An Alisa Review: Studying the Teacher by Sarah Hadley Brook

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Without a supportive family when he was a teenager, Charlie’s Tourette syndrome and anxiety had become too overwhelming and he ended up dropping out of school. He always promised himself he’d earn his GED before he turned thirty, and now he’s running out of time.

With only four months to go, he gathers his courage and enrolls in a night class for adults. He knows it isn’t going to be easy, but he certainly didn’t expect to fall for his teacher.

Owen Talbot is everything Charlie’s looking for, but he needs to focus on passing the test, not studying the teacher, no matter how much he wants the man. When Owen offers Charlie a personal tutoring session, he isn’t sure it’s a good idea but he takes the teacher up on the offer, anyway. Spending one-on-one time with his sexy teacher won’t be a problem, right?

I really enjoyed this story.  All Charlie really needed was someone to love him unconditionally and not judge him which is seems most have done for him.  Owen was perfect for him and wouldn’t let anyone hurt Charlie’s feelings and hurt his chances of completing his GED.

I liked how they connected so easily and the how laid back their time was together.  I know Charlie would start to over think things but I loved that Owen’s presence helped him to relax.  This was a perfect short sweet story and I didn’t feel like I needed more of the story in the end.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is nice and works well for the story.

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 23,465 words

Published: September 28, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646560899

Edition Language: English

A Stella Review : Operation Toy Rescue by Sarah Hadley Brook

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

When Jules Evergreen lands in trouble at the North Pole and gets shipped off to Snow Hope Island for ninety days, he never expects to take up the cause of the forgotten toys waiting for new homes. Falling for his new boss is not on the agenda either, but his heart has other ideas.

Felix Winterson has grown up on Snow Hope Island and now runs the place. He isn’t thrilled when party boy Jules arrives, and Felix tries hard to ignore the man’s charms. He has other problems, anyway. For years he’s tried to get Santa to look at the growing inventory of damaged toys in the warehouse, to no avail.

When Jules comes up with a plan to save the toys, the men find themselves working closely together. As Christmas Eve looms, there’s a lot at stake. Can they save Snow Hope, convince Santa to rescue the toys, and fall in love all at the same time?

Operation Toy Rescue is not the first book I read by this author and I have to say I am always quite happy to read her stories, they’re always simple, cute and light. This new holiday release was really well done. I was able to breath all the Christmas spirit, with all the snow and toys I read about.

I fell into Jules and Felix magical world in a bit, the narration was always engaging and easy to follow. I smiled from the start till the ending, these two young men, and all the Snow Hope Island creek, put me in a good mood. I appreciate their efforts and stubbornness at showing Santa all the defective toys could have a second life and a new destination in another child’s home. The same second life Jules found in the island and into Felix arms. I adored them together, the way they first studied each other, full of attraction and suspicion, and then when they finally saw past appearances, the happy ending was assured.

I feel to recommend Operation Toy Rescue, it was a lovely surprise, it gave me  magic, hope and love, I loved it.

The cover art is cute, well done, but I would have preferred something more magical to truly fit the plot.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS Books

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition

Published December 15th 2018 by JMS Books LLC

ASIN B07L81237Y

Edition Language English

Review Tour for Operation Toy Rescue by Sarah Hadley Brook (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 29,000 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

When Jules Evergreen lands in trouble at the North Pole and gets shipped off to Snow Hope Island for ninety days, he never expects to take up the cause of the forgotten toys waiting for new homes. Falling for his new boss is not on the agenda either, but his heart has other ideas.


Felix Winterson has grown up on Snow Hope Island and now runs the place. He isn’t thrilled when party boy Jules arrives, and Felix tries hard to ignore the man’s charms. He has other problems, anyway. For years he’s tried to get Santa to look at the growing inventory of damaged toys in the warehouse, to no avail.


When Jules comes up with a plan to save the toys, the men find themselves working closely together. As Christmas Eve looms, there’s a lot at stake. Can they save Snow Hope, convince Santa to rescue the toys, and fall in love all at the same time?



