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Change of Address (Hartsbridge Island) Paperback – 8 Jun 2016
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**Starred Review** "Brock's tender social-class-bridging love story features authentically decent, good-hearted, and kind protagonists who grow and learn together." ~ Booklist "Sometimes playfully loving and other times intensely thought-provoking, this tale is a pleasure to read." ~ Publishers Weekly "An easy, sweet read for people who like happy endings." ~ Kirkus
Top customer reviews
We saw the real struggles of Michael, left with aphasia following a bullet to the head, and his determination to live a life away from the strings attached and wielded by his wealthy family. We saw 'ordinary' guy Josh overcome his insecurities about his looks and larger frame, and his inability to read. We saw what real family should be like, and we saw an example of family life that I wouldn't wish on anyone, it was so superficial, so condemning, strings-attached and judgmental. We saw the guys in a real relationship that needed time to grow and strengthen until both were ready to commit, and best of all, we saw them living that HEA, having made positive changes to their lives that fulfilled both of them, and we saw them with a 'chosen' family.
The PTSD was portrayed realistically and from reading more than one book on this them, and concerning aphasia, it seems as if the author has done her research very well. I thought the service dog element was spot on, as was the chat that Josh and his dad had over going into a relationship eyes open, knowing that that's the price to pay for happiness, or for a chance at happiness.
My review doesn't make this book exciting, and that's because, with respect to the author, as this is not a criticism, it is not exciting. It is an absorbing, emotional, humbling and sweet tale that felt very real. I ended up loving it.
ARC courtesy of Riptide Publishing for my reading pleasure.
A gentle romance about two men who manage to find each other despite their vulnerabilities.
Michael has returned home from the army with PTSD and a need for refuge and peace. He finds this refuge in his family home at Hartsbridge. Together with his service dog Kaylee he hopes to piece his life together and find a life for himself far from his father's political campaigning.
Josh helps his father with their family's bagel business. He has dyslexia and never finished high school. He is lonely and wants so much more for his life and the family business but he has doubts about his abilities to find a way forward.
When the two men meet they like each other but each man lacks the confidence to reach out. The story is one of gradual disclosure as each man takes a chance in the other, slowly opening themselves up and taking a risk on love.
It is quite a slow book but very realistic. Not too much drama. No major conflict. Not too much angst, just two men getting to know and trust each other.
I think it was a nice story but kind of placid. The drama has already taken place before the two men meet and so this is a kind of movement towards the next stage of both men's lives but seeing if they can do this together. The story is one of exploring the possibilities ahead but having to overcome initial barriers to do so.
I generally prefer a bit more drama in my stories but I did like the fact that there was no contrived angst or big misunderstanding.
A nice read and good writing too.
Copy provided by Riptide Publishing in exchange for an unbiased review.
This is a tooth achingly sweet romance. A wounded soldier hiding from his wealthy and powerful family finds comfort in a local bagel shop and forges a gentle friendship with the shop owner.
A bullet to the head has left Michael with lasting brain damage and frightening PTSD. He lives in isolation with his service dog. The whole scenario - complete with faithful dog - felt slightly like a cheap play for readers’ emotions. How could anyone not love him? It took most of the book to learn Michael’s full story, but ultimately, I loved his complicated past and his courage as he started living again. But then again, the man is perfect - and perfect is always slightly annoying.
Josh is more interesting. He is talented at his business but he’s hiding his illiteracy which is a huge barrier to his success. He is an adult living with his father. Where Michael is running from his family, Josh is nearly smothered by his huge Jewish extended family and their expectations.
These two are both nearly perfect and they are perfect for each other. The romance unravels slowly. The connection between these two me in awkward, gentle and ultimately comforting. I’m not a huge slow and sweet romance fan but there are some days I absolutely need to read something where good things happen to good people and it all ends happily ever after. And this is the perfect book for one of those days.
However, it ends abruptly right after a crucial family moment, which left me metaphorically flicking through pages looking for the rest of it. There's a non sequitur epilogue which adds little to the story and goes nowhere, leaving the story unresolved and this reader feeling cheated.
I found the story to be more of a HFN rather than a HEA. It was also short and expensive, which I justified for a new author because I respect Riptide. If I'd DNF'd, I'd have asked for my money back, as it was, I was merely looking for the rest of it.
If there is a sequel planned, I will not be buying it. Not because the story wasn't good enough or the characters interesting enough, but because it should have been one story.