Unquiet by Melanie Hansen ~ Audiobook

Title: Unquiet

Series: Resilient Love 03

Author: Melanie Hansen

Narrator: Michael Stellman

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 10 hrs 32 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (13th September 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Loren Smith has been in love with Eliot Devlin almost his entire life. During their turbulent childhood and teen years, Loren didn’t always understand Eliot, and sometimes he could be a challenge, but Eliot was the only one to ever truly ease Loren’s deep loneliness and accept him. When Eliot’s increasingly erratic and self-destructive behavior culminates in a suicide attempt at 17, Loren is devastated.

Upon meeting again by chance nine years later, Loren is enjoying a successful career as a police officer while Eliot’s life has been a constant struggle for stability. In and out of mental hospitals, with a rap sheet a mile long, he continues to be buffeted by the twin storms of mania and depression. Loren’s love and protectiveness for Eliot are deeply ingrained in him, however, and their feelings for each other are quickly rekindled.

Loren has issues of his own that he’s dealing with, and trying to understand and cope with Eliot’s bipolar disorder isn’t easy. They believe they’re meant to be, and Eliot brings a fulfillment to Loren’s life that no one else will ever match. But, as they both come to realize, love by itself can’t cure all.

Product Link: Audible AU | Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Unquiet is the third book in Melanie Hansen’s series Resilient Love and this book certainly lives up to the title. I’ve been one to do trigger warnings in my reviews but I feel that I need to for this as there is one character who suffers from a severe mental illness, to the point of attempting suicide. This book left me raw and I think I cried throughout the entire 10-odd hours that the book went for. Michael Stellman, a new narrator for me, was just perfect, hitting the right tone and emotion.

This is the story of Eliot and Loren.

Loren is a cop who we met in the previous book as the best friend as one of our heroes (FYI he is Kai Daniels’s best friend), but it’s ok to read this one as a standalone book. Loren knew that he would be a cop when he was a kid, it was family thing for him but it is a job that he loves. There was really only one thing that was left a loose end for him and that was the sudden loss of his best friend, Eliot Devlin when they were in high school. Eliot was always different but until the suicide attempt he had never known that his best friend had had all the signs of bipolar disorder, even as a kid. As kids their relationship was very sweet because they were each other’s everything until one day Eliot tried to kill himself and then Eliot and his family suddenly moved away without Loren ever knowing what happened to Eliot.

Ok, I’m seriously starting to cry just writing about this book. This left such a mark on me, it’s one of those books that just stays with you for days and weeks after you finish. With that said, I’m going to keep the rest of this review short.

Fast forward to the present day and Loren took up an opportunity that could mean a promotion to detective for him. By chance he encounters Eliot after so many years. Loren immediately tracks down his best friend, even after finding out the horrifying and sad truth of his illness. At first Loren understands on the surface but he really needed to experience more of Eliot’s illness to fully comprehend what life would be. Eliot is used to being alone but as soon as Loren comes back into his life it was like a switch was flipped and their old friendship is something of an anchor to him despite his issues. However, Eliot’s issues are not minor and can just be glossed over to a quick HEA and I think that is what I loved about this story. I am glad, too, that Hansen’s didn’t fall into the trap that Eliot would suddenly be better just because he found love with Loren.

Sometimes I wanted to kick Loren because he didn’t see what that sometimes his behavior did negative things to Eliot’s state of mind. But I knew that this was on the bumpy road to Loren understanding Eliot and maybe, just maybe there would be a chance of a future together.

Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen ~ Audiobook

Title: Signs of Life

Series: Resilient Love 02

Author: Melanie Hansen

Narrator: Robert Nieman

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 8 hrs 22 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (21st March 2017)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all – a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leaves Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids – he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

Product Link: Audible USAudible AU | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Signs of Life is book 2 in Melanie Hansen’s Resilient Love series. I hadn’t been sure what to expect. I had read book 1, about 2 years ago, and from reading my review of that I loved it, though I had trouble remembering all of the plot. Regardless, I went into the audio of book 2 with an open mind and hoping that I didn’t need to do a proper re-read of book 2. While I’m sure it would be best to read the books in order, I find that Signs of Life also works perfectly well as a standalone book. However, be warned, it’s probably best to have some tissues handy for this one.

