by Alexa Riley
Published by the Author (Self-Published) on July 3, 2016
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Erotic, Firefighters
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Derek aka Phoenix is a New York City fire fighter and has dedicated his life to saving people. When he loses two of his men in the line of duty, he doesn’t know if he’ll be able to see the light again.
However, when an angel in the form of a woman named Fia appears before him, his world as he knows it is turned upside down.
Fia has been working hard to make money so she can finish her last semester of school. A fire in her building sets her back to square one, but the fireman who saves her turns out to be more than she ever expected.
Once he gets his arms around her, there’s no letting go. Because when you’ve got your forever in your arms, nothing else matters.
Holding His Forever by Alexa Riley is pretty typical for an Alexa Riley book. There’s insta-love, of course, along with standard Riley characters: a virgin heroine and a possessive hero. Normally, I’m not always in the mood for these tropes, but occasionally I do feel like reading something like this. On its own, it’s an okay book, but for a Riley book, it’s actually somewhat tame and sweet.
Fia is in college trying to finish her degree in social work. She’s a waitress at a diner and also works at a women’s shelter. Growing up, she didn’t have a good childhood. Her dad was abusive. Her mom passed away not too long ago.
Derek is a firefighter who is plagued by nightmares. He recently lost some men in the line of duty and hasn’t been able to return to his normal self. In an effort to cope, he’s working extra shifts and is in denial about what he needs in order to get back to normal life. In addition, Derek lost his mother and is still going through the grieving process.
Fia’s apartment building catches fire and Derek rescues her, carrying her to safety. Fia doesn’t have anyone to turn to or anywhere to go, so Derek takes her in. Derek’s motivation is kindhearted, but he has also fallen in love with Fia at first sight.
Fia is attracted to Derek in return, but she is hesitant to stay with him at first. However, she doesn’t have much choice. Her boss at the diner is a real creeper, the women’s shelter is always full, and Fia doesn’t have friends she can stay with. So she ends up staying with Derek.
As can be expected with any Alexa Riley novel, the insta-love is strong and cheesy. It’s not long before they have sex and declare their love for each other, despite the fact that they have literally just met and know nothing about each other. Naturally, even though Fia is a virgin, the sex is mind blowing and amazing and wonderful right off the bat. Because of course. Also, Fia’s magical vagina somehow cures Derek’s nightmares and grief over the losses he has suffered as a firefighter.
There’s not much else to tell, really. There is a brief subplot involving Fia’s boss, but it is resolved very quickly toward the end of the book. The HEA is achieved as expected, but there isn’t anything about this book that’s unique or that would make me want to read it again.
A couple other things worth mentioning: as I said, for a Riley book, this one is sweeter and not quite as smutty. I was fine with the change of tone, but I would’ve liked to see SOME character development or relationship development–something to make the romance just a little bit believable. Lastly, I’ve noticed with Riley’s books that there seem to be issues with the editing, such as typos or general grammatical errors. They’re not as bad as other books I’ve read, but they’re frequent enough to be noticeable to me and distracting.
If you’re expecting the smuttiness of a typical Riley book, you won’t find it here. This one is definitely more on the sugar-coated side. It’s an okay book, but I doubt I’ll be returning to this for a re-read.
Rating: 2.5 stars