Rating: 5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
I could sum up the review of Em Wood’s Holding On in one sentence. Go buy the book. Yes, it is that good. Yes, it is that compelling. Yes, it is that absolutely beautifully sweet. The story takes us into places most of us would much rather forget and shows us that love—true and real love–does not avoid the hard things in life. Rather, it embraces them, deals with them, makes them tolerable, and, yes, loves them. And by loving them, the hard things in life become the stepping stones for two people to enter more fully into their love for each other.
Reese and Doug have been good friends—inseparable friends–since 5th grade. Now that they are in college, their friendship has endured distance, and, for Reese, some unsavory and dangerous forays into the BDSM scene. One such encounter ended with Reese contracting AIDS.
Doug and Reese have loved each other for quite sometime but neither has ever professed that love. Add to that the fact that Reese is hated by his parents and has virtually adopted Doug’s Mom as his own and you see the reason that when confronted with the truth of his illness, Reese turns to her—and Doug.
The rest of this heartbreakingly emotional and beautiful story is all about the two men coming to terms with the hand that life has dealt them—and it is sometimes not easy to watch. But…but…it is so powerfully written, with a deft and caring hand by author Em Woods, that one simply cannot put the story down. I read it in one sitting. I was hooked from the first word of this story to the last and simply want to beg Woods to write more.
The characters were so richly drawn. I was amazed at how well I felt I knew these men and how much I understood their past—and could see their future. This was perhaps one of the finest short stories I have ever read. It was complete and packed a powerful punch. I found myself wiping away tears and then smiling in joy. I believe the term “amazing emotional roller coaster ride of a story” is an apt description. I truly loved it!
Holding On by Em Woods is a five star read and, dear reader, I strongly encourage you to pick up this book—you will not regret one minute of your time spent with these stunning characters and this oh so tender story.