REVIEWED by Jen B.
TITLE: Finding Hope
SERIES: Finding #5
AUTHOR: Sloane Kennedy
LENGTH: 324 Pages
RELEASE DATE: March 2, 2017
BLURB: At 19, Beck Barretti is living two lives. To his family, he’s a young man trying to find his way after years of battling a mental illness that nearly cost him everything. But to the rest of the world he’s just another privileged kid with problems. The truth doesn’t even lie somewhere in between because Beck’s entire life is actually about keeping secrets.
From the people he loves.
From the ones he doesn’t.
Spending a summer in Dare, Montana with family friends isn’t about starting fresh – it’s about escaping the crippling darkness that threatens to consume him.
Until one encounter that was supposed to mean nothing ends up changing everything…
Quinn Donovan had the life he’d always dreamed of until a brutal act of violence ripped it all away. Even though he’s found a new future working at the CB Bar Ranch in Dare, Montana, he’s not interested in trying to get back what he once had. All he wants is a quiet life that includes a job that’s worth getting up for each morning and hanging out with his best friend, a black and white Paint stallion named Koda.
But nothing prepares him for the strange twist of fate that brings not one, but two men into his life…
Brody Wilder is done hiding in the closet. As the son of a political scion, he’s spent his entire life hiding the truth about who he is just so he could inherit a legacy he never wanted. But those days are behind him and he’s starting a new life in rural Montana where he’s saving lives as a paramedic and building a successful construction business that would surely horrify his old-money, society-loving family.
After years of denying himself, he’s taking advantage of his newfound freedom by indulging in random, meaningless sexual encounters that are about pleasure, not emotion.
So no one is more surprised than him when one night in the back room of a sordid gay club leads to something more…
Can three men who came together by chance find the hope they need to build a future with each other, or will they end up letting their fears determine their destiny?
If you’ve been following this series, you know there are a lot of characters to follow. Many of the relationships are triads, and they are all somehow connected, either by family or by work.
Beck is the 19 year old adopted son of Rafe and Cade Barretti. He had a pretty rough life taking care of his younger siblings, and even though his dads have done everything they could to try and help him, things have kind of spiraled for him. In an attempt to get a fresh start, he is going to spend the summer at their friends’ ranch which will hopefully also help rebuild some of the trust lost after a previously unsuccessful suicide attempt. He is going through quite a bit more than he let on though, and as a way to cope and put things in his control, he makes a stop at a gay club where he has an encounter with Quinn and Brody that ended up surprising and turning the tables on him.
Quinn works at the ranch taking care of the horses. He is grieving the loss of his husband who died at the hands of a gay bashing approximately two years prior. Thinking he had his one love and lost it, he isn’t looking for more than the casual hookup.
Brody is an EMT with a side business in construction who is doing some work at a resort that works in conjunction with the ranch (see, the guys are all connected in some way, shape or form). Having left home after his coming out didn’t go over very well, he is now living his life on his terms.
These three never expected to share a connection like the one they realized they had. While it is clear that Beck has to be handled with kid gloves (no pun intended), they nevertheless want to help and be friends if nothing else. But, none of them can deny the chemistry the three of them share. It takes quite a bit of nurturing to get past some of the roadblocks Beck’s past has created, and his maturity level certainly doesn’t help any. However, they make it work, and clearly are what each of them needs.
I admit that I struggle with age gaps such as this where one MC is a teenager (albeit legal). I have a hard time seeing how the maturity levels can last or mesh, so it isn’t my favorite trope. However, that does not take away from the quality of the story or the emotions it invokes. Ms. Sloane manages to bring that out in every story I’ve read, which is why I continue to go back every time. It is easy to care about her characters and their stories. It’s a wonderful world (though often hard at times) where so many man can live in non-traditional relationships showing that all that matters is the love that exists between the parties. I’m already looking forward to the next one and highly recommend you give this or any of her other series a try.