Title: The Last Thing He Needs
Author: J.H. Knight
My Rating: A
Narrator: Michael Stellman
Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Tommy and Bobby
Release Date: March 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy
Tommy O'Shea is raising his seven younger brothers and sisters without any help from his drug-abusing father and stepmother. Since he was 15 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.
This book was so amazing. The true hero of the story is Tommy...he's stuck, and at only 22 years old, the fact that he's so mired down in his situation is heartbreaking. He has 7 younger brothers and sisters that he's trying to keep together. They range from his sister who's in high school to the twin babies and every age in between. They have parents who are mostly absent, but when they do show up, it's only for money for their next high. Things are worse, more dangerous, when their parents are around and that's just as heartbreaking as anything else.
As a result, Tommy has taken on that role and has been doing it for 7 years. He keeps the kids safe, fed, dressed, and housed. Sometimes that requires him to do some not so savory things because 8 mouths are no minor thing. So when Bobby starts hanging around, Tommy isn't thrilled no matter how much he likes the guy. Bobby is a cop and Tommy learned early that a cop being mixed up in their situation tends to mean that the kids are just that much closer to being split apart into various, dangerous foster homes. Not acceptable.
As a mom, my heart breaks for Tommy. Hell, as a human, my heart breaks for Tommy. He's in such a no-win situation full of stress and responsibilities. He's only 22 and is as worn down as a 40 yo under the pressure of it all. He has one priority...his kids...and they are his kids in every sense except the biological. He's their father.
But I love Bobby, too, because he sees below the surface of what is happening in this family and steps right in to help Tommy with the never-ending chaos. I love that Bobby just shoves his way in. Tommy is too stubborn to ask or even accept help, but Bobby doesn't let that stop him from giving it anyway.
The story is sweet and heartwarming and heartbreaking. It's made even more heartbreaking because I know this is a reality for so many kids out there and it's just not right. But to see Tommy and his brood get to a better place made this read amazing.
And I say read, but it was actually an audiobook. This is the first time I've heard an audio done by Michael Stellman and I thought he did an incredible job. There is a big cast of characters and a lot of them are young kids...he did amazing with those and had a huge range of voices that made reading this an amazing experience. I highly recommend both the book and the audio version of it.