Regret, betrayal, kidnapping, loss, madness, abuse, passion, love.
In this modern retelling of Hansel and Gretel, thirteen-year-old foster children Griselda and Holden escape from their abductor after three years of brutal captivity, and try to cross the Shenandoah River on foot. Tragically, one of them makes it to safety, but the other is left behind.
Ten years later, Griselda’s boyfriend drags her to a fight club grudge match, and her world is turned upside down when she watches Holden step into the ring.
Though the connection between them is fierce, bitter regret, simmering rage, and a tangle of physical and emotional scars lie between them, just as dangerous as the white water of the Shenandoah.
Never Let You Go is a story of fear and hope, defeat and survival, and two people—once profoundly broken—who discover that love is the only thing that can make them whole again.
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Never Let You Go left me emotionally spent. My heart broke for these two innocents. Katy Regnery has written a story that consists of pain, hope, heartbreak and redemption. This journey is not for the faint of heart. Received an ARC for an review. Well done.
Never Let You Go by Katy Regnery Holden and Griselda – a love story for the ages with hot steamy sex. Katy Regnery has written another novel that leads you on an emotional rollercoaster where you are wishing and hoping for the main characters to find a way. How Katy Regnery makes me feel so in tuned to the story and the grappling emotions of the characters is her gift in this series – A Modern Fairytale. Holden and Griselda were foster kids and for a short time in the same house until fate threw a wrench at them. Anyone who withstands that much trauma and survives and still can find love and joy deserves every moment of the time they have. Never Let You Go by Katy Regnery is a wonderful love story that reminds us that there are people who care and will help and there is love.
This book is slightly dark and heartbreaking and came with some angst that drove me up the wall. A completely different tone to the previous book The Vixen and the Vet: A Modern Fairytale. Holden and Griselda are foster siblings who got kidnap by a deranged madman in West Virginia. They were in captivity under his brutality for three years before their attempt at escape with only Griselda successfully flee, while Holden was left behind. Ten years later, Griselda working as a nanny and remain in an abusive relationship. She still haven't given up hope in search for the boy from her childhood, hope one day they will be reunited again. During a trip to West Virgina with her boyfriend, Griselda stumble upon an underground fighting ring and it turns out the fighter named 'Seth' is her long lost Holden. What do you say to the person you loved so deeply as a child? How do you make amends for the lost years and broken promises? The emotion is running rampant from the moment these two soulmates reunite once again. They have this bond that is iron strong even after a decade. Is like they are dead for years and now their hearts start to beat yet again. Even though they both are in a relationship with other people at the time, nothing can keep them apart ever again. "Are you whole or broken?" "I'm whole. I'm whole because I'm with you." Their love for each other is undeniable. So it frustrated me that they are tip toeing around feeling unsure about the others feeling. Oh my goodness. I was thinking just kiss, have reunion sex and make babies already. The whole thing with Holden's girlfriend, Gemma really threw me a curveball. I know it is a plot to make some obstacles for Holden and Griselda, but really... it just drove me up the wall. I'm not a big fan of these kind of angst, it just make me plain uneasy and worried that either Holden or Griselda will end up making some bad decisions. However, despite the whole ex-girlfriend fiasco, I actually like the way Holden handle everything. He showed his maturity, determination and commitment to Griselda and vise versa. The only thing that make me didn't rate this a 5 stars is because I felt the story drag at a certain points. This is a 456 pages book and I really do felt it was too long. If the author shave off some of the lengthy inner dilemma of the main characters, it would be a much more engaging read. "I'll hold you while you sleep. I'll change for you. I'll live for you. I'll never let you go." Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/review/RWWHL7FQE21YS/ Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1286547878 Urban Smoothie Read: to be post on June 12
4.5 “Stone to stone. I jump, you jump.” STARS As a child I loved fairy tales. Actually, I still do. Make believe and escaping into a world of good and evil, a boy and a girl, hoping that ultimately, the light will drown the darkness. That’s why I thoroughly adore this series. Katy Regnery has this way of keeping the essence of that fairy tale while credibly bringing it into our world today with the realities and harshness of the darkness and evil that exist. This was a beautifully moving and emotional tale that truly had my stomach filled with butterflies, my fists clenched in dread or anger, the flutter of delight and passion in my heart and tears rolling down my cheeks! This modern day version of Hansel and Gretel is about two foster children, Griselda Schroeder and Holden Croft who are abducted and held captive for three years. Their story is told both in the past and present with the dual POV of Gris and Holden. As children, Gris and Holden..."She's the bright sun and he's the quiet end of the day." but through captivity, enduring cruelty, abuse and starvation, they're only able to hang onto a shred of themselves because of the other. Then one fateful day, they attempt to escape. But only one of them manages to get away...in a way, both Gris and Holden died that day by the river... “Don’t look back, no matter what. Stone to Stone. I jump, you jump.” Ten years later their paths cross. Now as adults, Gris is living a life of penance for leaving the one and only person who ever loved her behind. And Holden is gone and reincarnated, filled with “…god-awful fury that turned hatred into fuel.” and only able to release his rage, grief and loss with his fists. For both of them, their time apart was lifeless, meaningless and heartbreaking. “There is some pain in your life that, when you experience it, you’re shocked to the core that it doesn’t kill you. It feels like it should kill you, like you heart should stop beating and your lungs should stop breathing and your eyes should stop seeing. Everything should just…stop. With pain that profound and regret that unfathomable, it should be impossible for your body to stay alive.” When Gris and Holden reunite. It's bittersweet because obstacles still stand in their way. Both are scared that they've been so damaged that they have no clue how to love, encourage it and keep it. These two are beautifully complex and superbly developed characters in that you experience their growth and transformation as the grapple with their fierce love for each other...their combustible chemistry and connection when they're in the same space...and who they are together but most importantly, who they are as individuals. I just adored these characters and their love, tenderness and unbreakable bond despite all adversity. Ms. Regnery magnificently captures a wide range of vivid emotions. The awe, wonder and hope of it all as well as the visceral fear, sadness and frustration at the wrongness of it all. My only comment is that perhaps some parts could have been shortened but nevertheless, it didn't take away from my enjoyment! I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a timeless, fierce and formidable love that survives all! Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1268913331 Will post to Amazon once live.
I have so many feelings after reading this book and all of them amount to a fantastic 5 star read. It is no walk in the park, with some difficult subject matter and definitely more intense than 'the vixen and the vet' but honestly it was a gritty and emotional read. It is based loosely on the Hansel and Gretel fairytale but this is no fairytale you'd tell your children. Gris has been in a foster family for some time when Holden arrives to be fostered also. Holden has a stammering problem and Gris defends him within the family. When on an errand for their foster mother, they are abducted by a man who is clearly something of a psychopath. Their tale of childhood is mostly narrated as memory or flashback and this is good as small chunks make it more easily digestible. Gris and Holden have been separated by a decade of hurt but their story is something quite amazing. Their characters have such depth and reality and as adults they are fascinating. Gris has never stopped searching for Holden, but Holden doesn't even go by his real name anymore. The odds are truly stacked against this pair and their story is lengthy but all the better for going the extra mile. This series is shaping up to be a favourite of 2015. I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review. Reviewed for Jo&IsaLoveBooks Blog.
This book was so different from anything else that Katy has written, except for the fact that the it's the purest kind of romance that I've come to expect from her. This book gutted me and then it slowly built me right back up, only to be knocked right back again. Fear not HEA lovers, it all comes back around in the best kind of way. Proving that real, true love built on honesty, strength and hope endures all. Griselda is the epitome of strength and perseverance. Other than punishing herself by staying with Jonah to make up for what she felt she did wrong in the past, she never gave up fighting, if not for herself then for Holden. Despite everything she's been through in the past her one focus always remained to find Holden again. Holden is everything you'd expect in a broken man who has gone through everything he's has. First losing his family as a young child and then losing the only person he ever thought he could have a family with, it's not surprising how he chooses to live his adult life. Fighting lets him get out his anger and it's empowering to know that this time, he's in charge of the outcome. Sleeping around with nameless faces lets him try to forget what he's lost and to pretend that instead it's her underneath him. On the outside Holden seems like a bit of a jerk who cares about nobody and nothing but on the inside he's still just a lost teenager trying to find his way. Separately Gris and Holden are broken and battered with only memories to help them get by. Together they are complete. But complete doesn't mean their life together is perfect. When they finally find each again, the reunion is perfect. The emotions you'll feel when they reconnect are truly powerful, but at the same time, everything isn't just magically perfect. It's an emotional and happy moment but it's also a bit awkward and heartbreaking. Left alone in their own world for a few weeks their love comes back full force but slowly and safely. It's only when they finally seemed to find their bearings that life decides to test them again. Once again Gris and Holden are being torn apart but this time they have choices and decisions to make. Gris continues to be he strong one making the decision that feels right for Holden. Meanwhile Holden becomes the driven and focused one, following Gris' lead he lets her go but with full intentions of fighting his way back to her. Stumbling block after stumbling block Gris and Holden hold onto the fact that they always find each other again because their love is that strong and special. Even apart the thought of the other helps each of hem grow into the people they want to be for each other. There are so many symbols in this book that connect them together and you'll feel so connected to them that, if you're like me, you'll find yourself repeating their words of encouragement to each other. Their journey is long and emotional. A love so powerful you'll find yourself holding on to the letters right along with them. This story even has some things that I hate in a romance but to be true to their story those things are exactly what needed to happen to complete their story and to make this exactly what a romance is supposed to be. Staying true to her tag line, this book is a little bit heat, a little bit sweet with a whole lot of HEA, but this time there is also a little bit of darkness and angst done well. Katy Regnery never disappoints and I can't wait to see her modern take on fairy tales.
The analogy of fairytale and romance isn’t something I read before and I found it witty. Imagine, two young foster children walking along the road on a sunny summer day, abducted by a gruff looking man and held hostage, chained and beaten for three long years. This is Griselda and Holden’s story also known as Zelda and Seth. They only had each other to get through those miserable painful years. Griselda the stronger of the two was a savior to Holden. One managed to escape, the other left behind. Ten years later and the two are reunited. Each one has their own painful memories and they both carry guilt on their shoulders, one for leaving, the other for staying. Damn, once I started reading I was hypnotized by the storyline. The tragedy of Gris and Holden both young and older took my breath away. First, the suffering they endured as children gave me goose bumps. As they were running for their little lives my breathing was rapid and damn I like when an author does that to me. It’s like becoming one with book. I was optimistic when fate brought them together. Trying to recoup after so many years apart is not an easy task. “I think I’m in shock,” she whispered. “I can’t believe I’m here with you. I don’t know how to do this. You’re you and I’m me, but we’re so different. Memories some happy, most not, still haunt them and the road to redemption isn’t easy. Passionate sex scenes had me licking my own lips. Holden knows what a woman needs and he delivers. The author threw me for a loop on more than one occasion another plus, I like to be caught off guard. The only reason I did not rate this book 5 stars is I thought there was a lot of rehashing/memories of their time as children. Yes, the reader needs to know what happened to them but reading it once or twice is sufficient for me. It's as if the same pain-filled period was told repeatedly throughout the book. I'm still not sure I like the way an issue with an ex-girlfriend was resolved. Maybe it was for the best, but whose best? You decide. Told in dual POV’s, past and present.
