Thursday, September 21, 2017

Release Blitz: Locked In Silence by Sloane Kennedy (Review + Excerpt)


Pelican Bay, Book 1



I’ve spent years hoping someone would finally hear me. It’s easier not to try anymore…
Ten years after leaving his small Minnesota hometown in his rearview mirror for what Nolan Grainger was sure would be the last time, life has decided to throw the talented musician a curveball and send him back to the town he lived in but was never really home.

At twenty-eight, Nolan has traveled the world as a successful concert violinist with some of the best symphonies in the country. But success breeds envy, and when Nolan’s benefactor and lover decides Nolan has flown high enough, he cruelly clips Nolan’s wings. The betrayal and ensuing scandal leaves the violinist’s career in shambles and with barely enough money to start fresh somewhere beyond his vindictive ex’s powerful reach. But just as he’s ready to get his life back on track, Nolan gets the call he’s been dreading.

After a stroke leaves his father a partial invalid, duty-bound Nolan returns to Pelican Bay and a life he’s spent years trying to forget. When he’s forced to use the last of his own money to keep from losing the family home, desperation has him turning to the one man he’d hoped never to see again…

Even if I could speak, there wouldn’t be anyone there to listen…
Pelican Bay’s golden boy, Dallas Kent, had the quintessential perfect life. Smart, gorgeous, and popular, the baseball phenom was well on his way to a life filled with fame and fortune. But more importantly, he had a one-way ticket out of Pelican Bay and far away from the family who used love as currency and whose high expectations were the law of the land. But a stormy night, sharp highway curve and one bad decision changed everything, leaving Dallas with nothing.

Because the accident that took his parents, his future and his crown as the boy who could do no wrong, also stole his voice.

Despised for the horrific wreck that ended the lives of two of Pelican Bay’s most respected residents, Dallas has retreated to a secluded stretch of land where he’s found refuge in a menagerie of unwanted animals that don’t care that he once had the world at his feet or that he’ll never speak again.

But when the quiet, bookish boy he wasn’t allowed to notice in school suddenly reappears ten years later at Dallas’s wildlife rehab center in desperate need of a job, Dallas is thrust back into a world he’s worked hard to escape.

Dallas’s silence was supposed to send Nolan scurrying, but what if Nolan ends up being the one person who finally hears him?

Will two men who’ve been fleeing from the past finally come home to Pelican Bay for good or will the silence drive them apart forever?

5 Stars!

As always, finishing a Sloane Kennedy book has me longing for the next book in the series. I loved Nolan and Dallas and I'm just not ready to let them go yet. Locked in Silence is the beginning of what will be a wonderful series by an author that continues to create emotionally charged stories I never want to put down. With two characters that had my stomach in knots and my heart aching for how they were treated, I found that I wanted to climb into my Kindle and bring hellfire down on all that wronged them. Of course, one of the best parts of a Sloane story is the fact that our couple always gets their HEA even if it's hard won.

I'm not going to give a typical synopsis of Locked in Silence because honestly, I'm not sure I can do it justice. The blurb does a wonderful job describing the story of Nolan and Dallas and how both men found themselves in a town that they so desperately wanted to escape as teenagers. Dallas having never left and Nolan suddenly forced to return. Pelican Bay holds nothing more than heartache, cruelty and memories of a past neither man wants to think about.

While it took me a few minutes to warm up to Nolan, I instantly fell for Dallas. There was something about him that I honestly felt jumping from the pages. His vulnerability mixed with his determination and gentle heart had me tearing up on more than one occasion. His story is so sad but at the same time, I loved that this man was so strong. He had such a good heart that I couldn't find a single thing I didn't like about him.

Nolan quickly grew on me and I found myself wanting desperately for him to just find a place to belong. He needed safety and comfort but most importantly he needed someone to be proud of him, to show him he mattered. Not only is he able to get those things from Dallas but also from the many animals that surround them.

I loved the men together, they had amazing chemistry and a perfect connection. They were just so natural together and their relationship seemed so effortless.

