Brandon O'Malley wakes up in the last place he thinks he needs to be...rehab. He's convinced he doesn't have a drinking problem, despite the fact that his attack on his brother's girlfriend is how he wound up where he is. What finally convinces Brandon that he has a problem are the letters his family sends in. He learns exactly how far he's fallen and how often his family is behind him cleaning up messes he didn't even know he'd made.
When he's released, Brandon discovers that while he was trying to get his life back everyone else's lives had moved on without him. No longer part of the primary crew at O'Malley and Son's Construction, Brandon is asked to refurb an apartment building his father owns. Little does Brandon know that the two woman who will be his salvation live in that building.
Daphne has been hiding her daughter, Mike, for the past five years. Determined that her daughter will not suffer the same fate as her father, Daphne tries to keep one step ahead of those that would want Mike and keep to herself. But when Mike meets the man who's legs are sticking out from under the kitchen sink, their lives become forever entwined with his.
Starting Over is about having the chance to do things right. For Brandon, it was giving up the booze and understanding just why he was so unhappy in his life. The minute he realized most of his pain was his own misunderstandings, he took ownership of that and did something to change it. And when he wanted something, he grabbed onto it with two hands...no matter how scared he was.
Daphne and Mike were starting over too. All they ever had were each other, but when Brandon bursts into their lives they suddenly have a large family willing to bring them into the fold. While scared of what the consequences might be from getting too complacent, Daphne was still willing to put her trust in Brandon to keep her and Mike safe and happy.
The finale to the Treading Water trilogy was an enchanting lesson in ensuring a low point in your life doesn't define the person you become. It is wonderfully written with characters that envelope you in their world. This book is an excellent ending to a series of books that truly pulled at my heartstrings.
Brandon O'Malley has terrorized his brother Aidan's girlfriend in a drunken stupor, 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.