Pull Me Close, by Sidney Halston

Off the charts star rating!!

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I can’t even give this a star rating it was that good.  On a scale of 1-5 it’s a 15 honestly.  I can’t tell you how many fictional stories I read with characters that have anxiety issues or depression that are not realistic.  I have never found a character to relate to in any of these books, until now.  This author obviously knows what it is like to live with an anxiety disorder/ptsd/depression; and what you have to overcome it to go anywhere or how a tiny thing throughout the day can set you back for a day/week/year.  I am not shy about coming out and telling people about my mental illness.  I don’t walk right up to people and blurt out my history but if I come to care for you and want you to understand that yes I would love to come to your party but will also hide in the corner the whole time and definitely get a horrible migraine later from the adrenaline pumping through my system. I am lucky enough to have a wonderful support system of friends and family. I also have the most amazing husband ever who tries to understand all that it takes just for me to get up every day, he is my rock and safe place when it becomes to much.

This story is about Katherine and Nico, honestly opposites do attract.  Katherine embodies so many of my own fears it was easy enough to put myself in her shoes.  Katherine has social anxiety disorder which later is also diagnosed with PTSD.  Katherine had an obvious reason for the PTSD that later comes out in the book.  She decides that she can leave her house for once to go out for her sister’s bridal shower party that is at a club called Panic.  Ironic right? While at the club she starts to have a panic attack, which was so vividly real to me and explained in such a great way.  She heads for the bathrooms to relax for a minute and happens to pop a valum on the way there.   Her panic is to much for her and she passes out for the attack.  Low and behold Nico is there to save the day… Katherine wakes up in Nico’s office upstairs with him and his twin brother staring at her.  All she wants to do is go home and rest and by the look on Nico’s face he just wants her out of his club.  I loved how Nico wasn’t the reason she wanted to get better.  He was a slight nudge but the events that happen at Panic kind of push her more resolutely toward getting help for her mental condition.

Nico has been burned way to many times by people.  He automatically assumes the worst in Katherine when he sees her.  He thinks she is a druggie who needs taken out of his club.  However deep down Nico is caring, he can’t leave her alone the first night because he’s afraid she may OD and die.  So he stays to watch over her.  I love that after Nico learns more about Katherine he starts to back her up on her road to better mental health.  He pushes her a little but not to far out of her comfort zone.  The first time he sees her having an all-out attack is probably one of the most heart wrenching scenes for me because I have never thought of what it looks like to my husband. Once Nico sees what Katherine is up against he decides to be her friend and support her like he would anyone else.  I must say the text messages between these two were adorable and sweet.  However in the end can Nico stay with someone who will always be battling this disorder? Or will he set himself up for failure?

I can honestly say from the bottom of my heart that this may be one of the best novels I have ever read where a fictional character has a mental disorder. I know as that these characters had to come from deep within Sidney Halston, you can feel it while you are reading the book.  I cannot and will not be able to put into words what she has in this novel about panic attacks.  I know they are not the same for everyone, but Katherine’s were pretty darn close to mine. I adored the fact that Sidney Halston did not make Nico out to be the thing that saves Katherine.  His calming presence does help but Katherine helps herself by wanting to get better.  Not everyone who suffers from panic attacks or depression will have them for their whole lives, but for the few of us that do it is a daily struggle.  There was no candy coating it in this novel.  When she has an attack or is on the verge it is real, so real I had tears streaming down my own face.  She doesn’t take a pill and get better immediately; she doesn’t find a guy and is miraculously cured.  This book was as real as it can get while still being about fictional people.  I could probably go on for hours about how much I loved this book but I just highly suggest you read it.

One last thing… the dedication in my copy of the book which I hope makes it to the final edition made me cry happy tears.  They were a few simple words that mean a whole lot to me.  I am not alone, we do not have to suffer alone.  As Katherine puts it in the book…

“My illness does not define me.

I define me.”

A great thank you to Netgalley, the Loveswept Team, and Sidney Halston for letting me review this ARC in lieu of my honest review.

PS… I wish that this came in solid book form so I can tab all over my favorite parts. It’s okay though I got to highlight all through my kindle… 🙂

Goodreads  link here.

book blurb…

ebook, 240 pages
Expected publication: October 25th 2016 by Loveswept
ISBN 0399593896 (ISBN13: 9780399593895)
When Katherine Wilson passes out in the arms of the hottest man she’s ever seen, it’s not because of the lights, the pulsating music, or the crowded dance floor. It’s because she can’t enjoy a night out like a normal person, not with her debilitating anxieties. These panic attacks are going to destroy her life unless she takes control—or gets a helping hand. So after the club’s bad-boy owner personally escorts her home, Katherine feels something urgent and primal awaken inside of her.Nick Moreno doesn’t need a headache like Katherine. A drug bust has put his father behind bars and forced Nick to take over the daily business of his family’s South Beach nightclub. His head tells him to walk away—but his body has other ideas. Katherine’s vulnerability, her grace and courage, compel him to reach out. And when they kiss, Nick is overcome by desire: to pull her close, and promise that his embrace will always be the safest place on earth

11 thoughts on “Pull Me Close, by Sidney Halston

  1. Tanks for sharing this review and your personal experience. This book seems to be so emotional and I liked also how you made it clear how it is not your ordinary kind of romance book. I haven’t read any (romance) book where characters had mental illnesses but I hear quite a few times in reviews that the characters (usually being female) are miraculously cured after falling in love with mr. nice guy. This book could be just the read to introduce me to these kind of novels 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is the closest thing I have ever read to my real life mental illness. Most books with it in there touch on it but either have the guy swoop in and save the girl or have her miraculously cured some other way. I just liked the realistic side of it…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I can really understand that. Some days are better than others and it just sucks when people who don’t know what they are talking about try to make an illness curable with a little attention and a relationship. Sure it helps, and my bf did help me through some tough time but it doesn’t go away that easy.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This sounds incredible!! I’ve been dealing with anxiety pretty much all my life as well and don’t like to blabber about it either. But sometimes, it would really come in handy if people just KNEW what it was like. And how saying no to things isn’t anything personal. Handing them a book such as this one might help. Then again, most of the judgemental people are the same people who don’t ‘like to read’. Wankers. Thank you for sharing a bit of your own story in this fantastic review Debby! This one is going on my list for sure!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay I love Sidney Halston’s writing she does romance so well. The fact that she put a lot of her own mental illness traits in Katherine makes it more realistic I think. I also love that she wasn’t “saved” by a guy….

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s awesome if you can put your own misery into a book. Yeah, in the end, no one gets saved by a guy. Helped and motivated perhaps, but saved is a yucky word indeed 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing a bit of your personal story along with this review. It’s a bit discouraging to see that most of the people who don’t judge and actually understand what life with anxiety is are those who suffer from it. I like the sound of this book. I was a bit afraid there would be a “love solves it all” ending but it does not seem like it. Great review, I’m adding this to my reading list!

    Liked by 1 person

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