Holding on to Hope

About the Book:

Holding On to Hope: A Sweet Military Friends to Lovers Romance (The OCONUS Bonus Series Book 5) by [Claire Cain]

Title: Holding on to Hope
Huckleberry Hill
Claire Cain
Zebra Books
Release Date: 
October 5, 2021
Closed Door Romance

Ariel Wolfe has a decision to make. Move in with her gorgeous, successful friend Nate Reynolds, or be the fifth wheel living with her brother and his new wife. The problem? Things have changed between Ariel and Nate—their solid friendship faltered when Nate’s feelings became too obvious to ignore. Ariel doesn’t want something that would risk all the hard-won healing she’s accomplished these last few years. She needs safe, and nothing more.

Nate Reynolds has loved Ariel for nearly fifteen years. She’s been off-limits, first as his best friend’s sister, then as a married woman, and finally as she healed from the divorce that shook her foundation. The chance to be close to her, to solve a problem for her, is too good to pass up. But once she’s in his space, keeping his distance is harder than ever before. And once she gives him a hint she’s interested? All bets are off.

The only problem? Ariel’s been hurt before, badly. Though Nate has waited for his chance with her, now that he has it, old fears come crawling back, threatening to strangle the hope he’s built.

Book Review:

We finally have the much anticipated final book in Claire Cain’s OCONUS Bonus series! Holding On To Hope is the fifth and final book in The OCONUS Bonus series. I have been waiting for Nate and Ariel to find their HEA so I was excited to be able to read it!

Nate Reynolds has been in love with Ariel for nearly fifteen years. But she’s been off-limits, first as his best friends’ sister, then married, and finally healing from a divoce that nearly changed her. However, that all changes when he offers up his spare bedroom. Ariel Wolfe is stuck, she needs to make a decision, live as the fifth wheel with her brother and his family or move into Nate’s house. When Ariel and Nate move in together, sparks start to fly but is Ariel ready for a new relationship? Will Nate be able to overcome his own fears of losing her and hope for something more?

Nate was a sweetheart, he was so kind and I loved his relationship with Ariel. Nate had made an appearance in all of the books and I just couldn’t wait to read his story. Nate had me from the beginning, he was a kind man who loved people. He cared about those under his command and he also cared for Ariel. It was so sweet to read about him thinking of her and see how much he wanted to make her happy. However Nate had to learn what it meant to love Ariel, how to help her flourish without codling her. He also had to work through his own demons that weighed him down. 

Ariel was a more complicated character, I wanted to learn more about her but I also wasn’t sure how I felt about her at first. However as I read more about Ariel I grew to like her and I wanted her to find her happy ending. I loved Ariel’s growth as a character, as she learned to move on from her abusive relationship. She learned to trust herself again, and she even ended up falling for a kind man who would give her the world. Ariel had to work through her past issues and demons, she felt broken at times, but she learned to keep on climbing the mountain and overcome her fears. 

Ariel and Nate were so sweet together, they definitely deserved their happy ending. I loved reading about their relationship growing and seeing them learn to trust each other. There were so many sweet and fun moments. It was cool to read about them together and to meet new characters. I see hints of a new book with a certain character:). I also adored the relationship between the siblings. 

Holding onto Hope was even better than I expected. I loved the characters and the romance, reading about them falling in love. THere was also some travel involved and that was a lot of fun. I would definitely recommend Holding on to Hope. Holding on to Hope is a closed door military friend to more romance. 

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the author. All views expressed are only my honest opinion, I was not required to write a positive review.

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