Read The Touch Of Hope by Brandon Shire Online


Dear Author,I got tired of my dad using me as a punching bag, so I packed some clothes and left our apartment one day while he was at work. Life is tough, but I learned that living on the streets is even tougher.When I thought things couldn’t get much worse, Erik suddenly appeared before me, just like an angel. Is this a dream or are the drugs making me hallucinate? What iDear Author,I got tired of my dad using me as a punching bag, so I packed some clothes and left our apartment one day while he was at work. Life is tough, but I learned that living on the streets is even tougher.When I thought things couldn’t get much worse, Erik suddenly appeared before me, just like an angel. Is this a dream or are the drugs making me hallucinate? What is he running from? Why won’t he tell me about his past? Can I trust him?Photo Description: Two slightly lanky, dark-haired boys are embraced, one behind the other. One boy has his hands inside the pockets of the hoodie of the boy in front of him. This small gesture hints at an unfamiliar reassurance that he plans to make his intimacy more than words will allow.This story was written as a part of the M/M Romance Group's "Love Has No Boundaries" event. Group members were asked to write a story prompt inspired by a photo of their choice. Authors of the group selected a photo and prompt that spoke to them and wrote a short story....

Title : The Touch Of Hope
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 18103307
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 46 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Touch Of Hope Reviews

  • Julio Genao
    2018-12-09 04:27

    An interesting interpretation undermined by difficult transitions.This one possessed many fine elements of dramatic opportunity, yet was inordinately dominated by an oddly dissonant sex scene. The rest was a series of hard-knock life-lessons as per early Gregg Araki films—linked by clumsy, sharply-veering transitions that explained more than they showed—and didn't always make sense.I was frustrated by stock characters and strange dialogical asides that pulled me out of the story—usually right before my cold, dead heart was about to soften in sympathetic suffering.And that's another thing. The suffering.I'm an emo motherfucker—as previously discussed at length elsewhere—but the kids in the picture that prompted this story are not like the ones I read about.PictureKids are affluent, clean, and vaguely wholesome in the way that well-fed American kids—whose mothers slavishly do their laundry for them—can be wholesome. They're standing in the middle of an open-plan suburban high school, with someone's dowdy minivan visible in the background. They're layered in post-millennial accoutrement, from the fashionably disinterested shaggy haircuts to the can of fanta in one boy's hand—never mind the hipster irony of his calculator wristwatch. Or the graphic tee and hoodie—which were both suspiciously immaculate, you'll note.PictureKids are having this awkward, mid-motion embrace, captured by someone with a camera, and standing where anyone can see—which maybe explains why fanta-boy looks uncomfortable.Interesting.StoryKids? Not so much. A couple of filthy teen runaways squatting in a condemned house, for the most part.But my disappointment is not so much that the short story is so different from the prompt. If this narrative were a voyage, it ended up pretty far from where that fresh-n-kleen picture began it. I just wish I'd been along for the whole trip instead of arriving just in time for the the smelly destination.The stuff in between would have been pretty compelling.

  • Nina
    2018-12-01 04:45

    I LOST MY REVIEW. MY LIFE IS A HUGE STINKING PIECE OF SHIT.I really don't understand why I deserve so much pain. I just can't figure it out.I'd written a fucking lot about this story, but now you get the short and pissed off version: it started out sweet and beautiful and it ended up with the characters revealing their true nature as, respectively, an asshole and a doormat - or with more technical terms, a psycopath in the making and his perfect victim. Let's not even mention the half-assed extremely rushed ending.Not happy with this.Also, a warning. I believe you should know this before you start the story because it's an element that might bother some, but then you might want to read it without knowing anything, so here you go: (view spoiler)[Erik habitually takes some kind of non-specified drugs and the problem is neither solved nor even mentioned. (hide spoiler)] You could say that this influenced his behaviour, but I believe he's just a piece of shit deep inside.Still, I kind of enjoyed this... *shrug*

  • Mandy*reads obsessively*
    2018-11-18 06:51

    Oh dear, what a touching, sad, heart wrenching yet somehow heartwarming and hopeful story. Jonathan is 16 and ran away from his abusive father, he really isn't cut out to make it on the streets, good thing he runs into Erik.Erik takes him under his wing and helps him, but Erik has his own troubles and heartaches to deal with.Poor Erik, I can't tell you how sad I am for that child. I will freely admit to sniffles and just wanting to scream at the injustice in the world that makes this story not all that fictional, unfortunately.The prompt was wonderful and Brandon Shire wrote a wonderful story for it.

