Rating: 4.75 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | All Romance
Tommy O’Shea is a young man with huge responsibilities, namely his seven younger siblings. With parents who disappear for weeks at a time to go on benders, Tommy provides and cares for his siblings. He’s too proud to ask for help and thinks he has to do it all on his own. He sometimes does some less than legal things to get by and looks the other way when his brothers do the same. But police officer Bobby McAllister has something to say about that. He’s determined to help, even though Tommy doesn’t want him to. Bobby just insinuates himself into the O’Shea’s life until they get used to him.
Both men lust after the other, but it isn’t until a chance encounter in a bar that they realize the depth of their attraction and start a relationship. Tommy is still too proud to lean to heavily on Bobby, and Bobby wants nothing more than to make things easier on Tommy. But when Bobby gets hurt in the line of duty, Tommy realizes how much he loves Bobby. Things aren’t easy for them, but they work harder at making it work. Thing settle into somewhat of a routine for them. But every time Tommy’s parents show up, it blows everything to hell.
Still, Tommy is doing whatever he can to make his life work even though thinks he just can’t catch a break. Bobby is the only bright spot in his life. But when a house fire takes the O’Shea home, Tommy forgets everything he’s learned since meeting Bobby. He lashes out and things look at their bleakest. Tommy is going to have to learn to lean on someone else if he has any hope of seeing his siblings again. And especially if he wants to keep Bobby.
Whatever I was expecting when I starting this book, this story surpassed it. Just about everything worked for me in this story. From the very beginning, I was invested in the characters, and I was wholly along for the ride. I wanted nothing more than to see them get their happily ever after, and when I got to the last page, I heaved a happy sigh of contentment.
I’m a sucker for the proud, broken hero, and let me tell you Tommy O’Shea fits the bill to a T. My heart just ached for this guy. From the moment I learned he was caring for his siblings with a determined focus that rivals a saint, I was solidly on his team. This man is young, but there is nothing that’s going to keep him from caring for his family. He’s proud and stubborn, and sometimes you just want to shake him and tell him to accept a moment’s help. But life has let him down a lot—and I mean a lot—so it was easy to see why he felt he couldn’t rely on anyone else. Why he would try to avoid getting into a relationship with do-gooder Bobby. And why he’d be so great at giving advice to everyone else, but never once listen to it himself. This guy needed some serious love, and I couldn’t wait for the moment when he accepted it.
This was really Tommy’s story. It was about his growth and change. But Bobby was a huge part of it. Bobby is an all-around really good guy. He’s a cop because he wants to help people. He starts taking care of Tommy and the O’Shea’s because he knows they need it. But as soon as he spends some quality time with Tommy, Bobby wants to be a part of the man’s life. He wants to take care of him, and ease his burdens. What I loved about Bobby is that he did it because he cared about Tommy, not because he had some insatiable need to fix what’s broken. His love and affection for Tommy were clear.
These two just fit together in a way that made me so happy. Their relationship starts off with a bit of a slow build, but then really takes off. The chemistry between them leapt off the page. Instantly, it was easy to see how good they could be for each other, if Tommy could just get out of his own way. I loved how well Bobby understood Tommy and his motives, and didn’t try to change him. But that’s not to say that Bobby didn’t call him on his bullshit when the man really needed it. I love it when a relationship just makes perfect sense, and Bobby and Tommy do.
I sometimes thought Tommy took his pride just a tad too far. And he does something at the end that seems a little out of character for him. It made me just a bit angry at him for a minute, but I was able to forgive him easily. My only real quibble is that, at the end, one of the resolutions seemed just a bit too easy. But I also thought that after how hard the O’Shea’s have struggled for years, they deserved something easy.
Guys, I can absolutely recommend this book to you. There’s pain and hurt, there’s some tough issues, but there is also so much love going on here that it makes all the angst worth it. The Last Thing He Needs is definitely going on my “to be reread“ list.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.