BOOK REVIEW: No Holding Back by Lori Foster
I must truly say I am a fan of The McKenzies of Ridge Trail. No Holding Back is an introduction to the family and their world. One skill that makes me drawn to certain authors is their ability to write family bonds, blood or found. To bring in secondary characters that bring the need for a series alive in you, invest you in them as they drive the current story forward, building and not detracting from the current plot. Lori Foster in my opinion is a master at this and succeeds again in this introduction to the McKenzies!
Cade and Sterling both have lives affected by human trafficking. Because of events in her life, Sterling is broken, skittish in trusting, and feels safer alone, smart and determined she weighs her steps but emotion draws her to act to save others and seek revenge. Cade’s life has drilled into him teamwork, analysis, and being prepared for all scenarios. Both have different reasons for not trusting others, hers due to games people play that harm others, to keep herself safe. His needing to keep his family and their activities safe. Since she is tentative in sharing herself until he reveals more about himself, too. And he’s not able to share more until she reveals herself to him, there’s a standstill moving forward…this conflict is worked through, by touching on ways they benefit each other…working together on common goals drive the story.
She is the ticket to help end a trafficking ring in their area and his family has the strategy and manpower to help her achieve her goal of revenge and need to help victims. The interaction and circumstances that slowly bring her into his life and his families is well written and fitting to all character growth. All the while you can see the growth of their love. Loved the heat level throughout this book…attraction and interest are strong but fitting the personalities of the characters. As the passion evolves, it’s steamy and fitting the storyline…one train of thought used by Cade to sway the heroine’s opinion by using intimacy, had me role my eyes until the heroine called him on it, too, then I laughed and high-fived Lori Foster in my mind. The bonding with his family brings her beyond her past and willing to move forward in life, grows her confidence in herself and belonging. Because of her life built her survival instincts, she had strong insight and brings a new outspoken and needed aspect to the McKenzies. Cade and Sterling become true partners.
Not all done easily. There are dangerous action scenes that have you on the edge of your seat. The main antagonist is known and always seems beyond reach until these characters join together, but there is a character who has you guessing if they are villain or not until the very end. Ideal story, Action, Humor laced in an emotional journey that bring our characters to a well deserved Happily ever after and set us up for Reyes’ Story!