Hold Me

Betsy Horvath’s Hold Me is the story of an undercover FBI agent who accidentally involves a civilian in his work, only to discover that she has been part of his life all along.

Katie McCabe’s life had been going pretty much nowhere since she broke up with her fiance. Breaking up with him had been the absolute right thing to do, since she caught him screwing his boss at work on his desk late one night. Beating them both with a handy broom handle might not have been Katie’s best idea. Totally deserved, but not her best idea.

Lucas Vasco is an undercover FBI agent, and his cover has just been blown. He knew that breaking into the mobster’s empty office this particular evening wasn’t his best idea, but the guy and his goons were supposed to away all night. Diving for the window seemed like his only way out.

Luc’s window dive put him on the street as Katie was driving by, six months after her infamous break-up. Her life was still a mess. Her career had sunk after the broom beating, and her car was barely functioning and in need of serious repairs. Then an FBI agent being chased by gunmen jumps into her car, says he’s one of the good guys and asks her to drive, fast. Then the gunmen start shooting at her.

When the cops show up, they’re certain it’s all Katie’s fault because of the broom handle incident. The FBI shows up and vouch for their agent. But the mobster now knows who Katie is, and he’s just off his rocker at getting his name on the police blotter, even if no charges are filed. Katie didn’t witness anything, so she can’t go into Witness Protection. But since the mobster is a nutjob, she needs some serious protection. Luc takes her home with him.

Luc doesn’t just want to protect Katie from the bad guys, he wants to protect her forever. But Luc isn’t just an undercover agent, it’s his whole life that is undercover. He has a lot of secrets about his past that he needs to reveal to Katie before they have any chance at a happily ever after.

Verdict: I picked this up because the description reminded me of an old TV show, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, and I loved that show. That story was about a spy who accidentally involves a civilian and falls in love with her.  Hold Me starts out a little like that, but keeps adding more layers. First, FBI agent drafts civilian. Then he has to protect her. After that, her mother gets kidnapped by the mobsters. Everyone goes to Atlantic City for a big showdown in the casinos. and a second showdown back home with the FBI mole. And his foster sister is also her foster sister.  That last bit may have been one layer too many on the cake. This was a good story and these were great characters without foster care added on. The side story of Katie’s parents’ marriage falling apart was heart wrenching but made enough of a counterpoint to the main story.

Escape Rating: C: Worth finishing at lunch the next day, but the subplot pile-on was too much to keep me up into the wee hours waiting for the pile to crash.

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