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How to Heal

Lovestrong, Book 5
Written by: Susan Hawke
Narrated by: Michael Pauley
Series: Lovestrong, Book 5
Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
Categories: LGBT
3 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

Take one former bully, unable to forgive himself for the sins of his past....
 

Clark Danvers is a wild 21-year-old who’s trying to prove he’s an adult. With a two-year degree in hand, he manages the family car dealership and seemingly parties by night. Given the amount of times he’s been pulled over for speeding by Deputy Rick Matthews, public opinion seems to be right. But what people don’t see are the scars he carries both inside and out. Scars from a past he can’t run away from and will never be able to atone for, no matter how many times he beats himself over it.
 

Add one no-nonsense cop who longs to be a Daddy for the right boy....
 

Jericho “Rick” Matthews never expects the bratty kid who gets on his last nerve to pull at his heartstrings. When he finds Clark battered and fighting for his life in a motel room, Rick’s daddy mode is instantly engaged. Before he can think of anything else, he must first comfort this hurting boy.
 

To equal a pair of men who might just be what the other needs.
 

The two men who thought they couldn’t stand each other are drawn together after a date gone wrong. While Rick tenderly cares for Clark, he decides what this brat needs is a daddy...someone to help him break free from the past and embrace the promise of many happy tomorrows.
 

This is the fifth book in the Lovestrong series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18 plus listeners, this is an mm romance full of all the sweet feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.
 

Note: Possible trigger warning for mentions of self-harm and a scene involving a man who’s consented to having himself tied up. What he didn’t agree to was being left that way for an entire weekend. This highly emotional scene is the catalyst to evoke “Daddy’s” protective mode in a tale filled with themes of hurt and comfort and the struggle of overcoming a difficult past.

©2019 Susan Hawke (P)2019 Susan Hawke
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not my favourite

For some reason I just couldn’t find a connection with the characters. I love some kink in my audiobooks, but these two just didn’t do it for me. I don’t think Rick is build to be a Daddy Dom. The fact that he is a slob and don’t have his house clean and already run perfectly like a responsible daddy just shows me he is a wannabe and not yet able to be a Daddy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Player Parker
  • 2019-07-05

Healing and entertaining

I'm a person who has been through a lot of trauma and has crappy relationships with their parents and is also queer. I identified with a lot of things in the book and I felt like all the heavy topics were discussed appropriately in a healthy way and without triggering anything too bad for me. I found certain words comforting and encouraging. It was nice to see these awful issues handled with love and understanding. the story was entertaining and it was nice listening to the characters grow and their relationship strengthen. On top of the great writing, the narrator is also a favorite of mine and does a great job with voice inflections and depicting those steamy scenes; he really helps bring the characters to life. I highly recommend this book.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Andrea @ A Starry Reader
  • 2019-06-03

emotional

This book was filled with emotion, it'll make you laugh and cry. I loved Rick to for his patience, understanding and compassion. I adored Clark, and really felt for him. I wanted to wrap him in a hug.

I thought Michael Pauley did a great job narrating these two as usual!

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  • save our wildlife
  • 2019-06-03

a story of redemption

I have loved this series from the beginning,and this is no exception. Reading and then hearing Clark's story and transformation from bully to the good man he became was amazing.

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  • Bookobessed
  • 2019-06-01

Redemption and finding love

Clark was introduced as one of those characters that appeared to be the worst kind of person only for us to discover that there was so much more happening. We finally find out what is behind his actions and how his past continues to haunt him. Rick can't help but wonder about Clark and when he discovers him in deplorable conditions, he realizes that he feels more than he thought about Clark. As these two figure out what is between them and helping Clark face his past, you will find yourself cheering for the one person that you never thought you would.

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  • Kendra T
  • 2019-06-01

Great redemption story

I was a bit hesitant before reading this. Not because I didn’t love the series or have faith in the author’s ability, but because Clark was such an awful character in past books and I wasn’t sure if I could like him enough to enjoy it. I am SO glad I was able to find redemption for Clark!

This book takes place a few years after his teenage antics and abuse of Grey and advise by his father. Clark is now 21 and trying to find his way while still harboring so much guilt. I can’t say I would’ve imagined Rick as a partner for him initially, but I liked them together as the book progressed. They both fulfilled a need the other had perfectly, and they were able to communicate a lot which I loved. A lot of this focused on Clark’s psychological healing, and I loved watching him blossom. There is age gap and Daddy kink in this book, and I thought they were both well written. I loved this and I loved seeing Clark forgive himself and find more of a place in his community. Excellent job by the author.

