Review: Holding Still (Book #2: Going to the Dogs 2: The Alphas) by Zoe Dawson

Holding Still

Title: Holding Still Series: Book #2: Going to the Dogs 2: The Alphas Author: Zoe Dawson Published: August 22, 2016 by Blue Moon Creative

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 Stockbroker Nate Taylor knows he lost the love of his life when he screwed up with Pru. He’s trying to move on, working at his job and taking on extra work with AlphaGroup to keep his mind off his failure. Then Harper Shaw (matchmaking behind his back) suggests he use his influence at AlphaGroup for a worthwhile cause, a community garden project. But when a little homeless corgi puppy comes into his life, and the opportunity to get a second chance with Pru, things get messy, confused, and downright complex. But out of chaos, order can be found and Nate might just discover not only his calling, but that love is never lost…it just has to be found again.   Photographer Prudence Chambers is gun shy after a devastating artistic photography show flopped big time. She’s fallen back on her safe job manning one of her family’s portrait studios, repressing her biggest desire to be an art photographer. As an act of rebellion, she took that deal with the devil, Harper Shaw (Nate gets a second chance) to take pictures for her wedding and everything changed both personally and professionally. With the promise hanging over her head and Nate heavy on her mind, she agrees to work with him on a community garden project. She’s sure the workaholic will never change, never really understand her deep down, and never commit. She sets out to prove Harper wrong…but even the worst intentions can lead you down the right garden path.

Source: Author and Purchase

My Rating: 4/5 stars

My Review:

Sometimes in life, the best lessons are also the hardest lessons.  When Pru Chambers walked out of Nate Taylor’s life, he learned the hard way that you can lose that which you love the most when you don’t devote time and effort to that person.  To be sure, Nate has A LOT of money and a few very good friends but he doesn’t have Pru and that has haunted him since the moment she walked out of his life.  Good thing he has those few very good friends who are willing to scheme on his behalf J

Harper the Blonde Juggernaut (or Attila the Hun) Shaw has no problem interfering in the lives of her friends when they can’t clearly see what’s good for them.  Harper can clearly see that Nate and Pru are meant to be together and with a slick bit of maneuvering, Harper has Pru roped into a deal that will require Pru to give Nate a second chance.  While Pru is trying to figure out how to approach Nate, Fate) who apparently owes Harper a favor!) steps in to save the day.  The lot across from Pru’s apartment is just begging to be overhauled and Pru is of a mind to turn it into a community garden.  A community garden takes a lot of work and even more money which is how Pru finds herself, grant application in hand, sitting across from Nate at Alpha Group.

Nate has no idea Pru made a deal with Harper but having Pru back in his life in any capacity is a stroke of luck.  Nate can feel the attraction between he and Pru but he knows she’s skittish about becoming involved with him again.  Nate wants Pru back in his life for the long haul but in order for that to happen, he has to prove to and convince Pru he has truly changed.  No more horribly long hours at work, no more single-minded focus on earning money.  As Nate quickly discovers, Pru needs him to be steady and present now more than ever.  Along with the community garden project, Pru is also dealing with a dilemma in her professional life, one she has struggled with for years.

As the community garden project rolls on, Pru and Nate grow ever closer.  On a day to day basis, Pru sees Nate making a real effort to be present, to be available, and to be a true partner to her but she is still very hesitant to commit completely.  Pru desperately wants to believe in the change she is seeing in Nate but history has a way of repeating itself and Pru is wary.  In fact, even when Nate is ready to take their relationship to the next level, Pru has a hard time believing in Nate.  To make matters worse, Pru is still having issues with her professional life, the community garden is running into significant problems, and Nate, in an effort to fully prepare himself for married life is reverting to some of his old ways.  Yeah, it’s all sort of a big, fat mess that can only get worse before it gets better.

The Bottom Line: While Holding Still probably isn’t going to be my favorite read in this series, it is still a really good read and totally worth your time.  From the beginning Nate was my favorite character and that carried through all the way to the end.  Though he does make some mistakes, Nate is a truly changed man who has nothing but good intentions toward Pru and their future.  Nate is steady and strong which is exactly what Pru needs him to be.  As for Pru, she is a generally likeable character but I always wanted a little more out of her, a bit more courage, a bit more backbone, and a bit more faith in herself and Nate.  Oh, she eventually gets there but I wanted to see eventually throughout.  With that being said, there are still some really great moments for Pru in this read, Nate has some outstanding moments, and of course, there are the dogs.  One mustn’t forget about the dogs who always create a wonderful dynamic in Dawson’s reads.  The HEA for this read is so sweet and well-deserved after everything Nate and Pru endure to there!

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About the author and where to find her:

Zoe DawsonZoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction. Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, urban fantasy and paranormal novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.

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