Tommy O’Shea is raising his seven younger brothers and sisters without any help from his drug abusing father and stepmother. Since he was fifteen years old, he’s managed to keep the children fed and out of foster care. It takes up every ounce of his energy and the last thing he needs is romance complicating his life further.
Rookie cop Bobby McAlister doesn’t belong in Tommy’s harsh world, but Tommy can’t push him out. As their unlikely friendship turns into a tentative relationship, they weather the daily storm of Tommy’s life with a lot of laughs and more than a few arguments.
Tommy isn’t used to trusting outsiders, and he’s never asked for help in his life. But when a tragedy strikes the O’Shea family and threatens everything he’s fought for, he’ll have to learn to do both to recover from the brutal hit.
Sometimes real life sucks. Not only can something happen that will knock you over, but for some people, it just keeps happening over and over again. That was the case with Tommy O’Shea. Tommy graduated from the school of hard knocks, but it’s the only school he was lucky(?) enough to graduate from. He had to drop out of high school in order to find work to keep his family of seven siblings with a roof over their heads, food on the table (sometimes through questionable means), but most importantly, together.
Then there’s Bobby McAlister. He seems to keep turning up in Tommy’s life at the worst of times, and yet exactly when Tommy needs him the most. Theirs is a very hard-won relationship when it finally happens because Tommy tries pushing Bobby away very often and very hard, and then Bobby burrows in deeper. And when Tommy lets his pride get in the way and argues with or says hurtful things to Bobby, then Bobby just waits it out but never runs away. The arguing and fighting were painful, but very realistic and necessary given the personalities and circumstances involved.
I love reading stories that involve families and I’m always intrigued by family dynamics, but wow, I’ve never read a story that portrayed such despicable parents. It made me want to hug mine and never take them for granted again. It also made me see that Tommy’s survival and his ability to keep the family unit whole (relatively happy, healthy, and together) was nothing short of a miracle. What a rock, that guy, and someone that anyone would be proud to call brother, friend, partner, or lover.
Romance, a partner, hope – these are all things that Tommy never thought he needed, and yet, when he wasn’t paying attention (because chaos has a way of doing that to a person), they snuck in and took up residence in his life – all in the form of Bobby. If pressed hard, Tommy would finally admit that Bobby (and everything that came with him) was one of the best things that ever happened to him, but he’d probably put up an argument first and then they’d finally get to the kissing part. Hard work, these guys, but so worth it!!!