Book Review : Hold Me (Twist Me #3) by Anna Zaires
Captor and captive. Lovers. Soulmates.
We’re all that and more.
We thought we were past the worst of it. We thought we finally had a chance.
We thought wrong.
We’re Nora and Julian, this is out story.
WARNING : This is NOT a traditional romance. It contains disturbing subject matter, including themes of questionable consent and Stockholm Syndrome, as well as graphic sexual content. This is a work of fiction intended for a mature, 18+ audience only. The author neither endorses nor condones this type of behavior.
“Hold Me” is the last installment in this trilogy, therefore I really recommend reading the first two books – Twist Me and Keep Me – before reading this review as there will be some spoilers from the first and second book.
A Sneak Peek Into The Story :
Anna Zaires starts this book right after Keep Me ends, where Nora saved Julian’s life by using herself as a bait against a terrorist group, Al-Quadar. Even though Nora succeeds in saving Julian, she did not come out of it unscathed. While Julian’s injuries are physical and pretty severe, Nora’s on the other hand, seem to affect her mentally and emotionally. Seeing Julian bloodied and tortured by Al-Quadar has really messed with her mind. After the whole incident, Nora has been frequently racked with nightmares where she relives Julian’s torture over and over again. It is also not rare for her to wake up screaming and crying, on top of suffering with panic attacks.
And in the mental state that she is in, Nora seems to be back to having doubts about Julian and his feelings for her. Even though she knows that Julian cares for her and is obsessed about her, she is starting to wonder if this is all it ever will be with Julian. On the other hand, on top of worrying about Nora and her wellbeing, Julian is also furious at Peter Sokolov. Peter agrees to work as Julian’s security consultant for 3 years in exchange for a list of names of those who are involved in the death of his family. Before leaving for his mission to eliminate Al-Quadar, Julian put his trust in Peter. He gives Peter an order to never let Nora leave the estate and to keep her safe. However, when Nora finds out that Julian is kidnapped by Al-Quadar, she talks Peter into helping her get to Julian. With the promise that she will give him the list sooner than 3 years.
“Why did you do it?” I ask, stroking the edge of her lower lip with my thumb.
Deep down, I know, but I want to hear her admit it.
She gazes at me, her eyes filled with shadows from her dream. “Because I can’t survive without you,” she says quietly. “You know that, Julian. You wanted me to love you, and I do. I love you so much I would walk through hell for you.”
Although Peter did keep his promise and he helped Nora get her husband back, he disappears right after that without even getting his list of names. Peter knows that if he ever meet Julian again, Julian is going tear him limb for limb for the danger he put Nora through and for disobeying his orders. Feeling indebted to Peter, once Nora knows that Julian has the list, she tries to get Julian to send the list to Peter. Upon hearing her request, Julian is livid and downright refuses to do so. It goes on for quite some time, until Nora decides that Peter will never get his list unless Nora sends it to him herself. With that decision in mind, one night when Julian is asleep, she steals his laptop and sneak into the bathroom. In hopes to send the list to Peter before Julian realizes it.
However, when Julian realizes that Nora is not on the bed, he starts to worry about her. He starts wondering if she is feeling sick again. That is until when he notices his laptop is nowhere to be found that he realizes what Nora is trying to do. Through his anger, he kicks off the bathroom door only to find that Nora has already sent the list to Peter. But, before he has the chance to be angry at Nora and think up of a punishment for her, she suddenly vomits. And with that, the couple learns of a life altering circumstance that is sure to completely change their future together.
What I enjoyed the most in this last installment of the Twist Me Trilogy is how both Nora and Julian evolved as an individual. As well as their feelings towards one another. It is safe to say that both Nora and Julian has changed a lot from the first book, Twist Me. While in the first book Nora has been scared of Julian and his world, she has now embraced her husband’s world. She has come to accept the killings, the torturing, and the dangers that her husband’s line of work bring into their lives. When in the first and second book Nora has been trying to find a way to deny her feelings for Julian, in this book we see her coming to terms with the fact that she has come to care and even love her captor. She has accepted the fact that while she will always feel that undercurrent of fear and nervousness about his unpredictability, she needs him as much as she needs air and life would be empty without him by her side.
While I am impressed by Anna Zaires’ ability to give so much depth and life into her characters, I find myself hoping that Nora would be more stubborn and firm when it comes to Julian. While I am all for controlling alpha male, it would be nice to see Nora has some more control over her life. Rather than having Julian controlling every aspect of her life. And her barely fighting him on it. Since the first book when Julian kidnapped her and manipulated her feelings, I have been secretly waiting for her to snap and confront Julian for what he has done to her. But all I see is her going along the ride. For someone who was kidnapped and taken without consent, she is a way more docile than I thought.
And Julian. An arms dealer. A man who stops at nothing when it comes to what he wants. We started with a dark, dangerous and highly possessive man who sees Nora only as a sexual object. But gradually see him soften and open up to Nora. While he is still very possessive of Nora and he still is very obsessed with her, we slowly see him wanting to be more for his wife. He wants to do more, to adapt to her needs and make her happy. Although his dependency for Nora has not lessened in the slightes, in “Hold Me”, he is getting more lenient about her getting her way more. Which is not only shows great development in their relationship but also in his character. He might be more and more obsessed with Nora but we can also clearly see his love for her also grow with time.
“I will give you the world, my pet. The whole fucking world—just as long as you’re mine.”
The book is well written as it retains the dual POV writing style as in Keep Me, which allows reader to be able to see the story through Nora and Julian’s point of view. The only thing I wished could be done better is the ending. It seems a tad bit too rushed. With all the intense build-up that has been happening in book one and two, the ending feels anticlimactic to me. But despite that, I still enjoyed the story very much. And I will always adore Anna Zaires’ ability to captive the readers’ attention all the way to the end.
“My captive. My wife. My entire world.
I will love her to the end of time, and I will never, ever let her go.”