Wednesday, April 26, 2017

AotM ~ Finding Forgiveness by Sloane Kennedy ~ (Reviews + Giveaway)


He was only there for a business deal…
A couple of days…that was all it was supposed to take for property developer Roman Blackwell to decide if the strip of land just south of Dare, Montana would be the perfect spot for his next luxury resort. He wasn’t interested in repairing his frayed relationship with his half-brother who’d moved to the small town a few months earlier and he definitely wasn’t interested in doing anything more than scratching an itch when he checked out the gay club near his hotel. But when his plans for a quick hook-up are waylaid after he steps in to save a young man being brutalized, Roman finds himself building an emotional connection he never saw coming.

One bad decision changed everything…
College student Hunter Greene has spent 18 months trying to forget the one night he gave in to temptation and made a decision to hide one lie by telling another. But the guilt of knowing he shattered another young man’s life to protect his own secret shame is slowly destroying him and he knows that soon even his spiral into a dangerous pattern of self-destructive behavior won’t be enough to keep his entire world from imploding. But the last thing he’s looking for is someone to save him.

But fate works in mysterious ways…
Forced to return to the town he grew up in, the last person Hunter expects to run into is the mysterious savior who changed everything with one soul shattering kiss. While he can’t deny his attraction to Roman, Hunter knows that he’ll never be free to act on it and once Roman discovers the terrible secret he’s hiding, it won’t matter anyway.

Because some things just can’t be forgiven…

5 Stars! 

As always, Sloane Kennedy has totally made me fall in love with the men in this latest installment of the Finding series.

Beck Barretti is tired of pretending. Every day is a challenge to not let the mask slip and have everyone around him able to see he's not okay. Plagued by nightmares of his past, afraid of what people want from him, how they intend to use and hurt him, Beck is unable to trust. Sex has to be on his own terms, even at the expense of his own pleasure. However, one passionate encounter in a bar bathroom changes everything and Beck will never be the same again.

Quinn came to the bar to scratch an itch, something he does from time to time. The last thing he wants is a relationship. He's already found and lost the love of his life, he wasn't looking to repeat it. However, he can't stop thinking of the two men and the unforgettable encounter they shared or what happened afterwards.

Brody tried to be what his family expected him to be. Unlike his twin brother Nathan, he couldn't live up to the expectations his father had for him. His being gay was the last straw and everyone turned their backs on him. Now he's built a life away from the pressures he once knew but love with two men wasn't what he was looking for.

Beck is such a heartbreaking character. 19 years old and so unhappy and broken. He's desperately trying to move past a suicide attempt that has left all those around him treating him with kit gloves but at the same time he knows he isn't better. If he could just be left alone so he didn't have to pretend all the time he'd finally get some peace. However, he knows that won't happen in Dare Montana while working at CB Bar Ranch and staying with his father's friends. Reading how he struggled with what should have been normalcy made me want to hug him and try to figure out a way to help him. It was worse because of his age, 19 is way too young to be dealing with what he faced and felt.

Quinn and Brody both were sweet and supportive and quickly became devoted to Beck. They didn't have all the facts so it wasn't easy for them to truly connect to Beck at first but once they determined that they were all in (even if it was temporary) they did everything they could to make Beck feel cherished and like a man (not a fragile boy on the edge). Even with their own issues with their pasts they weren't overly angsty which was a relief since we had enough going on with Beck and his past.

Together all three men were great. Passionate and sensual, their bedroom scenes were steaming up my Kindle. I wished we could've gotten more glimpses into Quinn and Brody's lives on the job. I felt as if I would've liked to know how their relationship would work on a normal/everyday basis. However, it wasn't something I felt hurt the story. I definitely want to see more of them though. I need to see them happy and living a great life later down the road.

Without a doubt, Sloane Kennedy is one of my top 5 favorite authors and an one-click on Amazon. Her stories are a wonderful blend of romance and sensuality, action and suspense as well as drama that never fails to bring me to tears. I can't recommend her books enough.

