Gateway to Love (CrabbyPatty’s Review)

Title: Gateway to Love (States of Love)
Author: Sarah Hadley Brook
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: October 19, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 106
Reviewed by: CrabbyPatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5


Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.

He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.

As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?

Best friends Craig and Mitchell are newly graduated and on the cusp of starting jobs (Mitch in West Virginia and Craig in California) but before they go their separate ways, Craig suggests a road trip through Missouri. Mitch has loved Craig desperately for four years, while bisexual Craig realized about a year ago that he was falling in love with Mitch. But … [big sigh] … neither man knows how to tell the other of their feelings.

Each and every day of their trip, Craig and Mitch struggle with using their words and while they turn the corner from friends to lovers in a series of steamy scenes, they are no closer to revealing their hearts. Mitch offers up a lame “what happens on a road trip, stays on a road trip, right?” while Craig at several destinations on their trip, announces to people they meet that they are pretend boyfriends or fiances, and then apologies with a “I was just … goofing around.” Aarrgghh … around 90% of the story, they are still not talking about their feelings. But <finally the boys gets their HEA and an epilogue gives the story its sweet ending.

The author does a nice job of showing fun and interesting tourist stops throughout the state of Missouri and I enjoyed the tour very much. I could have done without a lot of Craig and Mitchell’s internal agonizing and second-guessing, but I liked the ending and give “Gateway to Love” 3.5 stars.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Gateway to Love (States of Love) provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas

I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend.

My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh … not in my wheelhouse, but I’m a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre.

Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more.

A few “badges” from NetGalley:
100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader


  • Well, I’m a little biased, but I really do love Missouri. And I appreciate the review. As an author, I feel like honest reviews like yours help me grow, so thank you again!

  • Thanks for your comment – I appreciate it. I want to travel to Missouri and visit all the great spots you highlighted in your story!


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