Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Release Day Reviews ~ Saving Hannah by J.P. Barnaby (Giveaway)

Release Day Reviews ~ Saving Hannah by J.P. Barnaby

Title: Saving Hannah

Author: J.P. Barnaby

Release Date: December 18, 2018
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 194

Thomas Aberthol’s luck has run out. His daughter, Hannah, needs a miracle he can’t deliver. A hacker with a felony record, Thomas has little chance of finding work that will provide the care she needs. Out of money, out of options, and out of hope, he throws himself on the mercy of someone he never thought to see again.
Even after ten years, Aleksander Sanna still dreams of that drunken kiss. A perfect moment in time when Thomas wanted him. In his world of elegant code and high finance, the picture he holds of Thomas torments him in the dark of night.
Their worlds collide as Thomas interviews for the job he so desperately needs with the company Aleks inherited from his father. Thomas doesn’t get the position, but Aleks offers him a completely different kind of proposal, one suited to Thomas’s unique talents… one that will change the course of both their lives.

5 Stars 

I was one of those readers that was extremely sad to see JP Barnaby’s retirement message in her last book. I haven’t read a book by her yet that I haven’t loved, so I just want to say, thank you to the person who begged for this story because I absolutely loved it!

I adored Thomas and Aleks and I know theirs was a marriage of convenience in the beginning, but what made it/them work so well was that there was an attraction between them, and the previous friendship they’d shared in college made the relationship feel more authentic. I loved watching them fall in love with one another. It felt natural and organic.

Thomas and Aleks had amazing chemistry and along with Thomas’ daughter Hannah, they made a wonderful family unit.

The story was well-written and had a little bit of everything: Heartbreak, healing, love and of course, enough mystery and suspense to keep my stomach in knots and have me sitting on the edge of my seat biting my nails. The only thing I was really left wanting was an epilogue. I wish the author had included one maybe a year or so later to see how they were all faring.

This was a wonderfully enjoyable read and I’m hoping this means that Ms. Barnaby will permanently be coming out of retirement because I’d definitely love to read Wes’ story, and truthfully, anything she’s willing to put down on paper! Highly recommendable!

*copy provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review*

4.5 Stars! 

I did not expect that. Not at all. A really good tale that needed just a tiny bit more on the personal front to make it a 5 Star read.

This is an excellent tale, and would've been a complete 5* of a read for me, had the storyline not been that intense that Aleks and Thomas didn't get to spend all that time together as a couple. I mean, they got married, started to become friends again, got used to being lovers, started to get used to being a family, but then came the kicker - I'm going to call the thing that happened a kicker, to avoid any spoilers - and the pace and tempo picked up. I honestly didn't see the kicker coming, despite having an inkling pretty early on that there were secrets. But, the consequences of that kicker ended up, in a roundabout way, being the making of their HEA, and Hannah's and Thomas's mother's HEA.

It's a hard book to review without giving the plot away, but what happened bonded these guys, Hannah and Thomas's mother, in ways that a simple starts-as-a-marriage-of-convenience could not have. There were a couple of tough love times, and one character who had their heart in the very best place, and managed to keep their logic and cool when the kicker happened, helped the whole family by breaking trust. I think that likely would've been a hard thing to get past had everything not worked out, because Thomas hated the someone-from-his-past who ended up helping them and orchestrating things, but I also think it will have strengthened these guys' bond and relationship. And in that person's place, I'd have done the exact same thing.

There's a lot of love in this, and quite a bit of sadness as you hear what Thomas, his mum and little Hannah have gone through, and then learn that Aleks's life has been kind of barren, but these guys end up somewhere I never would have anticipated, and having a personal knowledge of the tiresome bureaucracy of the... place in question, I'm pretty certain that their lives will work out as planned in the last chapters of the tale. I think they'll be fine.

It's not all roses at the end, as kicker's... 'owner' (sorry, trying not to spoil it) hasn't been dealt with, and because a really sweet character's life changes through no fault of his own, simply because he was a good, loyal and trusted secret keeper. That bit was tough, and I felt the hit that Hannah, Aleks and Thomas took. But the author chose to keep it real, in line with the kicker; I think that that aspect of the ending added to the realism, because you can't always have hearts and roses and unicorns, and to create a fairy tale here would've been an eye-roller.

