Friday, March 20, 2015

"Yours to Hold" by Darcy Burke

Years ago, golden-boy Kyle Archer left Ribbon Ridge without a word. Now, with heartbreak on the verge of tearing his family apart, the black sheep is back and he’s determined to earn their trust by uncovering the truth behind Alex’s death. But the moment he confronts Maggie Trent—the therapist his parents blame for the tragedy—Kyle is stunned by his powerful attraction to the beautiful doctor… and drawn to her like no woman he’s ever met before. 

When gorgeous, charismatic Kyle approaches Maggie about his brother’s death, she agrees to help him search for answers. And as they piece together Alex’s last days, their undeniable chemistry turns too hot to ignore. After their relationship becomes more serious than either anticipated, Kyle may be forced to choose between the woman he’s desperate to hold on to and the family he almost let slip away.
My review: 
Yours to Hold, the 2nd book in the Ribbon Ridge story, continues delving into the lives of the Archer family.  We are introduced to Kyle in a previous book, but in Yours to Hold, the author provides us a deep look into the demons that Kyle has been fighting, long before Alex's death.  Kyle's demons have a tight hold on Kyle, and he continues to fight them, even as he returns home. We see Kyle begin to heal through his relationship with Maggie, and she helps him to heal his relationships with other members of his family.  These relationships are important to Kyle and while his shame kept him away from them, his deeply held love for his family is what ultimately drove him to see how their actions reflected their love for him.  He eventually found himself worthy of that love. In getting to know Kyle in this story, the reader also gets possibly the deepest look into the lives and emotions of the entire Archer family. The author writes an emotionally-deep, heart-wrenching story of a son estranged from his family, and how love for Maggie also returns him to the love of his family.
We meet Maggie as Alex's former therapist.  She is like no therapist I've known or heard of.  Maggie is as much a mental mess as the patients she is treating.  She has internalized her guilt over Alex's death and has not been able to move forward.  She continues to take her patient's emotions on herself and, perhaps because of Alex's death, can't separate herself from her patients.  She also has violence, or the threat of violence, in her past and that also jades her perspective and reactions to her patients, and to Kyle as she gets to know them. I would say the best way to describe Maggie is that she is a "hot mess."  
Maggie's parents are a riot, but they love her deeply.  She may not be able to deal with their choice of lifestyle but its clear they live by their convictions and they love Maggie with their whole heart. Ultimately, Maggie realizes that while her "convictions" may be different than her parents, living by those convictions is the easiest way to a happy life.  I was happy to see that she finally came to the conclusion of where her life should lead.
Yours to Hold is a book about love, grief, guilt, and healing.  Maggie and Kyle help each other to heal, and each helps bring the other closer together with their respective families.  This healing helps Maggie find her ultimate "happily ever after", both in life and in love.  It also guides Kyle to a reunion with his estranged family and a recognition of what how family love and romantic love, can really help a person feel truly complete in life.  
Disclosure: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.


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