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Hard to Hold (Hard to... series) by [Black, Incy]
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Hard to Hold (Hard to... series) Kindle Edition

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Length: 230 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled Language: English

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Product description

Product Description

Anna Key Marshall is about to get what she's always wanted: a baby. Granted, it's through a sperm donor instead of her ex-husband, but you can't have everything. She has no idea why someone wants her dead, but she'll do whatever it takes to protect her unborn child—even if it means turning to her ex, the Black Ops specialist who broke her heart.

Five years ago, British Intelligence agent Nick Marshall slammed the door on the woman who betrayed him. But now Anna's back in his life with a vengeance, pregnant and full of attitude. He'd like nothing better than to walk away, but with her life on the line, he has no choice but to do what he does best—protect her at all costs.

As old wounds resurface, Nick begins to doubt his version of what went down with Anna so long ago. And he begins to believe they might have a second chance together. But with Anna's would-be killer on the loose—it will take the full force and fury of his protective instincts, fueled by a powerful love he can't leave behind, to hold on to the woman he still loves.

Each book in the Black Ops Heroes series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Series Order:
Book #1 Hard to Hold
Book #2 Hard to Forget
Book #3 Hard to Protect

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1311 KB
  • Print Length: 230 pages
  • Publisher: Entangled: Ignite (28 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JI0KF4E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #20,181 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program) 4.1 out of 5 stars 40 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down! 28 April 2014
By Susan Rees - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Deep, dark and dangerous. From the beginning, Anna Key Marshall and ex-husband, Nick Marshall, hit the ground running and don’t stop in this fast paced, emotional rollercoaster of a story. With twists and red herrings aplenty, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn’t sleep for thinking about what might happen next.

The main characters are strong, pig-headed at times and flawed; I so wanted them to find their HEA but there were some pretty big obstacles in their path, not least of which is Nick’s deep-seated belief that he isn’t worthy of being loved. Ms Black didn’t just throw boulders their way; she dumped Mt Everest on top of them and gave them a teaspoon to dig their way out!

If you enjoy romantic suspense and high drama, you’ll love “Hard to Hold”. I’m giving it 5 stars.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book had me hooked! 1 May 2014
By McReadsALot - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I knew just from reading the summary that this book was not just up my alley, but parked in the driveway in front of my house honking the horn for me to hurry up, and I was right. I read until I fell asleep (sometime in the wee hours!), read during gymnastics, read during naptime, and finally got to finish.

Secret agents, misunderstandings, two people who NEED each other... and danger out the wazoo. Like, crazy danger. Like, omg this is insane wtf just happened danger!

We join the story 5 years after a tragic misunderstanding has split them up, when Nick forces his way into Anna's life again in order to protect her, whether she wants him to or not. He's not actually happy about it either, but it is inconceivable for him to know she's in trouble and not help. And Anna is in it up to her eyeballs without even knowing why. Watching them work with each other and against each other, using their awareness to drive the other away or pull them closer, was spectacular.

I can't say that I'm claiming Nick as a book boyfriend, but I absolutely LOVE him with Anna. The sparks are constant, and their backstory is so well written that there's no way to imagine them moving on from each other, ever. These two have GOT to have each other and no one else!

I did have a couple of gripes during my reading, though. A few typos that I'm not sure are actually typos but maybe just British spellings, so I'm willing to overlook those.
Nick's growth - he comes to understand exactly how much he's hurt Anna in the past, and while there was a lot of talking about feelings, I was never satisfied with his admissions. There were several opportunities for a much stronger "I almost lost her" reaction, and I really wanted Anna to just grab him by the collar and shake him until he confessed how much she's always meant to him.
Anna - there's a lot of flip flopping in her mind about what she's thinking vs what she's actually feeling, and I felt like it wasn't written clearly enough. With Nick's lies, they are verbal & intentional, but he always knows how he feels. Anna seems to do a lot of lying to herself, almost instantly admitting that she's lying to herself, and it got annoying.

My major issue (the one that actually knocked off a star) *could* be considered a spoiler, although I'm not giving away specific details. Do consider yourself warned.


I was devouring this book at every possible opportunity - I constantly felt like I *could not* wait to see what happened next. I actually sshh'ed my husband when I was at 95% because of how much was going on, then I turned the page and it was a year later. ACTION ACTION DANGER - reminiscing.
As a sports metaphor: your team is at bat, the last possible chance to save the game, here comes the pitch, the batter swings - and it's the after party. I honestly flipped back and forth on my kindle thinking I'd somehow skipped a chapter.
There was so much build up but no payoff, and I was really disappointed by it. Sure, you see how things are going a year later, but it was so anti-climactic that I was almost too irritated to care.

If the conclusion of the story had not been completely skipped over and the last chapter more accurately labeled an Epilogue, this would have been a 5* book.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Hold review 19 June 2014
By Jessica Madden - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was split mostly between a three and four star rating for me. In the end I've settled for 3.5 stars. It had a lot of potential and I think this author will go far with a little more experience. I'm unsure if this author is actually from England, or America. The story was set in London, but not much about the story really anchors it there. There was a lot of 'realize' instead of 'realise' which the 'se' is the British English. Things like this happened a lot which makes me think it was an American Author. Things like this made me think outside of the story while I was reading it, instead of staying with it.

Like other reviewers have stated, I enjoyed both of these strong characters, but as I got closer to the end I really wasn't sure the HEA was them actually together. I think I would have been fine if they left each other, or if one of them died to be honest. Their relationship was so toxic and they were truly awful to each other. There is a quote I've seen online which is: "The problem with our generation is we go through hell with a person and see that as motivation to stay with them. Just because you've been though "a lot" doesn't mean anything. It's not about how long someone has been in your life, its about the impact they have made in it." These two characters never really showed their love for one another. They cared for each other but it seemed more out of a sense of history and obligation. They never appeared IN love to me.

There were a few mistakes too, like using you're instead of your etc. But overall the story was enjoyable enough. It was refreshing to see two such strong characters, and I think perhaps this author might have been able to think outside the box and show that you don't HAVE to stay with someone just because readers and people expect it. Maybe they both could have grown, moved on from each other and found happiness with new people. The last chapter could have been them coming together at the end and seeing how far they've come and becoming friends.

Like I said, this author definitely has something there and I think with every book we'll see more improvement. I would recommend this to anyone who likes a little action with their love story, plus enjoys the bickering and angst filled story that never leaves any of these pages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book - Action Packed 12 May 2014
By Debbie Brooks - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Terrific book that kept me on the edge of my seat, and for that I recommend this book. I would have given it a 5 rating but I thought Nick was pretty obnoxious and did not treat Anna very well, hence the 4 rating.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hard to Put Down 30 April 2014
By T Lynn Hopkins - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hard to Hold was just delightful. It was a long-lost lovers reunited by a stalker, which isn't necessarily a new thing, but it WAS a little different--being set in the UK was a refreshing change. The hero was the perfect "I hate you because you broke my heart but I love you and will do anything to protect you" kind of guy, which set up a great conflict.
I look forward to the next book by this author!