Dec 15OMG Reads, Dec 17Mikku-chan, The Blogger Girls, Padme’s Library, Dec 19Megan’s Media Melange, Two Chicks Obsessed, Dec 21Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, MM Good Book Reviews, Dec 24Valerie Ullmer, Bayou Book Junkie, Making It Happen, Drops Of Ink

 

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We loved it!

 
Excerpt



He was surprised that no one else was in the building yet. Unless they were upstairs in the loft, or locked away in an office. He thought he’d seen Eve’s coat hanging from a peg up front.


Jules opened the laptop and logged in, ready to get started. He really wanted to take that trip to the warehouse with Felix and the quicker he finished logging things in, the quicker that could happen. As he carefully opened a rather large box, he heard a door open and turned to see Felix, Eve, and Zuzu hurry out of Felix’s office. All wore a look of panic and his heart jumped.


“What’s wrong?” he asked as Eve grew closer.


“The Big Guy is coming for a visit three days before Christmas! We just found out. He never does this. Never, Jules.” Her voice rose as she spilled the news.


Jules glanced at Felix and caught his eye, holding it for a moment. “Isn’t Santa coming a good thing?” he asked, confused.


“We don’t know. He never does this. Never,” Eve reiterated.


“She’s right. He doesn’t. What if he wants to make major changes? Or move us to the North Pole?” Felix asked.


Jules crinkled his brow. In his mind, moving to the North Pole would be great. Felix would be closer to Jules. “You don’t want to live at the North Pole?”


All three of them looked at him in shock, their mouths gaping open.


“What?” he asked.


“The North Pole is headquarters. It’s chaos,” Zuzu explained.


Okay, I’ll give them that. But there were good things, too.


“But you’d be closer to …” he flicked his gaze to Felix and felt his cheeks heat up. “The main operation,” he finished lamely.


“But we like it here. Our island is beautiful and we’re like a family. What if we’re torn apart?”


“I don’t think Santa –”


“You don’t know, Jules,” Eve broke in. “Maybe he thinks we don’t do enough to help these toys.”


Felix was vigorously nodding his agreement, so Jules shut his mouth and sat down in front of his laptop, considering the possibilities. He finally glanced back up, his lips curving up into a small smile as he eyed all three. “Then I guess there’s only one thing to do, guys. We need to show Santa how important the island is to children all over the globe.”


“How do we do that?” Eve asked quietly, her brow furrowed.


“By developing a kick ass plan to get these ‘inadequate toys’ into the hands of kids,” he explained, using air quotes. It was really just expanding what he and Felix had talked about last night. But calling it a plan made it feel more real. More promising.


Again, they gaped at him. Well, all but Felix. He was grinning. Happiness filled Jules’s chest and his heart raced as he grinned back, warmth spreading through him. Their gazes held and Jules felt like Felix was peering inside of him. Like he was seeing the real Jules. Not the guy that always screwed up. Not the guy that only thought of himself. But the one that finally — finally — wanted to do something worthy. Something that would bring others joy.


“Jules is right. We need to work together to show Santa we can handle the responsibility of taking care of the toys on this island. To prepare them for new homes. To convince him to take them with him on Christmas Eve.” Felix straightened his shoulders as determination flitted across his face and hope flashed in his eyes.


Jules couldn’t look away. The man was beautiful in every way.


Author Bio

Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.



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The Holiday Story Season Continues with Operation Toy Rescue by Sarah Hadley Brook (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 29,000 words approx.
 
Publisher: JMS Books
 
Blurb
 

When Jules Evergreen lands in trouble at the North Pole and gets shipped off to Snow Hope Island for ninety days, he never expects to take up the cause of the forgotten toys waiting for new homes. Falling for his new boss is not on the agenda either, but his heart has other ideas.


Felix Winterson has grown up on Snow Hope Island and now runs the place. He isn’t thrilled when party boy Jules arrives, and Felix tries hard to ignore the man’s charms. He has other problems, anyway. For years he’s tried to get Santa to look at the growing inventory of damaged toys in the warehouse, to no avail.


When Jules comes up with a plan to save the toys, the men find themselves working closely together. As Christmas Eve looms, there’s a lot at stake. Can they save Snow Hope, convince Santa to rescue the toys, and fall in love all at the same time?

 
Excerpt



He was surprised that no one else was in the building yet. Unless they were upstairs in the loft, or locked away in an office. He thought he’d seen Eve’s coat hanging from a peg up front.


