A very good and promising debut novel

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Holding Fire by Annelise Sorrell

A very good and promising debut novel

Review of Holding Fire by Annelise Sorrell

Discovering new talented authors is always exciting, even more, if they are independently published. So when my friend and co-reviewer Jude recommended me this novel, I jumped at the chance to read it.


As an employee of Nexus Security, Rei Takeda is assigned to look after her boss’s estranged sister Sora Hoshino, who is the heir to the Flame Born Clan, a dangerous crime organisation. When Sora’s father is arrested for his multiple criminal activities, it starts a war between gangs to control the city. While Rei and Sora battle for survival, they’ll discover an irresistible attraction…

Holding Fire, the debut novel by Annelise Sorrell, combines action, romance and hot sex, a mixture hard to pass up. As it’s the case with many debuts, this book has a few issues, such as some repetition and telling more than showing. Having said that, the rest is very enjoyable.

This novel is written in present tense which makes the reader feel closer to the events and gives a kind of cinematic experience. I think that it works well because there are a lot of action scenes and I’m not referring just to the criminal aspects of the plot. The sex scenes also have this immediacy and photographic feel. Maybe there are too many of them (part of the repetition issue), but all of them were done really well. Kudos to the author to show the characters’ power play, feelings, and other intricate aspects of their relationship through their sexual liaison.

This is a typical opposites-attract romance between Sora, a morally gray character who is being groomed as a career criminal, and Rei, her sweet but strong security detail who believes in honesty and love. While Sora is all closed and guarded, Rei is open and vulnerable. Sora is a hard-to-like character but if you feel like giving up on her, I encourage you to keep reading. Her journey to redemption is the richest part of the story. Sora reminded me of Natalya Tsvetnenko in Lee Winter’s Requiem for Immortals. Those types of detestable characters who redeem themselves on time to deserve the readers’ sympathy. Just about.

The action scenes of the plot are very well done and pick up pace as the story progresses. Even though some parts beg for the readers’ suspension of disbelief, it will make you turn pages until the end. If you are looking for fast-paced action, hot sex, and heartwarming romance, this is for you. 4 stars.

ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Holding Fire by Annelise Sorrell

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