  • Lisa Arbitrary - AttentionIsArbitrary M/M Blog
    2018-11-16 03:45

    ~~~Sweet, raw, tender and hopeful.I had the privilege of beta-reading this several weeks ago and have been anxiously waiting to get to talk about it. I felt that Brandon Shire hit the perfect balance between tough reality and tender romance. He kept the tone light and easy while addressing some pretty raw truths about gay youth, life on the streets and even mental illness and how it is, or isn't, handled in America.While it's true that most of the M/M Romance Group readers won't be turned off by a "street message", I think what has unfolded here has the potential to reach a wider audience. Nicely done.THE CHARACTERSJonathan - Adorable, inquisitive and shy. His innocence isn't going to serve him well in his new life on the streets.Erik - Street smart and life-hardened he steps in just in time to "save" Jonathan. You'll have to read to decide if his motivations are selfish or honorable. He's cynical and jaded, but seems to need to care for a "pure" Jonathan.THE WRITING As I said, Brandon hits a perfect tone for the prompt and for his readership as well. This is a sweet, young love story with gritty, I-want-to-look-away elements. There isn't anything here that will scare or jolt you, but you will be left feeling...feelings.I don't think I have anything critical to mention. The story just works. I like that Jonathan was a bit hesitant to trust Erik. I suppose some may think he does trust Erik too easily though. The mention of mental illness and it's relationship to homelessness is an additional consideration here. In fact, there is a lot going on in this short story. Which just leads to me wanting to know much more of Jonathan and Erik's story.Thank you to Brandon Shire for letting me get an early glimpse of this story and thank you to the M/M Romance Group and Love Has No Boundaries for running a wonderful contest~~~

  • JustJen
    2018-11-17 06:40

    I did enjoy this story, though there were things that didn't quite add up or weren't addressed fully, such as the drug use. While much of the prompt was worked into the story, I had a hard time connecting the picture of two high school looking boys with the dirty street dwelling kids in the story. The story itself was sad and sweet, but also a bit creepy. Motives weren't always clear, but everything gets wrapped up quickly in the end. The writing was smooth, but I felt this story would have benefited from a bit more detail.

  • Bev
    2018-12-04 04:30

    What can I say about this LHNB event other than absolutely brilliant!! I've read so many wonderful stories, and this is another...although I love Brandon Shire's writing anyway. 4.5 stars and This is the tale of Jonathan and Erik, Jonathan having been thrown out onto the street by his father, and Erik being his 'saviour'. Sad in parts, uplifting in others. Recommended.

  • Sheri
    2018-12-16 04:36

    Honestly if you asked me if I ever imagined what it felt like to walk a day in a teenagers shoes, a child betrayed by their family due to nothing more than who they are…well, I would have told you I’d have no clue…until now.Choosing a life on the streets over the brutal hand of an abusive parent is a choice no teen should have to make. Yet the sad reality is some do. Many are battered and neglected when they should be cared for and protected, and often this abuse is due to nothing more than their sexual orientation. It makes my blood boil and my heart heavy, and I hang onto the thread of hope that saviors step in and rescue these abandoned souls.I slipped right into his worn pair of Vans and wandered the streets with the fear and bleakness that Jonathan shouldered. I was anxious, nervous, and so very lost. I clung to the hope that Erik delivered, and my heart beat a little faster under his care. Watching the trust grow, the bonds form and the gift Jonathan willing gave Erik was tender and memorable.A brilliant story of two young men forced to grow up faster than life should permit, juggling the demands of survival and clutching to every shard of hope that swings their way.*4 realistically-raw stars*

  • Connie
    2018-12-07 02:33

    I am so happy this story is finally out for everyone to read and enjoy.It was my first time reading from the author and I truly like it.The story is center in two teenage boys, one that has been in the streets for a while and one that finds himself in that situation after coming out.The relationship, the protective side of Erik, the sadness of Jonathan at the realization that this is his life from now on.That protectiveness on one side and the need on the other made these two boys grow closer become lovers and decide to stay together even when things take a turn for the worst.

  • rameau
    2018-11-21 02:34

    It's a really good story about two homeless teens, but the sex scenes almost ruined it for me.

