Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Renewal by Helena Stone

Title: Renewal
Author: Helena Stone
Series: Dublin Virtues #3
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: June 20, 2017
Publisher: Pride Publishing
When everything changes, can renewal bring redemption?

Shane Boyle left Dublin for America, burning most of his bridges, certain his future lay in Florida. When a family crisis forces him back to the city he grew up in, he knows his life will never be the same again. With his sister close to death, his mother and five-year-old nephew Danny need him not just to be around but also to be the rock they can depend on. Torn between panic about his new responsibilities and despair at his impending loss, love and a relationship are the last thing on his mind.

Chris Anderson left Australia for Dublin ten years ago with no intention of ever going back. For reasons he can’t explain, even to himself, he hasn’t been in a relationship for almost as long as he’s been in Ireland. Now thirty-five years old, he wonders what happened to his dream of a lasting bond and a family to call his own.

When Shane and Chris hook up one night in a pub, neither knows that the next day they’ll meet again, this time as colleagues in a tattoo parlour. Chris has no idea about Shane’s dodgy past and Shane can’t figure out the mountain of a man who refuses to take no for an answer. Having to reinvent his whole life is only the start of Shane’s process of renewal. Will Chris turn out to be his savior or his downfall?

Shane Boyle left Dublin a couple of years back for better things in Florida on his terms which didn't really leave many un-burned bridges to come home to when tragedy strikes.  Chris Anderson came to Dublin from Australia a decade ago and even though his career has found a home at Pins & Needles Tattoo Parlor his personal life is not as satisfying.  When these two meet one night and have a bit of a hook-up their lives will never quite be the same even if they aren't exactly on the same page at the same time.

I can't lie, when I read that book 3 in Helena Stone's Dublin Virtues series was going to be about Shane, the man who left Troy in a financial lurch in Patience, book 1 and how he interfered between Troy and Zander, I really didn't think I'd be able to warm to him as a proper character with his own love story.  Could the author really make a man like Shane redeemable? I had my doubts but I went in with an open mind and to say I was pleasantly surprised would be an understatement.  I really loved how Shane wasn't immediately redeemed, we get to see what brought him home and how it has humbled him and put things in perspective.  Chris needs no redeeming but his heart needs healing and together they may just find their place in this world.

I really loved how the author doesn't make everything okay right away without struggle, both internal and externally for both boys.  I also loved seeing Troy and Zander pop in and find a way to overcome their past troubles with Shane.  I just really enjoyed Renewal from beginning to end, even if my acceptance of Shane surprised me, to make a character we've had reason to hate likeable takes talent and I look forward to see what the author brings us next.



Patience #1
I'm going to jump right out of the gate and say what a lovely story Patience is, realistic and beautiful.  Now, as any one who is familiar with my reviews knows that I don't do spoilers.  Having said all that, Xander and Troy could have saved themselves quite a bit of time and stress had they been more upfront with each other from the get go.  Sometimes stories with misunderstandings, miscommunication, or lack thereof, make the reader just want to scream and shake their ereader but not Patience.  Let's face it, if there was no drama then you would be reading a 10 page leaflet instead of a full length novel and where is the fun in that?  But Patience is much more than just drama caused from miscommunication, there is a clear reason why both Xander and Troy haven't divulged everything to each other, but those reasons you'll have to discover for yourself.

Along with the budding romance between Xander and Troy, I loved the true bromances both men have with their lifelong friends, Eric and Lorcan.  Helena Stone has created a journey that blends the title, the reasoning behind it, and interesting characters that will keep you hooked from the first page to the last.  You might actually even discover something about yourself as you ride along with Xander and Troy in their quest for a healthy future that all began with a little tattoo.

Helena Stone is a new author for me and after just one story I'm already looking forward to more, beginning with Equality, Dublin Virtues book 2 which follows Eric and Lorcan.  She is definitely an author I'll keep on my radar.

Equality #2
I have been looking forward to reading Eric and Lorcan's story ever since they met when their best friends, Zander and Troy met in Patience.  Boy, did Helena Stone deliver!  Set with the backdrop of the Yes Referendum for marriage equality in Ireland, Eric and Lorcan try to balance dating, family, and well equality.

As a heterosexual woman I have no idea what it is like to come out to one's family and having a close loving relationship with my parents I can't imagine what it feels like to have them turn on you either but I would think that to face what Lorcan does could be so trying.  To have them basically say "okay but don't bring it to our door", I can't imagine the lack of hope and support he feels so when his grandmother steps up and supports him at a family dinner made me smile and cry happy tears and showed Lorcan that perhaps not all hope is lost.  Having said that, the author really conveys Lorcan's fears throughout, even if you want to shake him and tell him to open up to Eric.

I just love this series so far and I love how the equality is not just about marriage, gay and straight, but also between Eric and Lorcan.  Lorcan is in a relationship for the first time in his life so for him to balance what he's always done alone with Eric is also a battle.  Like in Patience, you just might walk away with a little new insight about yourself as well as enjoyed a lovely work of fiction as you follow Lorcan's journey.


Author Bio:
Helena Stone can’t remember a life before words and reading. After growing up in a household where no holiday or festivity was complete without at least one new book, it’s hardly surprising she now owns more books than shelf space while her Kindle is about to explode.

The urge to write came as a surprise. The realisation that people might enjoy her words was a shock to say the least. Now that the writing bug has well and truly taken hold, Helena can no longer imagine not sharing the characters in her head and heart with the rest of the world.

Having left the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam for the peace and quiet of the Irish Country side she divides her time between reading, writing, long and often wet walks with the dog, her part-time job in a library, a grown-up daughter and her ever loving and patient husband.

EMAIL: helenastoneauthor@gmail.com

Renewal #3

Patience #1

Equality #2

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