Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston

Welcome to Panic, a sultry Miami nightclub where bodies and hearts move to a beat that doesn’t stop at sunrise—the setting for “a magnificent story full of deep emotion” (Sawyer Bennett).

I thought I could enjoy a night out like a normal person. I thought I could handle the flashing lights, the pulsing music, the crowded dance floor. I couldn’t have been more wrong. After having an anxiety attack and passing out during my sister’s engagement party at Panic, I wake up in the arms of the hottest guy I’ve ever seen. Nick Moreno’s no gentleman. But he might just be the man I need to help me take control of my life.

When I hear there’s some random girl passed out in the back room of my family’s South Beach nightclub, I’m pissed. My dad’s already behind bars and we can’t afford any more bad press. But after giving her a lift—literally—back to her apartment, I stop seeing Katherine Wilson as some random girl. She’s gorgeous, vulnerable, and braver than she knows. And when we kiss, all I want to do is pull her close and promise that she’ll always be safe in my arms.

Add to Goodreads

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo 

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Mary Jo☆☆☆☆
I've read stories about people having panic attacks and I have had one, but nothing I've read truly described those feelings and emotions as the author did in this story. My attack was not severe, but it had me feeling a loss of control like I hadn't felt before or since. But reading this made me realize how much worse it could have been.

Katherine's foray into Miami's nightclub scene is not one of choice. She's doing it for her sister who insisted she come out and celebrate her engagement. Once inside the club, Katherine's emotions overwhelm her and she passes out. Nico and Matt, the owners of the club, don't want or need trouble. They have enough trouble without inviting the cops or EMTs to their door with a OD'd club-goer. Except there is something about Katherine that calls to Nico.

Despite Katherine's phobias and mental scars, she and Nico become friends. Over the course of several months, Katherine's insecurities improve to the point she can leave her apartment and do things with Nico. What Nico doesn't understand is that Katherine has to fight not only to take new steps to become the woman she once was, she has to fight just to maintain the progress she's made.

Until Nico experiences a similar tragedy in his life, he realizes he truly didn't understand the depth and determination Katherine has to live outside the walls of her apartment.

Welcome to Panic, a sultry Miami nightclub where bodies and hearts move to a beat that doesn’t stop at sunrise—the setting for “a magnificent story full of deep emotion” (Sawyer Bennett).

I think this was the only line I read in the synopsis and knew I had to read this story, but I didn't realize what was going on until I started it. And once I got started, I was hooked and didn't want to let go until the end, and I still wanted more.

Katherine Wilson has a lot going on in her life that is more than anxiety attacks. A traumatic event years ago has left her afraid of everything except herself almost. She even has a hard time going outside. She has tried therapy, medication, and pushing herself one step at a time to go outside. But then there are so many other triggers that make her run back inside and hide. One night at her sister’s engagement party at a club called Panic, which is what she feels, she goes into a full blown panic attack and passes out. When she wakes up, there is a gorgeous angry man looking at her. She tries to explain, but he thinks she is just a druggie.

Nick "Nico" Moreno is part owner of Panic, a well-known night club in Miami, along with his twin brother Matt, they are trying to bring the club back to legal status after their father's illegal doings. So when Nick sees his security carrying a girl into his office, he knows he doesn't need the press to get wind of this druggie at his club. When he sees Katherine, he is angry because he sees a beautiful woman that is throwing her life away with drugs. Or so he thinks.

After Katherine explains her condition to Nico, will he turn and run far away? Or will he try to help her to live a better life? Will Katherine let Nico in and learn to love without the fear of loss?

I have to tell you now, be prepared to cry and cry a lot because Katherine's past will break your heart. And Nico will help put it back together.

This is a first for me from Sidney Halston and it will not be my last. I saw on Goodreads that she is working on Matt's story and I can't wait.

Katherine had a horrible experience on September 11th, being left in the dark for hours took its toll on her. Years later she's left with PTSD and anxiety that leaves her stuck in her own home, fearful of everything outside of her door. When her sister has an engagement party at Panic, she has to be there. The lights, the people, the bodies pressed closed together dancing are all more than she can take. After she passed out, she finds herself in the owners’ office, embarrassed and confused.

"Pulling you close and holding you tightly."

Nick owns and runs Panic with his brother, Matt. After their father's illegal activities in the club, they are left to pick up the pieces and make it great again. When security brings a passed out woman to Nick's office. Nick, trying to find out who she is, goes through her purse and finds a bag of pills. At that moment he wants nothing to do with her. He's been with a junkie, he's seen how they ruin lives, regardless of how pretty she is, he's not about to try and help her.

Pull Me Close is so full of emotion. You can't help fall deep in the story within the first few pages and Ms. Halston keeps you captivated throughout. You can't help fall in love with Nick and Katherine. I'm excited to see what happens next.

