Crushed But Not Defeated, Spark of Hope #5 by Nicole Dykes - Review and Release Blitz

The resident therapist Andrew finally gets his own HEA in the last book of the Spark of Hope series, Crushed But Not Defeated.

From the blurb:

That’s the only way Andrew will ever see me. An abused boy who grew up and became a defense
attorney for the rich and famous.
I’ll never forget the look on his face when I told him. The hurt and disgust I saw in his eyes as I stomped all over his dreams.
He left me behind, convincing me he’d hate me forever. Now, circumstances have brought me back into his life. I have one more chance to prove I’m not the man he thinks I am.
I’ll do anything to prove I’m worthy of him.

I have been since I was a child, watching my abusive father escape justice, time and time again, and a mother who refused to see his wrongs.
So I grew up to become a therapist, determined to never feel that helpless again.
I swore to make the world a better place, and I had a plan. One I thought I’d execute with my best friend in the world.
Only he had other dreams. He smashed all my hopes in one night, and I’ll never trust him again.
Now I need his help, but I refuse to let him in completely.
He crushed me once, but now, I’m strong and stubborn. I’ll never be defeated.

Jacqueleen the Reading Queen Review:

"Miles and I met young and bonded hard over that simple fact - we had to take care of ourselves because the people who should have loved us the most didn't"

I've been eagerly awaiting the last book in the Spark of Hope series for quite some time. Though I'm sad this series is finished, I am ecstatic that I finally got to see Andrew get his HEA. Andrew has been present in all of the books in this series. He's the man who started it all, the one who formed the Spark of Hope trauma support group in the first place. We see him throughout each of the books being a shoulder to lean on, the man to come to for advice, and even just an ear to listen. He's an incredible human being who's made it his mission to make the world a better place despite the circumstances of his upbringing. That's always been his plan ever since he was a kid. Well one thing was different. When he was a kid his best friend Miles was included in said plans...until Miles confessed his plans had changed and then everything else changed as well.

I loved how Miles and Andrew's story unfolded. It was obvious to all that these two still had strong feelings for each other, however it tended to manifest in different ways. There was a lot of hurt left over from their past. Mistakes were made. But when push came to shove and Andrew needed someone Miles showed up. He showed up big time. Seeing these two come together to help someone in need made it clear what a great team they made. Watching them fall deeper in love and become a family made it even clearer. I truly believe these two were meant to be and I enjoyed everything about them finding their way to happiness together.

"I don't care about the past. I just want the future with you."

PS: I just want to add how much I appreciate the author and how they handled the difficult topics this series dealt with. There were many different types of trauma portrayed along with many different ways of coping with said traumas. There's no right way to heal from something that has traumatized a person and what helps one may not help another. Mental health is one of the most important things we as humans can work on and I believe Nicole Dykes did this series justice on that front. So thank you.

Rating: 5 Stars

SNik's Review:

Fifth in series (Spark of Hope), but can be read as a standalone. Hurt/comfort. Second chance. Fake boyfriends. Dual POV. 

Therapist Andrew is desperate to help a traumatized boy currently in foster care, but he doesn’t expect Miles to step in and help, after all Andrew and Miles broke up years ago. In trying to help, defense attorney Miles offers to be Andrew’s fake boyfriend and they have to pretend to live together, a dream Miles once had but he could never get Andrew to forgive him. But love has never faded between Andrew and Miles, and once Andrew sees that his youthful expectations of Miles were unfair, he allows his feelings to reemerge and both men hope to build something together. 

I appreciated Miles never giving up on Andrew, and Andrew’s ability to admit his mistakes and apologize, and both men are so sweet in their dedication to Evan. 

There are some steamy interactions, and their second chance was emotional as they discover that being together was really meant to be all along.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Heather's Review:

Mixed emotions - so happy that Andrew finally gets a hard won HEA, but sad to be leaving the Spark of Hope Crew.  I also love that we finally get to explore Andrew's humanity... his foibles and fears that were only hinted at in previous books...

