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Publisher's Summary

Jay na Thalang is a demanding, driven genius. He doesn't know how to stop or even slow down. The instant he lays eyes on Maria Lopez, he knows that she is a sexy distraction he can't afford. He's done his best to keep her at arm's length, and he's succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.

Maria has always been cautious. Now that her once-tiny, apocalypse-centered blog is hitting the mainstream, she's even more careful about preserving her online anonymity. She hasn't sent so much as a picture to the commenter she's interacted with for 18 months - not even after emails, hour-long chats, and a friendship that is slowly turning into more. Maybe one day they'll meet and see what happens.

But unbeknownst to them both, Jay is Maria's commenter. They've already met. They already hate each other. And two determined enemies are about to discover that they've been secretly falling in love.

©2016 Courtney Milan (P)2017 Courtney Milan

What listeners say about Hold Me

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Witty and heartwarming

Survivors guilt, academic arrogance, misogyny and pretention meets dirty jokes about lasers and a smart witty protagonist whose gender identity is not the center price of the story and I never knew how much I needed it until I started listening. I am impressed and I cant wait to read anything this author writes. The performance bouncing back and forth between narrators took me out of it but that's a personal preference.

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A very interesting book

A very interesting book for a person with mathematical and scientific background. I love the fact that characters can flirt using math and science language.

3 people found this helpful

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Fabulous

I just ran across this author and love her to pieces. I've only read 2 books but they each flow from beginning to end with ease and the story and character development grabs you from the start. the story is realistic enough to be believable and will inflate as well as pull at your "heart strings". Courtney Milan is a genius. Also, loved the narrators.....the male narrator did not sound that great when portraying women, but everything else was fab.

2 people found this helpful

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Outstanding.

Very refreshing and original. Nice addition to this series. Excellent writing and loved the Bay Area setting.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Hold Me is a revelation

I enjoyed both Hold Me and Trade Me very much. I love novels that show me a new perspective, inspire me to see beyond my lived experiences, and thrill me with a moving love story. This book got everything right.

Narrators Xe Sands and Sean Crisden are excellent, as usual. It certainly helps when the are working with good writing. Courtney Milan is a new favorite.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Okay

This book is a bit difficult to review. On the one hand, Maria was a great heroine and I wanted to see everything work out well for her. Jay's background as an early career scientist and the social struggles that entails was incredibly accurately portrayed -yet, he was just SUCH a jerk at the beginning. I guess he was redeemed with his apologies and soup, but their aggressive back and forth was not terribly appealing to me, on either end.

What I struggled with more in this book (as well as the previous in the series!), is the horrible male narrator. He does the male voice fine but omg are all the women screechy banshees in his narration. SO BAD. I almost didn't finish listening to the previous book in this series as result, but luckily Courtney Milan writes a compelling story and the female narrator is excellent. She really should have just narrated the whole thing. Due to that saving grace, I give the narration 3 stars, but if it were just her it would have been 5

1 person found this helpful

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Love the Openness, dislike Male narrator

I rarely write reviews, but I wanted to give this book some extra love because of how casually the author includes Transsexual and Bisexual people into the story. This is important because it normalizes non-straight, non-cis people by making it practically a non-issue. Courtney deserves major kudos for this!

Unfortunately, the male narrator, Sean Crisden, doesn't have the right voice for either part. He would be great as the Pink Panther. But his Male voice isn't deep enough and his female voice is too much like the standard, horrible version of a man doing a woman's voice.

Overall the story is good and worthy enough to overlook his narration and I highly recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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... but I liked it.

I liked the book, story and readers. Some subject areas were a little uncomfortable for me, but informative and I googled more to understand. Well written, very well read.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Tender and memorable

I struggle to be "woke," but my kids will tell you that I fail, miserably. I read what I'm most comfortable reading: authors I know, stories that fit familiar patterns, or recommendations from friends who know me. Transgender romances don't normally make it to my to-be-read lists, not because I consciously reject them but because I'd never think to give them a try. But when I love an author, I'm willing to try just about anything he or she has to offer. I love Courtney Milan. She is a talented wordmaster and a brilliant story teller who consistently delivers sensitive, passionate, and memorable romance. So if she offers up a transgender heroine, then I'll give it a go. And I'm so glad I did. Hold Me was a beautiful story. Because in the end, all stories are the same. If two individuals work up the nerve to take a chance on love in spite of life lessons shouting "BEWARE," then their love story has merit. I loved Hold Me; I look forward to the next chapter in the Cyclone series, and I hope we hear how Maria and Jay are doing, even as Ms. Milan introduces us to new characters with stories of their own.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Love her books!

