Friday, March 15, 2013

Review of New Life by Bonnie Dee

Since the car accident that caused traumatic brain injury, Jason has fought to regain his memories and the ability to organize thoughts and control emotions. His promising future shattered, he works as a night janitor in an office building and clings to routine to make it through his days.
New lawyer Anna breaks down one evening after fumbling her first court case. Self-doubt brings her to tears in a deserted stairwell where Jason finds her and offers comforting words. From this unexpected meeting an unlikely romance begins.
A casual coffee date soon leads to a deeper connection and eventually a steamy affair. But are Jason and Anna’s growing feelings for each other strong enough to overcome the social chasm that divides them and the very real issues of Jason’s disability?


As a disabled person I'm very particular in the books I read that depict disabilities.  This is the second book of Ms. Dee's that I've read that deals with disability and I'm again impressed with the realistic, yet uplifting view she depicts when dealing with these big issues.  There's no miraculous cure at the end justifying the HEA, just an understanding that love indeed conquers all and that sacrifices are worth it when it comes to loving someone.  This is a message that everyone can embrace regardless of their abilities and is what every reader looks for when choosing a romance book to read.

Jason is still recovering from an accident that was the result of his drunk driving that's left him with memory problems, slowness of speech, occasional loss of emotional control, and profound frustration with wanting to do something more meaningful with his life but knowing his limitations.  He hates the monotony of his job but knows it's necessary to remain independent.  The low self-esteem his new mind and body has left him with has led him to isolate himself which is why it's so surprising that he opens himself up to Anna, the new lawyer in the office building he cleans.  From the moment he comforts her with words of wisdom they embark on a journey to a full-fledged relationship that has plenty of bumps along the way as he constantly questions why such a successful person would want to be with him. Being with Anna has him questioning everything about himself actually....who he was before the accident and what he wants to be in the future.  The answers he discovers aren't always easy and lead him spiraling out of control and falling hard, ultimately relying on love to pick him up and dust him off.

Anna has always felt the pressure to succeed courtesy of her judgemental mother.  Anna's supposed to have the perfect job, live in the perfect home, and date the most successful man.  Jason's only a janitor though and lives in a dingy apartment, so being with him weighs on Anna heavily.  Their casual meetings soon lead to more as she sees unquestionable acceptance in his eyes and a calming shelter in the chaos of her life.  She acknowledges the issues their differences could cause and keeps their relationship hidden at first because of this. After some particularly gutwrenching scenes that batter their fledgling relationship she realizes being with him is worth any sacrifice to being without him.  This truth is very empowering and had me applauding her actions.

Ms. Dee pulls no punches in showing what daily living is like for Jason. She shows him at his best and worst and I adored him completely as I could easily relate to him as well.  Anna is a strong-willed woman whose responses to Jason are realistic as she tries to find a HEA with such a complicated man.  Their relationship starts out slowly with a sense of sweetness mixed in with undertones of constant sexual tension.  I found myself completely invested in their relationship from the start and felt every heartache along the way.  Ms. Dee handled the issues of  disability in a sensitive and realistic manner and I'll continue to look to her as a master in presenting those of us with disabilities in such a positive light, showing that we're as worthy of a HEA as others. Those readers looking for complicated, fully fleshed-out characters that have to work hard for their HEA will find Bonnie Dee's books fit that bill to a tee.

My rating for this is an A+!

*I bought this book with my own money for my own personal library.

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