A Review by Wendy
4 No Shame in Saving Yourself Stars
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As children and even as young adults... we are taught so many mixed messages...We are supposed to care about others and never be selfish. We are to be strong and if something happens which is bad...we have to overcome it...and fight the feelings which linger. These observations may seem simplistic but basically...Men are taught to be strong no matter what and Women are raised to be the caretakers....
Cecy Robson is not afraid to tackle difficult societal issues. In her past series, she approached domestic violence head on. She also touched on cultural differences and how these things can impact a family. With this series, she continues to be insightful and in our face about mental illness and child molestation.
In the first entry of The O'Brien series, Once Kissed (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...), we met this loving and strong O'Brien Family. Finn is the younger brother and is on his way to the top in the MMA world. His singular focus in the cage is legendary. What few know is the root of his raw and brutal anger which propels him. Buried deep and eating away at the core of this trouble man is a childhood experience which has caused a crucial change in the boy he was...
It is a call out by his beaten opponent from his last fight which causes Finn to snap. His vicious attack on the guy has him doing court-mandated therapy. The only good thing out of it is he gets to see Sol Marieles. Turns out part of her masters degree in psychology is doing an Internship with Dr. Mason and the clinic. Finn has a fleeting acquaintance with Sol and has always thought her cute in her kinda shy way. Pushing her buttons is easy fun...and he likes to coax her smile out.
Smiles are not easy for Sol. Sol's life took a scary turn when her mother seemed to lose her grasp on reality years ago. Since she was a child, she new her mother wasn't like her friends' moms. At first it was considered eccentric, quirky..."not well". It was her trying to end her life...moved everyone's understanding to the serious sick. Sol took on the purpose of fixing her... something she needed to do...along with taking care of her dad, too.
When Finn sees Sol and starts up with the flirting, kidding and just out and out playing on her affections...because it is sweet to see her blush... Sol tells Finn point blank... This cannot happen. Her life is not geared for any time for dating or anything. Not him... Just can't.
This is troubling for the both of them....because there is something happening ....a feeling of real for Finn... as Finn has been cloaked it a layer of cotton batting...numbing him from everything...losing himself...not being able to focus on anything, checking out. Booze helps the numbing and banging faceless women has released some of the stress... but not where it makes him feel good about the action...he tries not to be a shit with them... letting them know there is nothing but a hook up release...and a goodbye breakfast. But all of this is not working and going the therapy is not the way he wants to deal with any of it... he is lost and his family sees this too... They are worried.
Sol's life is not getting any better either. Her mother is acting out more and more... barely recognizing Sol... thinking she is a dead sister, instead. The mother is in and out of the hospital with this being the subject of gossip for all the neighbors.
The only lightness in all of this is her brief contacts with Finn at the clinic and a diner where Sol studies. Finn comes and sits with her; proceeds to be his amazing charming self...teasing joking with her... making her light up in spite of herself. The two of them are like these lost souls who need what the other can provide to make the room light up. Eventually, there is real talk...a sharing which neither is use to...a communication revealing troubles they juggle constantly...This draws them closer and against Sol's better judgement...she says yes to going out with Finn.
These two broken souls are about to fall hard...and they do. But in the falling they are there to support each other. The core of their love is strong; sometimes confused but in the end, unbreakable.
The way Cecy Robson takes on these serious subjects is clear. She never blinks or glosses over things. But she also balances it out with humor, sweet charm and sexy loving between these characters. Things for them are an uphill battle... so much to handle...and it takes individual fortitude to look at what each needs to accomplish to have a life worth living. Lessons are learned and the main one is... it is ok to take care of yourself...to be a bit selfish.
There is also the lesson in taking the power away from others and the past...secrets hidden need to be brought in the light...only by exposing them can you take the power back...and possibly turn a horrific negative into a positive for others.
This story has all of the families there supporting our main characters. We see more of them; how the family rallies around each other and a hint of something brewing with Finn's sister...she has been hiding something, hmmmm.... maybe dating someone the family isn't keen on....
Either way, whatever Cecy Robson brings next in this series, I will be sitting on the stoop waiting.
A gifted copy was provided by author/publisher for an honest review.
CECY (pronounced Sessy) ROBSON is the new adult and contemporary romance author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels and upcoming Carolina Beach novels, as well as the award-winning author of the Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A 2016 double nominated RITA® finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much, and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, you can typically find her on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.