Hold My Breath- Ginger Scott
Fractions of seconds can do lots of damage. One decision can ruin lives. A blink can be tragic. And loving a Hollister…can hurt like hell.
I would know.
They say the average person can hold their breath under water for two full minutes when pushed to the extremes. Will Hollister has been holding his for years. The oldest of two elite swimming brothers, Will was always a dominant force in the water. But in life, he preferred to let his younger brother Evan be the one to shine.
Evan got the girl, and Will…he got to bury all of the secrets. A brother’s burden, the weight of it all nearly left him to drown.
The daughter of two Olympians, my path was set the day my fingertips first touched water. My future was as crystal clear as the lane I dominated in the pool—swim hard, win big, love a Hollister.
My life with Evan burned bright. He gave me arms to come home to, and a smile that fooled the world into believing everything was perfect. But it was Will who pushed me. Will…who really knew me.
And when all of the pieces fell, it was Will who started to pick them up.
In the end, the only thing that matters are those few precious seconds—and what we decide to do while we still have them in our grasp.
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My Review: 4 Stars
I hadn't read Ginger Scott but my favorite book bloggers had nothing but high praise for Hold My Breath. This, of course, made me curious. Would it live up to my expectations? Boy, did it ever!
Maddy has known brothers Will and Evan ever since they were teenagers at swim club together. Maddy and Evan eventually start dating and were likely to get engaged before Evan died in a plane crash. Maddy hasn't seen Will in the aftermath, four years later. They're brought back together by Maddy's coach dad to vie for spots on the US Olympic swimming team. They have a complicated, bittersweet history, more complicated than Maddy knows after Evan's tragic death.
Will is such a good guy but he carries the weight of the world as the sole survivor of his family after a plane crash. Will is burdened by guilt and grief and it made my heart ache to see the way he beat himself up over circumstances he couldn't control. Because of losing his family, he believes he doesn't deserve happiness. And by happiness, I mean Maddy.
Maddy and Will have always been drawn to one another, even though he's a few years older. It's simply that Evan made a move first and Maddy said yes to him instead. I loved watching Maddy sift through her history with both brothers, working through the guilt over being attracted to Evan's brother, and trying to figure out how to move forward with her life. More than that, I loved the history between Maddy and Will. They're simply good for one another and as Will starts to open up more to Maddy, much more good results.
But of course, Will has a secret and while his uncle urges him to come clean, it seems like too big of a risk. This trope usually annoys me but Ginger Scott handled it deftly and I was really impressed by the way Maddy ultimately responded. There are a couple of unexpected developments as the novel progresses and the way the characters react is very true to life. This is what kept me turning pages. There's the perfect amount of angst as Maddy and Will figure out their relationship and as they turn their sights on the Olympics.
I don't know if I've read a novel with swimmers as the main characters before and I really enjoyed learning more about this sport. It doesn't take as much of a center stage as other sports romances but it was still such an interesting world to explore.
Hold My Breath is a novel with a whole lot of heart. It made me laugh and tear up. It made me root for the characters and cheer for their successes and lament their mistakes. It made me develop quite the crush on Will. Just saying. I can't wait to read more from this author!
Disclosure: I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Affiliate links included in this post.