During this years summer I was one of the many million people that were glued to the TV. I was watching the Summer Olympics, and especially the swimmers. I was blown away by the amazing speed and endurance they showed in the pool. They were the best of the best from all over the world. Some had tragic stories to tell, others embodied a comeback that united the audience. Female and male athletes both broke records, made history and many went home with multiple medals.
Hold My Breath by Ginger Scott told the fascinating and heartbreaking tale about two promising swimmer on their way to a once in a lifetime opportunity.
But it was also about so much more.
It was about loss, tragedy, hope, love and family.
Will Hollister, had been in love with Maddy Woodsens his entire life.
”I’ve wanted Maddy since she dared me to beat her when we were kids racing in the pool. I’ve wanted to kiss her since I wrapped my hands around hers on the rope swing, and I know in my gut that I loved her first. I loved her more…and I loved her first.”
But lost his chance to be with her to his younger brother Evan when he left home to go to college. After a horrific accident changed his and Maddy’s life forever, he spiraled into an abyss. After a year of soul-searching he finally found his way back to swimming and Maddy.
Maddy was torn, angry and hurt. And torn between two brothers, past and future. It was so very palpable how much she hurt. Just looking at Will reminded her of what she lost, what she gave up, and that maybe she chose the wrong brother. She struggled to accept her feelings that she buried so long ago. It was hard for her not to feel as if she betrayed Evan by loving Will. But being with Will made it easier.
“I loved the idea of your brother,” she says. “And the safety that came along with letting myself fall for him. But my love for you is deeper than that. It’s the real kind of love. It’s not about ideas or fantasies. It’s just something my heart can’t help. ……. My story with Evan- it doesn’t matter. This is the only story that does. Our story.”
Maddy believed in Will even when he struggled with believing in himself. She was there to give him strength. She gave him a reason to fight, to swim, to reach for a medal, and to give his best.
They both had to find a spot in each others lives again. Find a common ground. The pressure to always perform their best on top of their feelings for each other electrified Will and Maddy. They pushed each other to do their best, in and out of the water.
From the very first page, the feelings of regret, hope, sadness were almost tangible. It broke my heart. Will carried so much weight on his broad shoulders. He was the epitome of a tragic hero sacrificing dreams for the greater good. He would have done anything for his family even given up Maddy just to do what he thought was the right thing. It made me want to bawl my eyes out.
After reading The Hard Count by Ginger Scott I absolutely knew that she had an amazing talent and ability to pen the most incredible characters. There was so much depth to her characters. I felt I’ve known them forever. Hold My Breath almost visibly overflowed with emotions. Heartache. Regret. Love. Sorrow. Hope. Life is not fair. It seldom is. Ginger Scott wrote an amazing novel, and I’m looking forward to her next one.
*ARC generously provided by author in exchange for an honest review*