ARC Review: A Hold on Me by Pat Esden

Title: A Hold on Me (The Dark Heart Series #1) 
Author: Pat Esden
Genre: New Adult, Paranormal 
Source: NetGalley
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: February 23rd 2016

She never wanted to return. He wants nothing more than for her to leave. But the fire between them is as strong as the past that haunts them. Annie Freemont grew up on the road, immersed in the romance of rare things, cultivating an eye for artifacts and a spirit for bargaining. It's a freewheeling life she loves and plans to continue--until her dad is diagnosed with dementia. His illness forces them to return to Moonhill, their ancestral home on the coast of Maine--and to the family they left behind fifteen years ago, after Annie's mother died in a suspicious accident. Once at Moonhill, Annie is shocked when her aunt separates her from her father. The next time Annie sees him, he's a bizarre, violent shadow of his former self. Confused, she turns to an unlikely ally for support--Chase, the dangerously seductive young groundskeeper. With his dark good looks and powerful presence, Chase has an air of mystery that Annie is irresistibly drawn to. But she also senses that behind his penetrating eyes are secrets she can't even begin to imagine. Secrets that hold the key to the past, to Annie's own longings--and to all of their futures. Now, to unlock them, she'll have to face her greatest fears and embrace her legacy…

I don't think I realized what I was getting myself into when I requested this book. Not that it was bad, it was the opposite of bad. But it is complicated. The good kind, but also the kind that is very difficult to explain. Just keep in mind when you read this book that: IT ALL MAKES SENSE IN TIME.

In the first few pages of this book I was reminded of the show, American Pickers. Annie and her father travel around buying artifacts and then reselling them. That is until Annie's father becomes ill with Dementia. Or what they all thought was dementia. Returning to Moonhill, the place of her mother's death is the last thing Annie wants to do, but her father's care wasn't left to her. With no other choice Annie moves to Moonhill, knowing as soon as her father is well enough again she was leaving and never looking back. 

A Hold on Me had a very interesting set of characters. They weren't flat, and each played a vital role to how to story would play out. You get introduced to a lot of people at once, but soon it is easy to decipher who is who, and who is actually related to Annie. Chase was one of my favorite characters, for most of the book he remained dark and mysterious, saying and doing strange things that raised eyebrows. But when you get down to the grit of it all your heart breaks for the life he use to have and the demons that he hides. 

The paranormal aspect is where is gets tricky. Possessions. Evil spirits. Other dimensions. Genies. Poison rings. Take your pick. There is so much going on, and it is so interesting to read. There was not a dull moment in the book. Esden made sure her readers were full immersed into this world from cover to cover. I won't talk much about the romance because I didn't find there to be much of one. But it was there, just not the main focus of the book. (Though, reading the teaser of book two has me really hopeful for the romance) 

In the end, I am content with A Hold on Me, I can't wait until book two (August of 2016) to learn what is going to happen next! 


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