I was lucky enough to receive a copy of this book from the author and Rock Star PR. First off let me start by saying this author has become an automatic read for me. Her writing style is great, and I love her stories. Griselda is a 23 year old nanny, shes an ex-foster kid and shes a survivor. When she was ten she was kidnapped while on vacation with her foster family in West Virginia, near the Shenandoah river. She volunteered to go for new supplies and her foster brother Holden went with her. They never got to the store, Caleb Foster took them and he didn't let them go. Holden knew that something was wrong with the man insisting that he and Griselda go with him. His parents had taught him about stranger danger, but he wouldn't let Griselda go without him. After the door shut on the truck the terror really began. They lived in a cellar shrouded in complete darkness and by day they worked the field of vegetables, then canned them. Caleb Foster was crazy. He called them Seth and Ruth, his long dead brother and sister that he was convinced were doing incestuous things together. He beat them daily, made them scrub the floors and just in general worked them to the bone. Griselda knew that they would die if they didn't get out of there. One day he would kill them. One night she told Holden that they had to run the next day. It hadn't rained and if they made it to the river they would be free, the Man (thats they what they called Caleb) would be gone for church and he'd never know until he got back. So they ran, and ran. It seemed like they'd never get to the river. All of the sudden, Cutter (the Man's dog) could be heard coming behind them. Griselda relives that day all the time. The day that they ran and she got away and Holden was caught by the Man. She has been looking for Holden ever since. Nothing has ever hit her radar, the PI she hired couldn't find him either. She doesn't feel like she can live her life in a good way because he sacrificed himself for her. Now her jerk boyfriend Jonah wants her to go to West Virginia, the same area she was kidnapped in, to a cabin. Even though she can't stand the thought of going back to that place she does. She even goes to a backwoods fight club, under protest. Caleb told Holden that he killed her, and in that moment Holden's life was over. He loved Gris, and now she was dead, what else did he have to live for? Now he was Seth and he didn't care what happened to himself. When he was 17 he made his way back to West Virginia and stayed. He fights in a fight club on the weekends to make extra money and works at a glass factory. One night he notices a girl in the crowd, its her. It's Gris and he doesn't know how that happened, she died 10 years ago! Griselda can't believe that he's been this close to her for so long, and that he's going by Seth! She has to stay and understand what's going on, what went on after she got away. This story was dark and deep. It's a long story and detailed but I inhaled it in a day, all 450 pages of it. I loved it so much. Holden and Griselda loved each other from first sight, and I think that's what kept them strong during the three years they were held by Caleb Foster. Their feelings after she escaped, the devastation of being told that there was no sight of Holden or Caleb Foster after Griselda made it to the police could be felt, it jumped off the pages. The utter sense of loss Holden felt when Caleb told him he killed her was palpable. You feel like you're watching a story reading the words. Happiness is in this story too. Their love after they find each other again is like fireworks. They spark against each other. Another beautifully written story by this author.
My 4.5+/5 star review is now posted on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1301447221 It will be posted on our blog and social media on release day June 12 Main blog Link: http://tammyandkimreviews.blogspot.com/ 4.5+ This unique story took me on an emotional journey that grabbed me by the heart, held me captive, made me feel everything, and left me in a book hangover. This is a clever twist on the story of Hansel of Gretel with two young children forced to rely on each other for survival. It is also about reunions, redemption, second chances, and true love. Griselda ran but never really got away from her past. Ten years later, Holden, the boy she left behind is still in the forefront of her thoughts. Holden was the one person she had connected with the strongest in her young life. And losing him had left her guilt stricken, full of loss, and not knowing where he ended up was her biggest struggle. I adored Holden...from the smaller, weaker, young boy to the strong grown up man. He had been through so much and had been so lost and full of grief and rage. She had always been his lifeline and without her he was just going through the motions. But with Gris, he felt alive and knew what he needed and what was important. He was caring, loyal, selfless, and protective. And Gris...she was smart, tough, resilient even when younger. But her emotional scars, guilt, and loss made her an untrusting adult who felt undeserving of happiness. She never got over losing him or the small hope of finding him again. But they were two people who were broken alone, but together became whole. They had a strong need for each other and were a catalyst for change. They both had their own struggles and goals to deal with individually. But together they also had so many demons and challenges to face. And for kids that had known such pain and heartbreak it was hard to trust in good fortune and happy ever afters. In their own little bubble, they were together as H+G and where they belonged. But the real world was not as uncomplicated. They both had fears and insecurities. They both felt undeserving at times and guarded and fearful of finding happiness and losing it again. They had so many roadblocks in their paths. But they were survivors and gave each other something to cling to. These characters went to hell and back so many times, but had such strength, resilience, and a deep connection. But together they were whole and stronger. It was told in both of their points of view in present and flashbacks giving us a window into their lives as adults and their traumatic pasts. There were times I was holding my breath in anticipation, gasped in surprise, or felt punched in the gut. There was definitely some darkness, abuse, and difficult subject matter in this book, however the true essence of it is how the characters fight to overcome it. This was a painful, emotional, inspirational story of love, hope, faith, strength, sacrifice, and survival. My heart broke for these characters over and over again, but I was amazed at their tenacity and intensity of their feelings. They had so much to fight against and at times their lives seemed hopeless, but in the end it comes down to true love, trust, and perseverance. I was completely invested in Holden and Gris and rooted for them the whole book. I suffered their fear, heartbreaks, disappointments, and pain, but also their successes and joys. This was truly a convoluted, challenging, heartbreaking, yet inspiring and healing journey for them. I felt like I had experienced it all with them. This was my first book Katy Regnery and it won't be my last. My only complaint that maybe it was a bit long or that sometimes the time jumps took me a bit out of the present day story, but overall I really loved this book and characters. I am now looking forward to reading The Vixen and the Vet (which has been sitting on my kindle unread for so long and not sure why) and the upcoming modern fairy tales in this series. I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
This book opens like an emotional landslide, ripping open your heart with visceral loss so terrifying that it leaves you reeling with feelings of guilt, loss, and abandonment. Katy Regnery has imbued Griselda and Holden with such strength while at the same time handicapping them almost fatally with so little hope that they are only shadows moving forward, struggling to get past the monumental event that shaped their past and defined their future. Moving targets destined for tragedy, until fate gives them another chance and they meet again ten years later. Can a new love spark the flame that will reignite their inner strength and make them feel worthy of a wonderful life together? Or will outside forces again cruelly tear them apart, this time for good? This book is amazing, sad, happy and uplifting all at the same time. Katy Regnery's gift is in her voice--it takes your heart and cushions it with prose so soft that it comforts you through despair, soothes you through the sadness, and ultimately always offers hope. I wouldn't be able to read these stories in another's hands; I trust her to bring it home for me. To bring me up after I've been down, to make it all better soon, and to show me that the characters have grown and changed so I can trust that they'll be able to make it on their own after I'm gone from the pages of their book. And that's a profound trust from a reader, friends. Especially with these kinds of books. Katy Regnery's career encompasses book series that follow characters filled with charm and hope as well as her darker series, modeled on favorite children's fairy tales. These fairy tales show the tragedy of love and loss--loss so great that it takes a lifetime to rebuild and regrow the people touched by it. She also chooses to dedicate part of the sales of these special stories to people also transfigured by devastating loss--military veterans with The Vixen and the Vet and damaged children with this title. In June and July 2015, 25% of the proceeds raised from the e-book sales of Never Let You Go will benefit the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. Elizabeth Smart was abducted from her bedroom in her family’s Salt Lake City home on June 5, 2002 at the age of 14. She was found nine months later on March 12, 2003. In 2011, Smart founded the Elizabeth Smart Foundation,which aims to support the Internet Crimes Against Children task force and to educate children about violent and sexual crime. It has recently joined with Operation Underground Railroad to combine efforts in the fight against human trafficking. Please consider not only buying this wonderful, emotionally riveting book from a gifted storyteller, but also donating to the Elizabeth Smart Foundation or Operation Underground Railroad as well. Let's bring these children home.
'Never Let You Go' is "a modern fairytale" based loosely off of Hansel and Gretel. We have two kidnapped children, taken in by a mad man. But this is not a simple children's tale where they kill the witch and get away. To me this story was two-fold. It is the story of what Holden and Griselda go through physically while kidnapped and afterward, but it is also, and more significantly to me, an in-depth character study of what happens in their hearts and minds as a consequence of their physical and mental abuse. But especially what happens to their spirits and what they go through to renew their spirits and learn how to live their lives. The depth of care that went into H&G's character development was fascinating, admirable, and beautifully thoughful. Holden and Griselda were abused initially, but once the abuse was over, the suffering did not end. Though the physicality changed, the internal struggle, the feelings of lostness and aloneness, the mistrust and hopelessness, the deep emptiness and temptation to end it all, or to lose all sense of self-worth - all of this and so much more remained, leaving H&G broken, alone, and making terrible personal choices. And yet all hope was not lost, because fate reunited these two, who had little to no hope of seeing the other again, and yet somehow, someway, the two that were lost were suddenly found again. But as hearts and souls, past and present, burdens and beginnings are blended, rejuvenated, and their lives are newly breathed life into, life is not yet ready to be easy or kind to these two. And they must hold on if they want the future they envision. Now I am not a fan of drama-for-drama's-sake, with an author just throwing its characters through the ringer to get their happily-ever-after, but that drama not holding any significance or importance. But in NLYG, though I hurt and felt for these characters and all the trials and tribulations they went through, I truly felt like certain situations were the catalysts for these two to finally find themselves, and grow into whom they were always meant to be, not entirely dependent on the other for their happiness, but having a safe place within themselves, where independence and inspiration and intention lived and breathed. And only after finding themselves individually, could they truly find the perfect match and balance and wholeness in the other. But even the drama did not take away the incredible connection these two had. From childhood to adulthood, from prisoner to freedom, from alone to together, from near and far, the bond and connection, the chemistry and love, could be felt through the pages. The imagery and experience and depth of heartfelt love between these two was beautifully written and unquestionable in its conclusion - that they were meant to be together forever. They were the completed piece to each other's broken life, and nothing and no one could have stopped them finally triumphing over their circumstances and barriers. And with that soul-deep connection, they shared an incredible love of heart, as well as bond of body. Yes, when these two were together, they were simply on fire. My only negative was some of the length and repetition. But it wasn't a huge negative. And the longer I think about the story, the less I think about the negative, and the more I think about all the things I loved. Overall, I loved 'Never Let You Go.' I was worried it would be too heavy, but the depth of story, the depth of the characters, and the insightful storytelling made it an undeniably beautiful love story. There were unexpected twists and turns, including wonderfully placed flashbacks, that kept me engaged, trying to anticipate how everything would come together. Simply said, I loved this story. Holden and Griselda are characters that have touched my heart and I will not soon forget. Overall: 4.75 stars
Have you ever experienced having read a book that moves you so deeply that you think nothing could possibly equal it? That's what I went through after having finished The Vixen and the Vet by Katy Regnery. But then, I found myself so engrossed with the second book in the A Modern Fairytale series that what I once thought impossible no longer was. I'm still struggling for words to truly express how much Never Let You Go meant to me, making me apprehensive that I may not be able to convey what's in my head and heart. Suffice it to say that this novel took me on a journey and led me down a path that would sometimes veer directions I did not foresee, the author creating a map that kindred souls will be able to navigate once they fully entrust their reading experience to her. Believe me, it'll be more than worth doing so. Life has never been simple for either Holden Croft or Griselda Schroeder, but whenever they were together, it seemed as if they were stronger, a more formidable ready to slay proverbial dragons for each other. Having lost one another for ten years broke them even more than the three years they spent under the demented watch of their kidnapper. Once they found their way back to each other, you would think that fate would take it much easier on them, but there were still hurdles thrown their way, hurdles that they sometimes overcame and hurdles that they sometimes stumbled from. Their story made me think of something that my father reminds me every now and again: We tend to take for granted the things that come to us too easily; we appreciate those that we had to work and struggle for. Such was the case for Holden and Griselda, two very broken individuals never thinking it was possible to be whole again until ten years later, but needing to understand that they couldn't fully rely on just that one person to make them whole, no matter how fervently they wish it to be true. They gave each other the inspiration and drive to want to be a complete person so that they're able to offer the best version of themselves. Holden and Griselda were survivors when they were Seth and Zelda, but they were merely existing and not really living. When they embraced the people they once were, a spark was re-ignited, and while there were times it smoldered and other times it was in danger of being stifled, becoming Holden and Griselda provided them with the promise of something they denied themselves for so long: hope. This was a story about living the best life possible today without and that learning the lessons from yesterday can lead us to a more fulfilling tomorrow. You let go of the bad but hold on to the good. I know it sounds like something you would read in a self-help book, but it's something I try to remind myself every day, a mantra of sorts, especially when things aren't going so well, and it's part of what I took away from this novel. Cynics may think that a romance novel is simply a story meant to make you ooh and aah and make your heart pitter-patter. But when you've got something as special as Never Let You Go, you find yourself with a gift, one that inspires and reinforces just how wondrous true love is and that it is never really lost but merely waiting to pick up where it left off. If I could give this latest and very much deserving addition to my all-time favorites list ten stars I would. For all intents and purposes, I hope five-plus stars will do. ♥
For me, Katy Regnery books mean warmth and happiness. Love and happy ever afters. They are fun, easy to read and make me smile. Never Let You Go... Is different from any Katy Regnery book I have ever read. Since I've read all her books, I'll go so far as to say it's different from anything else she's ever written. Katy's books, in my weird little head, are represented by sunshine, rainbows and pretty lovely things. Never Let You Go is dark. It's twisty. It's uncomfortable. I knew this book would be different but it was still jarring. Yes, there is light to break apart the darkness but at the 15% mark I was drowning in darkness while reading this book (slightly ironic since I'm on holiday and was sitting reading it in the Florida sunshine). But I kept reading, hoping that soon, things would look up. Soon, things would brighten and I wouldn't feel so angry, so frustrated and so helpless anymore... Then, adult Holden and Griselda meet, and, their connection - which until this point was just flickering through flashbacks - truly begins to shine. Brighter and brighter, the more you read, until it's so bright it's dazzling. At 30 odd percent, this book had me hook-line-and sinker. I couldn't put it down, even when I got so bloody mad I was ready to chuck the thing across the room. I had to read. I had to know how this perfectly damaged pair healed and finally got their happy ever after despite the hurdles laid in their path. When the final page was turned, I was so happy. I felt like everything had come full circle and was tied up with a pretty bow. This book represents a wonderful journey and I felt privileged to have shared it.
