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#Review ~ Godsend by Sloan Johnson ~ @authorsloanj @ejbookpromos “Letting go of the past is the only way to see the future…”

Title: Godsend
Author: Sloan Johnson
Genre: Adult, Gay Romance
Release Date: February 4, 2015
I recently read “Dance with Destiny” and fell in love with Sloan Johnson.
Here is another great read of hers to try out. My review is towards the bottom.
You can’t choose who you fall in love with. Despite knowing from a young age that he was gay, Scott Murphy couldn’t imagine life without Shelly. He threw away the labels and had eleven amazing years with her, but now, he feels even more lost trying to figure out how to move on after Shelly’s death. After nearly a year of watching Scott fade away, Shelly’s father forces him to start living again.
As much as Chris loathes the idea of attending a bereavement group week after week, it’s one of the only places he can go in this town, other than the bar, to not feel so alone. When there’s nothing to distract him or dull his senses, he spends too much time obsessing over how he should have been able to help his sister. When Scott shows up at his group session, Chris decides that maybe some good can come out of his sister’s death.
There’s no denying that Chris is the first man to catch Scott’s attention in a long time, but how can he move on when just thinking of Shelly sends him to his dark place?
The road to recovery won’t be an easy one, but Chris is determined to help Scott see that life is still worth living. But before Scott can allow himself to admit what he feels for Chris, he knows he has to reveal the full truth about Shelly’s death.

I promised Ma that I wouldn’t drink my dinner every night, but some days, it’s impossible to keep that promise. I tell myself that it’s different on days like today because I’m not drinking to forget how much I miss Jill, I’m drinking to forget how miserable some people choose to make one another. Today, I just about lost it and told one couple that there’s no point in them even trying to get along. Unfortunately, my partner frowns upon me telling couples that sometimes two people just aren’t meant to be together, as was this case with this pair.

It takes a minute for my eyes to adjust to the dark atmosphere of Brewster’s after walking around for thirty minutes trying to tell myself I didn’t need a drink. I find an empty seat at the end of the bar and signal the bartender for my usual. Okay, so maybe Ma had a point since he simply nods and has a tall whiskey sour sitting in front of me in less than a minute.

I look around, the same way I do every night, wondering if this town will ever start to feel like home. It’s a nice enough place, but there’s a definite divide between those who are from here and those who move here at some point in their lives.

I sit a bit straighter when I see Scott, the quiet, broody guy from group, sitting at one of the high top tables in the center of the room. He looks absolutely miserable. When I catch a glimpse of his date for the evening, Adrian the annoying twink who thinks he’s God’s gift to all gay men in town, the annoyance radiating off Scott is understandable.

I nurse the first drink, rather than down it as quickly as possible. I’ve wanted to talk to Scott the past few weeks, but he’s ducked out as soon as the official meeting ends, even though Jim hangs around for a while. I’ve considered following him when he leaves, to see if I can talk to him, but then I tell myself that he must have his reasons for not wanting to deal with people and I have to respect that.

I feel like a creep, watching Adrian and Scott eating dinner, but I can’t help it. A few times, I’ve thought Scott was checking me out the same way I have been him and this is the first confirmation I have that I might be right. Scott excuses himself from the table and Adrian reaches out for him as he walks away. I laugh when Scott practically jumps back to keep from being part of an awkward and unwelcome embrace.

Once he’s in the restroom, I order another drink before putting a five-dollar bill in the jukebox. I don’t give a shit about the music, but it’s the closest I can get to Scott without following him into the bathroom, which is a level of creepy that I can’t imagine stooping to.

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.
When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.
Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?
Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.
Review
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**ARC received for honest review**

I loved Sloan Johnson’s book “Dance with Destiny” and was hoping this would be similar. This story was very deep and heavy, not my cup of tea, but the relationship part of the story I liked.

The prologue starts with the very sad story of Shelly dealing with cancer. Knowing her end is near, Shelly decides how her end will play out. I actually cried reading the prologue. I was sitting on the sidelines at my boy’s practice, crying over the story. I don’t enjoy books that make me cry. Squirm and wiggle, yes. But, I continued reading knowing that I really enjoyed Sloan’s other book.

The book focuses on Scott, Shelly’s husband, and how he handles her death. Scott is very close to Shelly’s parents and it is thanks to them that Scott finds the strength to start living again. Scott meets Chris, who is in a similar situation and together they help each other out and a relationship begins.

I enjoyed the relationship as it built. Written very realistic I think, though I have never been in Scott or Chris’ shoes. The relationship took it’s time and ran with normal life situations trying to interfere. I appreciated the strong family ties and support from the families. The parents spoke up when they needed to, and sometimes I chuckled when Ma got to share her advice.

I could have done without Shelly coming back into the story as often as she did. Again, the tears started flowing and I don’t enjoy crying over a book. But I am not the author and I respect the author’s choice to have the dialogue in there.

I will say I have a greater respect and understanding for those in Shelly’s position of having terminal cancer and choosing how and when to end their life. Sloan did a great job of letting you experience both sides of the decision and actually my heart hurt for both Shelly AND Scott and her family.

Even though this wasn’t my favorite type of story to read, Sloan still writes a very good story. At times I could not put my iPad down wondering what would happen between Chris and Scott. Even though I thought I knew what would happen, I still had to keep reading to find out the result. I loved their tender love story and the heated temper Scott has. I could almost feel the love between the two characters as I read the story. I am glad I finished it.

I gave it four stars because it WAS a good story, just not my favorite type of story but that shouldn’t discount how it was written. Sloan does a super job of character relationship development and I did enjoy most of the book. I would definitely read another book from this author.

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