Unlike many of Sloane's books, this one doesn't get very dark and angsty. Now, that's not to say it's a sweet romantic fairytale either. There are heavy issues both men face and their pasts aren't pretty. Bullying, emotional abuse, betrayal and a whole lot of parental neglect. The town is full of bigotry and some of the worst people around. However, it's not as dark as what we see in the Protectors series and while I absolutely love the Protectors and will keep reading them over and over, this was a refreshing story of second chances, love and redemption.

Locked in Silence is beautifully written and so easy to get lost in. I highly recommend it, not only to Sloane's current fans but also to her future ones, because once you read this book, I doubt it will be your last. I can't wait to see what else is in store for Pelican Bay, we have a great little group of men I can't wait to see get their HEA and to, of course, have the opportunity to see more of Dallas and Nolan, Loki (lovable Wolf hybrid), Gentry (beautifully broken bear) and Jerry (Zebra Menace).

**Copy provided to Me by the author/publisher for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.**


Nolan’s gaze returned to me and the smile fell from his pretty mouth as his eyes held mine. My body instantly responded. Nolan swallowed hard and then his tongue was coming out to wet his lips. I groaned and Nolan snapped his head up at the sound. I half expected him to accuse me of lying about not being able to talk or something, he was staring at me so hard.
“Sorry,” he said, quickly dropping his eyes. “Google said you can still make certain sounds because you’re forcing air out of your body but I…”
His voice dropped off suddenly as he realized what he’d said.
I, myself, was stunned.
He’d googled my condition?
“Shit, I mean…Oh God, I’m sorry, Dallas. I wasn’t trying to pry into your business but I was curious last night and…fuck.”
I smiled because there was just no getting over how cute he was when he got all flustered. His skin had flushed a pretty shade of pink and I was half tempted to reach out and touch it just to see how warm it was.
Yeah, I really did need to get him out of here.
Since his eyes were downcast, I tapped his arm and then flashed him the okay sign. He nodded but didn’t say anything. I didn’t like how dejected he looked. But I ignored the compelling need to touch him again and went to the door to open it, hoping he’d get the message.
He did.
I followed him outside and watched as he headed towards his car. It wasn’t the same car he’d been driving the night before, so I could only assume that one was in the shop. I watched as Nolan searched his pocket for his keys. He cast me a glance and nodded his head briefly. “Thanks again for last night.” He didn’t wait for me to respond as he went around to the driver’s side of the car. His eyes were downcast as he reached for the door handle, but once he wrapped his fingers around it, he just hung there.
I waited for him to move or, at the very least, say something, but it was like he was locked in place. I was about to tap on the hood of his car to get his attention when I saw his shoulders start to shake. Despair tore through me as I realized what was happening.
And how wholly unequipped I was to handle it.
“Dallas?” Nolan whispered. He didn’t look up as he dashed at his eyes.
At the tears I knew were there, but that I couldn’t see because he refused to look up at me.
“Can I…can I see the baby raccoon?” Nolan asked, his voice barely there.
Something inside of me twisted painfully at the all too familiar scene of the Nolan Grainger who’d haunted my dreams in school.
And not in the good way.
As badly as I wanted to send him on his way, I couldn’t. It was like I was back in my Jeep watching Nolan wipe those fucking eggs off his body as he softly cried.
But there hadn’t been anyone to hear him.
Except me.
And I’d been a goddamned coward.



Although Sloane Kennedy always dreamed of being a writer as a teenager, she didn't take the plunge until March of 2015 when she released her first novel as an independent author. Since then, she has released more than a dozen books including the Amazon best-selling "Barretti Security" series, "Finding" series and "Protectors" series. While she initially began writing M/F romance, she found her true passion writing gay romance and all four of her most recent releases reached the #1 spot on Amazon's Gay Romance bestseller list and Freeing Zane, her final book in the Barretti Security series, made it to Amazon's overall bestseller list.

Sloane was born in Germany and grew up in Virginia and Wisconsin. Although she currently lives in Wisconsin, the place where she has always felt most at home is Seattle and many of her books take place in the Emerald city. Although she is unmarried, a menagerie of 2 dogs and 3 cats keeps her busy enough and 3 young nieces take care of the rest of her free time. Sloane loves being able to share her passion for romance with readers and she is truly humbled by all the support she's received from fans and fellow authors alike.







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