Oh my goodness this book pulled at all my emotions, I felt so much empathy and heartbreak for what Archer had been through and was going through. The strength it took him to leave his abusive boyfriend Thomas was massive. The internal dialogue that told him how terrible he was for leaving and all the other disparaging thoughts his subconscious forced on him that he had to push aside and believe in himself, was heartbreaking at times and at times he was able to realise that these were Thomas’ words and not at all true.
I applauded the police detective who was able to see beyond the initial charges he was brought in on and recognise that something was very wrong and offer him the help he needed to find a safe place to put himself back together. The LGBT shelter and its model are perhaps something that needs to be trialled in real life and there definitely needs to be much more funding for these kinds of shelters.
I loved the connection he formed with Brooklyn upon meeting him in the shelter and how they both needed each other to help put themselves back together. There was so much more to Brooklyn than originally met the eye. Brooklyn was so perfect for Archer and the support he gave him and the love they grew into were beautiful
Archer’s journey was not an easy one, his dysfunctional family; his sister and his father added to the emotional baggage that he was trying to deal with and discovering his sister’s situation nearly ends up destroying him all over again. Archer makes some decisions that made me wish I could jump into the story and stop him from making them, but he has such a big heart and wants his sister and niece to be safe and happy, but as is often said, you can’t help someone who doesn’t want help, they need to come to that realisation themselves and ask for it.
The scenes with his abuser Thomas were hard to read and I know my heart beat faster at these times wondering how he could possibly get away and how easy it is for narcissists and abusers to hide their true selves from the people around them.
An emotional read highlighting some topical issues that need addressing now so that the people who need it can find the support networks they need. The romance part was both hot and emotional and though a hard read at times, definitely a good one.
Sanctuary, Book 1
Running away is only the first step. Moving on is the hardest.
When Archer Navarro escapes his emotionally abusive boyfriend in the middle of the night, he hopes to step into a better life.
A turn of bad luck ends Archer’s flights as soon as it starts, but the kindness of strangers brings him to an LGBT shelter.
And it brings him to Brooklyn. He’s the moody, drop-dead gorgeous tenant in the apartment next door, and he soon becomes the source of Archer’s hope.
Their chemistry is instant. It’s hot enough to melt the snow that’s about to bury them. Brooklyn makes Archer believe there still might be some love in him left to give.
If only the past wasn’t getting in the way. If only Archer could let those around him help.
The road of trials tests these men’s will to hold onto one another.
Tensions with his estranged family and a lifetime of scars threaten to take Archer back to where it all started. Back to the house where he was a little more than a prisoner.
And when the future of both their lives depends on it, Archer and Brooklyn need to answer it once and for all: can broken hearts ever beat the same again?
And can love ever be enough?
Rescued is the first book in the Sanctuary series, but it’s a complete standalone with no cheating or cliffhangers and with a guaranteed happily ever after. This book deals with darker themes of abuse and, while it’s generally sweet, it’s not for everyone. Please, read the content warnings inside the book by using the Look Inside feature or downloading a sample.
Archer shivered at the thought of a warm bed and hot soup as the northern wind rolled over the courtyard, making the bare tree branches tremble. He followed Marion up the concrete stairs to the hallway. It was roofed, but totally open to the courtyard. Some doors had plastic chairs and metal tables in front and all rooms had windows. The space between the doors was quite big, which probably meant several people occupied each room.
Marion looked at the door frame where a small metal plate had 221 inscribed on it. “Your apartment, Archer.”
Just as Archer stopped at the door and was about to push the key into the lock, the 220 door flew open.
In an instant, Archer felt like someone had gut punched him and he was about to lose his balance. The temperature of his body rose by a few degrees immediately and he was dead certain his face was turning red. The man who had opened the door looked like he was around thirty years old with a close-cropped black beard and coarse, pitch black hair. He wore a pair of house slippers and light gray sweatpants. And nothing else at all. His torso was sculpted, waist narrow and chest wide, with a layer of fine, short hair sprinkled over his tanned skin. He had curved eyebrows, as if he was confused about something, and parted red lips like he was about to ask a question. Archer’s senses dulled when he saw the man and his heartbeat flooded his eardrums.
“Put something on, Brooklyn. You’re going to freeze,” Marion said firmly, but with the same air of kindness in her voice.
“They’re just tits, Marion,” Brooklyn said.
Marion bit back a laugh. “Nobody wants to look at your tits.”
One corner of the young man’s lips ticked up like he could read Archer’s mind even though he hadn’t looked at Archer at all. But the thought in Archer’s head was loud and clear: I don’t mind looking.
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About the Author:
Gay. Sweet. Steamy.
Hayden Hall writes MM romance novels. He is a boyfriend, a globetrotter, and an avid romance reader.
Hayden’s mission is to author a catalogue of captivating and steamy MM romance novels which gather a devoted community around the Happily Ever Afters.
His stories are sweet with just the right amount of naughty.
You can get in touch with Hayden on Facebook or through his website at https://haydenhallwrites.com
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