From the blurb:
When an unhappy youth leaves him damaged, will Teddy Mckee be able to find love?
“Teddy Passmore McKee was born in Cork, Ireland, with a limp and a chip on his shoulder that threw his balance off all the more.” When he falls in love with the dark haired beauty born of an Irish father and a Spanish mother, will Gabrielle Quinn be able to restore his balance? And what about the charming Sean Hennessey? When Gabby catches his eye, too, will Teddy’s playboy best friend cause his own damage?
Fourteen years later, will Teddy and Gabrielle’s son be able to overcome the damage done to him in his childhood?
“Even through bloodshot eyes he could see she was different.” But can Michael leave behind the bottle, and his womanizing ways, to win over the lovely Tess Flanagan? Tess has sustained some damage of her own. Can she and Michael overcome the terrors of the past and learn how to love each other?
And if they do, will they be able to elude those after them who want to create their own damage?
On the run after an altercation leaves their boss in a pool of blood, will Michael and Tess be able to stay one step ahead of their pursuers? Or is it simply too late to correct the damage that has been done?
I was delighted to have the chance to review this book for the author. As soon as I read her bio I knew by these words she was an author I would connect with: “I would rather write than do just about anything else. After all, I get to make people (characters) do what I want, and design their happy endings. What power!”
There’s so much to love in this heart-touching romance novel:
The realism of the story world. Thanks to the setting, the characterisation, the dialogue and the stories, I felt quite transported to Ireland. There’s a grittiness to the book that I found powerful – the author doesn’t cushion her lovers in sweetness and light, but is bold in exploring how love can grow and be sustained in difficult circumstances.
The poignancy of the narrative. Without wishing to give anything away, I was very moved at times as I read. I found myself really rooting for Tess and Michael to overcome the demons of their pasts and build a brighter future together.
The wit that shines through. This is by no means a humorous book – at its heart are serious, weighty issues that tear the characters apart. But the author expertly weaves in the odd lighthearted touch that really lifts the narrative. For example, I laughed at loud at Teddy discovering his wife was in labour and struggling with a door, only for Gabrielle to say quite calmly, “It opens in. You have to pull it.” Little moments like this, reflections of everyday life, really make the book special.
The dual stories. I love that this is a book of two parts and two love stories. The first echoes through the second and acts as a foil, heightening the reader’s desire for a happy ending for Michael and Tess.
The drama. I was quite gripped by the dramatic sequences in the book. I found them to be superbly written to create suspense.
The exploration of trust and letting go. I loved where the author took the story – the journey the characters had to go on to face and then let go of the past, and to trust each other enough to share their deep, dark, tormented truths.
In all, I very much enjoyed reading the book, and look forward to the next MJ Schiller.
Damage Done is available now from Amazon; click on the book cover below to visit the store.