A Caryn Release Day Review: Waiting for Patrick by Brynn Stein

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Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
 
waiting-for-patrickElliot is a rolling stone.  He’s spent his entire life moving from place to place, never stays anywhere more than a few months, doesn’t believe in relationships, has no family, and very few friends.  He’s a loner, and as the story progresses, you see why — Elliot can be a self-centered asshole.  He lives for his work, enjoys casual hookups, and overall is perfectly satisfied with his life.  He’s built a business of flipping houses into a thriving architectural design corporation and is now able to spend time doing the type of renovations he enjoys as well as those that are profitable.
 
All of this changed when he acquired a civil war era plantation home in South Carolina.  From the beginning, Elliot was drawn to this property in a way he’d never experienced before, and felt a sense of peace there that was also alien to him.  He decided to live in the house and do some of the work himself as the renovation proceeded, rather than contracting everything out like he usually did.  And he surprised himself by sticking around long enough to become attached to the house as well as a few local people that became friends.  Over the following weeks, he found out that not only was the house haunted, but the ghost, Ben, was able to communicate with Elliot in increasingly more specific ways, until Elliot knew not only Ben’s history of enlisting in the Union army with his lover Patrick, but also of Ben’s death in the house, and of his promise to wait for Patrick to return for him.  Ben and Patrick were true soul mates, so that was more of an eternal vow than a simple promise, and Ben is faithful to it.  Elliot’s friends were amused that he was becoming close to a ghost — certainly closer than he’d ever gotten to a living person — but they were surprisingly supportive of him.  After all, how do you carry on a romance with a ghost?  Especially a romance doomed to end because Ben insists that Patrick will come back?
 
The rest of the book was not exactly predictable (at least not from the beginning), but before each new event or revelation occurred, there was so much foreshadowing that I knew exactly what was coming and wanted the author to hurry it up.  Elliot’s not dumb, so his inability to get a clue about so many things was not only irritating, but didn’t really match his personality.  That disconnect kept taking me out of the story.  The pace of the book is slow, because of all the build up.  There were occasional meanderings into side plots that went nowhere and seemed pointless.  The secondary characters were not as well fleshed out as I feel they should have been given the length of the book, as a lot of the conversations and interactions were repetitive.  Elliot was the only character who grew and changed.  The others were pretty static, which made them increasingly irrelevant.  I think that may have been intentional, a way for the author to emphasize the growing connection between Elliot and Ben and Elliot’s gradual withdrawal from the real world, but if so, it was not entirely successful.  And finally, the paranormal aspects — communicating with a ghost, retrieving memories, finding a lost soul mate, and even the entire concept of a soul mate — were over-explained.  I think an author should let magical realism happen, or not, but trying to explain the magic by mundane physical rules just ruins it.  
Cover art by Bree Archer is wonderful and speaks to the story.
Sales Links
        
Book Details:
ebook, 280 pages
Expected publication: September 16th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1634773985 (ISBN13: 9781634773980)
Edition LanguageEnglish

A Mika Advent Story Review: Not the Best Day by Brynn Stein

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Rating: 2 out of 5 stars 

Sleigh Ride Advent StoryHenry hates Christmas shopping. Hates it with a passion. But here he is, downtown shopping two days before Christmas. It would almost be bearable except for the jerk in the trapper hat and plaid scarf who keeps turning up like a bad penny, apparently with no other goal in life than to make Henry’s already crappy day even crappier. Henry doesn’t know what’s up with the guy, but Henry wishes he’d just go away. That doesn’t seem to be in the cards, however. In a day full of surprises, the biggest is yet to come.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2015 Advent Calendar package “Sleigh Ride”.

 This suffered from lack of development. The couple doesn’t even make an appearance together until the last 4% maybe. Until then it’s a story about one guy’s hectic Christmas shopping, and another guy seeming aloof during the holidays. They explained everything, but it seemed out of place in this story. Neither characters were interesting enough & they seemed very thrown together. No chemistry even when they are together. Sadly this missed the mark for me.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 32 pages
Published November 30th 2015 by Dreamspinner Press
ASINB018RRVQPK
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Sleigh Ride – 2015 Advent Calendar

A Coffee Sip Peak at “What No One Else Can Hear” by Brynn Stein (excerpt and giveaway)

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WhatNoOneElseCanHearFS

What No One Else Can Hear by Brynn Stein
Release Date: July 27, 2015

 

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Dreamspinner
Cover Artist: Reese Dante

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon |

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Blurb

Young Stevie Liston is diagnosed with autism, but is really an overwhelmed empath who mentally called out for help. Jesse McKinnon heard him in a dream from clear across the country, and that dream sent him on a six-year search to find Stevie. Once they meet, they think everything will work out and Jesse will help Stevie cope.

Stevie does improve immensely, but a disgruntled coworker of Jesse’s conspires with Stevie’s estranged but politically powerful father to keep Stevie and Jesse apart with trumped-up legal charges claiming Jesse sexually abused the boy. Jesse must watch helplessly as Stevie loses all the advances he’s made.