4.5 “I love you forever” stars I loved this book. A spin on the fairytale of Hansel and Gretel, this book tells the story of Holden and Griselda. Both children of the foster system, they are abducted at the age of 10 by a crazed man who locks them in a cellar, forcing them to work for him and abusing them terribly. With only each other to cling to, they develop an unshakable bond as they struggle to survive. For three long years they exist in terrifying conditions before they make a run for freedom, and while Griselda is able to escape, Holden is recaptured. “Don’t look back, no matter what. Stone to Stone. I jump, you jump.” Ten years later, Griselda and Holden are now 23, and are both essentially dead inside. Living meaningless half-lives, they are both tormented by all that they have been through, but more so by their separation. Holden believes that Griselda was killed in her escape attempt and bounces from nameless woman to nameless woman, trying desperately to forget, and taking his anger out as an underground fighter. The man is utterly broken and exists as if he has nothing to live for. "She’d been the first girl to touch his heart and his body with tenderness. She’d been his family, his best friend, his confidante, and companion. He’d loved her fiercely and unconditionally, and her brutal loss had only served to idealize her in his mind and his heart. She was everything he wanted, everything he’d lost, something he could never have." Griselda has found some contentment with her work as a nanny for a good family, but she subjects herself to a miserable life, putting up with a violent and abusive boyfriend, feeling that it is all that she deserves after leaving Holden like she did. She doesn’t live, she exists, and she plans for and dreams of nothing but finding him again. "A better life for herself? Theoretically, there were probably many ways her life could be improved, but only three that really mattered: find Holden, help Holden, be with Holden again. Holden, whom she’d loved so fiercely, lost so brutally, and missed so terribly these long ten years." Their lives are turned completely upside down when they unexpectedly see each other again. The moment is full of all of the emotion and intensity that you would imagine, and I was glued to my kindle as it all unfolded. But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies – there is uncertainty there, guilt, the pain of their separation and the fact that they knew each other as children, and now they’re adults. It felt really realistic and the mix of the joy, fear, long-standing love and affection and raging attraction is conveyed really well. But the connection that they shared from all of those years ago is still very much there, and once the shock starts to fade, they know that now that they have found each other again, they have no intention of letting go. “So we’ll try this? … Being together?” “We’ve always been together … Even when we were apart, we were still together. Even when I thought you were gone, you still lived inside my heart.” “I’m ruined for anyone but you … I always have been.” Somewhat surprisingly, it’s Holden that is the one who drives the emotional aspect of their reunion. The story is told in dual POV so we know what they’re both thinking, but more often than not it’s Holden that comes out and says it, and I have to say, pretty much every time he opened his mouth, I was reduced to a swooning puddle of goo on the floor. His openness and honesty is beautifully refreshing, and he has no hesitation in sharing his heart with Griselda. “Are you whole or broken?” “I’m whole … I’m whole because I’m with you.” Things progress pretty quickly, and their years of longing for each other seamlessly evolve into a deep and all-consuming love that sweeps them both away. It’s sweet and tender, but also incredibly passionate, and it even though it’s fast it seems like such a natural progression for them. Their connection is incredibly special, and I adored their beautiful love story. “I’m in love with you. With everything I am, I love you.” But their reconnection is soon complicated by real life. Back in the real world, Griselda has an asshole boyfriend, and Holden has a (sort of) girlfriend/fuck buddy, and life is about to throw them a curveball which neither of them could have ever seen coming. There’s a fair bit of drama, some of which is tragically heartbreaking, but as difficult as their circumstances are, I never doubted them, or their ability to be strong and see it through. (view spoiler). The road to their happy ever after is not an easy one, and Griselda doesn’t help with some moments of stupid, but they are quickly quashed by Holden, who wasn’t about to let her get lost in her head, or put up walls between them. Instead, every hurdle that they have to face just makes them more determined to fight for the future that they both dream of, and had me falling more in more in love with them as a couple. “I’ve been half dead for ten years, Gris, but then you walked back into my life, and I came alive again. You make me want to live. You make me want to be a better man. “I love you, and when I said that, I mean that you’re my reason for breathing, for eating, for drinking, for sleeping, for living. I will never hurt you. I will never leave you. I will always protect you. There is no one more important to me than you, and as long as I live, there never will be.” The story twists and turns, and there are some surprises in there. And although it’s an angsty read at times (with the occasional eye rolling moment), and I did have some moments of dread, I think the way it all played out was really well done. Griselda and Holden are amazing together, but they’re also great individually, and I loved seeing their character development and watching them find strength in each other to stand strong, on their own, as well as together. “Forever, Griselda. Once you’re mine, I’ll never let you go.” “I already belong to you.” This is my first read by Katy Regnery, and I was really impressed. Gris and Holden’s unwavering connection really drives this story and it is powerfully and beautifully told. Tragic and heartbreaking, but beautifully hopeful and wonderfully romantic, the feels are intense from start to finish, and I felt all of it along with the characters. And it’s all worth it for the ending that left me hugging my kindle and sighing happily. I loved it – 4.5 stars.
You know that saying, “No one is too old for fairytales”? Well, in that case, the person who penned that phrase is completely right. Never Let You Go is the retelling of Hansel and Gretel but I must warn you, this version is darker and a bit sexier. Holden and Griselda are both foster kids that end up being kidnapped and held captive for many years. While being held captive, Griselda and Holden form an unbreakable bond When trying to escape, only Griselda makes it out and Holden is left behind with their captor. Fast forward ten years later to the present… Griselda is working as a nanny in DC with an absolute loser of a boyfriend. Each paycheck she puts aside money so eventually she can hire a PI to look for Holden. Holden on the other hand works at a glass factory, sleeps around, and fights on the side for extra money. He was told that Griselda died while escaping ten years ago. When a chance encounter at a fight puts them together at last, it changes their lives but also makes them revisit the past. This book put me through the wringer with all the emotions I went through. I was emotionally exhausted but in a good way. It's the true sign of an amazing book when your heart speeds up, slows down, starts pounding again, and then finally elevates itself. Griselda was such a tough as nails heroine. Even at an early age she demonstrated that she could take care of Holden and be the sun to their everyday cloudy existence with their abductor Caleb Foster. As an adult she punished herself for leaving Holden behind all those years ago. She would not let herself enjoy life, instead allowing herself to be with a man that would physically abuse her just so she could in turn punish herself for what she deems her wrongdoing. She also did not open herself up to people nor would she trust anyone. But given her history, would you? I didn't think so. Holden just broke my heart. I think he is the main reason I cried so much during this book. He was this incredible little boy with a minor speech impediment that just stole my heart. He knew that they should not go with the man that ultimately kidnaps them but he didn't want to leave Griselda. He grows up to be this man who fights to let his anger out. He uses women to live out his fantasy with Griselda. He lives a crappy existence but doesn't see another way out. Once reunited again, these two realize that their love will transcend. That they can both survive if they have each other. The chemistry these two share is magical and will leave you breathless. Sure, they have many, MANY bumps in the road ahead of them but if they're together, that's all that counts. They both grow up at the same time, Griselda learning to thrive not just survive and Holden realizing he is destined for greatness in his life. Honestly, I'm tearing up at just writing this review. This book is all about love and survival. How two young children can make it out of such an awful experience but find it in themselves to still find the good in their lives. What Griselda and Holden are an epic love story that rivals anything I've ever read. I will always remember this book as it was such an amazing rollercoaster that could not have been done any better. Lastly, I want to say that Katy Rengery did such an amazing job with the research she put into this story. The amount of detail and thought that went in was impeccable. This not only is a #threegirlstoprec it's a top read I'll cherish again and again. Never Let You Go will make you believe in fairytales and happily ever afters!
4.5+ stars Holden Croft and Griselda Schroeder were foster children in the same home for three days before they were kidnapped. Three years later, only one child was able to escape the dark cellar they had shared. One would remain in the nightmare, the other would face the guilt of survival. Beyond this brief description, it is difficult to say a whole lot about the plot, or specific aspects that I truly loved, because the element of surprise and a spoiler free experience is so key for this book. These two were destined to be together, but had a long and hard journey to reach each other. It seemed like there was always one step forward and two steps back. With each new challenge that stepped into their path, their trust and strength were put to the test. Each had a journey beyond their relationship in order to put the past behind them and take another step forward. Even after finishing their whole story, I can’t decide who had the easier road -- the one who escaped, or the one who remained. I loved the way this whole tale was woven. From the flashback scenes, to the progression of the present day scenes, there was always something going on. There were points where it started to feel long, but then a new twist would crop up and I would lose myself in the story once again. The flashbacks were the perfect way to make clear the horrors Gris and Holden endured while not overwhelming the story with the past. Those scenes were important for the progression, but they also needed to supplement the present rather than overpower. This story captured me from almost the very start and didn’t want to let me go. It was a great mix of fairytale, and harsh reality, reminding me of Mia Sheridan’s Signs of Love series with a fairytale basis. But it’s not tied closely with the fairytale itself. Yes, Holden and Griselda are referred to as a modern Hansel and Gretel, but the story diverts from the reference very quickly. I haven’t read anything else by this author and I can’t help but wonder why. I will be adding the previous book in the Modern Fairytale series to my TBR and look forward to future editions of tales based on Little Red Riding Hood and the Little Mermaid. I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Katy, Katy, Katy....what have you done! This is absolutely one of the best books I have read in a long, long time. It is a book that will suck you in and have you in tears one moment and screaming the next...because you just know that Gris and Holden deserve an HEA. Katy writes about a very dark and difficult subject and she does it so well. I am not one to write spoilers....just know that when you read this book you will wash through so many emotions...disbelief, sorrow, anger...I could go on. I love Katy Regnery's books, she is a wonderful author. Her first Modern Fairytale...the VIxen and the Vet (hate the title..loved the book) was at the top of my favorites list for her...but this one knocked it to second place. Read this book....and anything else by Katy...you won't regret it.