The story follows Jeremy Speer, a lawyer with a tragic past after the death of his family, and passionate school teacher who works with troubled kids, Kai Daniels.

Jeremy has a lot of baggage and emotion to work through before even thinking about a relationship beyond sex. After their first encounter, work brings the two men back together and Kai is not a very happy man about seeing the man he thought as an asshole. For Jeremy, the fact that he barely knows Kai, especially since their first encounter is in a dark, dingy gay club, he has to open himself up before completely fucking up any chance he could have with Kai.

The plot line itself is fairly simple and I’ve tried to keep this review spoiler free, which is the reason why it is so short. For me though, this book was all about the emotion – the loneliness, hurt and grief which has the opportunity to transform into acceptance, love and hope.

I’ve not heard a lot of books narrated by Robert Nieman, and while he is not among my absolute favorite narrators, I nonetheless enjoyed listening to his narration.

Everything Changes by Melanie Hansen

Title: Everything Changes

Series: Resilient Love 01

Author: Melanie Hansen

Genre: Contemporary, Military

Length: Novel (200 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (13 Mar 2015)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: What happens when friendship catches fire? 

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a gruelling schedule of counselling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery. 

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts, and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

ISBN: 9781632165701

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon UK | Amazon US

Reviewer: Prime

Review: This is one emotionally charged read and I loved it! Everything Changes is Melanie Hansen’s debut novel and I have to say for me it hit all the right buttons. I’m a sucker when it comes to the wounded soldier kind of angle and really enjoy the emotional rush that must inevitably follow provided that the author hits on those emotions.

This is about best friends, ex-Naval medic Jase DeSantis who out in the real world works as an EMT and working hard to get his band signed up to a record deal. Carey is an ex-Marine, an explosion in Afghanistan meant that he had lost the lower half of one of his legs and he now works with other ex-service people who have trouble coping with their own injuries. The guys met in service and became friends on board a ship some years earlier and through Carey’s rehab they continued being friends.

I enjoyed the brief flashbacks because, honestly, nothing bores me more than a long flashback telling us how we got to where we are in the middle of a book. These flashbacks helped to serve to explain the friendship and comradely between the guys, they also serve to define Jase and Carey’s individual issues. For example, Jase also has PTSD that Carey helps him to deal with during the course of the book. Okay, one thing that niggled at me, why did it take Carey so long to see Jase’s PTSD? I suppose there are many reasons to potentially explain this one.

So that’s the guys – now the attraction. I loved it, it was slow simmering. Jase is openly bisexual. Carey, I think, is just confused about their attraction and his sexuality, something that I concluded after a couple of flashbacks. That being said there is a bit of the “gay for my best friend” or “gay for you only” vibe, but really it is only a side note and not really what the book is about. Together, Jase and Carey work well and it’s easy to quickly cheer for these guys to get along.

Signs of Life by Melanie Hansen Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review & Giveaway!

Melanie Hansen - Signs of Life -virtual-tour-updated

Hi guys, we have Melanie Hansen visiting with the tour for her latest release Signs of Life, we have a great excerpt, a brilliant giveaway and Zane’s review for you to enjoy, so check out the post and click that rafflecopter link <3 ~Pixie~

SOL_Cover

Signs of Life

(Resilient Love 02)
by

Melanie Hansen

Successful lawyer Jeremy Speer has it all—a loving husband, a beautiful home, and a cherished dream that’s about to become reality. He’s learned not to take happiness for granted, meeting the challenges of life and love head-on with unwavering commitment and fierce devotion. A series of tragic events leave Jeremy shattered, adrift on a sea of unimaginable pain. He’s able to piece his life back together, but instead of embracing it, he merely exists, using isolation and punishing physical exertion to keep the world at bay.

 High school teacher Kai Daniels has a heart for at-risk kids—he was one himself, and a teenage brush with the law and some troubled years behind bars left him scarred inside and out. With courage, hard work, and the support of friends, he’s built a fulfilling life that leaves no time for a relationship.

An intense encounter with Kai at a gay club ignites a spark in Jeremy that he thought was extinguished forever, but he’s unwilling to destroy the fragile peace he’s managed to create, and he leaves Kai humiliated and disappointed. Things should have ended there, but a bizarre occurrence brings the two together in a way neither of them expected.

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