Finding Hope

Half Moon Bay Book 1

Romance - Contemporary
306 Pages
Reviewed on 06/27/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Dive into a romantic escape!

Erin Brockus writes contemporary stories set in exotic, tropical locales. She features mature, realistic characters, romance, and adventure, with a focus on the ocean--especially scuba diving.

Erin was born in 1969 in Washington state. A great love of creative writing as a child got pushed aside by the expectations of Real Life got in the way and she went to college to become a pharmacist.

After practicing pharmacy for over 25 years, it was time for a change. So she reduced her hours as a practicing pharmacist to devote more time to writing.

She was introduced to scuba diving in 1998 by her husband. They have since traveled worldwide enjoying scuba diving, and the exotic locales they visited formed the ideas for her characters and stories. Erin has even been known to don a drysuit and explore the cold, murky waters of the Pacific Northwest. She is also an avid runner and cyclist.

Erin lives with her husband (a scuba instructor) in eastern Washington state. Finding Hope is her debut novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

Finding Hope is a work of fiction in the contemporary romance and interpersonal drama sub-genres and was penned by author Erin Brockus. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience and contains some moderate on-page sexual scenes as well as occasional uses of explicit language. Our protagonist is Hope Collins, a woman who has sworn off romance and desperately wants to restart her life and heal from the past. So when she meets Alex Monroe under the tropical sun of St. Croix, the realism of what romance can be both challenges and entices them. What results is a highly engrossing romantic and sensual tale that kicks off the Half Moon Bay book series with vibrance and excitement.

Author Erin Brockus has crafted an immersive work of fiction ideal for a holiday read or for relaxing with your favorite tipple at home. The narration is smooth and confident with an author who always makes you feel in safe hands, taking readers through a plot filled with ups and downs, self-discovery, difficult conversations, and realistic romantic outcomes. Hope and Alex are well penned to show every dimension, and the psychological and emotional exploration of how they fit together in their personalities is just as important as their physical attraction, which I really appreciate in a contemporary romance. Add to that the delicious tropical location of the work and its wonderful atmospheric descriptions, and you have the ideal romance read for fans everywhere. Overall, I would highly recommend Finding Hope for realistic readers looking for moderate sensuality and satisfying storylines.

Delene Vrey

Finding Hope by Erin Brockus is a contemporary romance in which Hope Collins, a predictable and stable woman, gets dumped by her comfortable boyfriend. At the same time, she is passed over for a promotion and she resigns on a whim. Out of the blue, she wins a dive resort on the Caribbean island of St. Croix and decides that being unpredictable might have something to offer. Relocating to St. Croix, she takes over the resort where she encounters Alex Monroe – the perplexing divemaster. Both of them have baggage and trust issues, but as they work alongside each other, they come to terms with themselves as well as the feelings both of them are trying to escape. Throw in a couple of life and death situations that push them toward each other and you have a beautiful romance in the making.

Erin Brockus has written a lovely contemporary romance with characters that seem so much more authentic than what is sometimes on offer. The time over which the story develops gives a realistic feel to the growth of the relationship between Hope and Alex. They do not storm into a physical relationship before they know anything about each other, which means there is a very slow and tangible build-up of sexual tension. The dive scenes were so vividly described that I wished I could be there and see the blue waters, white sand, and colorful coral reefs for myself. Finding Hope is a relaxing read; you do not have to wonder about the language used or how graphic intimacy is described. The author uses good judgment in both regards, resulting in a book that leaves you with a sigh of contentment when you reach the end.

Marta Tandori

The azure Caribbean provides the idyllic backdrop to this delightful romance debut by Erin Brockus. Hope Collins’ thirty-sixth birthday starts off as anything but happy. Her boyfriend has dumped her for being too predictable and she’s been passed over for a promotion as assistant general manager of the Rosemont Inn for a man ten years younger and much less experienced than her. With Hope’s personal and professional life heading into a tailspin, her sister’s unexpected announcement that she’d entered Hope into a raffle seems too good to be true – especially when her sister announces that the prize Hope has won is a scuba diving resort in St. Croix called Half Moon Bay Resort. With nothing to lose, Hope packs up her life in wintry Chicago and heads for the sunny climes of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands. The last thing she expects to find upon her arrival is that the owner has up and left for the mainland after promising to help her with her transition – and that she would be so attracted to Alex Monroe, the resort’s resident diving instructor…

Erin Brockus’ character-driven narrative, peppered with a likable cast of secondary characters and lush imagery, makes Finding Hope a literary feast for the senses. Hope and Alex are both nursing secrets and wounded hearts yet their efforts to keep at bay the attraction they feel for one another adds to the delicious sexual tension between the two protagonists. And while the idea of winning a resort in a tropical paradise for the princely sum of a hundred-dollar raffle ticket may seem a little far-fetched to most, Brockus’ innate ability to paint an irresistible paradise with a few well-picked adjectives makes the premise for the book all the more forgivable. A fast-paced story, beautiful imagery, and realistic familiarity with diving all make Finding Hope the perfect summer read and a promising start to Brockus' Half Moon Bay Series.