Jules opened the laptop and logged in, ready to get started. He really wanted to take that trip to the warehouse with Felix and the quicker he finished logging things in, the quicker that could happen. As he carefully opened a rather large box, he heard a door open and turned to see Felix, Eve, and Zuzu hurry out of Felix’s office. All wore a look of panic and his heart jumped.


“What’s wrong?” he asked as Eve grew closer.


“The Big Guy is coming for a visit three days before Christmas! We just found out. He never does this. Never, Jules.” Her voice rose as she spilled the news.


Jules glanced at Felix and caught his eye, holding it for a moment. “Isn’t Santa coming a good thing?” he asked, confused.


“We don’t know. He never does this. Never,” Eve reiterated.


“She’s right. He doesn’t. What if he wants to make major changes? Or move us to the North Pole?” Felix asked.


Jules crinkled his brow. In his mind, moving to the North Pole would be great. Felix would be closer to Jules. “You don’t want to live at the North Pole?”


All three of them looked at him in shock, their mouths gaping open.


“What?” he asked.


“The North Pole is headquarters. It’s chaos,” Zuzu explained.


Okay, I’ll give them that. But there were good things, too.


“But you’d be closer to …” he flicked his gaze to Felix and felt his cheeks heat up. “The main operation,” he finished lamely.


“But we like it here. Our island is beautiful and we’re like a family. What if we’re torn apart?”


“I don’t think Santa –”


“You don’t know, Jules,” Eve broke in. “Maybe he thinks we don’t do enough to help these toys.”


Felix was vigorously nodding his agreement, so Jules shut his mouth and sat down in front of his laptop, considering the possibilities. He finally glanced back up, his lips curving up into a small smile as he eyed all three. “Then I guess there’s only one thing to do, guys. We need to show Santa how important the island is to children all over the globe.”


“How do we do that?” Eve asked quietly, her brow furrowed.


“By developing a kick ass plan to get these ‘inadequate toys’ into the hands of kids,” he explained, using air quotes. It was really just expanding what he and Felix had talked about last night. But calling it a plan made it feel more real. More promising.


Again, they gaped at him. Well, all but Felix. He was grinning. Happiness filled Jules’s chest and his heart raced as he grinned back, warmth spreading through him. Their gazes held and Jules felt like Felix was peering inside of him. Like he was seeing the real Jules. Not the guy that always screwed up. Not the guy that only thought of himself. But the one that finally — finally — wanted to do something worthy. Something that would bring others joy.


“Jules is right. We need to work together to show Santa we can handle the responsibility of taking care of the toys on this island. To prepare them for new homes. To convince him to take them with him on Christmas Eve.” Felix straightened his shoulders as determination flitted across his face and hope flashed in his eyes.


Jules couldn’t look away. The man was beautiful in every way.


Author Bio

Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.



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Blog Post and Giveaway for Sarah Hadley Brook’s Gateway To Love

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Adulting

Hi! So glad to be here. My name is Sarah Hadley Brook and I’m here to talk about my new release, Gateway to Love, part of the Dreamspinner Press’s States of Love series.

The main characters, Craig and Mitchell, have just graduated college and are facing the prospect of moving to opposite sides of the country. They’ve spent years studying and preparing for their future and it has finally arrived. Both have accepted job offers and have only a short time before they move away from each other.

As I wrote this story, it brought back a lot of memories of that period of transition from teenager and student to a twentysomething adult with all the grown up responsibilities. No matter how much we look forward to the day we’re finally on our own, it can be overwhelming. Exhilarating, but overwhelming. Banking accounts, leases, jobs, and—gasp—cooking for ourselves!

The thing is, the more I thought about it and looked around at the generation starting out in the workforce, the more impressed I was. It seems to me that they are more engaged in the world, the country, the environment. They have goals and have a plan to meet those goals. They are more aware of everything. The biggest change though, is that they have an opinion and aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

I’m not sure I was ready for all that when I began “adulting” and I know I wasn’t as knowledgeable about our government as they are. No matter your political views, these young adults will be changing the world.

And, wow…now I feel old. I’m only in my forties—I shouldn’t be feeling old! Isn’t forty the new twenty-nine?