  • Greg
    2018-11-22 03:34

    I read this story without any expectations other than that it was a gay romance and I was as interested in having a good read as in reading something short so as to help me meet my 2015 Reading Challenege on Goodreads! The beginning seemed a bit unlikely - an eighteen-year-old homeless youth (Erik) dissuading another recently homeless sixteen-year-old (Jonathan), whom he didn't know, from entering a police station to seek help. However, as the story unfolded I was struck by the attention to detail about homeless life for young gay people in the US and how believable the characters seemed to be. I wondered if there was an autobiographical dimension to the story but when I followed a link to the author's Web site at the end of the ebook, I learned that he supports an organisation called Lost-n-Found Youth (, which is based in Atlanta, Georgia, and offers assistance to homeless LGBT people aged 13 to 25 there (and farther afield). It was shocking to read on the organisation's Web site that there are thought to be 750 LGBT homeless youth in Atlanta alone.In the story, Erik takes the younger teen (who had run away from his physically abusive father) under his wing, teaching him some of the tricks needed to survive on the streets and warning him about some of the more dangerous aspects of homeless life. Over time, they develop feelings for each other despite Jonathan's initial distrust and uncertainty so that it looks like they will end up having a relationship together. But Erik says nothing about his past (why is he homeless?), goes out alone for hours during the day, and doesn't explain why a certain place is out of bounds to Jonathan. Can Jonathan trust Erik enough to continue living with him and will Erik be able to confide his secrets to Jonathan?This is a well-written tale that is not only about how two young friends find each other but also offers a window on homeless life for gay youth. The teenagers' homelessness is depressing but their burgeoning relationship offers them hope for the future.

  • Nadine
    2018-11-17 05:25

    I'm a fan of Brandon Shire. The Touch of Hope is a reflection of what I like so much in Brandon's books: a powerful writing, strong and fragile characters, and deep humanity that shines throughout the story despite the sometimes harsh words.Difficult life, homeless boys finding home, finding love, some mystery and a somewhat surprising end...I loved this story!It's a great reading, I highly recommend it :)

  • Sunny
    2018-12-15 23:44

    That was a tough, heartwrenching read with a glimmer of hope. Beautifully written, the story made everything inside me protest in sadness and distress. I would love to see a follow up with the boys in their mid 20's and in a better place but with flashbacks of their struggles.

  • Sara
    2018-12-17 05:42

    This was...I am at a loss for words. The picture, the prompt, it touched me at first glance. The letter and then the story of Jonathan and Erik was beautiful.I have sons and while I hope that they find something/someone in their lives to make them happy I am also surrounded by the "type" of parent that wouldn't. It breaks my heart to think that any child for any reason would not be welcome in their home simply for being their true self and be forced out onto the street. "Man, you are a newb, aren't you?""What's that mean?" Jonathan asked as he halted to a stop. He didn't like the sound of it at all. He was new to the street, but he wasn't stupid. The boy stopped and looked back at him. "Means you're probably going to get hurt, or raped, or killed. Or all of them if you don't learn how to survive."Jonathan; I want to take to wrap him up and take him home. While he was so lost and vulnerable the strength he finds when Erik walks up and says three words, made my heart ache. So many parts of this story did that. But one, one melted me and made me feel so many emotions. I don't think I have read such a tender scene between two young men as that one. It was sweet, it was sensual, it was poignant and it was beautiful. All the hope I could have was wrapped up in that, wrapped up with them. Erik; what a diverse young man. I was not sure who he was but I knew underneath the street name was just a young man who wants...who wants. I want for him too. The Touch of Hope was another fantastic read from this group and I hang my head in admitting it's my first read from Brandon Shire. I am smacking myself for not reading him sooner, for not touching those covers sitting on my Nook and getting lost in his words. That will be remedied.

  • John Ames
    2018-11-21 06:49

    4.5*I have to admit something. I loved this novel! The Touch of Hope stars Jonathan. Now, Jonathan ran away from home and has been living in the streets. One day, he bumps into Erik and that's where the story takes off. I loved Jonathan and understood why he had to run away from home. His dad was an asshole and his mom lived in another world. All I wanted was to hug and protect him. I loved Erik. He was strong and a complete survivor. The one thing that turned me off was the fact that this novel was just too short. I wanted more! I really hope that the author continues with this story or expands it into a full length one. The characters were just too good and lovable. I recommend this little short to anyone who wants to read about the sad reality that millions of homeless teens around the world have to go through every day. Trust me, it will touch your soul and leave you wanting more.

