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The Touch Of Hope

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  193 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Dear Author,
I got tired of my dad using me as a punching bag, so I packed some clothes and left our apartment one day while he was at work. Life is tough, but I learned that living on the streets is even tougher.
When I thought things couldn’t get much worse, Erik suddenly appeared before me, just like an angel. Is this a dream or are the drugs making me hallucinate? What
ebook, 46 pages
Published June 19th 2013 by M/M Romance Group @ goodreads

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Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  193 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Julio Genao
Jul 03, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: shorts
An interesting interpretation undermined by difficult transitions.

This one possessed many fine elements of dramatic opportunity, yet was inordinately dominated by an oddly dissonant sex scene. The rest was a series of hard-knock life-lessons as per early Gregg Araki films—linked by clumsy, sharply-veering transitions that explained more than they showed—and didn't always make sense.

I was frustrated by stock characters and strange dialogical asides that pulled me out of the story—usually right

I really don't understand why I deserve so much pain. I just can't figure it out.

I'd written a fucking lot about this story, but now you get the short and pissed off version: it started out sweet and beautiful and it ended up with the characters revealing their true nature as, respectively, an asshole and a doormat - or with more technical terms, a psycopath in the making and his perfect victim. Let's not even mention the half-assed
Mandy*reads obsessively*

Oh dear, what a touching, sad, heart wrenching yet somehow heartwarming and hopeful story.
Jonathan is 16 and ran away from his abusive father, he really isn't cut out to make it on the streets, good thing he runs into Erik.
Erik takes him under his wing and helps him, but Erik has his own troubles and heartaches to deal with.
Poor Erik, I can't tell you how sad I am for that child.
I will freely admit to sniffles and just wanting to scream at the injustice in the world that makes this story not
Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog

Sweet, raw, tender and hopeful.

I had the privilege of beta-reading this several weeks ago and have been anxiously waiting to get to talk about it. I felt that Brandon Shire hit the perfect balance between tough reality and tender romance. He kept the tone light and easy while addressing some pretty raw truths about gay youth, life on the streets and even mental illness and how it is, or isn't, handled in America.

While it's true that most of the M/M Romance Group readers won't be turned off by
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: mm, ebook, shorty, freebies
I did enjoy this story, though there were things that didn't quite add up or weren't addressed fully, such as the drug use. While much of the prompt was worked into the story, I had a hard time connecting the picture of two high school looking boys with the dirty street dwelling kids in the story.

The story itself was sad and sweet, but also a bit creepy. Motives weren't always clear, but everything gets wrapped up quickly in the end. The writing was smooth, but I felt this story would have

What can I say about this LHNB event other than absolutely brilliant!! I've read so many wonderful stories, and this is another...although I love Brandon Shire's writing anyway. 4.5 stars and

This is the tale of Jonathan and Erik, Jonathan having been thrown out onto the street by his father, and Erik being his 'saviour'. Sad in parts, uplifting in others. Recommended.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Honestly if you asked me if I ever imagined what it felt like to walk a day in a teenagers shoes, a child betrayed by their family due to nothing more than who they are…well, I would have told you I’d have no clue…
until now.
Choosing a life on the streets over the brutal hand of an abusive parent is a choice no teen should have to make. Yet the sad reality is some do. Many are battered and neglected when they should be cared for and protected, and often this abuse is due to nothing more than
I am so happy this story is finally out for everyone to read and enjoy.
It was my first time reading from the author and I truly like it.
The story is center in two teenage boys, one that has been in the streets for a while and one that finds himself in that situation after coming out.
The relationship, the protective side of Erik, the sadness of Jonathan at the realization that this is his life from now on.
That protectiveness on one side and the need on the other made these two boys grow closer
It's a really good story about two homeless teens, but the sex scenes almost ruined it for me.
Mar 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
I read this story without any expectations other than that it was a gay romance and I was as interested in having a good read as in reading something short so as to help me meet my 2015 Reading Challenege on Goodreads! The beginning seemed a bit unlikely - an eighteen-year-old homeless youth (Erik) dissuading another recently homeless sixteen-year-old (Jonathan), whom he didn't know, from entering a police station to seek help. However, as the story unfolded I was struck by the attention to ...more
Jun 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm a fan of Brandon Shire. The Touch of Hope is a reflection of what I like so much in Brandon's books: a powerful writing, strong and fragile characters, and deep humanity that shines throughout the story despite the sometimes harsh words.
Difficult life, homeless boys finding home, finding love, some mystery and a somewhat surprising end...I loved this story!
It's a great reading, I highly recommend it :)
That was a tough, heartwrenching read with a glimmer of hope. Beautifully written, the story made everything inside me protest in sadness and distress. I would love to see a follow up with the boys in their mid 20's and in a better place but with flashbacks of their struggles.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was...I am at a loss for words. The picture, the prompt, it touched me at first glance. The letter and then the story of Jonathan and Erik was beautiful.