I hope you check out Gateway to Love and learn about the state of Missouri while you’re at it! I’ve listed all the ways you can follow or contact me below. And if you sign up for my newsletter on my website, you receive a free ebook!

You can follow me on social media:

Twitter: @SarahHBrook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahHadleyBrook
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/SHadleyBrook
Instagram: Sarah_Hadley_Brook_Author
Website: www.sarahhadleybrookwrites.com


 
 
Length: 32,793 words
 
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht
 
 
Blurb
 

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers….


Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.


He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.


As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?



October 19 Two Chicks Obsessed, Xtreme Delusions, October 20Bayou Book Junkie, October 22SSLY, Bookaholic & Kindle, October 23 Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, October 24Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Love Unchained Book Review, Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, MM Midnight Cafe, Mikku-chan, October 25Boy Meets Boy Reviews, October 26Making It Happen, October 27 Mirrigold, October 29 Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, Book Review By Virginia Lee, October 30MM Good Book Reviews

 
Author Bio



Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland someday and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


Website
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter

Giveaway

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Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.

A MelanieM Release Day Review:Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook

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Rating: 3.5 Stars out of 5

 

Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.

He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.

As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?

I happen to love the States of Love Line of stories from Dreamspinner Press.  Each with a particular focus on a State, I’ve ventured into backroads, tasted  state wines and foods, and visited many state local attractions as couples met or as here in Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook, friends found their way to lovers and HEA.

Sometimes I was able to totally immerse myself in the romance and state of choice.  Other times, It was a lovely brief fling, a romance I  enjoyed but it went by swiftly without as much  depth as some of the others.  Gateway to Love falls into the second category.  This might be due to the short nature of the story, 98 pages in length.  It didn’t give the author much to work with in order to expand on the road trip,  and describing the venues the young men visited.  It’s that element that really adds to the flavor and personal essence of each couple, their background, and relationship.  Here it should have been deeply personal because it was  where they grew up and went to college, and yes, full of  memorable sites for their last road trip together.  The author even supplies the readers with a map of the trip and state.

So why didn’t it feel as epic as it was supposed to be?  And except for a couple of brief stops, I could have been on the road to anywhere.

I liked the fumbling road to romance better than the actual road trip.  Both Craig and Mitchell are crazy about each other and have been for years. The trip is overlaid by fears about the boys losing each others friendship, miscommunication, and more, before they get the gumption to step forward before it’s too late and they part for different coasts.

The characters, with their indecision and vulnerability, seem believable. I wish for more background on both.  And the inclusion of their friend was jarring, taking away from the flow of their relationship and the small time it had to develop.

Still, this was a sweet, friends to lovers story.  Quick to read and enjoy.  If you are a fan of the States of Love line, here is another addition you will want to check out.

Cover art:  Brooke Albrecht.  Lovely cover with the arch in the background.  Great job.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner

Book Details:

ebook, 98 pages
Published October 19th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitleGateway to Love
ISBN139781640808348
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttps://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/gateway-to-love-by-sarah-hadley-brook-9915-b

Release Blitz – Gateway To Love by Sarah Hadley Brook (author guest post, excerpt, and giveaway)

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Length: 32,793 words
 
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht
 

 

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Sarah Hadley Brook today on tour for her latest story in Dreamspinner Press’ States of Love line, Gateway to Love. Welcome, Sarah.

Adulting


Hi! So glad to be here. My name is Sarah Hadley Brook and I’m here to talk about my new release, Gateway to Love, part of the Dreamspinner Press’ States of Love series.

The main characters, Craig and Mitchell, have just graduated college and are facing the prospect of moving to opposite sides of the country. They’ve spent years studying and preparing for their future and it has finally arrived. Both have accepted job offers and have only a short time before they move away from each other.

As I wrote this story, it brought back a lot of memories of that period of transition from teenager and student to a twentysomething adult with all the grown up responsibilities. No matter how much we look forward to the day we’re finally on our own, it can be overwhelming. Exhilarating, but overwhelming. Banking accounts, leases, jobs, and—gasp—cooking for ourselves!

