Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Blurb Blitz for The Promise of Hope Shelter by Sarah Hadley Brook (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Two men try to start their lives over in this m/m-fueled romance that will keep readers fully invested from the first page to the last.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Promise of Hope Shelter by Sarah Hadley Brook, along with my impressions of it, then learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this emotionally intense read make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $25 bookstore GC too!

Jacob Baumgardner is struggling to get his nonprofit shelter for gay teens up and running. The old building needs a lot of help in order for it to pass inspection. Raised by his grandparents for part of his life, the shelter is his chance to honor them. Unfortunately, someone is making his dream difficult. An anonymous extortionist is determined to ruin his late grandfather’s good name which could mean the end of the shelter.
Luka Smith is fairly new in town and willing to work hard at any job available. He is struggling to find his place in the world after a traumatic event in his teen years pushed him to run. When Jacob hires him to help with repairs at the shelter, Luka falls hard and fast. He wants nothing more than to be part of his world and help him with his dream, if Jacob will let him.
As they work together to ensure The Promise of Hope Shelter gets off the ground, their feelings only grow. But will a calculating blackmailer close the shelter before they even have a chance?


Jacob was torn between being embarrassment of being caught in the middle of a panic attack and the safety he felt while wrapped in Luka’s arms. Technically this was the second time this man had rescued him in less than…two…maybe three hours. Okay, the first time was not really rescuing, but he’d still helped him during a bad situation.
He squirmed a little and tried to pull away, but Luka’s strong arms tightened around his waist.
“Give it a few more minutes."
Jacob nodded and slumped back against the wall of muscle behind him. His heartbeat sped up and he realized he could feel Luka’s beating hard into his back. Had Luka been worried about him?
It felt so natural to be in the man’s arms. Jacob hadn’t dated in quite some time, mainly due to his grandparents’ death and trying to start this new shelter, but he also hadn’t met anyone that had piqued his interest. And Luka definitely piqued his interest. Unfortunately, he was pretty sure he hadn’t made the best impression on Luka, although he was just as confident that Luka wouldn’t soon forget meeting him.
“I’m okay,” he whispered.
“Okay,” Luka replied, pulling back. “No quick moves."
Jacob nodded and waited for Luka to stand before he tried to push himself from the floor. His legs felt like jelly, so he was glad when Luka reached down like a lifeline. He grabbed onto the hand and let Luka pull him to a standing position.
They faced each other, Jacob eye level with Luka’s chin. He was too embarrassed to say anything and too wobbly to move, so he concentrated on the cleft in Luka’s chin.
Luka’s voice washed over him and brought him warmth. He caught himself before he leaned his forehead into Luka’s perfect golden skin. “Mmm?"
Luka’s thumb gently nudged up his chin until Jacob looked into his eyes. Dark chocolate eyes full of concern. “Are you okay?” Luka whispered, his hot breath caressing Jacob’s flesh. He shivered and nodded.



Readers looking for a story that pulls at the heartstrings will get just that with this m/m tale that deals with small town prejudices, issues of teens and coming-out, and an unexpected romance between two people trying to deal with their pasts.  As bits of melodrama balance with an increasingly sensual romance readers will find themselves furiously turning the pages to see what happens next.

Jacob was thrown out the day his father discovered he was gay which left him with only his grandparents to care about him.  With his grandfather's passing he can think of no other way to honor him then by starting a home to help other teens dealing with issues of homosexuality and abandonment.  Unfortunately Jacob's got the town's preacher and the city's housing council breathing down his neck and putting his dream in jeopardy.  Add in being blackmailed over his grandfather's legacy and Jacob's in need of help.  Luckily he gets introduced to Luka who seems to be the answer to his prayers...in more ways than one.  It's love at first sight in a relationship full of teasing moments and scorching encounters that has both of them leaning on the other in moments of great need.  And when everything comes to a head their connection is the only thing that will help them reach their HEA.  Jacob has a kind heart, is a bit shy, but very likable.  He's devoted to the teens in his charge and their pains clearly become his as he frets over everything having to do with the shelter.  He's drawn to Luka immediately but worries keep them moving slowly throughout their evolving relationship which sometimes frustrated me.  Another issue that frustrated me was his handling of the blackmailer.  He easily fell into the trap, despite all the silly evidence sent to him, and I cringed when the story dealt with it.  Ultimately though, and despite these few annoyances, I truly liked Jacob and was rooting for him every step of the way.

Luka's had an unconventional life moving from one place to the next as a member of a gypsy family doing whatever they could to survive.  His father's plans for him, and a tragic event, had him running from home though and he's never looked back.  Because of his past he was leery of making a connection again until the moment he meets Jacob.  Their first moment together is full of sexual tension as well as a moment of solidarity against those in the town seeking to force them out of town.  From there on it's Luka who's the more dominant in their relationship.  He sets the pace, and it's a frustratingly slow pace early on, and takes charge in and out of the bedroom.  There's an air of mystery about him with a past that's intriguing, as is his friendship with another former-gypsy Patrick.  Like Jacob, he's unconditionally supportive and would do anything to see Jacob's dream come true which had me cheering for them from their very first meeting as they're a perfect match.

This was a quick read full of heart and soul as it presented readers with a charming romance while dealing with some very heavy issues.  Those issues were depicted in a manner that sometimes went over the top though and diminished their overall impact.  The blackmail of Jacob also felt a bit silly and became a distraction to the sweet and sensual romance growing between him and Luka and easily could've been omitted.  Despite those small quibbles I still found this an engaging read and am hoping to see more of the men of Hope Shelter as well as the burgeoning romance between Patrick and Garrett just hinted at here.

My rating for this is a B-

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


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 non-profit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures up 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 co-starred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity to live. 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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  1. Congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

  2. Thanks for the review and for sharing! And you are right- I'm already working on the sequel!

    1. Thank YOU for stopping by and I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel! I also felt that a third romance might be possible for Officer Mike and the new preacher in town...I could be wrong though, but they felt like two ships passing in the night.

      The Scarf Princess

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks for reading the review and excerpt! Good luck on the raffle.

  4. I love all I have read and I can't wait to read this book! (jozywails@gmail.com)

    1. Thanks! I hope you enjoy it. I'm already working on the sequel and Jody's comment above about Officer Mike has my mind already excited about a third book!

  5. Thanks for the review. This book sounds so good, I can't wait to read it.

    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy it. I had so much fun creating these characters and am furiously working on the sequel. :)

  6. Who is your favorite literary character of all time? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

  7. Thank you so much for the review and for sharing my blurb. This was my first blitz and I have loved every second of it!

    1. Thank YOU for your interactions with readers during this tour! A lot of authors don’t take the time to do this. I look forward to the continuation of this book/series & I hope you keep me in mind when it comes to reviewing.

      The Scarf Princess