TITLE: Reclaiming Hope
SERIES: Home for Hope #3
AUTHOR: Shell Taylor
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
LENGTH: 210 Pages
RELEASE DATE: October 14, 2016
BLURB: Sequel to Resurrecting Hope
Home for Hope: Book Three
Four years ago, Kollin Haverty’s best friend, Riley Meadows, dropped off the face of the earth. When he shows up out of the blue, armed with a flimsy excuse for disappearing and having nearly completed his transition from female to male, Kollin wants to pick up where they left off. But Riley’s unwillingness to be honest with Kollin prevents him from fully trusting Riley again. Despite Riley’s insecurities and Kollin’s abandonment issues, they quickly discover there’s something more than friendship between them.
When a ghost from Riley’s past unexpectedly appears with haunting memories in tow, Kollin’s anger about being lied to outweighs his desire to be the understanding boyfriend Riley needs. As Riley’s web of strategically withheld secrets begins to unravel, he must find the courage to pursue his own peace before he can move forward with Kollin, and Kollin must decide what’s more important—supporting his best friend or protecting himself.
Adam rolled his eyes to mimic her and then turned his attention toward Kollin. “Look who the cat dragged in.”
For some reason, Kollin’s heart fluttered. Waves of nervousness raced through his body as he tried to figure out why Adam thought he should know the stranger. He’d never told either of his parents about meeting the guy at the bookstore, and even if he had, Adam couldn’t have known he was the same person.
The man studied the ground, seemingly reluctant to look at Kollin, but Kollin knew he couldn’t identify him even if they were staring directly at one another.
Fortunately Adam saved him from further embarrassment. “I didn’t recognize Riley until he threatened to own me in Ping-Pong.”
Kollin sucked in a huge gulp of air. The nervous flutters, which had been nothing more than a curious enigma, ceased, and he suddenly felt as if a boulder had settled in the pit of his stomach.
He hadn’t spoken to Riley Meadows in over four years. When Kollin’s parents kicked him out, Riley had been the one who kept Kollin sane. He tethered him to reality when all he’d wanted was to escape inside himself. They’d kept in touch when Riley first went to college and somehow became even closer—until Riley seemingly dropped off the face of the earth. Phone calls, e-mails, texts… all unanswered. Kollin eventually took the hint and gave up.
Now Riley was back?
Going into this book I wasn't sure what to expect. I had never read a book with a transitioning person, adult or young adult, and as my first it’s hard to grasp what you are getting yourself into or where the story will take you. I am in awe of the emotional story that Shell Taylor wrote. This story was so moving and real that it’s hard to delve into while reading it or right after. It was emotionally educational as well as eye opening and made my heart go from hurting to full of love throughout the story.
Kollin is a college student still living home with his two dads when his best friend, that abandoned him 4 years earlier, walks back into his life. Kollin isn’t sure what to think of the why’s Riley left but he’s a pretty forgiving guy, more than most people I know, and tries to wipe the slate clean for them to go back to being best friends again. A lot has changed for Riley, emotionally and physically, since they last saw each other. Riley isn’t the same guy that left years earlier he is mid transition, he has had some rough times since he left, and emotionally all over the place.
Their developing relationship was anything but easy. Kollin being a pretty easy going guy tries not to push but with so many emotional landmines around Riley he feels he needs to know more in order to be a good friend and to move forward with the romantic relationship. Riley doesn’t want Kollin, perfect gorgeous Kollin, to know about his tainted past or see his body because he doesn’t think Kollin can want him, not the true him, not the way he is now.
Adam and Eli really try to help the way good parents do; and with how open and honest the communication is between them and Kollin it really does help in some ways. Kollin’s insecurities with the physical side of their relationship coupled with Riley’s ever changing body dysmorphia makes for an emotional ride but one that I would still call low angst.
I loved how the author handled the details of Riley’s struggles in his transition with the physical aspect of still not having the parts he felt he was missing, to the parts that were complete but still carried scars, and so many psychological issues. They never bogged the story down, to me they made the story that much better. This is one friends to lovers book I wish everyone would read.
Shell Taylor is a full-time mother of three exuberant and loving kiddos and one fur baby, a tiny but fierce Yorkie-poo named Rocco. As a Christian who practices love, grace, and humility, she tries her best to instill these same virtues in her rowdy kids. She is a huge fan of Marvel comics and will never stop loving Harry Potter (Hufflepuff pride, baby!) When Shell isn’t writing, she can be found binge watching Netflix or volunteering at her church and childrens’ school. Shell considers herself blessed to have married a strong, supportive man who works hard to allow her to continue to follow her dreams.
You can also email Shell at - firstname.lastname@example.org
1st Winner’s Prize: $20 Amazon GC
2nd Winner’s Prize: E-copy of Redeeming Hope/Resurrecting Hope
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