This book has the ability to tear at your heartstrings from the minute you pick it up. Giving you glimpses into the terror that Griselda and Holden experience as children, living as captors of their kidnapper while they try and embark on their life as adults with those emotional scars still raw. Whilst this is a romance this isn't what makes this book unputdownable, it's the story itself, the raw emotion between the two main characters as they battle with themselves, each other, and those around them for a life they want and believe in but are unsure they deserve. The chemistry between them is palpable and leaps off of the page, but this isn't what kept me reading. It was wanting to see them succeed, wanting to see them get justice, to feel satisfied that despite their awful starts in life they could achieve great things and overcome the odds. Isn't that what we all want? The characters are well written, believable and honest. The tension is real, and there are many very uncomfortable moments, which if you've been through any kind of abuse or violence you will find very difficult to read as they hit close to the mark. It is worth noting at this point none of these stray into sexual abuse. However, these are subjects which are delicately handled and with such a beautiful outcome. It would be so wonderful to read more about Griselda and Holden in the future, I felt so connected to their characters and it was a shame the story had to end.
*** 6 Star Review *** I am always apprehensive of romances based off of fairy tales. I hate cheesy erotic remakes that are borderline soft porn. So many erotic romance authors have ruined a classic fairy tale and delivered a sub par romance. When I read the synopsis for this book I was intrigued. It sounded like a romantic suspense book. At the same time I was very leery because it was based around the Hansel & Gretel fairytale. I was afraid that this new Hansel & Gretel would be too busy sampling each other than living the actual story. I have to admit that this particular fairytale always scared the crap out me as a child. The idea of abandonment, getting lost, and being captured was frightening. Wow ! Wow ! Wow! Never Let You Go by Katy Regnery blew me away! I absolutely loved this book. I was stunned at the brilliance in the author’s retelling of the classic fairytale Hansel & Gretel. The modern twist were very realistic. The terror and suspense kept me on the edge of my seat. The resilience and survival instinct of the characters was riveting. The pure love and trust between them was breathtaking. I could not put this book down and read it in one sitting. Imagine two ten year old children walking to the store. Because of their upbringing in the foster care system their stranger danger sensors are diluted. They have had to trust strangers all of their lives. When a stranger approaches them on the side of the road acting like they are very familiar to them, they easily assume that he is related to their foster parents. After all, the man has a puppy, how can he be a bad person. Wrong..wrong…wrong. Holden Croft was placed in a new foster home three days before his abduction. Because of his small size and stammer, he was bullied and abused in his previous foster homes. When the little girl about the same age as him, living in his new home, befriends him; he finally feels like he has a place where he might fit in. Griselda was a beautiful golden child that had a smile that radiated like the sun. She was smart and strong. Holden desperately wanted this girl to be his friend. When their foster parents take the family for camping trip in West Virginia the following weekend their lives will be forever changed. They will become bonded to one another for life. They will live through the worst terror and nightmares any person could experience. The only thing that kept them surviving was their bond and love for each other. For three years they were held captive by a madman. They were beaten, tortured , and worked to the bone. When the opportunity and the dire need to escape presents itself they run. Their escape attempt is thwarted. Holden is recaptured and Griselda manages to get away. By the time she reaches the authorities, Holden and the bad man have disappeared. For ten years Zelda (Griselda ) has lived with the guilt of leaving Holden behind. She has punished herself and does not allow herself any happiness. She is saving every penny to hire private detectives to find out what happened to Holden. For ten years Holden has thought Griselda was dead. The bad man killed her and took him away. He became the person the bad man thought him to be. He was no longer Holden Croft. Holden Croft died along with Griselda ten years ago. By fate, they are brought together once again. They will have to let go of the guilt, the fear, the regrets, and the nightmares. They will have to become Gris and Holden once again. They will find that although they are now two entirely different people, they are still H + G. They still need each other for survival. This is an extremely emotional story. The reader will experience the horrors that these two children went through. They will weep for the adults they have become. They will ache right along with Holden and Griselda. They will rejoice in the pure love these two have for another. Never Let You Go is a powerful story. It’s a psychological thriller that is just as frightening as the real Hansel & Gretel fairytale. It is also a beautiful romance that has a happily ever after ending. It has action, suspense, emotional angst, and unforgettable romance. I highly recommend this book. This is the first book I have read by Katy Regnery. When I looked up her books I was shocked at how many books and good ratings she has. I quickly downloaded the first book in the Modern Fairytale series and can’t wait to sink into that one. Katy definitely has a creative flare that delivers a fresh voice and enthralling story.
Really original story with characters that you root for.
This is a great series. Very well written with some real depth to the characters. I thought it was original and fresh and I look forward to the next book. It made me go back and check out this writers other books. Well done!
Ever heard that line “ Fairytales are for children only” ? – Well read “Never Let You Go” by Katy Regnery and reconsider that line PLEASE. Fairytales are no longer just for children. They are remodeled and brought to a totally new life by authors like Kate Regnery. I am not sure what I should tell you about this book that you do not already know from your childhood or that you should not be told at this point because of spoilers. On the other hand – you better forget everything you thought you knew about that story and go into it with an open mind. What you will find is an amazing lovestory that was turned into an almost movie worthy book. Please enjoy …
A dark re-imagining of Hansel and Gretel, Never Let You Go tells the story of the abduction, captivity, escape, and reuniting of Holden Croft and Griselda Schroeder. This is not a light, fluffy fairy tale. There are a lot of great, big life obstacles that these two have to overcome just to survive, much less to find a happily ever after. Have there ever been two more beautifully damaged characters? It was impossible not to love them – for who they were, for the brutal realities of their lives, for their hope and perseverance. Their chemistry, even as children, was almost physically palpable. As adults, it’s off the charts. The love scenes are tender, loving, and blazing hot. I don’t even have words. I am carrying this story around in my (bruised, battered, and filled to bursting) heart like a sacred thing. There’s just nothing I can say that will properly convey how utterly gorgeous this book is. Holden and Griselda’s story is timeless, boundless, and stunning. I loved this book so hard. The intensity of the feelings Holden and Griselda had for each other – romantic and otherwise – bled into me in a way that made me feel like I was part of their story. I hurt for them and burned for them. I cried when they cried and rejoiced when they rejoiced. This book held a special kind of magic for me, just like a real fairytale. ~ 5 stars
Tragic, yet beautiful. Heart-rending, yet hopeful. Will you need tissues? Yes. Will this overload your emotions? Definitely. Will you love it? Absolutely. The main characters, Griselda and Holden, are truly fairytale characters. They go through so much pain and suffering, trials and tribulations, together under unfathomable circumstances, then finally torn apart neither thinking they will see the other again. Though there's always hope. As adults, both are punishing themselves for hurting and losing each other as children, neither feeling worthy, each in their own version of hell. But when two people who have been through what these two have and finally find each other again? There it is again-hope. Relief. Intensity. Until the real world comes crashing in again. Both Griselda and Holden show amazing strength in the face of unbelievable adversity, even when it seems that everything in the universe is against them. Their pure, raw love and devotion to each other is uplifting and inspiring, and will stir the emotions of even those readers who normally cannot be moved. The story is also filled with secondary characters who provide additional depth and support, giving both Griselda and Holden a strong framework to help them rebuild. You'll also find a few characters you will strongly dislike-not because of the writing (heavens, no--they are all perfectly written), but because they are nasty, evil or just downright mean. But they all contribute to the drama, heartache and also the joy. Katy Regnery again shows why she is one of my all-time favorite authors--a definite auto-buy for every new release she puts out--and will astound you with this emotional, angst-ridden, and ultimately deeply satisfying read. A top recommendation from me, and 5 perfect stars for You Belong To Me. Strongly recommended for 18+ only due to language, adult sexual situations, disturbing scenes and some violence (including abuse).
When I saw this book was coming out, I had no idea what it was about at first but because I knew Katy was writing it, then I knew I wanted to read it. Well, let me say she blew me away with this one. Never Let You Go is a book that intrigued me from the start and I just couldn’t put it down. It’s so different from Katy’s other books and I think that’s one thing that I liked so much about this book. She goes outside of the box to show she can do something different and she proved she could do it. I think when you are able to go from one extreme to another in your writing, that you are a very talented writer. This book starts out with Holden and Griselda who met in their foster home. From the start, their life was never easy and then it became harder than anyone could imagine. They were kidnapped and held prisoner for three years by Caleb Foster, a true psycho in my book. I won’t say what happens because they got separated and years later, came across each other again. I loved that Holden and Gris always felt their connection to the other one, even through the years. They had this undeniable bond that really kept them alive, because they were both so broken. Only when they reunited did they finally become whole and realized they had more much feelings for each other than foster brother/sister. “I love you, and when I say that, I mean that you’re my reason for breathing, for eating, for drinking, for sleeping, for living. I will never hurt you. I will never leave you. I will always protect you. There is no one more important to me than you, and as long as I live, there never will be.” - Holden As their bond grew stronger, complications arose that I definitely didn’t expect and made the story that much better. Just when I thought their suffering was over, along came another bump in the road to keep them apart. You could feel the struggles each of them were having but yet I still felt they were destined to be together. “She loved him in a way that was necessary, not luxurious. She loved him like the tide loves the sand – trapped together, one lost without the other, pushed and pulled, but never ripped apart. She loved him in a deep and singular way, almost as though God had crafted one heart in heaven, then split it between Holden’s body and hers, fating her to a never-ending longing to be with him, or a fractional life without him.” Over time, the puzzle pieces fell into place when they found out why Caleb treated them as horribly as he did. As Gris came face to face with a part of their past, I was really surprised at how well it was woven into the story. Another thing I was not expecting. One thing that really stood out for me about this book is that Holden made the ultimate sacrifice and it just shredded me. My heart was broken for him and I shed quite a few tears. But, I think I fell in love with him even more for that. As Gris found herself in danger from Jonah, her crazy ex-boyfriend, I think I felt the pain that Holden did. I loved how each of them knew they belonged together but they both needed to become their own person for them, and not for the other one. They had to stand on their own before they could stand together. “You’re my savior. My angel.” - Holden So many times during this book, I felt my heart drop and I was so anxious to see what was going to happen next. I must say that by the end, I was completely blown away and if I weren’t already a Katy Regnery fan, then this would have sealed the deal. I applaud Katy for putting something out there that was so different for her and if you’re looking for a book with angst, heartbreak, and one heck of a love story, then pick up this 5 star read.
Wow must read book!! What Holden and Griselda go through is just unimaginable,they are Foster Children living in the same home they form an unbreakable bond with each other,One day they are out with their foster family at the beach,and they are kidnapped by a religious zealot. For 3 years they suffer horrific abuse at the hand of their captor,but they are each other's hope. Griselda manages to escape and Ina's to leave Holden behind she doesn't want to but he tells her to RUN!! For 10 years they have been seperated Griselda has never stopped looking for Holden thinking he was dead.By fate they meet again,Holden can't believe it Griselda is alive.Their love is strong and doesn't waver.then something wonderful happens They Both make it To The Other Side Of the River
Never Let You Go is the second book in Katy Regnery's Modern Fairytale Series. Each book in this series is a standalone story with none of them connected, each one inspired by a classic fairy tale. Never Let You Go was inspired by Hansel and Gretel. I have read Katy Regnery books before, but I have to say that there is something about this series that really grabbed my attention. I love the idea of taking old stories and making them new and different, and I thought Katy did a fantastic job. I could not put this book down! Griselda and her foster brother Holden get abducted as children are forced to live with their captor for three long years until they finally get the opportunity to escape. Unfortunately their escape doesn't go according to plan and while Griselda is able to get away, Holden is left behind. Holden is told that Griselda died, and his captor takes him away and changes their names. Griselda never gives up hope about reconnecting with Holden though, and continues to search with little results. Ten years go by and Griselda's awful boyfriend drags her to a fight, and she is shocked when she comes face to face with Holden. Even though their connection has never died, ten long years have changed who they both are and things won't be as easy as picking up where they left off. I loved these two so much. They had both had such horrible things happen to them, and yet they had never stopped loving one another. Their love was so strong and undeniable, there was nothing that they couldn't get through as long as they had each other. Though their journey was heartbreaking and horrible at times, these two always looked to each other. Holden was impossible not to love. He was sweet and thoughtful, and his love for Griselda was fierce. Though he had thought she was dead and he hadn't stopped living his life, he had never been able to let go of her or the connection they shared. Griselda never stopped searching for Holden, and everything she did was to help her try and find him. I felt so badly for her because of the guilt that she felt for so many things. I was glad that Holden never blamed her or held a grudge. These two were always meant to be together, and their connection and chemistry was so unique and rare. I can't even describe how powerful and beautiful it was. Never Let You Go was beautiful and emotional, and I was captivated right from the start. Katy Regnery took the inspiration for this story and completely re-imagined it, transforming a familiar favorite into something new and fascinating. I honestly cannot recommend this story enough. Holden and Griselda's love is one that will stick with me, and I already can't wait to get lost in their story again. I can't wait to read the rest of the books in this series, and I know that I will be looking for more from Katy Regnery in the future.
