This is a tearjerker of a story, I would highly suggest that before you read this, you get your business in order to not leave the house anytime soon after reading because your eyes are going to be swollen. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
I’ve not previously read Marie Force’s writing but I’m happy I’m finally getting exposure to her, because she can write the heck out of a scene. After reading the blurb I was titillated and once I started reading, I was immediately drawn into the characters and didn’t put it down.
This is book 2 of the Green Mountain series about the Abbott family. Set in Vermont, this series is about a family of 12 – 10 siblings, all birthed by the same woman. That alone was awesome for me – I love big families as I, myself, am from both sets of my grandparents had large families.
Hannah Abbott-Guthrie is the oldest of the Abbott clan, at 35. She lost her husband 7 years ago after he stepped on an IED in Afghanistan; he was a soldier. Back home, Hannah’s been grieving. She’s lost the love of her life. The man she thought she would have forever with. The man she’s spent almost 19 years loving. After 7 years of grieving, Hannah feels the walls closing in on her and loneliness setting in, she wonders if it’s time to start living for herself again. Nolan Roberts is a friend of the Abbott and Guthrie families. He’s also a very good friend to Hannah and her late husband, Caleb. I didn’t read the first in the series but I’m almost positive that both of these characters were present in Book 1. This family is way too nosy and into each other’s lives for Hannah not to have been introduced prior to this story.
After so many years of keeping his distance, Nolan finally has a reason to pursue Hannah – he’s got hope for a future with her. He’s been patient these last few years but he’s feeling guilty that he’s in love with his best friend’s girl. Because who would believe that he didn’t feel this way about Hannah until her husband died? Hannah’s well known in her town and she not only has to overcome her fear of ‘betrayal’ to Caleb but she’s got to figure out how to break it to her family and Caleb’s that she’s interesting in dating again.
The anxiety was palpable because isn’t one of the biggest ways of moving on finding a new love? So Hannah and Nolan have themselves and everyone around them to worry about. All of these angsty things are addressed and it was interesting to see the direction that Force took. It was clear that a lot of research went into the reactions of this couple and the grief process, not just from the surviving spouse’s perspective but also family and friends. Well done!
There are lots of secondary characters – mainly Abbotts and Guthries, but also many friends who make up this wonderful cast of characters. I’m having a hard time picking out a favorite because there was nothing to dislike. I liked everything about this story. The plot was good; the pacing was dang near perfect. The characters were fun, loving, inspiring and overall just people I wouldn’t mind knowing. Before I go – I have to tell you that I fell in love with Elmer, the grandfather to the Abbott brood. Between he and the sires, Lincoln and Molly, to the Abbott clan I can’t wait to go back to Vermont.
I highly recommend this story if you’re in the mood for an entertaining and stimulating story that’ll make you cry in one scene and laugh out loud in the next.
Happy Reading Folks!
*ARC provided by Berkley via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
I Want to Hold Your Hand
by Marie Force
Release Date: June 3, 2014