If it wasn’t for his growing relationship with his coworker Drew Ferguson, Jesse knows he wouldn’t have the strength to fight for his rights and Stevie’s future. Drew just might be the real thing, but with the very real possibility of serving jail time for a crime he didn’t commit, Jesse’s hopes for a future with Drew might be doomed

Pages or Words: 220 pages

Categories: Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance, Paranormal

Excerpt

Prologue
I COULDN’T believe it. I stood in the doorway of a child’s room on the third floor of the Lynneville Center for Children with Autism after having been hastily hired and sent up here. At first I was shocked to see dozens of expertly drawn pictures of me taped up all over the walls. Then I noticed the four worried-looking adults in the room, their attention focused on the bed. In that bed, seemingly catatonic, was the very boy I’d been seeing in my dreams for almost six years.
I had been looking for Stevie all that time, but now that I had found him, I realized that until that moment I’d always had the smallest doubt that he was real—almost a hope that there wasn’t a suffering child who needed me, whom it had taken me so long to find. All my energy for six years had been focused on finding him, yet a niggling doubt had remained … until I stepped through that doorway.
“Stevie,” I whispered. “I finally found you.”

He didn’t move; he only blinked on reflex. He simply lay on the bed, so still, and stared at the ceiling. I knew I could help him. I moved to his side, nudging the doctor out of the way, and touched his hand.
“Come on, man. Come on back now.” I put my hand on his head, and Stevie immediately turned his head toward me. Though his eyes were still a little unfocused, he had no trouble recognizing me.
“Hi, Bear,” he said and reached out to be hugged, as he always had in my dreams.
It was so natural for Stevie to talk to me and hug me that it didn’t occur to me it might be strange for the staff gathered in Stevie’s room. They were suddenly doing the best imitations of goldfish I had ever seen. The doctor and the other man had comically wide eyes, while the two women looked almost ready to cry from shock or maybe just relief.
The older one, a lady in her forties, seemed to recognize my confusion. She came to stand close to me and said in a hushed voice, “That’s the first time we’ve ever heard him speak.”
He always could, of course.
He spoke to me all the time in my dreams.
He finally let go and looked at me. “Bear, you’re here? You’re really here?” His gaze scanned the room. “Not in the forest?”
“No, buddy.” I laid him back down and rubbed his hand as I spoke. “Not in the forest this time. We’re right here, in your room.”
Stevie yawned and looked exhausted.
“Go to sleep, big guy. I’m working at the center now, so I’ll be waiting for you when you wake up.”
He smiled and was asleep almost immediately.
By that time the staff’s shock had worn off and curiosity had set in with a vengeance. We barely stepped out of Stevie’s room before the never-ending string of questions began.
“Bear?” “Forest?” “Stevie can talk?” The questions bombarded me simultaneously.
We all took seats in the living room area and I set about answering their questions. I was hoping what they had just witnessed would keep them from laughing me out of the room. The story I had to tell them was pretty spectacular.
Dottie, the lady in her forties, started things off by introducing me to the others. Dr. Brown was the physician on staff and had been watching Stevie decline over the last several months with no idea how to help him. Hank and Stacy were the other staff members who had been in Stevie’s room. They, along with Dottie, were support staff for the students who lived here, providing whatever assistance they needed, with supervision and compassion. Other people working on the hall that night wanted to hear as much of the story as possible, so they came and went, working when needed, listening when they could, as did Dottie, Hank, and Stacy.
“I don’t even begin to know where to start asking questions,” Dr. Brown finally admitted.
“The beginning is always nice,” Stacy said.
I smiled and thought Stacy had a good idea, so I told them about my first meeting with Stevie.

About Brynn Stein

Brynn has always loved to write about strong male characters and their close friendships. When she found the world of m/m fiction, she fell in love. Finally, a way to bring those strong male characters together and let those emotional connections spill over into deeper relationships. Sometimes her characters go through the emotional wringer, but they always have each other.

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Where to find the author:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brynn.stein
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/brynnstein2
Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrynnStein
Other: http://brynnstein2.wordpress.com

Tour Date of July 27th
Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Bayou Book Junkie, Bike Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Inked Rainbow Reads, the Twins: Talon ps & Princess so, Happily Ever Chapter, MM Good Book Reviews, Reviews by Jessewave, Kimi-Chan, Mikky’s World of Books, Molly Lolly, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, V’s Reads, The Jena Wade, Carly’s Book Reviews, Havan Fellows, Sinfully Addicted to All Male Romance, Amanda C. Stone, 3 Chicks After Dark, Full Moon Dreaming, Multitasking Mommas, Rainbow Gold Reviews

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Contest

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: Autographed copy of “What No One Else Can Hear”; Two electronic copies of “What No One Else Can Hear”.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.   Link and Prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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