Miles is lovely - holding out a spark of hope for years that eventually Andrew will come back to him and accepting the man unconditionally when he does.  It was also sweet to see Evan and Oliver find the family they deserved when they were each adopted into Andrew and Miles' family.

This book balanced the steamy, the sweet, the trauma and the love beautifully and was a fitting finale for the Spark of Hope series, although now I'm curious about the next generation as Evan finds friends that may need help and hope.... Nicole, I hope you're writing more stories in a spin off universe ... because Evan will need his HEA soon!

Rating; 5 Stars

Tatted_book_freak's Review:

This series has been quite the emotional rollercoaster, diving into the lives of many people suffering from trauma and the effects it has on them. Crushed But Not Defeated is the last installment of the series, and we were finally able to gain insight into Andrew’s story.  There was a lot happening in this conclusion, between Andrew and Miles past, the adoption of Evan and Oliver, and wrapping up the Spark of Hope trauma group.

We finally got the backstory of Miles and Andrew, which, honestly, was nothing spectacular or even remotely warranting a grudge held for an extended period. I was actually upset with Andrew’s decision to cut ties with Miles, a man he supposedly loved, over a career choice, without speaking to him directly. So much for being an empathetic therapist. 

“πš‚πš˜πš›πš›πš’. π™³πš’πšπš—’𝚝 πš–πšŽπšŠπš— 𝚝𝚘 πšœπš•πšŽπšŽπš™-πš‘πšžπš–πš™ 𝚒𝚘𝚞. π™Όπš’ πš•πš’πšŸπšŽ-πš’πš—, πšπšŠπš”πšŽ πš‹πš˜πš’πšπš›πš’πšŽπš—πš πš’πšœ πšœπšžπš™πšŽπš› πš‘πš˜πš πšŠπš—πš πš—πš˜πš πšπš’πšŸπš’πš—πš πš–πšŽ πšŠπš—πš’.”

Oh but their chemistry was fiery hot!! A connection that never fades or dwindles, but the animosity between them heightened their intimacy, balancing their relationship and partnership. Miles brought humor to the scene, with his quirkiness and snide remarks, but he was also patient with Andrew.  I appreciated their story, but honestly, was expecting more. Either way, great finale to an amazing series! 

Rating: 4 Stars

Angel's Review:

I have read every book in this incredible series about experiencing trauma and finding ways to overcome it. Each book showed a different way to deal with trauma, each character experienced trauma in their own lives and with each other's support they learned how to cope. 

When Evan's character first got introduced he captured my curiosity right away. I'm so, so happy that he was such a prevalent character in this book. 

I have been wondering why there is so much hatred between Andrew and Miles, and in this book we got to learn why. How Andrew gives everyone else a lot of grace, but with Miles he holds him accountable. How Miles should have spoke louder about his job and why he chose to go down the road he did. There was plenty of miscommunication but they got there eventually. 

It was so endearing to read about those tender moments between Andrew and Miles with there boys Evan and Oli. Those scenes were so tender and sweet, they were my favorite part of the book. Oh! And the parts about the animals, that was cute too.

I really appreciated how Nicole had previous characters make appearances in the last book of the Sparks Of Hope series, I loved 'seeing' all of them again. 

Overall a fantastic way to bring this series to a close. 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Crushed But Not Defeated is available to buy as an ebook 

Crushed But Not Defeated by Nicole Dykes is LIVE!

Meet Nicole Dykes

Nicole Dykes is a wife and a professional assistant/mom to two gorgeous girls. Currently residing in Kansas, she's a lover of coffee, Kansas City Chiefs, and all things romance. She currently has over 20 published books with her Monroe and Adamson series being the most popular. She enjoys cranking up the angst level, making her readers cry, and turning those tears into the coffee that fuels her writing.

Author Links: