Even the few lower-rated reviews still indicated an understanding of the story I meant to tell though not the one the reviewer wished to read. Yes, Aubrey is a weaker character right now. My intention is to see her grow into herself - that will happen, I promise. No, William is not perfect but since the book is written in Aubrey's voice, this is how she sees him. The book is based on an imperfect relationship, two people discovering what works for them so I didn't intend for their use of discipline or dominance to be training for readers and yes, I suspect we'll see them create a domestic discipline lifestyle that fits them.
For now, I'm taking a moment to just breathe and enjoy (and then jump back in for book two). I hope you'll take a moment to ADD Hold My Hand to your TBR List on Goodreads.
Hold My Hand
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Elements: Dominance/ submission, Domestic Discipline, Bondage
Release Date: April 1, 2013
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Aubrey has been hurt in the past, discouraged and degraded by a heartless father. Still, William sees something in her that won't allow him to walk away. Instantly drawn to her but intuitive enough to take it slowly, he courts her. Then he bargains, persuades and seduces until he ensnares Aubrey with his commanding nature. He’s everything she ever needed but never had the courage to want for. Despite the fight she puts up in accepting William's lifestyle, the bonds he places on Aubrey give her a freedom she desperately needs. Together, they heal old wounds and find their perfect love.
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Here's what the reviewers are saying...
"William and Aubrey. BDSM-lite. How I giggled the first time I saw Paloma use that phrase, but I do love it. As I got farther into the book though, I loved seeing in action what she meant. Too often, I find the balance between those 4 letters and romance in fiction to be lacking. Thankfully that was not the case in "Hold my Hand"- William obviously loves Aubrey, even as he takes her in hand. The simple care and the delight he has in taking care of Aubrey is simply amazing." - Joelle Casteel, Author
"Hold My Hand is a deeply emotional read that lingers long after you've finished it. William is a supremely strong, yet surprisingly patient man, who finds himself perfectly complemented by Aubrey. He recognizes her submissive nature and beautifully guides her in their relationship, helping Aubrey to see herself as worthy of being desired and cherished. I love how William cultivated their interdependence; for every demand he made of Aubrey--and there were many!--William considerately gave something of himself to her, too. Their emotional connection is the singular focus of this book, and while it concludes satisfactorily, I was excited to learn a second installment is to follow." - Jen M, Goodreads
"I really enjoyed this book. It pulled me in from the beginning and kept my attention. I really liked William but had a little trouble connecting to Aubrey. That is just me though, she is struggling with the "relationship" and doesn't know how to feel. This is primarily because of her religion and the way she was raised. I just wanted her to seize the day and embrace the new world that William was opening up to her. It took her till the end but she finally opened her eyes." - Wendy, Wicked Wolves & Dreaming Dragons Reviews
"[Hold My Hand] is a story that kind of stays with you. There are layers to Aubrey and William that you can't (or I can't) get on first reading. It just has to sit for a bit and settle and age. I actually just read an interview over on Jade Carey's site where the author spoke about where the initial idea came from (because the book was there for years before it was written). Anyhow, here's the initial poem that was the inspiration and reading this poem after reading the book kind of wrapped it all up. There will be a sequel which is good - all those layers need uncovering." - Natasha Knight, Author
HOLD My HAND - Paloma BeckHe reaches to Hold My HandAnd I walk into the unknown.I cling to the possibilityAs I escape into the forbidden.He whispers Hold My HandAnd I lay myself before him.I hunger for his offeringAs I soar to new heights.He reaches to Hold My HandAnd I am touched by grace.I am set free through my bondsAs I reach to Hold his Hand.
"Paloma Beck takes her reader by the hand and gently leads them into the world of domestic discipline and manages to craft a beautifully written and surprisingly romantic story at the same time. In an exploding market of BDSM stories, the element of love - the kind that makes a reader want to know more about the characters and their journey - often gets sacrificed for steamy no holds barred sex. Hold My Hand focuses on the fledgling relationship between Aubrey and William without sacrificing the erotic components.
Beck has created an imminently believable character in Aubrey - her past history of emotional abuse, her feelings of self doubt and worthlessness hit the reader right in the heart. While a domestic discipline relationship may not be every reader's cup of tea, this author creates one that feels very natural and is so deeply steeped in loving motivations that any discomfort one might have about the heavy D/s overtones is quickly swept aside as the reader falls as deeply in love as this perfectly matched odd couple." - Jenn, Guilty Indulgence Review Site
"Wow. I don't have enough good things to say about Hold My Hand. This book really hit home for me in a lot of ways. It's an intense emotional story that will leave you thinking about it for days. The author presents word-pictures of scenes and events by giving specific details that appeal to the five senses, perfect for our imagination. The book is written in the first person from the perspective of Aubrey. The book moves at a relaxing pace and is extremely absorbing without being dull or loose. Plot points are tight and the other characters, are complex and completely fleshed out thus adding to the well crafted feel of the book." - Sapphire Kande, Author