5 Books Like Holding Strong (By Lori Foster)

Holding Strong by Lori Foster is the story of a heavyweight fighter, Denver Lewis. A man who plays nice, but doesn’t want to share.

He tries to avoid notorious flirt Cherry Peyton for a while, however, he is just a man and he can only resist the temptation of her luscious curves for so long.

5 Books Like Holding Strong (By Lori Foster)

When his desires take over, the encounter surpasses all of his wildest fantasies. With his protective instincts kicking in, Cherry is about to need them more than she knows.  

Denver drives Cherry wild with his combination of pure muscle and uncharacteristic tenderness.

However, just as Cherry is beginning to get what she wants from her relationship with Denver, old troubles show up at her doorstep.

This isn’t the first time this has happened to Cherry, but this time she can’t continue to hide behind a carefree front.

This time she has a man by her side who will fight like hell to protect her and keep her safe. She just needs to learn how to trust him enough to help him.  

This novel is a classic contemporary romance story but the arcs and tropes that are used are anything but ordinary.

The heroine Cherry is not a damsel in distress despite the trouble that she finds herself in.

She is a headstrong character with a quick wit that more than matches that of the hero. 

The novel is written from the perspective of the male protagonist which is slightly less common for contemporary romance novels (If you like contemporary romance, check out Books Like Gabriel’s Redemption).

As will all of Lori Foster’s books, Holding Strong has frequent descriptions of the encounters of her main characters, bordering on erotic.  

If you love Holding Strong by Lori Foster, then you are sure to enjoy similar books such as Against the Ropes, The Closer you Come, Amaryllis, Beyond Danger, and Turn and Burn.  

Themes In Holding Strong

Holding Strong (The Ultimate Novels Book 2)


One of the main plot threads in Holding Strong concerns the blossoming relationship between the two protagonists Denver and Cherry.

This makes romance one of the most notable themes in the book. The theme of romance manages to overarch the lust in the book significantly.  

Hidden Pasts

The main conflict in this novel is the return of Cherry’s difficult past to disrupt her present relationship and friendship group.

The theme of an undisclosed or hidden past coming back to interrupt or destroy a current relationship makes the plot of the novel more relatable and real than many other romance novels. 


As with most romance novels, the theme of relationships is strong throughout the novel.

Not only do relationships between the main characters and secondary characters make up the main bulk of the story, but the complexity of human relationships is brought to the fore in this novel.  

Issues of honesty, trust, and openness are all explored in the novel.

The story also touches on the ideas of past and present relationships colliding and changing the course and dynamics of the relationship between lovers and friends. 

Books Like Holding Strong

Against The Ropes By Sarah Castille

Against the Ropes: An MMA Fighter Shows a Strong-Willed Medic That His Hands Can Also Be Instruments of Pleasure (Redemption, 1)

Makayla is not the type of girl that you would expect to find inside an underground mixed-martial arts club.

However, that is exactly where she found herself, not to fight, but as the medic that these guys needed on hand.

When she sets foot inside though, it is Makayla that is feeling breathless thanks to the club’s owner, Torment. 

He is built with sleek muscle and bristling with restrained power. Torment plays to win at any cost, both in the ring and in the bedroom.

The man they call Torment knows exactly when to use his softest touch and when to launch a full-on attack.

He knows exactly how far he can push things. Makayla is about to be tempted in ways that she didn’t even know she could be. 


  • Readers praise the unpredictability of the book
  • Some readers have compared the book to 50 Shades of Grey
  • Strong character development for the hero


  • The heroine can be back and forth between what she wants which some readers find off-putting. 

Themes: Strong female character, fighter hero, relationships, hidden pasts, romance.

The Closer You Come By Gena Showalter

The Closer You Come (Original Heartbreakers)

Jase Hollister has just been released from prison and has a dark and twisted past. His only goal now, however, is to stay out of trouble.

The perfect place for him and his two brothers by circumstance to settle into a nice simple life?

Strawberry Valley, Oklahoma. Being a model citizen isn’t how this rugged bachelor usually operates, especially when a certain southern beauty is concerned. 

Brook Lynn Dillon is a responsible girl, always has been, but it hasn’t gotten her very far. She’s a down-on-her-luck waitress and she’s broke, single, and bored.

That is until Jase comes along. He is dangerous, protective, breathtaking, and tempting as sin.

The passion between them is undeniable, the question is, can it melt her resistance? Perhaps the right kind of trouble could be just what this pair needs. 