The thing is, the more I thought about it and looked around at the generation starting out in the workforce, the more impressed I was. It seems to me that they are more engaged in the world, the country, the environment. They have goals and have a plan to meet those goals. They are more aware of everything. The biggest change though, is that they have an opinion and aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

I’m not sure I was ready for all that when I began “adulting” and I know I wasn’t as knowledgeable about our government as they are. No matter your political views, these young adults will be changing the world.

And, wow…now I feel old. I’m only in my forties—I shouldn’t be feeling old! Isn’t forty the new twenty-nine?

I hope you check out Gateway to Love and learn about the state of Missouri while you’re at it! I’ve listed all the ways you can follow or contact me below. And if you sign up for my newsletter on my website, you receive a free ebook!

You can follow me on social media: Check out my links below my author’s bio.

Blurb
 

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers….


Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.


He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.


As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?

 
Excerpt
 

THE SOUND of a horn jolted Mitch from a sound sleep, and he blinked his eyes for a moment, staring out the window at the busy highway.


“Sorry. Some idiot guy almost hit us. I had to lay on the horn,” Craig explained.


Mitch straightened himself in his seat and rubbed his eyes. “No worries. Sorry I fell asleep.”


Craig grinned at him. “You should be. I’ve had to listen to your snoring for almost two hours.”


“Hey, I don’t snore. You do, but I don’t,” Mitch said emphatically.


Craig snorted. “Whatever. I can hear you through the wall at night.”


“I don’t snore,” Mitch reiterated, and frowned when Craig chuckled. Then he started feeling bad about sleeping so long. “Want me to take a turn at the wheel?”


“Nah. Maybe when we stop for lunch? Although, we’ll probably be in Hannibal before then. We’ve only got about an hour and forty-five minutes left, give or take.”


Mitch nodded and checked his phone, but he couldn’t help watching his best friend out of the corner of his eye. Even after knowing him for four years, Mitch was still blown away by the reaction he felt whenever he looked at Craig. He’d certainly never forgotten the first day they met. It was imprinted on his brain forever.


That first day at Longview Community College had been brutal. He’d had to spend two hours in the admissions office because when he’d shown up for his first class, the professor didn’t have him listed. By the time his schedule was corrected, he’d missed two classes and was nearly late to his third.


He’d slid into an empty seat near the door just as the teacher turned around from the whiteboard. Someone next to him giggled and he glanced over to see the cutest boy he’d ever laid eyes on. Mitch had felt dumbstruck as his cheeks heated in reaction.


“Close call,” the kid had whispered with a nod toward the teacher. “I heard she doesn’t put up with latecomers.”


Mitch pulled himself together and smiled.


It wasn’t until class was over that they were able to talk.


“I’m Mitchell Moon,” he’d offered, as the guy rose from his desk. “Everyone calls me Mitch, though.”


Craig had beamed at him, his blue eyes sparkling a little as he leaned down until their faces were only inches apart. “Hi, Mitchell,” he said with a wink. “My name’s Craig Pruitt.”


And that was that—they became instant friends, bonding over video games, movies, and their love of Star Trek. It was the kind of friendship only found once in a lifetime. Mitch had come out to Craig within the first week of meeting him and his friend hadn’t even blinked.


There was only one problem with their friendship—Mitch had never been able to shake the attraction he felt for Craig. And over the years, as they earned their associate’s degrees from Longview and moved on to UMKC, their bond grew and his feelings for Craig only strengthened.


When Craig had confided in him that he thought he was bisexual their sophomore year, Mitch’s hopes had been raised, but by that time he was firmly planted in the friend zone. So he did what a best friend should—he supported Craig as he came to terms with things and accepted who he was. He’d admitted that he’d had a crush on a guy in high school, but it ran its course and he never acted on it. As far as Mitch knew, Craig had only dated two guys since then, nothing panning out toward a full-time relationship, though. But he’d had his share of casual hookups with men. Craig had gone a little wild when he’d first come out as bisexual, but had calmed down over the years. In fact, Mitch couldn’t remember him even going on a date during their senior year.


He’d seen the types of men Craig seemed to be attracted to, and they were nothing like Mitch, so he’d tucked his feelings away again and told himself not to go there anymore. It was an ongoing internal battle, but most of the time, he had a handle on it.


