Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Tour for Hope Restored by Carrie Ann Ryan (REVIEW)

The Gallagher Brothers series comes to an emotional end in this tale of second chances, unexpected love, and living life to the fullest.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Hope Restored by Carrie Ann Ryan, along with my impressions of it, then add this third installment in the Gallagher Brothers series to your bookshelf!

The Gallagher Brothers series from NYT Bestselling Author Carrie Ann Ryan concludes with the final brother who thought he had everything to look forward to, and the one woman who can handle him.
Life isn’t worth living if you don’t fight to live. That’s what Murphy Gallagher learned at a young age when cancer ravaged his body not once, but twice. Over the course of his survival, he lost his parents and his childhood, but he’s been healthy for years and has become a man he hopes his family is proud of. But when his world tilts on its axis yet again, he’ll have to learn what it means to fight not only the unknown but also his attraction to his best friend.
Tessa Stone works hard and plays harder. She’s spent her life trying to figure out who she is in the present rather than looking back. Yet when she’s forced into close proximity with Murphy, she’ll have to not only be his rock but learn how to relax enough to maybe let him be hers, as well. But seduction doesn’t stop when the world seems to, and close encounters of the naked kind might just be the first step in something much more complicated than either of them bargained for. Life, though, is for living, after all.




Two people letting their pasts define their futures is the driving force in this emotionally intense romance that puts readers through the wringer.  With tissues nearby readers will find themselves captivated by this friends to lovers romance that takes them to the depths of despair to the highs of a hard-fought HEA.  By the turn of the final page readers will feel drained but oh so satisfied by all that's come before for this unforgettable family whose lives quickly became our own.

Murphy's the youngest Gallagher brother and while his brothers have been finding their HEAs he's been happy to continue his bachelor ways.  But when his life suddenly changes he quickly comes to realize that healing goes much better when you're not alone.  Murphy's youth was full of doctor's visits and numerous hospital stays as he battled, and survived, cancer twice.  It was a time full of fear and guilt as his parents devoted themselves to his healing.  Their deaths after all the energy they lent him has always made him feel responsible, so when his cancer returns he'd prefer to deal with it on his own.  With the closeness of the Gallagher clan though, there's many people rooting for his survival and giving him a shoulder to lean on.  Murphy's always had a flirtatious friendship with his soon-to-be sister-in-law's best friend, Tessa.  Though he sometimes wanted more he didn't want to ruin what they already had.  Fear of losing her friendship held him back from crossing that line, but with his future far from guaranteed with the return of his cancer he no longer wants to live with what-ifs.  When fate has them becoming roommates lines are quickly crossed as flirty words become erotic acts that burned up the pages.  Loss of a friend and threats to Tessa have them growing closer together but leaves readers on edge as his cancer is never far from our thoughts.  Murphy's a delicious hero, kind-hearted, gentlemanly, and charming.  He's also sexy, utterly drool-worthy, and a master at dirty talk.  He and Tessa spend a lot of time scorching up the sheets in numerous, almost too many, erotic encounters that sometimes felt like a way for them to hold reality at bay.  He handled his third cancer diagnosis with strength and honesty in scenes that were realistic.  Each step of his treatment was vividly depicted with all the clinical smells and fears palpable.  It was a journey full of heartache and loss that had me wanting to hug him while rooting for him every step of the way.

Tessa's youth was traumatic as well as the death of her birth parents led to a caring adoptive family whose love she constantly needed to test.  Her questionable choices and criminal acts brought out feelings of guilt and disappointment in her that never went away and put a wedge between her and her parents that left her vulnerable to bad men.  After the abuse she dealt with in her last relationship she swore she wouldn't settle for anything but a quiet and well-mannered man this time around.  Unfortunately though well-mannered and quiet is boring when compared to the flirty and sensual Murphy.  When he ends up as her roommate all the naughty dreams she's been having about him she now longs to see come true.  With his future in doubt she too doesn't want to be left with what-ifs and with erotic encounters balanced with heartfelt talks they find themselves growing closer together.  Fears over Murphy's future soon war with escalating acts of intimidation to keep her and readers on edge.  With niggling feelings of danger weighing on her readers too will be left guessing as to her future when death comes to her doorstep.  Tessa's a likable and strong-willed heroine who carries guilt of her own over the past.  Being around the very affectionate and supportive Gallagher clan pushes her to deal with those does Murphy.  Her feelings about him, those she's always kept buried, are now brought to the forefront as their friendship becomes more intense.  She's immensely supportive too, not only to her friends both old and new, but to Murphy as he needs that now more than ever.  Their connection is a healing balm to both of them that had me cheering them on through every high and low.

This was a powerful story of overcoming death by living life to the fullest. Murphy always lived in fear of his cancer coming back, holding himself back, until it's almost too late.  In his battle against cancer he faces it with strength, brashness, and by grabbing on to life with both hands.  Tessa too always held parts of herself back out of guilt over the past, but with Murphy by her side she gives herself over wholeheartedly to the possibilities.  Theirs is a combustible connection built on a foundation of friendship.  It's a solid connection that seamlessly transformed into more.  Numerous erotically-charged encounters teeming with dirty talk were balanced with sweet and tender moments of cuddling that had me blushing one moment and full of warm fuzzies the next. The only part of this story that fell a bit flat for me concerned the danger to Tessa.  The villain was obvious to me early on and their connection to someone close to her felt a bit too soap opera-ish.  There was already so much fear, uncertainty, and intense emotions regarding Murphy's treatment that putting her in danger too felt unnecessary.  Despite that one flaw this was an engaging story and the perfect ending to the Gallagher Brothers series.  I loved seeing the family once again unite in solidarity for Murphy's healing.  They're an affectionate bunch who are playful in their interactions with one another and there for each other no matter what.  Murphy's cancer treatment was vividly depicted with moments of sadness balanced with unexpected humor, moments that brought a tear to my eye and moments that had me cheering.  On a whole it's another winner from Ms. Ryan and while I'm sad to see this series end I look forward to where this author takes us next!

My rating for this is an A-

*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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