Book Review – Pull Me Close by Sidney Halston

by Maryse on October 29, 2016 · 7 comments

in My Book Reviews

Pull Me Close: The Panic Series
I loved it! I’d been hearing plenty in regards to how it was a must-read (so I one-clicked it!!), and that we should go in blind, because of a few twists that give this story that extra-oomph that we don’t see coming. And I wholeheartedly agree! It ALL fits, it’s all emotionally real, and honest in its delivery, and for real? It felt like I KNEW these characters by the end. All of them. Not just the main ones.

I will absolutely be reading book #2 (but no worries, this one stands alone and is replete with everything we need and love in our romances).

Jean: Oh, oh, oh……Pull Me Close! Already read an ARC and absolutely LOVED IT!!!! Highly recommend!

Liz: PULL ME CLOSE. Be still my heart. I won’t say anything else! But read it. You will not regret it.

Gabrielle: I’ve heard so many things about PULL ME CLOSE. I started it last night, out of curiosity since it’s about recluse (which I love) and people are being sketchy on the reason why she’s a recluse. So, when it loaded on my Kindle I started it. I CAN.NOT.PUT.IT DOWN! So beautiful

Dory: Just finished Pull Me Close. I’m still processing it, it was intense. I really loved it, maybe because I hate elevators too, I related.

Jean: Dory, wasn’t Pull Me Close so great?

Dory: STATUS UPDATE: My Hausfrau/Pull Me Close hangover is still at def con 5 level.

Gabrielle: Dory: O.M.G.! Why would you go from Hausfrau to Pull Me Close?? You may as well read Thoughtless or It Ends With Us next. You know…to really get in all your comic relief in!

Maryse: I JUST started reading again… “Pull Me Close” right now and I’m VERY MUCH liking it. Good writing, a relatable heroine (with severe issues), a believably moody hero that isn’t so impressed with her, Good stuff so far! I’ll keep you updated. :D

Dory: You’ll enjoy Pull Me Close. I just read that the reason for the agoraphobia is something that happened to the author or someone she knows or something. Some kind of true story. Scary stuff!!

Maryse: P.S. Gabrielle? Your comment made me EXTRA excited ’cause now I knew Pull Me Close would have that touch of angst that hooks me. :D !!!

And it did!

But the “twists” and gut-clenching moments are just the icing on the cake. The cake itself? It was complete, and balanced, and believable. The characters were fervidly rich (real) in emotion and circumstance. This was one of those that you read, and see it play out perfectly as if it were a movie. No awkward dialogue, no eye-rolling clichés. Believable pasts and even more believable personalities that reflected their state of mind perfectly.

So what’s it about?

Just a girl that struggles desperately to leave her home (her safety – she’s agoraphobic and claustrophobic)…

I’d like to note that before my “condition” worsened, I was not a pushover. Not by any means. I was going to go into law enforcement. My dream was to work for the FBI. So being dragged out, told what to do, scolded, and humiliated goes against every fiber of my out-of-control body. The problem is, the anxiety I feel masks everything else, and coping with that emotion takes all my energy.

…and a popular bar owner that doesn’t quite “get it” (somewhat jaded, he even suspects something “else”, at first) but eventually… he wants to help her.

How does he meet her if she never leaves her place? One night, she takes enough Xanax to get her out of her house to hang out with her sister at her bachelorette party at the most popular bar in Miami. Her sister… in fact NOBODY knows about her affliction. She’s found loopholes and can function properly. Works as an editor via her computer, keeping herself connected and even functioning via the internet (shopping, connecting with her “life” via Skype).

Everything I need, I purchase online, and most everything is delivered overnight, making the world an enabler to my reclusiveness. And since I’m not around people, I rarely get sick, so I don’t have a need to go to the doctor. I do my job as an editor through emails and random Skype sessions. That’s the great (and terrible) thing about living in an age where technology rules— you don’t have to leave your home. Not really. Not unless you want to.

And I don’t want to.

Nobody has any idea that she’s locked herself in, and has no “real” life. She’s functioning. She’s just not living. She can handle the outside world for emergency trips that are VERY close to home, but even those times take a concentrated effort, and simply exhaust her.

Over the years of seclusion, my anxiety has expanded to the point where I am now basically afraid of everything: small spaces, open spaces, loud noises, small rooms, heights, strangers… you name it. But claustrophobia is by far the worst.

And then she finds herself at the most popular bar around. Crowded, loud, and frenzied, it doesn’t take long before she has a massive panic attack and loses it.

I need to find the exit. Where the hell is the door in this place? And where are the windows? It’s been years since I’ve had a panic attack this bad. I’ve embarrassed myself enough. I need to get out of here. Now.

It’s one of the dance club’s owners that finds her and tries to help her. Matt. Sweet, patient, upbeat Matt. And then… there’s his twin Nico. Not so upbeat. Not so unreserved. Suspicious. jaded, and worst of all… the one that has to bring her home.

At that moment I decide my tall, edgy, sexy savior is kind of an ass.

Because the last thing they need is cops around for yet another “obvious junkie” that’s out of her mind.

YIKES!

Let the fun begin. Because, my friends… it is fun. READING fun. Sure, Katherine’s not so enthused about her life right now (and she has every right to be), and her “hero” is definitely reluctant and recalcitrant (and maybe he has every right to be, too). He’s seen it all, working in his own bar, dealing with… well. I’ll let you read the rest. ;) Because there’s a TON of story here, to live.

“It must’ve taken a lot of courage to get here today, didn’t it, Katherine?”

It warms my heart he actually understands that. “It did.”

“Aren’t you lonely?”

*sigh* My heart!!

While this one has your traditional contemporary romance feel, and even our beloved “new adult” feel (despite both of these characters being in their 30′s – he’s a hot tattooed bad-ass, and she’s well… she’s just like so many of us!), it’s got so much life in it! And so much backstory, and a few surprises that you’ll be hooked, and falling in love, giggling, panicking, fanning yourself, and stressing out BIG time. It’s not too crazy, not TOO angsty, not too… out there, or jaw-dropping, but trust me, it has it’s moments. It’s in the “reality” of it, that we find our coveted reader-connection. Just SO GOOD!

I’m giving it 4.5 stars! Just all out good, and well written, and something you can sink your teeth into.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Sidney October 29, 2016 at 6:55 PM

O.m.g. I’m at the mall trick or treating with the kids when my phone starts going off. Maryse, read Pull Me Close. Go see. So, I’m looking for reception while a bunch of kids are yelling and NOT letting me focus on your lovely words. Thank you so much! Means the world to me. The Katherine part 15 years ago…true story

Maryse October 29, 2016 at 7:09 PM

Wow Sidney.

Just WOW.

*hug*

This was awesome, and I could connect DEEPLY with so much of it.

Cheryl October 29, 2016 at 7:37 PM

I’m going to read this, so waiting to read your review, but this is book #1?

Maryse October 29, 2016 at 7:54 PM

It’s #1, but book #2 will be about someone else. :D

You can read this one and not worry about a cliffhanger.

I will DEFINITELY be reading #2, though.

bev October 29, 2016 at 7:56 PM

Sounds like a good one.

Cheryl October 29, 2016 at 9:05 PM

Thanks Maryse. I definitely will read this now. :)

Jean October 30, 2016 at 10:57 AM

Yay Maryse! I am so happy you loved it as much as I did! Can’t wait for book #2! Any word on a release date for that?

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