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.
BUY LINK: Dreamspinner Press
REVIEWER: Dolorianne, 5
I connected with this book so hard. I see many readers/reviewers are loving Bobby, but I related best with Tommy. I don’t want to downplay the romance or the sex, if that is what you like, because both are very well done in this book … but the story for me is the dynamics between the family. The journey that they travel, with Tommy in the lead, is gripping.
If you’ve ever seen the show Shameless (I’ve watched most of the UK version) then you have a good idea of what to expect in The Last Thing He Needs. Good kids trying to make the best of what they have. Excluding the Epilogue, the book covers about a year. As Tommy and Bobby’s relationship grows, you can see the positive influence it has over the entire family. A little less jaded, a little less afraid, a little more joy.
Some reviews I’ve seen mention how much this family has to deal with, that it’s too angsty or too convenient that they always get the short end of the stick. I disagree. Life is like that and I didn’t see it as angsty at all. Actually, I saw it as a bit understated because there wasn’t a lot of yelling and tears and freaking out. There were a few things said that some of the characters wish they could take back, but I couldn’t fault them in the long run. It happens in big families. And under those conditions … I think they handled things just fine.
This is the rare book where I wouldn’t change a thing. Change a few scene, add or subtract a character or two, none of it would matter because this author is talented enough to make them work. It’s all in the phrasing and the pacing and the clear identities given to each character that make the overall feeling of this book. I look forward to more.