This last year of college, they’d found a cheap two-bedroom apartment near campus and moved in that summer. Sharing a small space with the man of his dreams had been hard. Especially when Craig often walked around their place wearing only a pair of boxers.


Mitch was honest enough to admit he’d fantasized about Craig too many times to count and would probably continue to do so long after he’d moved. Maybe that’s how it always was with a first love or major crush.


In his heart, he knew being apart would be good for them. Well, at least it would be for Mitch. Maybe he could finally go out with someone without constantly comparing him to Craig. But in the meantime, he continued to fight the attraction. The desire. The love. Because that’s what it had turned into. Love. Over the years, the longing, the emotional connection he felt with Craig, it had all turned to love. He wasn’t even sure when it had happened, but there was no denying Mitch was in love with his best friend.


And just when he was close to being free, there they were. One last hurrah before moving out of state. One last adventure with Craig.


What was he going to do without him? He turned to stare out the window, his eyes blind to the passing scenery. All he could see was a future without Craig, and it was shrouded in gray. Mitch was so tired of fighting his feelings. He chuckled to himself. He was the stereotypical guy in love with his best friend. He knew it was useless, but if Craig had asked him to go to California with him, Mitch would have dropped everything and followed him out west. He knew how pathetic that sounded, but when it came to Craig, Mitch didn’t care what others might think.


About an hour later, Craig pulled over to a gas station to fuel up and grab some snacks. Mitch used the disgusting bathroom, holding his breath as he did his business, quickly washed up, and made his way into the convenience store.


Craig was at the counter paying and held up a bag of items.


“I’m just going to get a drink,” Mitch told him as he walked past Craig. His friend grabbed his arm, wrapping his fingers around his wrist.


“I already got you your Dr Pepper,” he told Mitch with a smile. “And your Kit Kat.”


Mitch wanted to respond. Wanted to say thank you. But all he could do was revel in the sensation of Craig’s touch. Electricity prickled his skin, skittering through him.


“Mitchell?” Craig’s voice was low. He sounded worried.


“Sorry. Just… forgot what I was going to say,” he lied, knowing he sounded lame. He noticed Craig hadn’t let go of his wrist and raised his eyes to meet his friend’s gaze. Mitch was surprised at the intensity. The large black pupils. The flushed cheeks. “I-I’m… fine. Thanks for grabbing some things for me.”


Craig studied him, looking like he wanted to say something, but finally let Mitch go and they walked back out to the car and settled in.


“Less than an hour left,” Craig announced.


Mitch tried to tamp down his excitement, but it was difficult. He’d always wanted to visit Hannibal. He’d read all of Mark Twain’s stories, and knowing he was from Missouri had encouraged him when he’d dreamed about becoming a writer.


Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English had put him closer to that dream. Being hired to work on a grassroots website devoted to getting people registered to vote had been exciting and he was looking forward to starting next month. He was less excited about the magazine internship. West Virginia tourism was definitely not something he remotely cared about. He’d only taken it because his sister, Samantha, lived in West Virginia, where the magazine was headquartered, and she had helped him get the interview. Plus he could stay with her until he got a feel for the area. Samantha was also providing him with apartment information, so he would have several to check out when he moved.


The magazine hadn’t been in his original plans. He’d wanted to stay in Kansas City after graduation and work on his writing. His dream was to become a published author. Mitch lived to write, creating fantasy worlds and bringing characters to life. Over the years, he’d managed to put some money away, through his work at the coffee shop. Add what he’d been given as graduation gifts from his mother, his sister, and various relatives, and he was confident he could afford to give the writing thing a try for a while—as long as he had a roommate and a part-time job.


When Craig announced he’d taken a job in California, working for a nonprofit that helped homeless teens, Mitch’s plans took a nosedive. While he’d been proud of Craig, the idea of staying in Kansas City without him was depressing. If he was going to start a new chapter in his life and really get over Craig, staying where he’d be constantly reminded of their times together was out of the question. Writing would have to take a back seat to making a living. Mitch was trying to be an adult and make responsible choices—decisions that would help him move forward.


Maybe a new start in a new city would help him finally find a man that he could be in a real relationship with.


