Wrecked But Not Ruined (Spark of Hope #3) by Nicole Dykes

Learning how to deal with and overcoming trauma in Wrecked But Not Ruined.

From the blurb:

I had everything. I was going to college and having a blast. Enjoying myself and not taking much
seriously. But then, two years ago, everything changed.
A car wreck destroyed my life. It sent me into a total tailspin. I walked away, even when everyone said I wouldn’t be able to.
But I haven’t recovered from it.
The only thing I have left is my best friend, but I’m sure he’ll give up on me soon. Even so, I can’t fight the truth . . . I’m irrevocably ruined.

College is coming to an end, and I couldn’t be happier to finally start my real life.
Ethan and I had plans. So many amazing plans. And then, everything changed. He was in a horrific wreck, but he miraculously survived. Except it took a piece of him.
I’ve tried to help him get it back. Tried to get him to go to a trauma support group and come back to me.
He thinks he’s broken, but I know the real Ethan is still there. The brave, outgoing man I’ve known my entire life. And I’m going to help him see the truth. That he can overcome this.
That he may have been a little wrecked, but he wasn’t ruined.

Angel's Review:

I've thoroughly enjoyed the previous books in this series, this one ,however, is by far my favorite. 

Ethan is struggling with his trauma and fear ever since he was in a car accident, despite people encouraging him to talk to someone or to go to group therapy he refuses. He feels like his trauma isn't as severe as what others are going through. He wants to get better but doesn't know how. It isn't until a smexy dream awoke feelings he didn't know he had for Knox that he was finally able to start healing. 

Knox has been Ethan's best friend since they were kids, they've been there for each other through everything. They are closer with each other than they have been with anyone else. Knox knows Ethan is suffering and he wants to help him but doesn't know how to anymore. He's tried convincing him to talk to someone but Ethan just shrugs him off. Will Ethan ever listen to him? 

Yes, the answer to that is a yes. Nicole is a very talented writer, she knows how to make characters that you just can't help but fall for. And to cheer, and grieve with. These stories are definitely more focused on topics a lot of people choose not to talk about. I really appreciate that Nicole talks about all of different types of trauma people go through. And that not one method always works for everyone. 

The characters are excellently written, great backstory, and amazing story progression. These characters didn't just jump in bed together they slowly got together. They took things slow, and one step at a time. I loved how supportive Knox was of Ethan and how Knox never pushes Ethan to do something that makes him uncomfortable. I loved their friendship and the openness they have with one another. 

As someone who has been in a car accident I can tell Nicole took her research on this subject seriously. Reading this book helped me work through my experience as well. It's that well done. 

I'm really excited to see where else this series goes, I really recommend not only this book, but this entire series. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Once again, Nicole Dykes takes a troubled man and gives him hope- and actually heals two broken hearts as she brings together childhood friends at the right place and the right time to spark a deeper connection.  Two years ago Ethan walked away from a serious car accident with few physical injuries, but the emotional trauma is still impacting his life in so many ways... and it's impacting his best friend's life too...

As Ethan takes steps to talk about and work through his trauma, he also starts noticing his best friend as something more... the first man he's ever been attracted to... he's known Knox is gay for years... but now that something has snapped in Ethan, the floodgates of emotion and interest have been unleased... and Knox is the one who puts on the brakes... because he too has had trauma in his past, too... not as crippling but haunting none the less...

Dykes writes such gripping and emotional characters with just enough angst, a dollop of steam and a scoop of humour to balance the angst... she also adds in an adorable puppy, cameos by the other characters from Spark of Hope, as well as Knox's friend group and builds a world that sucks you in and holds you from beginning to end.  I couldn't put this book down and read right through supper!

Rating: 5 Stars

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen's Review:

"He says maybe my life was a little wrecked, but it's not ruined.

But I don't feel like I'll ever be the man I once was."

Oh Ethan. How eye opening it was to finally be inside his head. I always wondered what it was that held him back from the Spark of Hope meetings. Turns out, it was his own insecurities surrounding his trauma. He wrongly assumed since he was able to walk away from his car accident relatively unharmed physically that his trauma was somehow less than everyone else's. It almost felt as if he believed he wasn't deserving of help because he felt he should have been able to "man up" and power through it by now. But as this author points out, that isn't how trauma and healing works. No one reacts exactly the same and no one really heals the same either. It is a matter of finding what works for you. For Ben and Colby in book 1, it was unburdening themselves to each other privately. When Ethan finally decided it was time for him to work on his healing, he found what helped was a combination of meetings, private therapy, and the love and support he has from his best friend Knox. Knox, who has spent the past two years worrying that the Ethan he's known his whole life is slipping away bit by bit.

"I can't lose my best friend, but a part of me is afraid I already have.

On that one, rainy day two years ago."

I just loved Knox. He absolutely refused to give up on his best friend, even when it felt like Ethan himself had. Knox was a constant reminder to Ethan that he wasn't alone. He was an ear to listen or a warm body to give comfort. The two have always been incredibly close, but at some point things begin to change. Ethan starts to notice more than just how comforting his best friends hugs are. He notices the fullness of his lips, the lean lines of his body, and oh boy does he start to imagine what it would be like to have both pressed against him. When fantasizing becomes reality? It's H-O-T HOT!

"It's never been like this before."

Rating: 5 Stars

Wrecked But Not Ruined is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.