3.5 Stars As I begin to read Never Let You Go, I was pushing myself a bit. I ask myself why am I still reading this. I hate not finishing a book. I get to about the halfway mark and realize I have been sitting in my chair reading non stop for a few hours. As I finished the last page I knew why I had to finish reading Never Let You Go. A story of survival, turmoil, longing, hope and romance. Talk about an emotional roller coaster. Katy Regnery take the fairytale to a whole new level. Holden and Griselda are both complex and immensely strong. Both victims of circumstance into many ways. A bond that somehow stand the test of time and a trip through hell and back. It's generally known that I'm not a fan of New Adult romance. I feel a lack of substance and true emotions in most of them. Katy Regnery blew me out of my seat with the powerful and emotional story of Holden and Griselda. A dark and edgy tale that will make one cringe in fear and cry with joy. A review copy was provided by the author/publisher for an honest review.
Never Let You Go is another amazing book from author Katy Regnery. This is a darker story than her previous books but it still had the strong characters, heartwarming moments, and sweet and steamy romance that I have grown to love from this author. I loved everything about this book! Never Let You Go is the second book in Katy Regnery’s A Modern Fairytale series and is a standalone. This is inspired by the Hansel and Gretel classic tale but don’t expect a fairytale romance. This is a love story but it is also a story of survival. Holton and Griselda first meet when they are 10-years-old in a foster home. On a family picnic they are kidnapped by Caleb Foster, a mentally disturbed man who mistaken them for his younger siblings. On a mission to “save” the children he keeps them captive and forces them to work hard in his garden and beats them when they break his rules. After 3 years of captivity Holton and Griselda try to escape but it doesn’t go as planned. Griselda is the only one to escape. She spends years waiting for the day to reunite with Holton. The time apart has been painful for both of them. They both have felt they did not deserve to be loved so their reunion isn’t an instant happily ever after. Holton and Griselda have to rebuild the trust they once had. They both have guarded their hearts to protect themselves from disappointment, but now they have to learn to love again. Holton and Griselda fought to stay alive while they were captive so when their path to a new life together becomes complicated they have to fight again to stay together. Never Let You Go is an emotional story of healing and making sacrifices for the ones we love. This story was heartbreaking and uplifting and will stay with me forever. Katy Regnery is a talented writer and I admire her for taking a chance on a more intense and darker story. The abuse scenes were brutal and emotional but it was necessary to understand Holton and Griselda’s painful past. Even though the violence was disturbing the author blended scenes of them as children that were heartwarming and gave a sense of hope. I truly felt the strong connection between Holton and Griselda. Katy Regnery continues to be one of my favorite authors and I am blown away with how powerful this story is. I highly recommend Never Let You Go to romance fans of eternal love affairs that survive against all the odds.
*Book provided by the author and the publisher in exchange for an honest review* Katy Regnery is a wonderful and very talented author. Never Let You Go is her second standalone novel part of her a modern fairytale collection. This story is based on Hansel and Gretel. It follows Griselda and Holden, they have been in foster care together many years ago. They went through a very difficult time back then and suddenly they went their separate ways. They were kidnapped and Griselda is able to run away, but she left him behind. And Holden thinks she is dead… Now, 10 years later, their paths cross again. Grisela’s boyfriend Jonah drags her to a flight club and there he is: Holden. He gets hurt in the fight and we she goes to see him, they both think they must be dreaming. A friend gives them the opportunity to get away. Their chemistry is deep, intense, passionate and very emotional. Their connection is there again immediately and their feelings just grow more and more. They let go and just follow their hearts. We learn a lot about their past and that is really shocking, heart breaking and touching. Their love scenes are steamy, intense, passionate, fiery and heated. I loved how they both just let go of everything and follow their hearts, but there are his girlfriend Gemma and her kind-of ex Jonah. It gets worse, when Gemma has news for Holden, news affecting his future. The story gets even more intense and dramatic here and Griselda makes a hard decision. Back home Jonah comes to hunt her and … It’s wonderful to see that both of them are willing to fight and want a future together. Even if it’s not possible at the moment, they hold on to their love, not knowing what will be in a few months. They need each other in life, it’s what makes them complete and whole, what healed them in the first place. Going through ups and downs and lots of stony paths, they fight and they want to make it happen. Read this beautiful and epic tale, to find out what the future had to hold for them. The point of view is alternating between Holden and Griselda, which give a great insight in both their heads. This is truly a marvellous modern fairytale, taking you on a roller-coaster ride of emotions and getting you hooked immediately.
I have never read a story where it was a modern twist on a well known fairytale so I was very intrigued by this story. As soon as I finished reading the blurb my interest was so peaked that I couldn’t wait to jump into this book. As I tend to do with most books I started it right before I went to bed and (shocker alert) I ended up staying up till about 3am because I kid you not— I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN. I guess in my head I assumed this story was going to be one way and it was not what i expected- it was a million times better than I could have ever predicted and imagined. As I sit here typing up this review my mind is constantly drifting back to different parts of the book and the characters; Holden and Griselda. There are very few books were the main characters leave an impression on my heart but the Holden and Griselda have done just that. I LOVE these two characters! “I jump. You jump” I jumped head first full heart into this book and never looked back. Never Let You Go is the story that is loosely based on Hansel and Gretel. I remember hearing this particular fairytale growing up and feeling sad up on hearing. Katy Regnery took this well known fairytale and turned it into this emotional edgy rollercoaster of a story that you just don’t want to stop reading. Holden and Griselda original meet as foster kids who are placed in the same house. It would appear that from the very beginning of them meeting one another there was a connection between these two that even they didn’t understand. On one unlucky day while walking to the story Holden and Griselda are kidnapped and held captive for over three years. While being captive they endure horrible abuse at the hands of their kidnapper but together find the strength in one another to survive it. The abuse continues to escalate that eventually Holden and Griselda feel there have to try and escape of they may not survive much longer. While running for their lives and trying to make it across the Shenandoah River by jumping on rocks fate would have it that one makes it across successfully while the other doesn’t. This single occurrence sets in motion their lives for the next few years. Ten years later in a chance occurrence Holden and Griselda run into each other. Despite being torn apart years ago and each living a different reality they can’t deny the magnetic pull towards one another. Will they be able to get over a past neither can fully put behind them, develop a new trust for another another and forge ahead taking the future they both dreamed and hoped for or is all the pain and suffering of the past just to much to overcome? “If i rewrite one thing, I could ruin it all, the entire journey, right up to the moment you should up at the fight in June.” I loved this book! Although it is a standalone it is the second book in Katy Regnery’s A Modern Fairytale series. Needless to say you can beat the moment I finished this book I went to purchase the first book of the series. This story is powerful on so many levels and you can’t help but feel you are experiencing the journey the characters are on with them. There were times when I was reading this story I actually had to put it down because my heart was so into what the characters were experiencing that I just needed a breather. I can not stress how much I highly recommend this book. I will definitely be reading more books by Katy Regnery! Do yourself a favor and go one click this book..PRONTO!
I love re-tellings. There's something about seeing people's interpretations of classics and favorites that I love. It allows me to fall in love with the story all over again while looking at it from a new perspective. To date, I don't think I've read of any Hansel & Gretel re-tellings, so Never Let You Go is my first and it's certainly left a lasting impression on me. To be truthful, it was like nothing I was expecting and so much better than what I was hoping for. If I wasn't aware this was a re-telling, I wouldn't have known. There's very little to connect the two stories. I sort of liked that; everything was different, from the setting, to the characters, and even the emotions I felt. A lot of this story left me feeling raw and exposed. Griselda and Holden completely stole my heart. I mean I fell in love with them from the very first page. I can't tell you how much my heart hurt while reading this book. The things they experience were often difficult to read. Their faith in one another and the care was just unbelievable. The story of G + H is dramatic with twists I could've never anticipated. I was so caught up in the story I didn't even try. I didn't even realize tears were streaming down my face or the passing of time. I had to take a breather after I finished reading and just let the story sink in. Holden and Griselda had patience, understanding, and fortitude in amounts I couldn't comprehend. These two broken people who were only whole with one another had a strength that was awe inspiring to read about. There isn't more I can say without giving away the story. I loved seeing the past and present through both their eyes. Honestly this story is one that needs to be read. This is my first book by Katy Regnery. I am beyond impressed with this book and her. I can't wait to read the other re-tellings she has planned. I have a feeling they're going be raw, gritty, and just as amazing.
I love it when authors are able to take an old story and breathe new life into it through a different perspective. I especially love it when those stories are fairy tales. That being said, this story is far from a fairy tale, it just lends a nod to one in particular. Remember the story of Hansel and Gretel? You know, the two little kids that get lured into a witch’s trap because they were hungry and her house was made of sweets? That story sparked the inspiration for Holden and Griselda, two foster kids who are lured into their own personal hell after taking a walk to the store to get some food. Neither Holden nor Griselda had the greatest upbringing. Both were in the foster system, and neither of them had any family left to go to. What they did have was each other. Holden, a freckle faced, stammering, scrapper who had to fight to prove himself, and Griselda, a girl who just never seemed to have things go her way, but who was pretty and she wasn’t mean. For some reason, the pair had a connection they couldn’t explain. They were just always there for each other. Although things weren’t perfect at their foster home, they did have their moments of amusement. This included family outings. On one particular outing, the food that was packed was left in the heat and spoiled before anyone noticed. When Griselda volunteered to walk to the store for more food, Holden volunteered to go with her. Unfortunately, they never made it. Kidnapped, shackled, and fearful of being killed by their captor, the two do everything they can to keep his anger at bay. Unfortunately, it does not always work. According to Caleb Foster, their captor, Holden and Griselda are actually Seth and Ruth, his younger siblings who seem to have an unnatural fondness for one another. Obviously Caleb is not well, and his is devout to his bible to say the least. Confused and scared the pair refuse to play along only to realize that refusal will quickly get them a beating. For years they endure and plan an escape but their friendship grows too as the pair begins to mature and take more notice of one another. This of course complicated the matters since their captor is determined that Ruth was a temptress sent to coax his brother Seth to the fiery pits of Hell. When the moment finally appears, the pair make their escape, but the task and the Shenandoah prove to be too much for one of them. Forced to make a horrible choice; stay, or be killed, the pair is separated staring at each other from across the river as the gun shots go off. Years later, we meet Zelda, a nanny in an abusive relationship who refuses to leave because she feels it is all she deserves. She has been with Jonah for a while and despite his harsh words and even harsher treatment, she cherishes the small moments when he is holding her and she can pretend she is back with the love she lost so many years earlier. For years she has been saving her money in hopes of finding Holden but she still has such a long way to go. The more she tries to save, the more things seem to come up. Now Jonah wants to go on a mini vacation with his buddies and she knows it will cost her. Despite not wanting to go, Zelda plays along and in the events of the weekend winds up at a fight club. Surrounding by hay bales and boisterous crowds, Zelda hears something she hasn’t heard in over 10 years. Looking at where the noise is coming from she sees a bloodied face approaching her before the world falls away to darkness. Seth was itching for a fight. Sitting in his pick up getting himself in the right mindset, he knew this match was going to be tough. This one was a grudge match and he was warned that his opponent was not happy, and probably had a weapon. Did he care? Not really. Once in the ring, he knew he would win, and despite a face that not look liked hamburger, he did. Looking up from his victory (if you can call it that) Seth spies the sight of an angel. It couldn’t be her, she was dead. He saw her grave! Walking closer, she turns around and he looks closer. That face. Shouting a name he has not uttered in years the woman looks on trying to determine who he is. But as pain suddenly erupts over and over, Seth’s world spins upside down then disappears all together. What a ride! I do love a good bit of suspense and this story definitely has it. Griselda and Holden are the epitome of young love and despite the abusive situation, the two are able to sneak some innocent and tender moments away from their captor. You can genuinely feel their relationship grow and are pulled away from them just as they truly become aware of one another on a more intimate level. What I truly love is the underdog story. Despite all odds Holden and Gris find each other as adults (no this is not a spoiler) and the connection between them is so strong that I was literally gripping my Kindle waiting for the two of them to finally accept what was right in front of them. Unfortunately things are still not all hearts and flowers. These two have a number of struggles to survive before they can finally be happy. Both of them still have significant others, both have mistakes they are trying to deal with, and on top of it all, they have to get to know one another all over again. Especially Holden. He endured so much and yet in his eyes, he sees it all as a blessing. All of his anger, all of his choices, his entire life was led by the idea that Gris was dead. Now they must both live with the consequences of those actions into to find the life they have always wanted. A life together. Bravo to Kay Regnery. I was unaware of her work until now but I am a fan. Her characters are so emotional and so vivid that I feel like I am right here with them. My heart ached for Holden and Gris and I found myself cheering them on as read. She pays so much attention to detail. Everything from a tiny tattoo of two very significant letters, to a scar on the chin of a little girl that was all grown up. She even throws in a few twists that I was not expecting in the slightest (things are not always as they same and she is very good at leading readers to assume things until the time is right to reveal the truth). Kay Regnery has created a story that pulls you in and holds you tight. This story is not your typical romance. It is edgy, heartbreaking, painful, and beautiful. It is the kind of story that gives you hope that fairy tales can come true, even in the real world. For me, I will never look at Hansel and Gretel the same way again.
