Series: The O'Learys #6
Published by Lyrical Shine
Publication Date: July 21st 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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Disclaimer: I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book. All opinions stated are solely mine.
Leave it to the O’Learys to make romance a family affair…
Maggie O’Leary is finally coming home to Chicago. After more than a year in Ireland, she’s ready to make a plan for her future. But first, she’ll have to confront the tragedy that scarred her so deeply. Asking for a job in the family bar is the first step, and it’s one her family isn’t entirely happy about. At least Shane Callahan, her best friend in the world, is behind her a hundred percent. He’s also a hundred percent more lovable than she remembered…
Shane is determined to keep Maggie safe, even if it means working three jobs and giving up sleep to be around during her shifts at the bar. But when Maggie boldly tells him she needs more than a loyal friend now, Shane knows a single night together won’t be possible. The idea of spirited Maggie in his bed is electrifying, but will she believe he wants to give her his heart, too?
Maggie O’Leary is back home to reclaim her life after a tragedy from five years ago forced her to leave Chicago. Maggie is the youngest child and she expects her family to treat her with kid gloves, but thankfully her best pal, Shane would be around to run interference for her.
Shane Callahan still carries a load of guilt over his inability to protect Maggie back then and is concerned about her plans but he is determined to keep her safe this time, even if it means moving next door to her and working alongside her in the family bar. Shane has always been in love with Maggie but never got the opportunity to tell her how he felt so when she propositions him, he has the perfect opening to move their relationship further.
Maggie is a ball of energy, always on the go and Shane is her opposite, more of a watcher than a talker. Maggie and Shane have a comfortable and easy relationship born out of a long-time friendship and I enjoyed their teasing and playful banter, but as the story progressed their communication skills left a lot to be desired and both of them began to annoy me. Shane literally gave up everything to be available to Maggie, up to moving next door and watching out for her at her job under the pretense of working there. While I initially admired his commitment to Maggie, after a while he started to come across as a pushover, perfectly content to let Maggie get away with everything. Maggie was quite self-centered and all about what she wanted, without caring how it affected everyone else and it was surprising that she was so oblivious to Shane’s more than-friendly feelings for her.
In spite of how I felt about Maggie and Shane, I actually enjoyed reading HOLD ME CLOSE and I like how Ms. Schroeder was sensitive in dealing with the subject matter. Maggie’s struggle to recover was heartwarming and her supportive friends and family went a long way to make that happen. By the end of the book, both Maggie and Shane had matured and were assertive about what they wanted from each other. This is my first book in the entire series and I’m glad I started with this one because now I have a reason to go back to the beginning of the series.