From the author's note, it seems as if she's come out of retirement to write this book, and thanks DSP's Elizabeth North - I think I need to add my thanks, too, as this was a great tale. And I hope that this is the first of more books to come. I'm now off to reread Sophie, as I'm in the mood for more of JPB's excellent writing.

ARC courtesy of Dreamspinner Press and Bayou Book Junkie, for my reading pleasure.

4 Stars

This book was great but heartbreaking to read at times.

I really wasn’t a fan of Aleks’s at first. I felt like he was taking advantage of Thomas’s terrible situation to make himself feel better. It really made Aleks seem like a horribly selfish person. Thomas just has so much to deal with. He’s been stuck in prison forever, and then his daughter is horribly sick and he can’t do anything about it. And the whole ‘can’t even get a dang job’ aspect? Man, Thomas has hit rock bottom for sure and the only way up is taking Aleks’s dumb offer. I felt so dang horrible for Thomas’s daughter Hannah - I mean, your heart will hurt all over for what she goes through.

These characters were definitely more complex, with more baggage than I initially thought when I started reading it. The chemistry when Aleks and Thomas come together was sexy and hot. I liked how everything ended up turning out for these guys and how they got a second chance at being friends and lovers and just being able to enjoy their lives together with Hannah. Having money does help situations to a certain extent, but sometimes more money means more problems too. The storyline, with the mystery surrounding Aleks’s father’s death was interesting and kept me intrigued wondering what would happen next. I enjoyed reading this book immensely.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.

4 stars

Saving Hannah is a standalone by J.P. Barnaby who surprised us by coming out of retirement. It is about Thomas Aberthol, an ex-con who is living with his mother while struggling to care for his daughter, Hannah, who while he was inside, got sick with leukemia. He is struggling to get a job with his record until he gets a job offer, and when he goes to the interview he finds out that his roommate from college, Aleksander Sanna, is now running his father’s company. Aleks essentially offers to marry Thomas to give his insurance to Hannah so she can get the treatment she deserves. All is well until they find out Aleks’s father was killed by the mafia.

Hanna was absolutely adorable. I wish we saw her a tad more than we did, since she was so important but I loved the other characters. They were all well thought out and their interactions were sweet.

I loved the story but then again I love most of J.P.'s books. It somewhat reminded me of her past book "A Heart for Robbie", just due to the subject matter but this one didn’t make me cry as much. Reading about an ill child is always hard. Overall I was very satisfied with the book. The ending could have gone a bit further but I understand it has to stop sometime. I hope this book is a pathway to many others.

*** Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure, a review wasn't a requirement.***

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  1. always by kindle alexander is my fav ugly cry book

  2. BOATK series by TJ Klune and Amy Lane's books are really good but can be tear jerkers.

  3. Anything by Sloane Kennedy fits the bill for making you cry, but having an HEA.

  4. I really enjoy an interconnected series, that way if each book follows different characters we still get glimpses of previous MCs.

  5. Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune really turns on the waterworks.

  6. I get in those moods too. I have a few books to rec.
    Falling Out of Fate by Madeleine Ribbon (out of print possibly but maybe you can contact the author?)
    Anáil Dhragain: Dragon's Breath by Stephan Knox (some deaths, some betrayal)
    Death by Dragon by Madeleine Ribbon (probably out of print now maybe you can contact the author?)
    Whyborne & Griffin series by Jordan L. Hawk (the series made me cry sometimes
    Witches for Hire by Sam Argent
    The Last Herald-Mage books by Mercedes Lackey
    Half by Eli Lang

  7. I’m not much of a cry-loving reader, especially for MM. But I do love Amy Lane’s The Locker Room. The combo of angst and new adult is really not my usual, but surprisingly I love that book even if it got me cried buckets!

  8. I love hilodays stories.
    I am not fond of books that make you cry, especially if they have a bad ending.
    I like both but I have never-ending connected series.
    I love May/Dec because myself prefer older men.
    Blame it on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton is one of my fav.
    The Beacon Hill Sorcerer series by SH Himes.