Author: Shyla Colt
Release Date: July 15, 2016
This is definitely one of my go-to, auto-buy authors, but…I just could not connect with this read. Houston was a typical guy and likable enough, but Ms. Liv and me? We didn’t get along.
Houston is literally left standing at the altar when his bride-to-be, and Liv’s boyfriend run off together. So now I know I have two despicable lowlifes that I should never, ever, ever read about again, or who should have some horrible life-changing disability happen to them. They left children and people who loved and trusted them all because flaky mom “needed her freedom to explore life as she WISHED to experience it.” *Massive eyeroll*
^Insert fiery car crash – no survivors.^ Houston and Liv do what anyone else would do – turn their backs on love and set about raising the triplets flaky mom walked away from, and they do a great job. Houston is a strong, loving father, and Liv is an attentive, nurturing godmother. The little ones don’t even realize there ever was a flaky mom.
A simple conversation with the children about what constitutes a family changes everything, and makes the non-couple each realize feelings they have that have been buried. No problem. Time for THE talk, right? Nope! Liv suggests Houston should START DATING AGAIN! *Massive eyeroll* Then they argue, and Houston harshly suggests Liv has grown tired of his family and wants to exits. What does she do? Slaps him (which he did not deserve)…and exits. And she’s not gone overnight or for a day or two…Liv is gone from Houston’s life for WEEKS! She shows up when Houston is at work to see the kids. I was pretty much done with her then. Meh.
Liv’s character seems contradictory to me. She has not only gotten through one of the most emotionally devastating times of her life, she helped Houston work through it as well, and went on to help ensure his children had a healthy, happy home. That in itself takes determination, strength of character…and love. In another scene, the Liv who confronted the messy ex in front of her condo…awesome! She stood her ground with the offensive jerk. He wasn’t just arrogant, but insulting! No remorse or apology. Yep, he needed that physical reality check, and Liv needed to always have that strength and carry that type of fire like an Olympic torch! Not do a 180 and run from Houston when 1) the two of them are already a “couple” in every way except physically; 2) everyone related to them, or who knows them wonders why the two of them haven’t seen what’s right in front of their eyes; 3) she’s already in love with the man. Yes, Houston should have told her about the letter from flaky mom – I’m in total agreement. But Liv could have voiced her disapproval and moved on. It’s time to circle the wagons – the Flakes are back in town. But instead she picks a fight…and exits. That whole running away thingy is off-putting. How can we have faith in someone who would rather talk to a tombstone that face the issues at hand? Her dad was her rock – I get it. But Liv seems to want others to agree with her…period, even if the outcome is not what she truly wants. I cannot connect with weak or indecisive folks, especially when small children are involved. After that, all the defining moments belong to Houston. Liv just seems to be…there. I can’t feel her emotions, good or bad. Sex is her pacifier, and even it feels empty.
The only person who’s less empathy-inducing is, of course, flaky mom. (Okay, okay…her name is Rain.) Up until she runs off, Liv had never been anything but a good friend to her. Then she shows back up…pregnant and married to flaky ex…and dissin’ Liv? That slap Liv gave Houston? Here’s where it’s needed. Yes, I know she’s preggers and wanting the world to believe SHE is the victim, but Rain gets no sympathy…none. She needed more of a reality check. Her scenes were anti-climactic because the only thing she really lost was an argument. We don’t always get to see Karma play out, but there are some situations that need to be witnessed. For all intents and purposes, Rain and Anthony do not feel as though they’ve done anything wrong, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Their selfish actions continue to negatively impact the same people…which includes children. The reader (ME!) deserved to see them BOTH held accountable.
And just how did the fire at Liv’s condo start???
Houston made me smile at the end. He had a plan and was determined to see it through. I wish I felt Liv was worthy of the effort and his love.
What bothered me even more than Liv was the editing of this read. Totally not in keeping with the prior amazing works of this author. The name changes – Mahoney/Maloney; inconsistent time gaps – Houston and Rain were supposed to get married when the triplets were eight months old(?), they’re about to turn five, yet everyone talks about Rain’s three-years absence; and Houston’s worried about what to tell his kids after Rain takes off. How old are they? – and spelling errors are distracting…at best.
Readers connect with stories in different ways, so while Left didn’t work for me, I’m sure it will for others.