Hold Me Tight by Dalia Craig

Life has never been easy for Kezia Grey and now it just got a whole lot worse. On the run from vicious thugs hired by her ex-boss, Raul Casaro, who believes she has stolen vital information about his business dealings she takes refuge in La Rochette, a bistro run by a gay couple, Marc and Jason. But is Kezia wise to place her trust in Marc and Jason or will they betray her too?

For Marc Linton and Jason Deveral Kezia’s arrival brings major change to their well-ordered life and danger in the form of a revenge attack on their home by the men searching for Kezia.

As things heat up for Kezia, mounting sexual tension forces her into a radical reassessment of her relationship with the two men. While for Marc and Jason, a surprising turn of events offers them an unexpected solution to a longstanding problem and provides them with the one thing missing from their lives.

Hold Me Tight by Dalia Craig is a short novella, part of Love You Divine’s Fairytales and Love Songs collection. It is the story of Kezia Grey who is on the run for her life from her nefarious ex-boss and lover and his goons, and who is rescued and taken in by Jason Deveral and Marc Linton.

From the start, Kezia is attracted to Jason, who is friendly, generous and gorgeous, but knows that Jason is gay and very much in love with his partner Marc, and so she tries to dismiss these feelings, convinced that nothing will come of them. For his part, Marc is much more cautious and reserved with Kezia and takes more time than Jason to warm up to her. But eventually both Jason and Marc come to care for Kezia, and she for them. Jason and Marc take measures to protect her from the dangerous men that are after her, and help her to feel useful and productive again by giving her a job. To overcome the recurring nightmares from which she has suffered practically all of her life, Jason and Marc take her into their bed and eventually invite Kezia to do much more than just sleep in their bed. And while she is at first reticent about becoming sexually involved, she cannot fight her attraction to them.

There are strong hints at the beginning of the story of unresolved issues between Jason and Marc that dictate some of the dynamics of their relationship and impact their decisions with respect to a threesome with Kezia, yet some of these issues are not further explored or revealed until the very end of the story when they are resolved, seemingly out of nowhere. Also, through Kezia’s point of view and the horrible nightmares that she suffers we know that she has probably experienced a horrific childhood. However, aside from very vivid and detailed description of her nightmares, nothing else is pursued in the story in respect of Kezia’s childhood experiences or their impact on her.

The quality of the writing of this author is good with strength in relaying feelings and vivid images through her descriptions, however I found that the main story – the relationship between Kezia, Jason and Marc – became lost in these secondary story threads. In addition, the shorter length of the novella prevented further exploration of these secondary threads. I expected the story to further delve into the issues of Jason and Marc’s relationship or Kezia’s childhood, which could have revealed very interesting aspects of the characters and their lives thereby making the story that much more rich.

I enjoy reading menage stories, whether about mixed or same-sex polyamorous relationships, but have found that these stories work best, in particular when short in length, when the development of the relationship (sexual and/or emotional) of the three or more, is the main focus of the story. Hold Me Tight has the potential of being a good menage story had it been primarily focused on the development of the relationship between Kezia, Jason and Marc as the main story arc, with the resolution of the ex-boss issue as the secondary focus. Equally, the secondary story threads could have worked quite well with a primary focus on the relationship had the novella been much longer in length. Unfortunately, by attempting to do both in a story of only forty-eight pages, the main story of the relationship between Kezia, Jason and Marc lost its focus.

Hold Me Tight by Dalia Craig is available at All Romance eBooks.

NOTE: This review was originally published online by Rainbow Reviews.

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