Review Tour: CRUSHED BUT NOT DEFEATED: Nicole Dykes

by - Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Nicole Dykes
Series: Spark of Hope #5
Release Date: May 29, 2023



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.

This is the final book in the Spark of Hope series and it’s finally Andrew‘s story. He has been a staple in all the books as the therapist who started the trauma support group. He and his two childhood best friends, Roman and Miles lived through terrible family situations themselves when younger, so as adults they all try to give back in their own ways. Unfortunately, Andrew and Miles had a falling out over the slightly different path Miles chose. But now, in order to save a teen in need, Andrew has to suck up his pride and go to Miles for help.

Miles did become a lawyer, but instead of becoming a public defender, he chose the route of more money. But he still strives to do good for those that he can. But Andrew never wanted to hear it. Miles is smart, analytical, rich, successful, and a decision-maker. Even though he wasn’t sure when Andrew came to him for help, when the chips are down, he won't let Andrew down. 

They have history. There is this attraction and unresolved feelings that are still between them that they have just hidden under animosity and pain for years. Andrew gives and gives of himself tirelessly in order to save people, but sometimes at the expense of himself. He’s calm when needed, caring, perceptive, and supportive. But he also can be emotional and gets too attached. He feels guilt and worry when he can’t help someone and sometimes it makes him feel like a failure, no matter how hard he tries. But he does not cut Miles any slack and still seems to be stubborn, resistant, guarded, and hurt by their past.

But now they find themselves in a situation where they are in forced proximity and trying to be a team in order to do what they feel is right to help a young man. But they’ll have to be willing to be vulnerable, finally deal with all of their issues, and challenge themselves if they want to make the situation a good one and figure out how to move forward. 

This is a h
ot, hopeful, heartfelt, forced proximity, old friends-to-enemies-to-lovers, fake boyfriend. second chance romance where they come together to help someone who needs them. This writer's style by her own admission is kind of light on the details that can drag a story like this down, so it doesn’t dig deep into the negativity of the trauma, but you get enough to really care for the characters and become engrossed in the story easily. Yes, things happen very quickly without a lot of angst, but sometimes just a story full of hope and newfound happiness just hits that sweet spot. I read this in one sitting and stayed up late to do it. I enjoyed seeing all the other characters from the series. And honestly, I’m sorry to see them go.

(Spark of Hope #1)

(Spark of Hope #2)

(Spark of Hope #3)
Add to Goodreads

(Spark of Hope #4)

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 writes contemporary, NA, and M/M romance because love is love is love. She enjoys cranking up the angst level regardless of genre or trope, making her readers cry, and turning those tears into the coffee that fuels her writing.

Graphics from author's Facebook and Chaotic Creatives tour packet

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