Katy Regnery has written a fantastic modern day version of Hansel and Gretel. The fairy tale originated from Germany, and was recorded and published in 1812 by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm. Through the years we have seen many versions of the story come to live-including the opera version composed by Engelbert Humperdinck. Katy brings Hansel and Gretel into the now by taking a story told through time and creating similarities between the children Hansel and Gretel and Griselda and Holden. The biggest difference between the two tales is that Griselda and Holden are not related but are foster brother and sister. Never Let You Go surpasses my wildest dreams in how Katy took a story over 200 years old and made it endearing, engaging, and containing the most tender of moments. In fact, I was hooked at the beginning of the story until the end. I read it in one sitting. I was so excited to read Never Let You Go that I got up and three a.m. and read until I was finished. There was even major Kleenex usage. As children Holden and Griselda spent torturous years being imprisoned by a man who believed that he needed to expunge sin from them. There was a sense of eeriness as the story is being told on what was happening to young Holden and Griselda. As time passed in this person Holden and Griselda became each others constant. The love that grew between them was one that very little could ever imagine. As a failed attempt of escape happens, Griselda and Holden are separated thinking that each other is lost. Griselda holds on to guilt and regret, but never loses hope that she will find her other half. Griselda spent her life punishing herself. She stayed in an abusive relationship believing she deserved no better because she failed Holden. Her boyfriend takes her to a fight near where the kidnapping happens and in a moment Griselda world takes a spin on it's axel. She spot boy turned man Holden. Who just happens to be one of the fighters of the night. There were so many parts to the story that just had my head spinning and my heart swooning. First, after reuniting both Holden and Griselda acknowledge that the love that they shared was never ending and only eternal. As the story progresses you just new that no matter the trials they were meant to be together. But for these two soulmates nothing comes easy and only time will tell if uniting is in the cards for Griselda and Holden. I believe the part of the story that had me in tears was when a verse about what love is gets told to each other. It was the perfect addition to two people who defined the true meaning of both friends and partners. Griselda and Holden had each other's back no matter the obstacle. As in the original story of Hansel and Gretel, the breadcrumbs that led Griselda and Holden back to each other was love, friendship, loyalty, fate, and never-ending hope. Never Let You Go is about hanging on to people who love you no matter the trials as well never losing hope in a glorious future. Never Let You Go is a repeat read as far as I am concerned.
I'm going to start this by giving you a warning. You won't be able to put it down. It's starts in the midst of two thirteen year old children making an escape from their abusive captor. After three years, Holden and Griselda are finally breaking free and they're caught between the Shenandoah river on one side and The Man (Caleb Foster) in chase close behind them. Only Gris makes it across the river to freedom that day but her guilt keeps her imprisoned for the next ten years. During those ten years Gris never gave up the hope of finding Holden. She also never allowed herself to be with anyone that would treat her right. She could never feel deserving of happiness when she had left Holden in hell. Technically she was the reason they were kidnapped in the first place and then all the times Holden had protected her from their captors wrath only added to the heaping pile of guilt she carried on her shoulders. But I was still surprised that she allowed a guy like her boyfriend Jonah to manipulate and man handle her. As the author tells the story there are excerpts of their captivity included at various points that are heartbreaking and make it clear just how crazy The Man was. I was so relieved that neither Gris or Holden were ever molested. Before both kids ended up in foster care, they came from very different circumstances. Holden had very loving parents that he lost tragically and Gris had never had anyone to love her. I was so captivated by how both characters would appear weak or scared but would become fierce to protect each other. I loved the tender moments they had together while locked in a cellar or working in the garden. The simple encouragement they give each other, "I jump, you jump."and "keep your fingers over the letters",repeats through out keeping your heart aching with hope that they find peace and happiness. Poor Holden had been knocked unconscious when Gris escaped and then led to believe she had been shot and killed. For ten years he no longer had anything or anyone to live for. I would love for both of them to have remained virgins until they reunited but that's just not how their story goes. I wouldn't say he was a man whore but he did have his share of women. He placed no value on sex and never shared his heart with anyone. He was dead inside. Fate finally brings them together and I hoped it would be the beginning of the happily ever after that they deserve but of course it's never that easy. Holden is ready and willing to drop everything and claim the woman he has loved since the first day he met her but Gris has so many doubts. She doubts that she can be what Holden wants and deserves. She doubts that he could possibly love her after all the pain she's brought to his life. She doubts that he can truly forgive her. She hates all the women he's been with and lets that cast doubt about him being able to stay true to her. The most maddening part of the story has to be the interference from both of their ex's. Gemma and Jonah are two of the most selfish sacks of shit I've ever had to endure reading about. To tell you about the lengths to which they go to manipulate Holden and Gris would spoil too much. Misery loves company and you will have join my miserable state of mind over these two. For ten years they believed they had to have each other to be whole but as they face their future together they finally realize that they need to be whole as an individuals first. Their faith in each other grows through each test and as they endure more time apart. Holden finds the sense of pride in himself that he's always needed to be whole. I was so pissed at Holden's ex but I will concede that the author made the best choice in how the situation with Gemma played out. I of course don't think she deserved any of the good things that happened to her. I'm okay with hating a character and Gemma and Jonah were two that I wanted to see suffer. I have so many stars to give Never Let You Go. This modern day Hansel and Gretal makes my list of favorites so far this year. And as for the author Katy Regnery, my adoration of her continues to grow with every book she publishes.
My 5-Star (wish I could have given it 100) Review "Stone to stone. I jump, you jump." Although I'm about to start this review, I need to take a minute.... I have never read a book so profound before! After I had read the blurb and some reviews, I knew this book would take me on an emotional ride. It was a ride I was not prepared for at all! My poor heart!!! I'm a sucker for a twist on old fairy tales. This one BLEW ME AWAY!! The beginning ripped my heart out and I was scared to read on, and yet, I was hooked! I love the way that Katy takes you back and forth through the lives of Griselda and Holden. From past to present and back again. "A better life for herself? Theoretically, there were probably many ways her life could be improved, but only three that really mattered: find Holden, help Holden, be with Holden again." I will tell you this...this story is not for the faint of heart. Griselda and Holden did not have it easy as children. Their adult lives weren't going so well either. All they knew was they were lost without one another. They were each survivors of a horrific act, but the repercussions lived on forever. "Ruuuunnnnnnnnnn!" That one word vibrates in your head as you read this book. You hear it and your heart breaks for Holden and Griselda. Knowing they would be seperated for the first time in three years and to never see each other again for ten years, I can't tell you how much I cried. Okay, it was ugly. Big, fat, ugly, freakin tears streamed down my face as I read throughout this story!! "She owed him, because once upon a sweet and terrible time, she'd loved him, and he'd loved her in return...the only human being whom she knew--beyond a shadow of a doubt--had ever truly loved her." When they are reunited, it's amazing. The emotions you feel as they see each other as grown ups. The love you can still feel, comes right off the pages. But I have to say, the parts from their captivity are my favorite. As bad as that sounds, it's true. Reading the love and friendship they had so quickly, and at such a young age, is beautiful. They did everything to protect, save, and love each other. "Keep your fingers over the letters." In my mind, I see them as beautiful disasters. Wonderful human beings that were given the worst luck. Two souls meant to be together. "I remember everything. I've lived on memories of you for ten years." I have so much more to say about this book, but that would be wrong of me. You MUST read it for yourself! From the flashbacks, to the storytelling, to the heartbreak and the reunions, this story has it all. Just when you thought the story was going one way, it changed. You were on the edge of your seat, and yet, scared to turn the page. "You'll wait for me?" "I will." "Never let me go, Gris." "I won't." IMYLCILYF (Best thing ever! Read the book to find out!!) Gahhhhh! READ THIS BOOK!! Grab a box of tissues, a huge bar of chocolate, and settle in for an amazing story that will leave you breathless and wanting to hold your loved ones tighter than ever! Beautiful job, Katy!!! You have a huge fan in me!! "Ask me if I'm whole or broken..."
ARC generously provided by publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All I can say about this book is WOW! I am not sure I can put words to paper to do this book justice. It is not an easy read because the story is so tragic, but it is also one filled with love and hope and determination and strength. Holden and Griselda meet in a Foster home. They are the same age and there is just something that connects between the two. They are not together long before a horror enters their life. They are kidnapped and kept for three years. Then they make a break for it to escape, Griselda makes it Holden doesn't. This story goes back and forth between time periods of now and when they were young and help captive. It also goes back and forth between Holden and Grselda's POV. I really don't think I can tell you about this book without giving something away so I will just say that this is a wonderful read and one you will not want to put down. This will go into my pile of books I read over and over again.
This story is incredible. Raw, gripping, honest and stunningly beautiful. Griselda and Holden have a love affair that grows over more than a decade. As terrified preteens thrust into the foster care system, friends that help each other stay alive and survive to young adults, listless and barely moving along in their respective lives. The pain that engulfs them is palpable. Their views on their world so jaded that it’s hard to see any way for them to make it through. Fairy tale retellings are not usually my cup of tea, but the magic that KR creates is impossible to forget. So many feels, tears and blissful happiness. Even through the difficult and down right devastating times they have a connection that transcends the here and now. Until the time is right they circle each other, becoming their own best persons, healing and putting the pieces back together. Once they get it all right, oh my, my heart truly celebrated. At over 400 pages this is a story to treasure, finding joy and hope in the darkness.
What a fantastic read! Loved it and I couldn't put it down!
