Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fall in Love with a "Real" Hero

Starting Over
Treading Water #3
Marie Force
Released Dec 19th, 2011
Source: Purchased by Reviewer

In a drunken stupor, Brandon O'Malley frightens his brother Aidan's girlfriend, enraging his brother and the rest of his family. Aidan offers Brandon the choice of rehab or jail, and Brandon reluctantly enters treatment. While in rehab, Brandon confronts the lifetime of secrets and resentments that fueled his spiral into alcoholism, and these revelations have a major effect on his entire family.

When he returns home expecting to resume his supervisory role in the family’s construction business, Brandon learns his father has retired and put his younger brother in charge. Brandon is unhappy to be given the job of renovating an apartment building where he loses his heart to an adorable five-year-old tenant named “Mike.” After he falls hard for Michaela, Brandon becomes involved with her mother Daphne, who is running from a past that will later test his sobriety and his mettle as a man.

I have to state that Starting Over is my Favorite of the Treading Water Trilogy. I can honestly say that Brandon O'Malley stole my heart in this book and I think he might be holding onto it for a while.

I used to be a woman who always went after the man who needed to be "saved", so in Starting Over I found myself feeling for Valerie, Brandon's ex, who put so much of herself into the relationship with a man who was lost, and wasn't looking to be found. The book starts out with a lot of heavy baggage and as the book goes on, we are able to join Brandon on his road to recovery, shedding the pain and resentment along the way. We also get a deeper glimpse into the O'Malley family and the dynamics that were effected by Brandon's addiction. 

After reading Marking Time and the beginning of Starting Over, I wanted so badly for Brandon to find his HEA, to find someone who would accept him fully, as is, and Daphne was just the person for the job, even though she tried her hardest to stay away. But when her five year old daughter, Mike, falls for a man who looks like Brandon...ummm yummy, Daphne never stood a chance.  Their relationship is the "real" deal, and it is scary for both of them, but they are exactly what the other needed at the right time of their life.  They just work!

 I enjoyed the secondary relationship between Colin and Meredith, and was so impressed with the way Marie shines light on the difficulties of loving an alcoholic.

Marie Force created an amazing story with Starting Over

1 comment:

Natalija said...

That's a great review, Lisa! There are so many good books in English, but since it's not my native language, I'm a very slow reader. I have read only one of MF books, but I really enjoyed her language & writing style.