“No one keeps a secret like a child.” – Victor Hugo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 266 Pages
Rating: 4 Stars
Blurb: After the death of their mother, Chris Bottoms adopted his little brother, Ted, and Chris and his partner, Mickey O’Donovan, settle down to raise him. Through paperwork left by his mother, Chris learns his brother has a deeply troubled past.
During a Thanksgiving visit with Chris and Ted’s maternal grandparents, they find out Chris’s grandfather allowed his friends to abuse Ted, so Chris severs all ties with that side of his family.
Through his job at a hospital, Chris hears of a surgeon at the Mayo Clinic who has developed an ileostomy reversal technique that has proven successful in cases like his. When Chris enters the clinic for preliminary testing, he learns he is a good candidate for the procedure and schedules the first of two surgeries for the beginning of January. A visit from estranged relatives while he’s in the hospital leaves him wondering how many secrets one family can have.
Review: Bottoms Out is the second book in this new series. These new books are Avondale Stories so we get to see some of our favorite characters from the series, as well as meeting some new characters through Chris and Mickey’s adventures.
This book picks up exactly where the first book ended. Chris and Mickey are home from Arkansas, with Ted in tow, and the reality of parenthood has just hit them. They surely aren’t prepared for the information they find in the paperwork left by Chris’s mother, and they will have to turn to their friends for help to get Ted on the road to healing.
These two not only have to learn all about birthday parties and finding appropriate schools, but they also realize they have to reign in their “romantic” moments with a youngster in the house.
Chris has settled in at work and through his new job, he and Mickey make some new friends, and Chris finds out that there may be a way to repair at least some of the damage from his surgery the year before.
This book is another wonderful story from Etienne. I have enjoyed reading the entire Avondale series, and I am looking forward to the next “Bottoms” book. Now, I have to in all honesty say that Etienne’s writing is not going to be for everyone. This author’s writing style is very unique. I believe you will either like it or you won’t; there really isn’t much middle ground with these books. Etienne has a very matter of fact tone in these books, and personally, I love it.
Honestly, these stories read like “a day in the life” of whomever the book is focusing on. There is no unnecessary angst, there is very little if any on page smexing, and each character has a distinct voice. I think one of my favorite parts of the Avondale series is the fact that we get to see so many of the past characters on a regular basis. They don’t disappear as soon as their story is done. George and Mike still play a big part in this story and they were the first couple in the first book.
As I said before this is not going to be the book for everyone, but for some of us it is going to be just right. As far as I’m concerned, I could read a dozen more books about the men of Avondale.