Never Let You is a Modern Fairy Tale of Hansel and Gretel. Except this is the story of Holden and Griselda, who are not related but foster siblings. These two have been in the foster system, but not a great one either. So when they were abducted by Caleb, an old angry man…their lives came from bad to worse. They worked everyday all day, beaten, treated like his hated siblings. Until the day they tried to escape. Griselda got away and Holden was caught, soon Holden believed that Griselda was gone and his reason to live was gone. But Griselda lives her life in the best she knew how never gave up. She always held hope to see Holden again. Years later as grown up, they met each other in the worst place possible. But on that day, was also the day they felt alive again. Seeing each other and given a month to sort out their lives together could be just what they needed. One thing lead to another, after feelings and stories were shared, it didn’t take them long to take comfort in each other. Comfort that they now can give each other as an adult. While things were going well, bad news came after another. Will one month be enough to figure out their lives and future together? Read and find out. This is an emotional story of Holden and Griselda. What these two go through is heartbreaking and while reading I can only hope that they get the happy ending that they both deserve. These two are whole when together, but apart, they are broken. “Ask me if I’m whole or broken?” “I’m whole.” I’m whole because I’m with you.” “You jump, I jump.” They’ve known at a young age, that they belonged together. They planned for their future together, hoping that one day they can make it come true. I love both characters, but at times I wish they would really see what’s in front of them, not what’s blocking them to have their happy ending. So come and read Griselda and Holden story and join them through their journey of finding peace and love.
**JOSIE'S 4.5 STAR REVIEW** I have never read a book from this author, and after Never Let You Go I am a fan. Never Let You GO is the modern day retelling of Hansel and Gretel. I was skeptical at first because I am not into Fairy tales but the author did an amazing job with this version. The story is written beautifully from start to finish. There was never a point in this book where I found myself bored. This book was gritty and tough at times, there are somethings that made be stomach hurt but there was also some very loveable and passionate moments. What I got from the author’s retelling of this story is that true love goes beyond and can start from the darkest of moments. The two main characters in Never Let You Go, are Griselda and Holden. They meet in foster care and were close. These two always watched out for each other and grew a deep and strong connection. One day at the age of 13, Griselda and Holden are abducted while walking on a country road. Not to be seen from for three long years. Holden and Griselda experience the most horrifying abuse and are locked away by a most vile and psychotic man. One day Gris and Holden gather enough strength to run away, but in order to really escape they must cross the very dangerous Shenandoah River. Just as they both are close to freedom, Holden is caught and Griselda must run for her life and leave behind the boy that stole her heart. Let me tell you about these very special and memorable characters. For the next ten years Griselda never gave up hope or her search to find Holden. Yes she has built a life for herself, but her mind and heart yearns for the boy that has always held her heart. Griselda is in an abusive relationship with her current boyfriend. She has guilt because she left Holden behind and believes this is the kind of relationship she deserves. It is not easy for her to move forward, her past constantly wears her down, her thoughts always go back to those days and years in captivity. Jordan forces Griselda to attend an underground fight and in a second her past comes crashing right into her, right in front of her stands Holden. Holden, who goes by Seth is not whole, he is damaged, and he was told that Griselda died that day they tried to escape. He has never gotten over her death and for the nest 10 years has stood with captor moving from state to state, until his death. In order to deal with his anger, pain and aggression he turns to fighting to quiet his demons. He is alive and is finally free, he can’t love or believe he is incapable of love, and has a sexual relationship with his 6 month hook up Gemma. His demons are fierce and his dreams he always sees Gris’ eyes, he can never forget her. At his match one night, he sees a girls with the same eyes and smile but he believes he is dreaming, until he finally sees her, his Gris. “You’re alive.” “I am” “You finally found me.” “I did.” “You’re lying next to me right now.” “Yes.” “And this isn’t a dream.” “No.” “And you’ll be here when I wake up.’ “I promise.” Let me say I am not believer in fairy tales, but there is no denying these two characters share a connection not even 10 years, current boyfriends and girlfriends and their horrific past can break. As soon as they are together, they are no longer half a person but whole. What has been wrong in their lives for 10 years is perfect, the dark is now light. 10 years is a long time to have been away from each other and they take the time to get to know each other again but that connection they shared never waivers. You will love these character because they fight for their love, and fight against their past and present demons that are hell-bent of separating them. I am not even going to go into the sex part, because lord – it was hot!!! I am so glad I had to opportunity to read this book and got to know these characters. If you are believer in fairytales or in true love, this book is for you. If not this might just make you one.
“Are you whole or broken?” “I’m whole … I’m whole because I’m with you.” Rarely do I enjoy a book that has such a prolific portion written from the pov of children, it’s not the way I read, but right from the very start this author had me absolutely hooked with that very pov. I also don’t cope very well with a flashback telling of a story but I managed this no problem. In fact I devoured it. To be able to make me want to continue reading a book with those two things, well, that’s an accomplishment and a testament to how good this is. It is quite simply breath-taking. My first Katy Regnery read and I can tell you now it will not be my last, The Vixen and the Vet has been recommended to me so I might hop onto that soon. This novel is definitely up there among my top reads of the year, and if you know me then you’ll understand that those spots up there are few and far between. 5 stars don’t seem enough. “I’m b-broken,” he finally answered. “But I think I could be whole again.” A somewhat dark read, a modern day re-telling in a roundabout way of Hansel and Gretel. The breadcrumbs in this book are not so apparent but they are most definitely there in a metaphorical way. There’s so much emotion involved with this story that sometimes I found it really difficult to catch my breath. The descriptive brutalities, the unwavering love, the unavoidable circumstances all play their part in making the reader FEEL. Holden and Griselda were meant to be. Through thick and thin, the reader walks their path with them. “When a heart breaks, it somehow stays whole. It keeps beating. It keeps pumping. Only the person who owns it knows that it’s been shattered.” I really had such a soft spot for Holden. Katy painted this little boy who loved a little girl with all his might; it is shattering how they end up apart. And shattering again how they find each other. His turmoil at thinking that his love was dead. I loved watching him wake up, in a figurative way, he went from a shell of a man to someone who wanted to live again. Griselda broke me, she really did. To read how she had spent her years looking for Holden and the way she felt she didn’t deserve any better than what she had in life. Griselda hung onto hope so hard even though she knew that hope was slim. She just couldn’t catch a break. “In a world full of heartache, turmoil, and strangers, she somehow felt familiar. She felt like grace in a graceless world.” Holden and Griselda take the long hard road of learning to trust again, they remember their past and try to overcome it though they have differing feelings about their ordeal and the man that held them. Holden and Griselda eventually heal together. That mental health issue comes into play but not too much of an issue is made of it which I thought fit the story really well. “Holden, are you whole or broken? Stone to stone. I jump, you jump. Keep your fingers over the letters.” If you are looking for something to get totally lost in for a few nights (over 400 pages) then look no further. Never Let You Go seems to have the right balance of just about everything. I have to warn you though that there are some fairly horrific scenes in this novel, domestic abuse is a subject that is graphically depicted so if that kind of things makes you squirm, you need to be aware. I got such amazing feels, a wide variety of them in fact, and I always love that with a really great book. Bags of emotion in here, coupled with a great plot/storyline. Characters you will fall in love with. What you waiting for?? “Keep your fingers on the letters. H+G”
**An eARC was provided in exchange of an honest review** Oh, gosh, this book guys! You know those kind of books that you know are going to be painful, but once you read them you realize that it's a whole other world of pain waiting or you? This was the case for me when I started Never Let You Go. I knew it was angsty and an emotional roller coaster and it would most likely make me cry, but I didn't know how much this book would affect me. Never Let You Go is told from both Holden and Gris' third POVs, told ten years after the day one of them escaped from their abductor and the other remained behind. Back then when they were ten to thirteen years old, they survived because of each other and clung to the hope that one day, someone would find them and free them and they would get to be together. When three years go by and nobody comes, they take it into their own hands to escape, but while Gris makes it, Holden gets caught. Now, ten years later, it's the memory of each other that keeps them alive, barely hanging on, until they meet again, and hope is rekindled. But life isn't easy or fair, and they both have changed. When it seems like the whole world is determined to keep them apart, it's only trust that will save them. I loved this book. Absolutely adored it, and could not put it down. It may have taken me a few days to finish it, but it wasn't because I was too bored or couldn't bring myself to read another word. I found myself sneaking in any word I could whenever I had one free second, and sometimes, I'd stay up 'till four in the morning reading Never Let You Go. It's written is such a beautiful way, it gripped my attention and mind and held on and had me in tears pretty much all the time. My god, I bawled like a baby every few pages. Gris and Holden didn't seem to get a break. Life was so hard for them, first when they were young and living in foster homes, and then when they were kidnapped and abused and then they get ripped apart from each other only to spend the next ten years feeling dead inside. You'd think that once they found each other, all would be good and fine, but nooo. Life has other plans for them and it kept throwing curveballs at them. Through it all, Holden and Gris never doubted their love for each other. They wanted to be together, yet at the same time they were afraid to hope. They'd been hurt enough times and ripped away from each other even more, so the thought of getting a happily ever after while enticing was scary to them. Their relationship and feelings for each other just about gutted me. They made me so emotional. One second I was swooning over them and things they did and said to each other, and the next, I was crying because they just did such beautiful things. This book had me on my toes all the time, not knowing to expect and yet knowing that something bad, or worse, was going to happen. While the surprises just kept on coming until somewhere around 90% of the book, I still felt like the plot unfolded very slowly. I loved the authors writing and the story, but the pacing wasn't something I enjoyed and there were few moments where I got distracted. Nonetheless, this book is one of my favorite reads of 2015. It's a compelling tale of love and hope and trust and I recommend it for anyone looking for a book that will make you sigh and cry and swoon and giggle.
Review for Never Let You Go by Katy Regnery. This was my first time reading Ms. Regnery's work and I'm now kicking myself wondering why I haven't read anything by her before. This has a somewhat dark feel to it; maybe the best way to describe it is a "gray" read. But don't let that be the only thing you take away from this book. Once you look past the surface, you'll discover this is a true love story. A love that embodies the soul, no matter how much time has passed or how long you are separated from each other Griselda (ooh, I just don't like that name lol) and Holden meet as foster children when they end up with the same foster family. They're kidnapped and endure three years of horrific abuse at the hands of sadistic psychopath. Their escape is anything but bliss, because only one truly makes the escape. Imagine the shock that happens 10 years later when they see each other again. Even though the connection is still there between them, everything they've both endured over the 10 years has obviously changed them, and not for the better. This is a beautifully written story about loss, fear, defeat, survival, love and redemption. You'll find yourself rooting for Holden and Griselda and hoping that their second chance at love will help in healing their hearts.
This book is a retelling of the classic Hansel and Gretel, but of course with a twist. Holden and Griselda, are broken. They are orphans and are navigating life, childhood, and loss all alone in an unforgiving foster care system...until they meet each other. One fateful day changed the course of their lives and Holden and Griselda have to learn to deal with a lot more than either one ever expected. These young kids learned to depend on each other and rely on each other when broken, suddenly became whole in the most terrible circumstances. These two dealt with way more heartache than most and you'd be hard pressed to not become vested in their story. The tragedies kept coming and you'll turn the pages wondering how this could possibly turn out. There were scenes when I was actually furiously flipping the pages to see how the characters were going to react. I caught myself rereading passages over and over to grasp some of the beautiful language...and the are several scenes that very near broke my own heart. Holden looking out at the street with his hands against the window? Gah! I was a goner. This novel is huge so you will definitely get your moneys worth with this reading. No storyline is left unresolved, or lacking.the characters grow, mature, and learn so much about themselves. They deal with some pretty weighty stuff and I don't believe any painful theme isn't discussed here. Death,molestation, poverty, abuse, PTSD, infidelity. You name it, they probably dealt with it. I actually lost a lot of sleep reading this and honestly...I regret nothing! I will be picking up more from this author and diving into whatever fairy tales she writes next willingly. It goes to show sometimes happily ever after takes longer than others. Nicely done. Thank you to the publishers for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
I received an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Griselda and Holden meet in a foster home. When the foster family takes them on a trip to the park. Gris and Holden walk to the story to get food. A man in a truck stops and infers that the foster parents had sent him. Gris has no problem getting in the truck with the man but Holden holds back. But he has no intentions of letting Gris go without them. This is the start of a three year nightmare. When one finally escapes, one is left behind. Ten years later Gris is determined to find out what happened to Holden. She is saving money to hire a PI in hope of finding him. Meanwhile she doesn't think she deserves any happiness , staying with a abusive boyfriend not going to college. She punishes herself for escaping and leaving Holden. When a chance visit to a cage fight Gris sees Holden in the cage. All these years Holden has believed that Gris was dead. He has never stopped loving her or missing here. Can they have a second chance. This book takes you through so many emotions. I can't even imagine what they went through while being held captive. Gris keeping all that inside. Determined to punish herself for putting them in that position and then leaving Holden behind. Holden has kept Gris in his heart all these years after seeing what he thought was her grave. Their past is told in flashbacks. So it isn't overwhelming about the past and the present. You can just feel that these two belong together. Yet until they deal with the repercussions of their past there isn't much hope for a future.