If you are a fan of strong alpha men who are beautifully flawed yet find themselves unable to ignore the undeniable pull of love, this book is for you. If you're a sucker for those characters trying to move on from their past, looking for a second chance or in need of finding a place to belong you need to read Finding Hope. None of these men were searching for a relationship but in finding it they also found a way to heal and move forward, to be happy and loved, a home they all needed.

***Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.***

5 stars!

The best so far in this series, ending in the perfect HEA. Care - Reader Awareness warning is justified.

The fourth book in the Finding series can be read as a standalone, technically, but IMHO, they're best read in order, as 1) previous characters (very validly) appear in each successive tale, and bonus, we get to see them living their HEAs, 2) there's an important connection between Hunter and the leads from book 1, and between Roman and the leads from book 3, and 3) because Sloane Kennedy just keeps getting better and better with each new book. How she writes so quickly, how she does it and manages to bring something new and fresh to each book, whilst still linking them believably, is impressive.

Soon-to-be 20yo Hunter turns out to be the 'baddie' from book 1, though he only appeared in name in that, but here, he's a broken character wracked with guilt and believes that he deserves to be punished for what he unthinkingly and unintentionally did. Yes, he was naive and scared, and yes, there were some very nasty consequences, but he didn't act maliciously, and there were understandable reasons for what he did. His pain and suffering, both mental and physical, were upsetting and painful to read about, which is not at all a criticism of the book, simply a warning that it doesn't pull its punches and that you'll read, feel and almost see what SK describes. The book starts with a shocker of a scene, that even as a beta reader of hers, I couldn't have envisaged, but which showed how low and in the depths of despair Hunter was, and how little love he had for himself. It saddened and shocked me, but it also brought Roman into his life.

Roman, in book 3, came across as cold, closed off, unfeeling and unbending, but his icy demeanour didn't last more than 3/4 pages into this book, and he ended up being Hunter's saviour - and his salvation. I'd thought him interesting in book 3, but he came into his own in this one, and turned out to be surprisingly giving, caring and romantic. I liked that as the older lead, he was prepared to give without expecting anything in return, and that he was there for Hunter from the minute they met.

There were some tough scenes in this book, and the Reader Warning is entirely justified, so I hope that readers do check that out before diving into this book, despite temptation. There's a proper storyline, and the way it ties into the other tales was very well done and there wasn't an ounce of unnecessary filler. I was amazed at the cohesion between the books and at how complete the series felt at the end of the tale. I'm not sure if there'll be more in the series, as all the main characters we've come across are settled and living their HEA, and there weren't any side characters who stood out as future leads. Then again, SK will no doubt surprise fans with her next release, which I'm curious and excited about, as both the Finding and Barretti Security series seem to have come to a natural end...Or, at least for now...(the epilogue of Freeing Zane...hints a little and gives me hope. Hmm...).

As with all SK books, there's plenty of hot, steamy, sensual sex scenes, but I don't think I've ever considered any others from previous books (other than Logan and Dom's first time in Logan's Need), to be truly healing. There's also a refreshing lack of tropes in her books, a lack of let's-jump-on-the-bandwagon-itis, and a lack of 'borrowed/seen before' storylines.

This is another Keeper.

Disclaimer: I'm a fan, but I'm also lucky enough to be a beta-reader for SK, No payment was offered or requested for this review, the words of which are entirely my own.

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  1. Thank you so much for the reviews. I haven't read this book yet, but I am sure I will. Sloane Kennedy is an awesome writer and as you said she gets better and better with each book.

  2. I haven't read this series but it sounds really good another one to put on my wish list!

  3. Wow, two glowing reviews. Thanks, I'll have to check this out, as well as other of Kennedy's, like the Protector series, and the Barretti series, and the ... whew! - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  4. Thank you for the reviews!