alone with his parent’s troubling reaction to it and the decade long consequences are horrifying. I think Quinn handled it all with sensitivity, although I would have loved for Dr. Rivers to have gotten the legal ramifications so deserved here. Ah well.
This is a long, complicated romance with many aspects to it that slow it down for Cameron. And Jonah. His confusion over his sexuality for one. There is a side romance with a young woman named Ali pushed on him by his parents, one he has to work his way through.
There are so many emotionally tangled aspects to this story, especially the parental ones. The mother especially in her desire to protect her son from life’s pain has inflicted far worse on him and intends to continue in her blindness in thinking she knows best. Truly terrifying. And the author makes her and her human, not monsters.
All the other couples, their families are a strong support here in this novel. I love that and all of them. We have gotten to know them over the course of three stories now and they feel like old friends. We’ve seen each meet their HEA and now another pair is getting married and another getting engaged.
Who will be next?
I can’t wait and if you love contemporary romance, here is a series full of love, laughter, tears, and romance…three books full. At the moment.
Cover art works for the pairing and the series. I like it.
ebook, 281 pages
Published July 24th 2018 by self-published (first published July 23rd 2018)
SeriesHaven’s Cove #3