Copy/paste link: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1292389235 A tragic, sweet, lonesome and yet deeply profound journey! That's how i would characterize the hauntingly beautiful fairy-tale told in Never Let You Go. A story so broken and dramatic that grabs the reader by the hand and shoves him/her inside such a turbulent and captivating romance. This story truthfully had my undivided attention from the first chapter till the last one. I loved this story even when it felt too much. The tender love that was an underlying characteristic throughout the book gave a few, much needed pauses to the unforgiving plotline and made the rest bearable. Although some over-the-top tendencies weren't completely avoided, i can mostly turn a blind eye to them as a salute to the wholesome and delightful story. Griselda and Holden share a very interesting story, even if some things didn't add up there is still so much passion and feelings in it. They have been abducted both when they shared a foster home years back, but Griselda escaped and Holden was left behind. Ten years later they are stuck in the past unable to move on from the young love they shared. After a chance encounter they will find their way back to each other, or will they? All hell will break loose after they reunite and every crazy and cliche scenario out there will take place in this book. But it's still good although it turns too mind-boggling. THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK - I always like a fairy-tale retelling. This one was of Hansel and Gretel's story. - I didn't believe that she had such a boyfriend. Couldn't buy the cheap excuse. - Why Gemma had to be pregnant? And all the drama about it. UGH! - The sex is very hot. - I liked the writing.
What a great twist on a classic story. Such an emotional love story. I absolutely loved it!
Never Let You Go is the second Modern Fairytale I have read by Katy Regnery. Katy always amazes me when it comes to putting words on paper. I enjoy her stories, and will always be a fan, and a huge supporter. With that being said, none of Katy Regnery’s modern day fairytales are strictly about “Beauty and the Beast” or “Hansel and Gretel” it is just Katy’s twists of events that would make you think about these classics. None of the characters are related and these stories are full of love, and stand by themselves. Now, getting to my review. I will say it took me a ways for Never Let Me Go to have me hooked, and I was! The First half we are getting to know their past, and how they ended up where they are in the present. At moments I did feel like it was repeating itself, and I would skip a few pages. By 60% in I was sobbing. This book will not only pull at your heart but you will keep Kleenex in business. I didn’t want it to keep moving fast. I wanted to hold onto the characters and all the feels that went with it. Holden, oh the name, it just sounds like something strong. Holden was definitely a strong character. He had been through so much from foster homes, witnessing things he shouldn’t had. His heart was a little bigger than he thought, or ever could imagine. Griselda is a beautiful character. She is rounded, her personality shines through the pages. She escapes through the Shenandoah finding safety, but leaves Holden behind, so far behind… 10 years of not letting go. You can feel the chemistry with these two when they meet again. Sure, they have some bumps in the road, and at times Griselda did come off whiny. I will not mention exact moments or times, I do not want to give anything away, but there will be a time or two you will roll your eyes ha! Never Let You Go is heartbreaking, but beautiful. It is friendship to lovers, it is overcoming abuse, and people never loving them for who they are. This story will have you wanting to reach out to foster children, it will have you begging to want to adopt all of those who are homeless. I know I do. You will go to bed, or doing life things and continue to think about H+G, you will forever remember I jump, You Jump, and Are You Whole, Or Broken?
Review by Jennifer ARC provided by Netgalley for an honest review Ohhhhh this book hurt my heart so much. This was a very emotional read for me. These two characters went through so much together that made their bond unbreakable. From a very young age Griselda and Holden had it rough. They were both bounced around from foster home to foster home and at most all of them they weren’t treated very well. One day when they are thrown together to run an errand for their new foster family something very tragic happens to them, something that will change their lives forever. For years all they will have is each other and somehow in a horrible place they manage to find love and solace with one another, but when they are separated will the bond they formed be enough to hold them together until they meet again or will all the bad things that happened to them destroy their chance at finding happiness? Griselda & Holden are two broken souls and rightfully so after enduring what they did. They are both looking some redemption and living with a lot of guilt not knowing what really happened on that fateful day. What they do know is that they are drawn to one another and can’t stop thinking about each other no matter how much time they spend apart and they also seem to need one another in order to heal themselves. Like I said in the beginning this book is heartbreaking. It will gut you and there were times that I thought I just can’t take anymore but then the Author pulls you back in and gives you some symbol of happiness to come and that keeps you going through the hard times. I thought these characters were exceptionally strong after going through everything they did, they were broken but they didn’t want to be. The thing that got me the most about this book is unfortunately it is so close to real life. Things like this happen way more than they should. It makes you think to yourself what can you do to help and it really opens your eyes more to all the ugliness in the world. I commend the Author for tackling a hard subject that had to really be emotional to write about. All in all this did turn out to be a beautiful love story and a story about finding redemption and love in a life where it didn’t exist before. *The only reason I didn’t give this book 5 stars was because I did feel in parts that it moved slower than I would have liked it to. *
I loved this book! I love the fairytales so this was a nice spin on the old tale of Hansel & Gretel. Griselda & Holden live in the foster system & end up being kidnapped by a crazy recluse that sees them as his brother & sister that he is responsible for keeping on the path of righteousness. They live through a lot and plot & scheme their escape but in the long run it's only Griselda that makes it out. Leaving Holden behind haunts her as she tries to go on with her life & she lives it determined to earn enough money to hire a Private Investigator to try to find him & make sure that he is ok. She also lives it in a way that she punishes herself daily, with things like being in an abusive relationship, just because she feels she does't deserve to be happy. As fate would have it, Griselda & Holden's paths cross once again & here is where the beauty of the story begins. It's not an easy road & you aren't sure if there is going to be a HEA but you want to keep reading to find out. I loved Holden in this book! He too punished himself for the loss of Griselda in his life but the beauty & light that comes back to him when she does, he's what pushed this book to a 5 star rating for me.
This was such a unique story based on the kind of love that everyone can only dream of. It literally is like something out of a fairytale, all of the pieces added together making up a real life dream. Some parts were obviously disturbing and other parts were a bit dragged out but on the whole I really enjoyed it. The characters were brilliant, the emotions were palpable and the feels were intense.
Never Let You Go is a modern day re-telling of Hansel and Gretel, which caught my attention from the moment I saw the blurb. I read Katy’s Vixen and the Vet a while ago and loved that take on Beauty and the Beast, so I was looking forward to this fairy tale too! And I must say, she certainly didn’t disappoint! Griselda and Holden are both foster children living in the same home and while during a day trip they are kidnapped and held in a cellar for years. There is an intense bond between the two of them, love, trust and survival. After years of abuse they plan an escape, but only Griselda manages to escape, Holden wasn’t so lucky. The story moves forward ten years, where Griselda and Holden are living very different lives, neither knowing if the other is alive. Neither person is thriving, merely surviving. When Gris’s crap-tastic boyfriend takes her to West Virginia on a mini vacation and they go to this underground fight, Griselda comes face to face with Holden again. He’s in the ring fighting. He believes that the man who kidnapped them killed Griselda when she ran away, so seeing her again after all those years reawakens something in him he believed died when she did. “Even when I thought were gone, you still lived inside my heart.” There is so much to this story! There is a lot of set-up and we learn a lot about what Gris and Holden experienced as kids and their struggles. Nothing comes easy for either of them, as children or adults. Gris and Holden are two very tortured and broken (at least for a while) souls. If there were ever two characters that deserve a HEA it is these two, but just when it seems like they have a chance they are thrown another challenge. One of my favorite things about this book was showing just what the power of love can do, the strength it can give someone to persevere and even survive. My heart ached for these two! They both deal with so many insecurities and fears and yet they just refuse to give up. I’m pretty sure Holden has one of the kindest hearts I’ve ever come across in a character. He is just absolutely beautiful and I fell for him over and over again. “I’ll live for you. I’ll never let you go.” I really enjoyed this story, although it was a little heave in the angst department sometimes. I loved these characters and their abilities to face challenges despite how many times life had knocked them down. Holden and Griselda are a beautiful example of true love. “…we keep losing each other, but we keep finding each other too, which pretty much means we’re meant to be.” I received a complimentary copy to review for The Geekery Book Review.
Never Let You Go is an emotional, angsty read. It was so hard to put down. I found myself reading every spare minute I could find. This is the story about two foster children, Griselda and Holden, who are abducted when they are 10 years old. After living in hell for 3 years they manage to escape....well, almost. One escapes and the other does not. When they accidentally run into each other ten years later, they are both deeply affected. I loved Holden and Gris! They were flawed and wounded. I thought the author did a fantastic job of portraying the myriad of emotions these characters experienced after finding each other. It felt so authentic. I loved that! Other than a few small plot elements that were a bit unrealistic, I adored this book! I look forward to reading more from this author.
*I received this book free from the author in exchange for an honest review* Let me just start my review by saying it took me a little over two days to read this and I swear I went through an entire box of tissues. The powerful writing of Katy Regnery pulled me into the story, for the life of me I couldn’t bring myself to stop reading it, and oh my goodness never has a book brought me to tears like Never Let You Go. The trials and terrors Holden and Griselda have endured during their years both together and apart are heart wrenching. I wasn’t too sure I liked the flashbacks, but they were definitely necessary to bring it all together. Knowing what they went through, how much they relied on each other and the hope of each other, it was needed to understand why they were the people they grew up to be. Two sweet young souls abducted and forced to live in the dark, beaten when they got too close…what should have broken them brought them closer together. Forever in each other’s hearts. One making it out, one not. One vowing to find the other, one knowing the other could never be replaced no matter how hard they tried. One day changed that lonesome fate. One day they’d be reunited. But not even that could go smoothly. Always in love, always torn apart, goes the story of Holden and Griselda, two selfless people who deserved a happily every after if ever a couple did. This story is horrific because no doubtedly there are children in the world who experience some and maybe all of these circumstances. There is violence, fear, sadness, and loneliness, but there is also hope and love. Saying this is an emotional read is the understatement of the year. My Favorite Moment: The first moment that brought tears to my eyes…when Griselda goes to Holden and they discuss his name and the tattooed letters on his skin.
This is a story full of very strong emotional ties between a boy and a girl. A story of two soulmates brought together by destiny when they were just kids and separated by the evil circumstances surrounding them when they were barely teenagers. Katy created two incredibly likable characters that will take the reader on a fantastic journey full of twists and turns. Their struggles are very real and there are points where you can feel their pain and despair, but this is also a story of never ending love and hope that transpires over a ten year period. Katy's writing is flawless and her ability to transport the readers with her vivid images into the fantasy world she created is phenomenal. Usually I'm not a fan of going between present and past in books, but it was well done and I didn't mind it. One thing that did bother me was the amount of repetitions of certain things throughout the story, I thought they were unnecessary and didn't bring any new light to the particular scenes. Gris and Holden's journey will break your heart. For ten long years they barely existed and the amount of regret that they carried with them was simply heart wrenching. The mental and physical abuse they were subjected to was definitely hard to read, but a necessary evil to bring their tale to life. Above all, this is a story full of hope, a book that will lift your spirit and leave you with a smile on your face when you're done reading it. One of Katy's finest books to date. 4.5 well deserved stars. Highly recommended!