  • Readers enjoy the strong female protagonist who seemingly doesn’t need the hero
  • Brilliant world-building and strong secondary characters
  • Readers have highly praised the romance between the two main characters


  • The book starts with an overused sister trope that turns some readers off

Themes: Romance, Strong female characters, relationships, complicated pasts.

Amaryllis By Jayne Castle

Amaryllis: St. Helen’s Series, Book 1

Amaryllis Lark is stunningly beautiful, she’s also one of the best psychic detectives on St. Helens, the Earth colony that has recently been cut off from the mother planet.

It isn’t so different from home though. On St. Helens, love still defies the most incredible odds. Lucas Trent is the rugged head of Lodestar Exploration.

He isn’t keen on prim and proper girls, unfortunately, Amaryllis is as prim and proper as they come.  

Although Amaryllis has psychic powers, she can’t read minds. She certainly can’t read her own.

A bold hunch leads Amaryllis and Lucas from a wild murder investigation to a burning hot love affair.

Amaryllis is shocked, but Lucas is delighted. No power on heaven, Earth, or St. Helens can keep these two apart. 


  • Readers enjoy the mix of sci-fi, paranormal, and suspense
  • The hero is a gentle and relatable character that readers can fall in love with
  • The romance between the main characters is believable and realistic


  • Some readers find the heroine stuffy, uptight, and not witty enough

Themes: Romance, relationships, strong female characters

Beyond Danger By Kat Martin

Beyond Danger (The Texas Trilogy Book 2)

Beau Reese is a six-foot-three, obscenely wealthy, handsome Texas mogul and he is furious.

His sixty-year-old father, a former state senator, has impregnated a teenage girl.

Already seething with rage, Beau is shocked to find that his father has moved an entirely different woman into their house. 

Beau assumes that the stunning Cassidy Jones is his father’s mistress, at least she would be of age.

However, concerns about the women in his father’s life are suddenly unimportant when he discovers his father in a pool of blood on the floor of his study.

Then, Cassidy walks in to find Beau with his hand on the murder weapon.

The twists keep on coming when it is revealed that someone was following Beau’s father and Cassidy is the detective hired to find out who and why.

The hunt for the killer brings the two together to form an uneasy alliance that brings them closer to each other, to danger, and beyond.


  • The main characters in the book are well-developed and believable
  • Readers enjoy the simmering romance that keeps you guessing
  • The pacing of the story is good and keeps readers interested


  • The genre of the book can be confusing, starting as a thriller and then descending into a romance

Themes: Romance, suspense, hidden pasts, relationships

Turn And Burn By Lorelei James

Turn and Burn: Blacktop Cowboys Series, Book 5

Tanner Barker is a world-champion barrel racer. However, she has been much less successful in her personal life and is feeling a bit lost.

After her mother dies unexpectedly and her father remarries, he sells the Texas ranch that Tanner called home.

A rodeo injury puts the brakes on her career and Tanner becomes restless while she is holed up in Muddy Gap, unsure of what she should do next.  

Veterinarian August Fletcher is Tanner’s match. He always puts his job first, he’s never found a woman who could handle his on-the-road lifestyle.

Then, when handsome Tanner rolls into town he finds his perfect fantasy woman. There is heat between them, but Tanner insists she’s been burned by road dogs before.

How can Fletcher prove that he’s in it for the long haul?


  • Readers love the sympathetic heroine of this book
  • Readers enjoy a swoon-worthy hero
  • The growth of the main characters keeps readers hooked


  • The story can be lacking in depth for some readers

Themes: Relationships, romance, trust issues, strong characters

Final Thoughts

Holding Strong is a contemporary romance novel that tells the story of the main characters well.

If you enjoyed that story, many other authors and books will also suit your tastes.

Books such as Turn and Burn, Beyond Danger, Amaryllis, The Closer You Come, and On the Ropes, all provide similar romance stories but with their twists.  

Some of the books in this list are also contemporary romance novels (If you like contemporary romance novels, check out Ugly Love and other books like it here), while others have a more paranormal or sci-fi twist.

All of these books will tick your boxes in one way or another if you enjoyed Holding Strong

Frequently Asked Questions

What Awards Has Lori Foster Won?

Lori Foster has won three awards for her writing.

She won the Romantic Times Magazine Career Achievement Award for Series Romantic Fantasy in 2001, the Romantic Times Magazine Career Achievement Award for Contemporary Romance in 2005, and the “Editors’ Pick for the Best of Romance” Amazon Best of 2008 awards in 2008.

What Genre Does Lori Foster Write?

Lori Foster has written romance novels throughout her writing career. She has written over 70 romance novels.

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Kathryn Taylor