I have sons and while I hope that they find something/someone in their lives to make them happy I am also surrounded by the "type" of parent that wouldn't. It breaks my heart to think that any child for any reason would not be welcome in their home simply for being their true self and be forced out onto the street.
"Man, you are a newb,
John Ames
Aug 23, 2013 rated it really liked it

I have to admit something. I loved this novel! The Touch of Hope stars Jonathan. Now, Jonathan ran away from home and has been living in the streets. One day, he bumps into Erik and that's where the story takes off.

I loved Jonathan and understood why he had to run away from home. His dad was an asshole and his mom lived in another world. All I wanted was to hug and protect him. I loved Erik. He was strong and a complete survivor. The one thing that turned me off was the fact that this novel
Mar 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Recommended to Curtis by: Melissa
I was really left with mixed feelings on this one. The setup was something that really pulled me in - teenage runaway is about to give up on the streets when a kindred spirit finds him and is willing to take him under his wing. There is definitely a lot of potential in there. But the character of Erik really irked me - the way he treated Jonathan was bothersome and the inconsistencies in his behavior left me wondering if he really was up-and-down like that or if his character just wasn't ...more
Sep 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really liked Jonathan and I thought the sex scene was lovely and I admired the courage of the author in having an underage (16 year old) main character.

And then the last quarter came along and Erik behaved out of character on drugs (probably not the Special K he is nicknamed for). And they somehow seem to live happily ever after despite not solving any of their problems. It was a sweet romance, but the last part was disappointing and didn't adequately resolve anything.
Dec 16, 2013 rated it really liked it
My second Shire story and this was so well written that I couldn't put it down. As I've already discovered with this author's work, the story was powerful and evocative. Is it dark? Yes. Is it painful to read at points? Yes. 4.5 stars instead of a solid 5 ONLY because I'd love to read more of their haunting tale. That said, I don't require or even necessarily want a HEA, just more of Brandon's fantastic storytelling. Marvelous.
I really didn't connect with these guys at all. I just couldn't appreciate where they were coming from and I didn't get a feeling that they were headed anywhere good from here.

[NOTE: I rate most writing event stories (free reads) 4 or 5 stars because of my appreciation of the author's participation.]
For now this is a 3 Star read for me; that may change once my feelings settle. I'm really at a loss as to how to review this. Did I "really like it"? Nuh-uh. The stark descriptions of life on the streets precludes me from that. Did I "not like it"? No. Its message is important. So for now I'm "middle-of-the-roading.
Awilk -never sleeps-
Brandon Shire is an author that always impresses me, but I can't believe how he wrote such a powerful story with such a short word count. This short broke my heart with how desperate the situation was for these two young men, but also made me smile with the story of hope he wrote into it. A definite must read.
Charley Descoteaux
Jun 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This story grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I'm still thinking about the characters two days after reading the story--and every time I do my throat tightens. Gotta love a story that makes you feel this much! I'll go back to this author again.
Aria Grace
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. Such a sweet and heartbreaking story about two young men just trying to survive on the streets. Of course I want MORE! Jonathan was shy and insecure. Erik was street smart but still a sweet little boy in so many ways. ;-)
A heartbreaking story that I found had very little hope at all. They may have had each other but Erik seemed (view spoiler) and it didn't bode well for the future. I felt Jonathan would have been better off talking to the police...
Rachel Emily
Wow, this was quite an emotional, dark story...and I really liked it. I really liked the characters and the flow of the writing in this story. It's definitely a dark, serious story and it's pretty much has exactly what the title says, a touch of hope.
Aug 01, 2013 rated it it was amazing
These boys broke my heart. I've never been homeless, but I think this story was a pretty accurate picture of what it is like for many kids. Very good short story. I would love to read a longer novel based on this short.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
My heart hurts. There wasn't a resolution to their problems but I guess that's the point. Sometimes life really sucks and there isn't always a resolution to peoples' different problems, and the situations they find themselves in.
Jun 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: dritc
LHNB Story released 19.6.13
just over 3 stars
A well written and emotional story encompassing the difficult and all to real situation of two very different teenagers living on the streets and coping with things that they shouldn't have to.
***A LHNB Story*** Interesting and sad story about a couple of homeless teenagers. The picture fit the story. But I actually had a hard time finding the hope.
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Great story but I wanted a little bit more, I wanted to see them happy...
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
3.5 - Dark but hopeful. Nice interpretation of the photo and the story letter. Thank you Brandon Shire for donating your story, your time and your talent.
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Great stories should not depend on gender or sexual preference of a character, but instead upon the strength of the characters and the honesty and urgency of the story.
Brandon Shire proves he understands the complexity of writing LGBT fiction from two very different viewpoints – serious and smexy. His serious fiction is written for those who enjoy a book which explores life’s darker elements in a