Michael Pauley is amazing as always. I do have to admit that I had a little trouble listening to the beginning part of the book where Clark was first found by Rick; it was different listening to it rather than reading it. The rest of the book after that was awesome, though.

I am voluntarily reviewing an ARC provided by LesCourt Author Services

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  • JD
  • 2019-05-31

Overcoming

I loved this story when I read it and Michael Pauley's narration helps bring the characters off the pages and into the world. Clark was a hurting boy the first time we met him, but you knew he could be so much once he was able to be free. This time Clark gets to soar and Rick is right there with him.

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  • Jen Valencia
  • 2019-05-31

Sweet and steamy and all the good stuff in between

The title for this series is apt because my love for all the audiobooks in the Lovestrong series is strong! How to Heal is the fifth Lovestrong audiobook and it is, hands down, one of the best redemption stories I've ever had the pleasure of listening to. Twenty-one-year-old Clark Danvers should be familiar to fans and listeners of the series, and he's come a looooong way from the bully he had been as a teenager in the first book to the man he is in this book. I love that he was a work in progress and the role that thirty-seven-year-old Jericho "Rick" Matthews plays in his coming to terms with the guilt at his past sins was an extraordinary one, but let it not be said that Rick was the only one who helped Clark out. This book highlighted that it does, indeed, take a village and Clark had the support of a host of people--from his mother to Seth Thomas-Samson (How Not to Sin) and quite a number of others.

Susan Hawke has written the sort of story that's more than just a romance. As with the other audiobooks in the series, this is also about the importance of family and friends and how having a strong support system is essential for the betterment of one's way of thinking and living their life. There's a poignancy to Clark and Rick's story as much as there is passion and humor and Michael Pauley does a flawless job as always bringing all those emotions forward for listeners. Hawke and Pauley have become a fabulous duo and I couldn't imagine this series having been penned and narrated by anyone else. Five-plus stars for How to Heal.

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  • Celest F.
  • 2019-05-31

Such an amazing story

This book is so good but there is some self-harm so beware. This book also has daddy kink, which I'm not a fan of, but it is not over the top. You definitely need to read or listen to the books in order to get the most enjoyment, but particularly the first book How Not To Blend, as that is where the back story for Clark comes in. I love that Clark gets his redemption and has thrived, despite how he was as a teenager. I'm also thrilled that we get to see more of Rick and his brothers.

Michael has done another fantastic job and he is one of my favorite narrators. He makes the story even better by adding his own touch.

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  • Irish
  • 2019-05-31

Redemption Story with a Daddy Kink

Clark is trying to find redemption for his past actions (his "sins") against people in the LGBT community (earlier books in the Lovestrong Series by the author). Clark is hurting himself and then sets up to spend time with a Dom that he's been talking to online at a hotel, so that the Dom will punish him. When the maids find him days later, they end up calling the police.
Rick, a police officer, loves being a Daddy-Dom, but hasn't had any luck finding a boy. When he and his partner come to the hotel with a call of a dead body, they don't know what they are going to come across, but the last thing he expects to find is his perfect boy.
This is a wonderful redemption story! After "How Not to Blend", when you first meet Clark, and then "How Not to Sin" when you see him again, I was hesitant to like Clark. His behavior with Grayson and then with Pastor Gabe and Seth was truly horrible. However, I don't feel that anyone should ever need to feel that they should have to self-flagellate themselves for their actions. I did feel that the author did a good job at addressing this topic through the relationship between Clark and Rick but also Clark and Gray and Clark and Seth.
The narration of the story was done wonderfully. Michael Pauley did such an amazing job at capturing both the strength of Daddy Rick and the vulnerability of Clark. This is such a great continuation of the series, and an overall must read!

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  • H. Spanarella
  • 2019-05-30

Clark & Rick

I've really enjoyed reading and listening to the Lovestrong books, and I always wondered (and hoped) we would get Clark's story. If we did, I had hoped it would be one where he could find his true happiness. Thankfully Susan Hawke felt the same way, because she gave us Clark's emotional journey! If you recall, we met Clark in the first book where he bullied poor Grey. I really loved Clark and Rick's story and how they each helped each other heal their own hurts. It was an emotional journey, and Clark's healing with his Daddy's help was ALL the feels. If you love a good redemption story, kind-hearted Daddy's who help heal the hurts of their boys, and an emotional ride, then this is the story for you! I can't wait to see who is next in this fantastic series! I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fantastic narration of their story; it really made the feelings of these characters stand out.