Thursday, June 15, 2017

Book Review & Giveaway: RENEWAL by Helena Stone (Dublin Virtues #3)

Buy Links: 

Pride (Available now)
Amazon US | Amazon UK (Out June 20)

Length: 64,000 words

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?

Carra's Review

After reading the other books in this series, I went into Renewal with some strong negative opinions about Shane--and rightfully so considering his behavior until now.  I had very little faith that a story could be written for him to redeem his actions, and a built-in dislike for his character before I even started reading this story.  So what does the author do?  Turns my emotions upside down to where I would now be considered a staunch defender of Shane--not of what he did and said previously, but of the man he has become since then.

While I was already going into this story not feeling too good about Shane's character, I really liked Chris right from the start.  He's steady, fair and sees and tries to understand everyone's points of view before making his own decisions.  He and Shane seem at first to have hot, instant chemistry together...but after that initial contact, things kind of become muted.  It has nothing to do with their actual chemistry and compatibility, and everything to do with Shane's attitude--push others away before they can do it to you, especially now that he has his nephew to think about.

The more Shane and Chris spend time together, the more obvious their connection.  What everything hinges on--and where the tension and angst comes from--is Shane's ability to let someone in and start a real relationship.  The heightened emotions that are generated from his family situation add to it all, and that's what really started to change my perception of him.  He's also thoroughly devoted to his nephew Danny, who is such an adorable sweetheart.

I really enjoyed Renewal, and thought it fit in quite well with the series.  It was great to see Troy, Xander, Lorcan and Eric again from the first two books, and I was very happy to see how things turned out once Shane was in the picture.  Renewal falls somewhere between 4 and 4.5 stars for me, I'm kind of waffling on the exact point so let's say 4.25.  There's not an overabundance of physical scenes, but those that are there do kick this up to be a book for readers 18+ for adult language and M/M sexual content.

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, itís 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.


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