He just had to survive this trip without telling his best friend the truth he’d hidden for years.

 

Author Bio


Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


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A Stella Review: Courted by Sarah Hadley Brook

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RATING 2,5 out of 5 stars

Dr. Kevin Matthews is so wrapped up in his work, he hasn’t found time for love or even casual fun in far too long.

When gorgeous new nurse Mac Winters shows up at the hospital, the attraction between him and Kevin is immediate and intense. After several weeks of flirting and heated stares, they finally spend an evening getting to know each other.

Unfortunately, just when things turn hot and heavy, Mac announces he’s abstaining from sex because he’s tired of hookups and wants something real. Then he surprises Kevin by announcing he’s going to court the doctor. Can two modern men have an old-fashioned romance – and build something true and lasting together — while taking sex out of the equation?

Courted by Sarah Hadley Brook is a sweet and quick story about Mac and Kevin and their powerful love at first sight, but as opposed to what usually happens in books (and in real life LOL), Mac wants to take some time to court Kevin before fall in bed with him cause he’s sure the doctor is the right person.

I quiet like the short, fast paced, well written,engaging. It is well done. Still, maybe it is too short, cause there was really no space for some character building. I get to know pretty much nothing about the main couple, apart their daily jobs. There aren’t important second characters. It’s a good short but you need to lower you expectations and just enjoy what you get. In my opinion it could have been so much better if the author had worked more on little details, like just a couple of informations about their pasts or families or friends.

It missed a lot to be more complete and developed. That’s why I can’t give Courted an higher rating. But if you can overlook all these lacking it is a cute story to spend some time in a carefree way.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs is siple and well done, I like it.

SALE LINKS  JMS BOOKS  |  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 49 pages

Published August 4th 2018 by JMS Books LLC

ASIN B07FRQG3Q7

Edition Language English

A VVivacious Review: A Love to Remember by Sarah Hadley Brook

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Rating: 2 Stars out of 5

Graham comes from a family ravaged by the effects of Alzheimer’s and as a result, he has walled up his heart against any possibility of love. He only engages in casual sex but he starts questioning his resolve once he gets to know Sam. Will Graham be able to stand by his decision or will he have to re-think his decisions with love just a hand’s reach away…?

I had a hard time making myself read this one. I don’t know why but my interest just waned at about the 60% mark which was weird considering the fact that the story of this book only gets started at that point. The first 60% of the book is just the setting and most of the information revealed till this point is one you already know if you have read the blurb. After this point, the story’s progression to its inevitable conclusion just didn’t hold my attention.

I liked the concept of the story about how a debilitating condition that runs in your family would change your outlook of the world. But I felt like this concept overshadowed the characterisations because I can’t think of Graham as anyone other than the guy who doesn’t want to love because he fears that one day he will have Alzheimer’s and will be a burden on those who love him.   

I feel like this story will be different for different people, so if you think the premise of this story speaks to you do pick up the book.

Cover Art by Written Ink Designs. I really liked the cover for this one, it was really sweet.

Sales Links: Universal Buy Link | Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 85 pages
Published April 28th 2018 by JMS Books LLC
ASINB07C1QNCZ4
Edition LanguageEnglish

Review Tour – A Love To Remember by Sarah Hadley Brook (excerpt and giveaway)

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Length: 27,000 words approx.


Publisher: JMS Books

 
Blurb
 

Graham Hayes decided long ago he’d never be in a relationship. It was better to stay single than to fall in love only to be left alone, which he was certain would happen to him. He’d seen Alzheimer’s ravage his family members all his life, leaving their loved ones to deal with the fallout. Some of them stayed, but some didn’t. Graham isn’t going to risk it.


When he hires nurse Sam Morgan to take care of his dad during the day, his pledge to stay single is put to the test. He soon finds it difficult to maintain a professional distance.


Graham’s guarded his heart for so long, but his resolve is crumbling. Will he be able to conquer his fear to give himself a chance at love? Can he trust Sam to stick around for better or worse?

