Hold You Against Me by Skye Warren (Stripped #4)
Released: May 31, 2016
Reviewed by Mandi
I’ve been a fan of Skye Warren books for some time now – going to them whenever I’m craving a dark book. Sometimes she writes really, really dark and it’s too much, but I found Hold You Against Me to be dark – but not too dark.
Clara and her sister Honor were born into the mafia and their father who is boss is a strict man. Clara has a little rebellion in her though, and has learned how to sneak out of her room and meet up with a man named Giovanni. Clara is fifteen and Gio is eighteen and they have developed a close friendship. Gio feels very protective of Clara, and Clara feels safe with him. But things are soon to change.
Clara’s dad starts to lose his firm control being the boss, and when a cocky new man comes into the picture, with his eyes set on fifteen year old Clara, she knows if she is forced to be with him, other things will be forced from her. Clara knows she needs to run, and her sister Honor is ready to flee as well. Gio’s position in the mafia is shaky and all he wants is Clara to be safe, so he tells her to run, without telling him where she is going. Clara and her sister flee….and start a new life.
Gio isn’t so lucky. He is tortured – repeatedly – to find out where Clara is, but he doesn’t know and never gives in.
Years later, Clara has a new life as an artist. She is happy and content, and also after reading an obituary for Gio in the newspaper, saddened that her best friend died because she escaped. But she is about to get a huge surprise.
Gio is alive – and when Clara’s picture shows up in the newspaper relating to her art work, Gio knows she is no longer safe. He drugs her and kidnaps her in his limo, and takes her back to the home she grew up in. Gio is now in charge and wants Clara to be his, and to be safe. The only way to ensure her safety is for Gio to marry her. Plus Clara has the birthright of being the mafia heir – something that ensures Gio power. He isn’t all good. Clara of course is happy that Gio is alive, but he is a changed man. Hardened. Intense. Violent. Plus she is his captive and isn’t getting a lot of input in her situation.
While Clara is Gio’s captive, and he is a hardened mafia man, he isn’t brutal or horrible to her. I mean – unless you think drugging her and kidnapping her is horrible *wink* This is a man she loved at the age of fifteen and now that she is a more mature adult, she needs to work out her feelings towards him. Deep down she loves him and wants to be with him, but she also doesn’t know this new version of Gio. And everything is moving very fast. She wants to be able to make her own decisions about her life – but with the bad guys on her tail Gio won’t allow it.
I enjoyed it – Seeing Gio and Clara together prior to Clara running away when she was a teen, reminds the reader that Gio once had good intentions. You know he isn’t out to harm her, although he will do anything to keep her safe – and he isn’t used to be said no to.
If you want a slightly dark, mafia, captive story – give this one a try. It’s sexy too. This is the first I’ve read of the series and it worked great as a stand alone.