Friday, April 28, 2017

AotM: Finding Hope by Sloane Kennedy (Reviews+Giveaway)

And with this post, we get to the end of our month promoting the very talented Sloane Kennedy and her amazing books. Thank you, Sloane, we loved having you here! 💖

Finding Hope (Finding Series Book 5)
by Sloane Kennedy
324 pages
Published March 2nd 2017

Amazon  Goodreads


At 19, Beck Barretti is living two lives. To his family, he’s a young man trying to find his way after years of battling a mental illness that nearly cost him everything. But to the rest of theworld he’s just another privileged kid with problems. The truth doesn’t even lie somewhere in between because Beck’s entire life is actually about keeping secrets.

From the people he loves.

From the ones he doesn’t.

From himself.

Spending a summer in Dare, Montana with family friends isn’t about starting fresh – it’s about escaping the crippling darkness that threatens to consume him.

Until one encounter that was supposed to mean nothing ends up changing everything…

Quinn Donovan had the life he’d always dreamed of until a brutal act of violence ripped it all away. Even though he’s found a new future working at the CB Bar Ranch in Dare, Montana, he’s not interested in trying to get back what he once had. All he wants is a quiet life that includes a job that’s worth getting up for each morning and hanging out with his best friend, a black and white Paint stallion named Koda.

But nothing prepares him for the strange twist of fate that brings not one, but two men into his life…

Brody Wilder is done hiding in the closet. As the son of a political scion, he’s spent his entire life hiding the truth about who he is just so he could inherit a legacy he never wanted. But those days are behind him and he’s starting a new life in rural Montana where he’s saving lives as a paramedic and building a successful construction business that would surely horrify his old-money, society-loving family.

After years of denying himself, he’s taking advantage of his newfound freedom by indulging in random, meaningless sexual encounters that are about pleasure, not emotion.

So no one is more surprised than him when one night in the back room of a sordid gay club leads to something more…

Can three men who came together by chance find the hope they need to build a future with each other, or will they end up letting their fears determine their destiny?

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 

Another tearjerker of a tale from SK, a crossover with both her Protectors and Barretti security series.

Once again, I've been lucky enough to beta a tale for SK, and I continue to be impressed, though not really amazed any more, at how this author constantly delivers a brill read - it's no surprise that each tale guarantees a great read. There's no cut-and-pasting, no trope-y stuff, no been there-seen that-done that stuff. She writes from the heart, delivers a blow to readers' hearts, and to those of her leads, just the way I expect from her.

This tale crosses over three of SK's series, as one of the leads, Beck, is the son of Cade and Rafe Barretti (Redeeming Rafe), and the others, Quinn and Brody, are guys who happen to reside and work in the town of Dare, Montana, where SK's Finding Series takes place. We see previous Finding characters in it on-and-off throughout the tale, living their HEAs, and there's some interaction with a few of the characters of the The Protectors series, in a penultimate chapter that had me doing a fist-pump. I can't tell you more about said chapter, but what got requested in it was so typical of the character who instigated it, and that it was received, understood and was scheduled to be implemented by those it was discussed with - well, I'd love to be a fly on the wall when that happens. And, maybe also, when the husband of the guy who made the request finds out about it (sorry to sound confusing in the interests of avoiding a Spoiler). Who knows? Maybe SK will let us into the secret in a future tale, as I'm sure that the trio of Brody, Quinn and Beck will be making appearances at future Family Dinners!

This tale, whilst not as 'emotionally wordy' as Hawke and Tate's (Retribution), had the same high-intensity impact on my emotions, though the main subject matter at its core was very different. There was stuff in this that was heartbreaking not only for Beck, but for those who loved him, because when it all came out, they suffered right there with him. And here, I'm not only talking about the leads, but also Beck's parents and others who cared about him. There was a LOT for Beck to deal with in this tale, and at the end, I wholly believed that the man-child he was and the child he'd not been allowed to be, was on the verge of becoming a stronger, healthier man for it and because of the love, acceptance and support he'd Found.

Quinn and Brody also had pasts with pain and loss - very different kinds of pain and loss, but though Beck came into their lives by fluke when neither was looking for more than a hookup, they recognised the strength of their initially fleeting connection, and were open to pursuing it when offered a chance.

I won't risk spoiling this tale for you with any more specifics, but I will say that you'll need some tissues when reading it, and that you'll end up with a satisfied smile on your face at the end.

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  1. What I enjoyed most about Sloane's books? Everything. The characters, the action, the suspense, the hot scenes. Once you start one of her books you can't stop reading.

  2. Thank you for the chance to win. 😀

  3. I love how strong the characters are, life may have left them scarred and a little bent but they are never broken beyond repair.

  4. I haven't read any of Sloans books yet but I do have "Logan's Need" on my tbr pile I brought it because it sounded so great I've just got to find time to read it.

  5. i love all the men she writes about

  6. Thanks for the AotM posts, and the good reviews. I've only read Logan's Need, and "need" to get into the Protector series. B/c she writes about interesting situations that characters find themselves in, and the people are real in how they handle them. Not perfect, but human. And with that, it brings a lot of good emotions. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  7. I haven't read any of Sloane's stories yet. I just haven't found the time.

  8. I love the depth of the characters...none of them are superficial

  9. I'm looking forward to reading some exciting stories!