Title: Redeeming Hope
Author: Shell Taylor
Series: Home for Hope #1
Heroes: Elijah Langley/Adam Lancaster
Genre: MM Contemporary
Length: 205 Pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 5, 2015
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Fifteen years ago Elijah Langley’s world came to an abrupt halt with the death of his high school boyfriend. He keeps his past—and his sexual orientation—hidden until he attends a fundraiser for The Center for HOPE, an LGBT youth center, where he meets Adam Lancaster, HOPE’s infuriatingly stubborn and sexy founder.
A survivor of a turbulent childhood, Adam understands better than most the challenges his youth face. He’s drawn to Elijah’s baby blues and devilish smile but refuses to compromise his values and climb back into the closet for anyone—not even the man showering time and money on HOPE. Months of constant flirting wear down Adam’s resolve until he surrenders to his desires, but Elijah can’t shake his demons.
When a youth from the center is brutally assaulted, Elijah must find a way to confront the fears and memories that are starting to ruin his life, so he can stand strong for those he loves.
Review: Eli is the big cheese in Carey, NC. His parents own a big lumber yard and he’s quite rich. Since he lost his high school boyfriend, he’s stayed in the closet and focused on dating women as he identifies as bi-sexual.
Adam is out and proud and runs a center for the LGBT youth of Carey, NC. He meets Eli at a fund-raiser and his gaydar pings. Eli hits on Adam after donating a large chunk of change and the two argue.
Eli feels bad and goes back to Adam to apologize but ends up instead embroiled even further with the new center Adam is building and the kids Adam helps.
Eli and Adam spend a long time going back and forth with their flirting but devote most of their time and energy building the new center and helping one of the kids, Kollin, deal with his homophobic parents.
Without giving away too much of the story, something happens to Kollin that forces Eli’s hand, Eli snubs Adam in public, Adam decides that though Eli’s heart is in the right place where the center is considered he can’t date a man in the closet, Eli is forced to decide how to live his life – by his rules or his father’s.
This book both frustrated and enchanted me.
I absolutely loved watching Eli emerge from his past through his work with Kollin and the center. Kollin is a great character and I’m looking forward to seeing more of him in book 2.
Adam was both fun and annoying in that he kept pushing Eli away then drawing him back in, but he was blunt and snarky and a great character. Eli didn’t help matters by sometimes being a suave and cool business-man and other times a little kid under his father’s thumb.
Occasionally I didn’t feel Eli behaved as I’d expect a man in his position to act, and this brought me out of the story at times. Adam, however, continually felt “real” if wishy-washy.
For the most part, I think this story does a really good job of staying in the land of “possible” and really feeling authentic. There were lots of ways the characters showed very human reactions and yet there was still the appropriately sweet (sometimes sexy) romance taking place.
I reserve judgment in it’s entirety because this is clearly book one in a three (I think) part series. On the one hand, I am worried about there being a bit too much angst and drawn out drama to keep my interest in the coming books, but for now, I am absolutely hooked.
I really want to know how Eli and Kollin are going to make it as a family, and I wonder what is going to happen with Eli and Adam and the center.
So… I cautiously recommend this book and give it 4 of 5 stars.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*