Monday, June 24, 2019

Review - Hold on Tight

Title:  Hold on Tight
Author:  Shelley Shepard Gray
Series:  Bridgeport Social Club #3
Genre:  Romance
Publisher:  Blackstone Publishing
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of pages: 290
Published:  June 11, 2019
My Rating:  4 Stars


Jackson Koch had already lost his wife to cancer when the town's coal mines shut down and his job was gone too. So, with a three-year-old daughter to care for and a broken heart to mend, he moved across the country to find a new life in Bridgeport, Ohio. Now he tends bar by night and tries to navigate life as a single dad by day. Luckily, his neighbor is happy to babysit while he works late nights. She's great with little Kate, beautiful, kind ... and lately he's found himself smiling whenever he thinks about her.

Dani Brown also knows what it's like to lose a spouse and raise a child on her own. Cleaning houses during the day, and taking online classes at night, she dreams of running her own preschool someday. And, since her fourteen-year-old son Jeremy's baseball team requires a lot of money, she's thrilled to earn some extra cash by watching her handsome neighbor's adorable little girl. But even with two jobs, she's having trouble making ends meet.

When Jackson sees Dani running herself ragged for her son's baseball ambitions he decides it's time to get the Bridgeport Social Club involved. Together they cook up a plan. They will run a charity poker tournament to support Jeremy's dream and help out a hardworking single mom. But will Dani be able to accept help from the handsome neighbor she's starting to feel more-than-friendly feelings for? And how far is she ready to let those feelings go?

Get ready to fall in love with Shelley Shepard Gray's Bridgeport Social Club again, where a poker night is so much more than a game of cards and an extraordinary community of ordinary men and women come together to offer love, light, and hope to everyone they encounter. 


Jackson Koch and Dani Brown have some things in common. For starters, they have both lost their marriage mates in death. Further, they each have a child, he with three-year-old Kate, and her son, Jeremy is fourteen. They live in the same building and Dani watches over Kate while Jackson tends bar at night.

Jackson has had it rough. He lost his wife and his job as a miner in a very close span of time and he is doing his best to be there for Kate, even if being a bartender is far from his dream job. Dani is struggling. She is working at cleaning houses, taking classes, caring for Jeremy and his dream of baseball, and, as mentioned, watching little Kate.

Jackson is the perfect guy who spots a situation that he just feels impelled to rectify. Can he be there for Dani as more than a friend? Especially when it comes to Jeremy? Meanwhile, will Dani be able to accept growing feelings for Jackson without losing her hard-won independence?

Hold on Tight is the third book in the Bridgeport Social Club series. In each story, relationships thrived between deserving couples. One thing I really like about this story, and the trio of books in the series, is the fact that there are children in each story. That is something that always warms my heart. Friendship and community also play huge roles.

I have read each book in the series, and enjoy the continuity of characters, especially with their situations and growth. This is definitely a character-driven story, with a slow burn romance, and it is quite fulfilling. This is especially so because it is quite an emotional read that I would gladly recommend.

Although part of a series, this story can serve well as a standalone novel.

Many thanks to Blackstone Publishing and to NetGalley, as well as Edelweiss, for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


I grew up in Houston, Texas, went to Colorado for college, and after living in Arizona, Dallas, and Denver, we moved to southern Ohio about ten years ago.

I’ve always thought of myself as a very hard worker, but not ‘great’ at anything. I’ve obtained a bachelor’s and master’s degree…but I never was a gifted student. I took years of ballet and dance, but I never was anywhere near the star of any recital. I love to cook, but I’m certainly not close to being gourmet…and finally I love to write books, but I’ve certainly read far better authors.

Maybe you are a little bit like me. I’ve been married for almost twenty years and have raised two kids. I try to exercise but really should put on my tennis shoes a whole lot more. I’m not a great housekeeper, I hate to drive in the snow, and I don’t think I’ve ever won a Monopoly game. However, I am the best wife and mother I know how to be.

Isn’t it wonderful to know that in God’s eyes that is okay? That from His point of view, we are all exceptional? I treasure that knowledge and am always so thankful for my faith. His faith in me makes me stand a little straighter, smile a little bit more, and be so very grateful for every gift He’s given me.

I started writing about the Amish because their way of life appealed to me. I wanted to write stories about regular. likeable people in extraordinary situations-and who just happened to be Amish.

Getting the opportunity to write Inspirational novels is truly gratifying. With every book, I feel my faith grows stronger. And that makes me feel very special indeed.

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