Review: Hold Me Today by Maria Luis

hold me todayTitle: Hold Me Today

Author: Maria Luis

Year of publication: Out today! I was kindly given a copy to read and review

The heroine: Hairdresser Mina Pappas

The hero: Restoration company owner Nick Stamos

The blurb: At least, that’s what I tell myself when I bargain with the enemy and score a renovation for my hair salon.

The enemy? Nick Stamos, my best friend’s older brother.

He’s got a body and face the Greek gods would envy but his personality needs a major overhaul. He’s surly. A rule-follower.
Did I mention he’s seen me naked?

I may have crushed on him for years, but the only place I want Nick swinging his hammer nowadays is at my salon.

Except, he needs something in return. . . a fake girlfriend.

And I’m just reckless enough to say yes.

Standalone or series: This is book one in the Put A Ring On It series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: Maria is a wonderful storyteller. It’s clear that she loves to write, loves to create worlds with characters that are relatable and human. I read this book knowing it involved two tropes I don’t particularly care for – best friend’s sibling/sibling’s best friend and reality TV – and with a lesser writer, I know I wouldn’t have enjoyed it at all.

Nick Stamos has known Ermione ‘Mina’ Pappas since they were kids. Mina has had a crush on Nick since they were teenagers. They’ve never really been friends – his sister, Effie, has been the buffer – but they’ve always been in each other’s orbit. When Mina desperately needs help to create her dream salon, she turns to Nick and his construction company for assistance. But she doesn’t have any money, after being ripped off by the man she hired to do the work, so Nick makes her a deal: he’ll do the work for free if she agrees to fake being his girlfriend to get the paparazzi off his tail, since they’re hounding him after he appeared on a Bachelor-style reality TV show.

The more time they spend together, the more they realise how much fun they have. They go from frenemies of sorts to best friends. Mina’s long buried feelings for Nick surface again, and Nick finally sees Mina in a different light. There are moments of brilliance in this book, some scenes that really stood out. I liked Nick, and I really felt for Mina in some scenes where she’s trying to figure out her place in the world.

If you’ve never read any of Maria’s books, you really should, because this girl can spin you quite the tale 🙂