This is no exception to her books, the strong female character who is academic.
But what is different is the transgender character. I wished a bit more into transgender's struggle. The family not able to understand and not supporting her in the change she choose is very meager but done to support the insecurities she has in her life.
It was my first female transgender book & I loved Milan's trade mark female personality mix!

As for the voices it was OK. But the variation is good.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for Leigh UK
  • Leigh UK
  • 01-09-20

Romance and Inclusion! Awesome!

Let me start by saying that I didn't know how Ms Milan was going to make these two get together. The start is so prickly and Jay is such an ass that I honestly think there is no coming back for him. Admittedly, I am biased towards Maria because I've met her in the previous book so Jay is already starting on the back foot, and he doesn't help himself at first. I think it might be his family that saves him, and of course, we get to hear his back story and that helps too. That said, he's not the star of this show.

I really enjoyed the building of the Cyclone universe and all the people connected to it. I loved the glimpses of Tina & Blake but my girl Maria is THE star! She reminds me of so many women I know - so strong, so resilient, and so afraid to show their soft side for so many reasons. And yes girl, we women can posses both a working brain and a working vagina! Having just left a job with a hyper-misogynistic boss, I so appreciated this novel right now.

On another note, thank you Ms Milan so much for writing with a different kind of lading lady. I read lots of romance and while I've read a pretty even mix of straight, gay, bi, and multiples, this is the first time I've read one with a trans leading lady. It did not disappoint.

Now, I'm not a trans woman so I can only speak from a straight black woman perspective. I'll leave the trans community to determine whether Ms Milan got it right or not. My joy was just at seeing some form of representation. Any recognition that not only straight people read romance novels should be commended.

More cyclone diversity please!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Julia
  • 01-21-18

Great if you are LGTB with a fetish for heels

Ok, this book tries to much at once and completely looses the regular listener in my opinion.

A really great idea about people getting to know each other online and in real life without knowing about it. Would be enough to carry a book without all the other problems packed into this one.

But there are simply too many problems packed into one book.

Bisexual character that acts straight through the story, so if feel he should be straight.

Transsexual character, I admit I should have know about from the first volume but I forgot and only caught up halfway throught the narration and them thought, what the hell is this in term of consistency, in the first volume there were problems that she was left home in the dorm because the other girls claimed she was not a girl and now nobody even notices? Weird. And I am sorry there should be some explainations for people who have no idea about the subject and how no talk about the operation or the medicamentation is necessary is too much for me. Or if it is not, same explanations at the end of the book for the uninitiated?

Subplot marriage with different faiths, Buddhism and Islam, really interesting but completely underdeveloped.

Subplot dealing with anxiety with therapy and medication, again there are already enough problems in the book, so that could have been left out.

Dealing with suicide, actually that was the sub plot I thought was reasonably well dealt with, but quite honestly made the book overloaded in my humble opinion.

Racial minorities. Actually this book made me feel sort of bad, because I would never look at somebody and think, might they be half chinese half thai, if at all they look asian to me. I sort of thought myself ok that I see people and might be interested where they come from, but this book had the weird concept of you should not see anybody any different while at the same time expecting you to know about every subgroup somebody might belong too. That honestly made my head spin.

And I have lived in Berkeley and can honestly say, there are non minority people to be found there too...

That leaves the final straw, heels. I know this hill in Berkeley and nobody would be dumb enough to walk up this hill in heels expecially nobody who can proof read physics slides without even studying physics (that said, I can understand how one might spot a missing sqared in r as oposed to r sqared, but spoting a differend of a constant like 2 pi, I am really not so sure).

Maybe I am just very unfond of heels, but I do think this book is overdoing it.

Ah and I forgot the workoholic that works all working hours but still has a wonderful body with muscles in all the right places.

The grating sould of one of the narrators doing a female voice did not help and the fact that the last quarter of the book was spend whinning by one of the characters did not help either.

Give me a break! (Not sure, why I did not give up on this one, but suffered through the whole).

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Clare Tunilla
  • Clare Tunilla
  • 08-02-21

Loved this a whole lot


What I loved most about this was it wasn't about Maria being trans, she just was. It wasn't about Jay being bi, he just was. What it was about was how grief in many forms can alter someone's expectations and how online and offline spaces are often so different. It felt really real to me and I enjoyed that a lot. Neither Maria not Jay were "perfect" and they struggled with imposter syndrome but they decided to try to grow together and that was enough.



Rep: Latinx trans woman MC, Thai american bisexual MC with a Muslim mother and Buddhist father. TW anxiety, panic disorder, grief, death of a sibling.