on November 22, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
When Ronan Sharpe unexpectedly left Colorado for parts unknown, he took a piece of Keely Carmichael's heart with him.
After leaving his hellish roots behind him, Ronan found contentment when he started over. Thoughts of the past had been pushed down for so long; he hardly thought about it at all.
He intended to keep it that way.
When unexpected circumstances force Ronan to return to Colorado, the Keely he finds is no longer the adolescent girl he remembered. Torn between desire and fear, Ronan struggles with his feelings for Keely and his need to escape the town that scarred him so deeply years ago.
Letting go is all Ronan's ever known. Will he realize a life with Keely is something he should hold onto at any cost?
All ThatÔÇÖs Left to Hold Onto by Ella Fox is the first book I read by Ella and I loved it. The writing was excellent and the story sweet. ItÔÇÖs a story of facing your past and finally see what is right in front of you.
Five years ago, Ronan Sharpe left Colorado after finding out he was betrayed by not only his girlfriend, but also his step-brother. Having witnessed their betrayal first-hand, he leaves that night, leaving everything and everyone behind, not looking back once in five years. The one person he leaves behind, was Keely. He makes a life for himself in Montana, owning a bar, having friends, and the occasional hook up to keep the memories at bay.
Keely Carmichael never had an easy life. Her mom died when she was only eight, and her father barely knew she existed after that, favoring his other child, Izzy. Keely however, prevails and grew up to be this amazing, selfless, loving you woman, despite the way she grew up. Saving money to finally leave Colorado and start a new life, she is not prepared for what life has in store for her. The night her pregnant sister and brother-in-law die in a car crash, her life changes, not only because she was the only one who survived the crash, but also because her sister entrusted Keely with her newborn babyÔÇöEmma.
The crash is also what brought Ronan back to town and back into KeelyÔÇÖs life. Together they start on a journey that will bring them closer. Having no family left, they try to be a family to little Emma, even if itÔÇÖs just as Mom Keely and Uncle Ronan. What neither one of them expected is the strong sexual attraction between the two. Even though Ronan insists that this is only temporary, since his life is in Montana. Can they find a way to hold onto each other? Or is letting go whatÔÇÖs best in the end?
All ThatÔÇÖs Left to Hold Onto is a sweet love story. The writing is impeccable and the story is intriguing. The characters are well-developed, engaging, and loveable. However, I wish the story would have been more emotional. The story was too sweet, with no real climax that plays on your emotions. I did enjoy the story however, and itÔÇÖs definitely a sweet book that I recommend if youÔÇÖre in the mood for a non-angsty, sweet story.
~Review by Anja
There were nasty looking bruises on his cheek and jaw, his lip was swollen and his knuckles were scraped and bloody. ┬áThe instant I got a good look at his face I knew something was horribly wrong. ┬áIt only went downhill from there.
My attempts to contain my panic werenÔÇÖt working. ┬áChoking back a sob I blubbered, ÔÇ£Why do you have to go?ÔÇØ
The anger was all but pouring off of him. ┬áNot toward meÔÇöheÔÇÖd never once been angry with me. I knew anger though, and it was more than obvious he was furious about something. A permanent grimace seemed to have set up camp on his face. For him, it was highly unusual. ┬áEven in the toughest of times, he kept his cool.
Suddenly, he wasn’t calm at all. ┬áHe was angrier than IÔÇÖd ever seen him. ┬áIt was obvious heÔÇÖd been in a fight, but it didnÔÇÖt change his status as the most attractive guy alive, in my opinion.
I saw his jaw clenching and unclenching which I figured meant he was trying to control himself.
ÔÇ£Because this piece of shit town is like a fucking cancer,ÔÇØ he spat. ┬áÔÇ£IÔÇÖm so done with the crazy assholes around here. People like us arenÔÇÖt normalÔÇöweÔÇÖre the freaks for trying to be good people.ÔÇØ
I didnÔÇÖt know how to argue with his words. ┬áHe wasnÔÇÖt wrongÔÇöthere was a lot wrong with many of the people in our town. Most of the crazy people were either my family members or his. ┬áI knew it and so did he. ┬áThere wasnÔÇÖt a response to erase the reality of the kind of people we dealt with.
ÔÇ£Are you going alone?ÔÇØ
His hands clenched into fists at his sides as he nodded stiffly. ÔÇ£Yes.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£Even though you live withÔÇöÔÇØ
His hand shot up into a stop gesture to keep me from finishing the sentence.
ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt say her fucking name. If I never hear it again, itÔÇÖll be too soon. I donÔÇÖt live with that crazy bitch anymore.ÔÇØ
I couldnÔÇÖt stand her so it wasnÔÇÖt like I was going to push. She was an evil troll. If he had to go, I was glad he wasnÔÇÖt taking her with him. ┬áIt wouldÔÇÖve made me ill. She pretended to be sweetness and light when he was around but it was nothing but a charade. ┬áShe was terrible. ┬áI was glad he wasnÔÇÖt taking her, but the fact he wouldnÔÇÖt say her name told me his leaving was somehow her responsibility. I hated her more than ever.
ÔÇ£Where will you go?ÔÇØ
He gestured back over his shoulder toward the street with his thumb.
ÔÇ£Wherever my car takes me once I pull out,ÔÇØ he said.
I couldnÔÇÖt imagine life without him, nor did I want to. Not only had he been my crush for as long as I could remember, he was the only person who ever really listened to me.
ÔÇ£Will you ever visit?ÔÇØ I asked hopefully.
He was shaking his head in the negative before IÔÇÖd even fully finished asking the question. I knew he wouldnÔÇÖt. The bone-deep hatred he had for everything about where we lived was stamped all over his face. ┬áI wanted so badly to know what, exactly, had sent him over the edge, but when I asked, heÔÇÖd refused to tell me.
It sucked being fourteen because he treated me like a kid. ┬áMy age said I was a child, but I was so different than any of my peers it wasnÔÇÖt even funny. ┬áBecause of this, they teased me often, referring to me as Granny Carmichael. ┬áI hated it. ┬áIt wasnÔÇÖt as though IÔÇÖd had a choice. ┬áMy childhood was over the moment my mother got sick.
His expression softened when he looked me over. ÔÇ£You need to get back inside before you get pneumonia.ÔÇØ
The frigid Colorado air wasnÔÇÖt even making an impression on me until he pointed it out. I realized my tears were leaving cold trails on my face, but I couldnÔÇÖt walk away. All I cared about was how much I didnÔÇÖt want him to leave.
ÔÇ£I donÔÇÖt care about the cold or getting pneumonia. ┬áI donÔÇÖt want you to go!ÔÇØ I cried anxiously.
He hugged me then, his strong arms wrapping around me to give comfort. ┬áI hadnÔÇÖt hugged him since IÔÇÖd been much youngerÔÇöprobably five or six. ┬áThose hugs had mostly involved me wrapping myself around one of his legs. ┬áThis was different. I wrapped my arms tight around him and cried against his chest, holding on for as long as he allowed me to.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm sorry,ÔÇØ he said as he ended the embrace and stepped back. ÔÇ£I have to leave.ÔÇØ
Knowing my denial and resistance werenÔÇÖt going to make any difference, I swiped at my tears as I nodded.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖll miss you,ÔÇØ I said on a choked sob. ┬áÔÇ£Take care of yourself.ÔÇØ
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖll miss you too,ÔÇØ he replied softly. ┬áÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre one of the few good people here.ÔÇØ
My heart galloped in my chest. I loved him for saying what he didÔÇöbut hated that it came at such a horrible price. ┬áLosing him was unbearable.
He turned as if to leave, then stopped. ┬áSpinning back my way, he stared at me intently for a few moments before he spoke again.
ÔÇ£YouÔÇÖre so much better than any of these people. DonÔÇÖt ever let them change who you are. The world needs a lot more you and a lot less them. No matter what anyone tells youÔÇöyouÔÇÖre perfect. ┬áGot it?ÔÇØ
I nodded as I wiped at the tears running unchecked down my face.
He hugged me again, very briefly. My heart skipped a few beats when he dropped a kiss on top of my head.
ÔÇ£DonÔÇÖt ever forget your worthÔÇönot even for a minute,ÔÇØ he murmured.
When he let go, he said nothing else. ┬áHe just turned and walked to his car. ┬áAs he went, the chill in the air suddenly took hold of me. ┬áHugging my arms around myself, I watched as he got into the car, turned it on and then pulled out of my driveway. ┬áHe looked at me one last time before putting his hand up in a goodbye gesture. ┬áI did the same. ┬áA few seconds passed before he put the car in drive then sped off into the night.
I stayed outside for two or three minutes, hoping against hope he would change his mind and come back.
Hours later when I got into bed, I prayed fate would bring him back one day. ┬áI said the same prayer most nights for a long, long time. Eventually I had no choice but to accept reality.
Hell would freeze over before he returned.