April 28 – Lost In Love, MM Midnight Cafe, Xtreme Delusions, BooksLaidBareBoys, Gay Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Gay Media Reviews
April 30 – The Novel Approach, Mikku-chan, Archaeolibrarian, Hearts On Fire, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty
May 1 – Gay Book Reviews
May 2 – Book Lovers 4Ever, BFD Book Blog
May 3 – Diverse Reader
May 4 – Slave To The Written Word, Making It Happen, Slashessed
May 7 – MM Good Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
May 8 – Love Bytes
May 9 – A Book Lovers Dream, Valerie Ullmer, Drops Of Ink, Sarandipity, Mirrigold, Padme’s Library, Jim’s Reading Room, Bayou Book Junkie, Bookaholic & Kindle, Virginia Lee

 
Excerpt
 

The doorbell rang just as Graham took a seat at the table, preparing to try and get some work done. It had been days since he’d even opened his laptop. He groaned. Looked like it wasn’t meant to be for the moment. His dad had finished his granola cereal and was sitting on the sofa, reading a book. It was still early enough in the morning where he seemed to have most of his faculties.


Assuming it was the home health care aide the agency was sending over, he didn’t bother to check the peephole or the window next to the entrance and swung the door open.


Graham’s jaw dropped and he stood in place, his feet frozen to the ground. Was he hallucinating? What the hell was going on? He stepped out and pulled the door partially closed behind him so he could speak to the man on his doorstep. The man currently grinning down at him.


“What are you doing here?” Graham hissed. “How did you find me?” He glanced up at the man he’d met at the club and wondered if he should call the cops. Wasn’t this considered stalking? It didn’t matter that his body reacted in all kinds of weird ways. He could be dangerous. And compared to Graham, the guy was huge.


The man stepped back and held up his hands, palms out. “Hey, I had no idea you lived here.”


Graham’s eyes narrowed.


“No, seriously,” he insisted. “The agency sent me here.”


“Agency?” Shit. “You’re the … home health care aide?”


S.G. nodded and offered his hand. “I’m Sam Morgan. Nurse for hire.”


Graham stared up at him — probably a little too long at the man’s massive chest — and finally shook his hand, shaken by the jolt of electricity coursing through his arm. “Okay. Um, come inside?” His voice was trembling. Get a grip!


S.G. — Sam — followed him inside, ducking his head as he walked through the doorway.


His dad didn’t look up, so Graham led the man to the kitchen table, gesturing for him to take a seat. He wasn’t even sure what to say. Or ask. He felt awkward. And silly for thinking the guy was stalking him. Graham had only been a quick fuck at the club for Sam. A means to an end. Nothing more.


He sat across from Sam and stared. The man was even sexier in the daylight. Dirty blond hair cut close to the scalp, a little longer on top. In the light he could see his eyes were the color of caramel. Hazel, maybe? He fought the urge to reach across the table and stroke the stubble still covering his jawline. And shit, the man was broad. Huge. He’d thought of him as a warrior that night and he found himself thinking that was still an apt description.


“You’re a nurse?” he blurted out.


Sam frowned. “Hey, don’t stereotype me,” he said quietly. “I love being a nurse.”


Graham’s face heated. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean … I guess I’m just kind of shocked at seeing you here,” he admitted.


Sam’s frown turned into a grin. “Yeah, not exactly what I was expecting this morning, either.” He tilted his head toward Graham’s dad on the sofa. “I assume I’m here for him?”


Graham cleared his throat, tried to clear his head. “Yeah. That’s my dad. Thurston. Thurston Hayes.”


“So you must be Graham Hayes?” Sam’s voice was quiet, his gaze on Graham.


“Yes. I’m sorry. I should have introduced myself.” Shit. He was blundering this. He’d never felt so off-kilter when it came to a man. “Do you want something to drink?”


Sam shook his head. “No thanks. Right now, can you fill me in on your dad? Let me know what’s going on. I have some basic information, but it always helps to get specifics from family.”


“Sure.” Graham glanced at his dad and saw he was still engrossed in his book. He wondered if he’d even turned a page. Was he struggling with reading, too? Graham turned back to Sam, who was watching him, patiently waiting for him to continue. “I’m not sure what you want to know?”


Sam leaned back and offered him a small smile. “My job is to make your life easier and help the patient feel better. Why don’t you just tell me a little about your dad?


Author Bio


Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


Website
Facebook
Pinterest
Twitter

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