Title: One Day at a Time
Author: Dawn Douglas
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Pete Olivera, Joseph West
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
DEA agent Pete Olivera has lived some hard times, so when a local cop is forced to shoot a teenage boy in the Indiana city Pete’s temporarily assigned to, he’s uniquely qualified to understand what Officer Joseph West is going through. Joseph’s actions were justified and saved lives—his own and those of the people around him—but knowing he did the right thing doesn’t ease his guilt.
Pete knows Joe needs to come to terms with the shooting. But neither man realized that the friendship and love growing between them would be the most important step on the journey to peace—for them both.
For a book that falls under 65 pages it really packs a lot of punch. Ms. Douglas is a new author for me and I have to say that she really knows how to grip her readers in a complex and angsty story with two characters that lived and breathed off of the written page. This book is told in first person through Pete’s eyes. Normally, this is not my favorite way to read romances, but I have to admit, I liked Pete and I thought his perception of the events that happened was well told.
Pete is definitely an alpha male. He’s seen and has done a lot of unpleasant things in his life that has caused him to be stand-offish to others. As a DEA agent, he’s often perceived as cold, but really he cares more than he even wants to admit for himself. When he finds out an officer shot a young boy in self-defense, he immediately decides to help the man, Joseph, out. He’s understands Joseph’s pain and knows Joseph needs to get out of dodge for a while as things are still fresh in people’s minds and memories.
He finds himself at Joseph’s doorsteps and convinces him to go with him to his cabin so he can get away from prying eyes and judging minds. At first, Joseph doesn’t want to go, but Pete convinces him and soon they find themselves at Pete’s cabin where Joseph starts to really deal with the terrible turn of events his life has had. As he does this the two men start to form a bond between them and soon they fall into each other’s arms.
I liked this book a lot. It’s not an easy book to read. There’s a lot of angst and Joseph goes through a lot of heartache and despair over what happened. They seem to naturally fall into each other’s arms and I liked how Joseph really brought out Pete’s tender side. My only issue with the book is: I thought it was too short. There is a lot going on and I think it would have been a more developed read had the book been a longer novel. There are also many unanswered questions I had once I finished the novella, but I also realize that life is one big mystery to us all. We don’t know how things will turn out, and basically we all have to live each day for what it is.
Although the book ends on a positive note, there is a HFN ending. Pete knows he must leave town soon and no one knows Joseph is attracted to men, so we don’t know how things will really end up for this couple. The book felt a little rushed to me towards the end, but all in all I really liked it and I’m looking forward to reading more by this author.
Reviewed By: Gabbi