Safe Love (Love Brothers, #1.5)
by Liz Crowe
Antony Ian Love has a lot on his ample shoulders. He owns and runs a small business, is estranged from his teenaged daughter AliceLynn, his beloved mother is dying of cancer, and he's come face to face with his youngest brother Aiden's sudden reappearance into the Love family circle. Years of sublimating his true self in deep mourning for his long dead wife have hardened the surly, emotional shell he's nurtured, but one woman seems to have broken through. Rosalee Norris is the young widow of Antony's best friend Paul and their mutual sorrow and close friendship has slowly morphed into something more.
Family therapist and recent divorcee Margot Hamilton is dropped into the close-knit Love family by necessity but fate has a real design twist in mind. With her heart and mind closed to anything resembling an emotional connection, Margot is shocked to discover something about Antony the very first time they meet--something she tries, and fails, to resist.
SAFE LOVE, The Love Brothers novella is a tale of love's realistic complications within the saga of family devotion that runs as wide and deep as the Ohio River--except on Sundays when brothers Antony, Kieran, Dominic and Aiden work out their frustrations on the basketball court, Love brother style.
Book 1.5 in the brilliant Love Brothers series. This is a companion Novella to book 1, Love Garage and in my opinion should be read after book 1. If you haven't read Love Garage, this review may contain some spoilers.
Having been lucky enough to have been an early reader on this series, I admit to having had a few lingering questions after book 1; specifically about Anthony.
Anthony is the oldest Love sibling. Father to a teenage daughter and widowed at a young age has left him bitter at the world. He takes his job as brother in charge seriously and his brothers and sister turn to him and see him as the strong, dependable and in control one. Anthony struggles though with his daughter and the loss of his college sweetheart wife. Life as a man in control is becoming a burden and he misses the escapism that kept his life balanced in the past.
When his friends widowed wife becomes more than just a friend, he see this as something that may just bring back the part of him that was missing. However when his youngest brother comes back to town uncertainty starts to creep its way in.
Will he ever rediscover his true self? Can he be the father that he should be for his errant daughter? and will he remain the brother his family need him to be?
What a fabulous addition to this series. It is no secret that I love Liz's writing, the real life spin she puts into her romance books is a breath of fresh air. Liz never likes to leave a stone unturned and by writing this book she really has made sure that we get to know the true Anthony Love.
After reading Love Garage I can't say I was a huge Anthony fan. I was so "Team Aiden" that I in some respects disregarded Anthony as the older, overbearing, control freak brother. How wrong was I! I'm not going to say too much as the beauty of Liz's writing is the wonderful pathways she weaves and travelling them as a reader. What I will say is that Anthony struggles to maintain control of his life and misses not just his wife but the outlet she provided him with. I came out of this book not just knowing him, but loving the deep, sensitive and struggling man that he is.
Of course we also find out more about Margot Hamilton, who we knew very little about after book 1. I enjoyed getting to know her and seeing both her and Anthony's side of the complicated love story that is so entwined with Aiden and Rosie's. You now get to see the Love that both couples experience and for some it will make the whole affair a lot more palatable. Although that was never an issue for me, I love a bit of a Love triangle/square; that's real life I'm afraid.
A MUST READ companion Novella in a series of family drama, love and real life issues - Liz Crowe at her finest!
Emma - 5 Crowns