  • Curtis
    2018-11-21 02:24

    I was really left with mixed feelings on this one. The setup was something that really pulled me in - teenage runaway is about to give up on the streets when a kindred spirit finds him and is willing to take him under his wing. There is definitely a lot of potential in there. But the character of Erik really irked me - the way he treated Jonathan was bothersome and the inconsistencies in his behavior left me wondering if he really was up-and-down like that or if his character just wasn't well-defined.In the end, it's a cute story - hence the 3 star rating - but I really would have liked more character development and bit more down-to-earth and less scattered approach.

  • Matthew
    2018-11-18 02:51

    I really liked Jonathan and I thought the sex scene was lovely and I admired the courage of the author in having an underage (16 year old) main character.And then the last quarter came along and Erik behaved out of character on drugs (probably not the Special K he is nicknamed for). And they somehow seem to live happily ever after despite not solving any of their problems. It was a sweet romance, but the last part was disappointing and didn't adequately resolve anything.

  • J.P.
    2018-12-05 22:36

    My second Shire story and this was so well written that I couldn't put it down. As I've already discovered with this author's work, the story was powerful and evocative. Is it dark? Yes. Is it painful to read at points? Yes. 4.5 stars instead of a solid 5 ONLY because I'd love to read more of their haunting tale. That said, I don't require or even necessarily want a HEA, just more of Brandon's fantastic storytelling. Marvelous.

  • Awilk -never sleeps-
    2018-11-30 03:30

    Brandon Shire is an author that always impresses me, but I can't believe how he wrote such a powerful story with such a short word count. This short broke my heart with how desperate the situation was for these two young men, but also made me smile with the story of hope he wrote into it. A definite must read.

  • Melanie~~
    2018-12-04 03:25

    I really didn't connect with these guys at all. I just couldn't appreciate where they were coming from and I didn't get a feeling that they were headed anywhere good from here.[NOTE: I rate most writing event stories (free reads) 4 or 5 stars because of my appreciation of the author's participation.]

  • Bookbee
    2018-11-25 23:40

    For now this is a 3 Star read for me; that may change once my feelings settle. I'm really at a loss as to how to review this. Did I "really like it"? Nuh-uh. The stark descriptions of life on the streets precludes me from that. Did I "not like it"? No. Its message is important. So for now I'm "middle-of-the-roading.

  • K
    2018-12-01 02:34

    LHNB Story released 19.6.13just over 3 starsA well written and emotional story encompassing the difficult and all to real situation of two very different teenagers living on the streets and coping with things that they shouldn't have to.

  • Aria Grace
    2018-11-18 23:35

    Loved it. Such a sweet and heartbreaking story about two young men just trying to survive on the streets. Of course I want MORE! Jonathan was shy and insecure. Erik was street smart but still a sweet little boy in so many ways. ;-)

  • Melissa
    2018-12-06 03:29

    These boys broke my heart. I've never been homeless, but I think this story was a pretty accurate picture of what it is like for many kids. Very good short story. I would love to read a longer novel based on this short.

  • Teresa
    2018-12-04 01:38

    A heartbreaking story that I found had very little hope at all. They may have had each other but Erik seemed (view spoiler)[as unstable as his mother (hide spoiler)] and it didn't bode well for the future. I felt Jonathan would have been better off talking to the police...

  • Rachel Emily
    2018-11-29 22:40

    Wow, this was quite an emotional, dark story...and I really liked it. I really liked the characters and the flow of the writing in this story. It's definitely a dark, serious story and it's pretty much has exactly what the title says, a touch of hope.

  • Charley Descoteaux
    2018-12-05 01:48

    This story grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I'm still thinking about the characters two days after reading the story--and every time I do my throat tightens. Gotta love a story that makes you feel this much! I'll go back to this author again.

  • Monique
    2018-11-16 00:21

    My heart hurts. There wasn't a resolution to their problems but I guess that's the point. Sometimes life really sucks and there isn't always a resolution to peoples' different problems, and the situations they find themselves in.

  • Yvonne
    2018-11-25 01:49

    ***A LHNB Story*** Interesting and sad story about a couple of homeless teenagers. The picture fit the story. But I actually had a hard time finding the hope.

  • Riva
    2018-12-01 06:41

    Great beginning of a story. Highly emotional and well written. Hope he finishes it.

  • Isabel
    2018-11-25 06:27

    Great story but I wanted a little bit more, I wanted to see them happy...