An anxiety filled recluse doesn’t seem like the ideal partner for a nightclub owner, but Nick and Katie are a surprisingly well matched couple.

I have to admit that I really struggled to empathise with Katie at some points. Fifteen years have elapsed since her trauma and there were times I wanted to shout at her to pull herself together. Or at least make a real effort to get better. She isn’t my favourite female lead. One more scene featuring her home alone, cooking gourmet food with her cat and I was going to put the book down.

Nick almost makes up for Katie being a little wet. Love me a man bun! He is sexy, slightly damaged, loyal to his family, and best friends with his twin. Wow. I loved him. But I have to admit I was cheering for him and not the relationship when he gave Katie a rather brutal ultimatum.

The pacing of this story is very slow and repetitive. With an agoraphobic lead, I’m not sure how it would be possible to make it more interesting. Katie’s life is repetitive and routine. The ending, where Nick is away from Katie, becomes more interesting, especially as he is involved in another historic event.

This was sweet and sexy in parts, but I struggled to engage with, or empathise with the main character, which made it difficult for me to believe in the romance. Readers with more empathy will probably enjoy this story.

4.5 emotionally charged stars

Ms. Halston is a talented author who does not shy away from difficult issues – her Worth the Fight series being an excellent testament to this – but here she has upped her game even more. To have a plot moulded in part around two world changing events, in such a personal and effective way is brilliant.

I am sure that at some time, most of us have wanted to stay home and avoid interacting with others when things get too much – but once we get into just what that has become for Katherine, then it is impossible not to appreciate the ability to walk outside and face normal life. As she elegantly demonstrates, modern life enables her to never leave home – and when she does, it has life altering consequences. As frustrating as her behaviours are, they work to ramp up the issues. I am almost loathed to say more, because you need to peel away the layers and see how two very different people find that special thing in each other that makes their lives change forever – or at least it could, if they let it.

Nico has had an incredibly unusual upbringing and is reeling from recent events and striving to work with his twin, Matt, to save his family business and repair the reputation of all three. The last thing he needs is a complication like Katherine, but it would seem that he cannot avoid her, or what she means to him.

Just writing my musings on this book has me wanting to read it again! There is a small core of important characters, some really moving scenes, lots of hot and steamy action, some lovely humour, and some heart-stoppingly described events. And at the very end we get a hint of the story which will be coming next – and I am imploring Ms. Halston to get writing and give us another book very soon.

This review might be a little "bipolar" since I experienced a love/hate relationship with this book.

The main character, Katherine, has PTSD and severe anxiety and agoraphobia. She's extremely well written but almost to a fault. She is a panicky mess and I really had a hard time reading her character. I've experienced panic attacks and the author did a wonderful job describing the unreasonable fear that comes with having them. That being said, I felt maybe we ended up inside her panic and in her head a bit too much. I felt like there were long pages full of the sweaty, woozy, awfulness of the attacks that could have been shortened. I almost gave up on the book at this point! But in walks our hero, Nico. He's swagger and confidence personified. I fell in love. Nico is a nightclub owner and when he finds Katherine passed out in his club, he assumes it's drugs. Nico has been burned before by a drug using ex and feels a mix of disgust and sympathy for this beautiful woman. Not trusting easily, Nico is a hard sell and Katherine tries to explain it's anxiety, not drugs, that make her pass out. Nico kept the book going for me. I truly enjoyed his character. His demanding demeanor and sexy, dirty talk were a welcome distraction for all that panic. I did really like the incorporation of the 9/11 attacks and the recent Paris terrorist attacks in the story and felt the author did a wonderful job with those aspects. The steamy scenes were top notch also. I think I would read book two because I’m very interested in Matt, Nico's twin brother.

USA Today bestselling author, Sidney Halston lives her life with one simple rule: "Just Do It"—Nike. And that's exactly what she did.

After working hard as an attorney, Sidney picked up a pen for the first time at thirty years old to begin her dream of writing. Having never written anything other than very exciting legal briefs, she found an outlet for her imaginative, romantic side and wrote Seeing Red. That first pen stroke sealed the deal, and she fell in love with writing. Sidney lives in South Florida with her husband and children. She loves her family above all else, and reading follows a close second. When she's not writing, you can find her reading and reading and reading. She's a reader first and a writer second. When she's not writing or reading, her life is complete and utter chaos, trying to balance family life with work and writing (and reading). But she wouldn't have it any other way.

Connect with Sidney

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Pull Me Close (Panic #1) by Sidney Halston to read and review.

1 comment:

All comments are reviewed by a blog admin before being published. We thank you for visiting our blog & leaving a comment.