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PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: “Signs of Life” by Melanie Hansen

ABOUT:

 

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.

BOOK INFO:
Title: Signs of Life
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages: 234
Release Date: September 28th, 2015
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner

REVIEW:

 

Hello Melanie Hansen, I’m Sheri. It’s a pleasur….

*gasps*

*blinks down at gaping hole in my chest*

Yeahhh, that’s pretty much how it went.

My first introduction with Melanie Hansen was painful….but worth it. The first chapter crushed my heart. I literally dropped my kindle, clutched my chest and sobbed. Move over Amy Lane, someone else has found a way to destroy me and have me begging for more. I think a couple of triggers are warranted here. Jeremy loses his beloved husband and their coveted baby is stillborn in the first few pages. I tell you this because I can see such a devastating tragedy being crucial to some potential readers.

However! Despite the suffocating grief, I felt hope. Soon my sliver of hope grew stronger and stronger and I couldn’t stop reading.  I simply HAD to know if Jeremy would find another reason to ‘live’ and it was one hell of an emotional ride uncovering that answer.

After Jeremy’s world comes to a brutal crashing end, he loses himself. I wanted to hate him for how he treated his best friend Jace. I wanted to slap him and scream at him. But here’s the thing; the ugliness that we witness, that is genuine goddamn reality. The authenticity in Jeremy’s spiral was terrifying. The monster of misery consumes him and he can’t find the will to live. Sheer luck pushes him through his attempt to numb himself from the pain. He steps away from the ledge and decides to try and move forward. He turns to running and finds an alternative to his previous form of oblivion.

He has decided to focus on baby steps and one particular courageous nudge brings Kai into his life. For the first time in years, Jeremy feels something again. It’s lust. He is overwhelmed with the need to ravish the stranger at the bar. And this is where I wanted to not only slap him again but kick him in the nads. Yep, he truly pissed me off. Yet it didn’t take long and I forgave him. *sigh* Kai. Kai is a saint. I loved Kai from the moment we met. Then every single thing we find out about Kai made me love him even more. Kai has conquered his own demons and he is drawn to the demons in Jeremy. The survivor in his soul can see a survivor in Jeremy’s. He is determined to find a way to help the man, even if it means putting himself in the line of fire.

I was immediately immersed and emotional chained to this story. The writing was remarkable and her ability to force a surge of powerful emotions through the chapters was astonishing. I didn’t think I could feel anymore and then I was proven wrong again and again.

There is a great deal of sex. I mean, they are sex machines. They like to talk, they like it dirty and sometimes, they like it rough. It seemed fitting because this is how Jeremy began to recognize the gift of life again. He had completely shut off everything but the bare necessities for his body to function. He didn’t realize that ‘feeling’ is also a critical human function. He was slowly dying from the inside when Kai found him. Kai coaxed him back to life. Kai saved him. It was so beautiful it hurts just thinking about it.

Another noteworthy trigger is the history of abuse. Kai nearly lost his life when he was a teen. He wears his scars with pride and doesn’t hide the fact that he was also a victim. Not only is he a valuable teacher and mentor to his troubled students but he helps other victims regain their confidence and face their fears. Did I say Kai is a saint? It’s worth repeating.

Strong secondary cast complete the package. Kai’s best friend and first love, Loren has a story of his own. I can’t wait to find out what happens to this fun-loving, loyal closeted cop. I didn’t realize this was a series, but as soon as my heart and bloodshot eyes recover, I’m coming back for more.

Candles, indestructible strength, and the courage to love again round out my favorite moments. The epilogue was the icing on the cake.

I urge you to take a chance on this one- I’ll stock up on tissues and hugs if you need them. What am I saying…you will need them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 comments on “PRE-RELEASE REVIEW: “Signs of Life” by Melanie Hansen

  1. Angela
    September 16, 2015

    Great review. I have this one high on my TBR list. I loved Melanie’s first novel Everything Changes and i look forward to the release of Signs of Life (especially after your review)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sheri
      September 16, 2015

      Thanks Angela! Oh boy, you are gonna flip over the Jace parts then. I missed the first one, but not for long…I plan on tackling that baby asap! I thought Jace was incredibly kind, generous and basically the best friend you could ever wish for. I’m not sure how the two books overlap, but you’ll probably have some harsh words for Jeremy at first. Hang tight though…the ending is so soooo worth it. *hugs* Can’t wait for your time with the boys.

      Like

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This entry was posted on September 16, 2015 by in Contemporary, Reviewer: Sheri and tagged , , , , , .

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