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New Life Paperback – 21 March 2013
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- Publisher : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (21 March 2013)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 302 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1482020521
- ISBN-13 : 978-1482020526
- Dimensions : 13.34 x 1.93 x 20.32 cm
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Top reviews from other countries
The conflicts between the class differences and ability differences shape the love the story and Anna and Jason are finely drawn.
I wish some of the secondary characters were as nuanced to give the story more depth but other all I enjoy the rough ride of this falling in love tale.
I do wish the second part New Year was merged into this book as well. I think the after I love yous is often the best part of a romance and we have to wait to get that in the second book and I think we also need to deal with the hard drinking issues here.
I do recommend this one. Its good.
An honest look at relationships, and a smart one at that. I really enjoy books that draw me to the characters and I find that's becoming more rare. They are both so broken but at the same time both so brutally beautiful.
Love the characters, love the story line, love the beauty.
Bonnie Dee had been recommended to me several times, but this was my first book of hers. She writes unusual heroes, I was told. They aren't traditional romances. She tackles difficult subject matters. Well, yes, New Life fits in all those pigeon-holes, but it's so much more besides.
What would an up-and-coming lawyer see in a brain-damaged janitor? And how could Jason ever think of sustaining a relationship with her?
From the opening pages, I was locked into this story and hated to put it down. Bonnie Dee has crafted a sensitive and moving story with a delicate hand. Her characters leap off the page, they're real, and I identified with them every step of the way.
** "Try counting sheep," I blurted.
She stopped and turned, blonde-streaked brown hair flipping over one shoulder. "Pardon me?"
"It helps... when you're having a hard day."
I knew she thought I was simpleminded by the way her eyes went all soft and pitying. "I think that's for falling asleep."
"It works for other things too. It's a technique. Like a - what do you call it - mantra. Helps you calm down...when you're anxious and... focuses your thoughts."
I could parrot therapist-speak, and I definitely wanted this chick to know I wasn't dumb. **
Jason is painfully aware of his limitations and is slowly rebuilding some form of life for himself.
** She blushed and dropped her gaze to her plate. Damn, was I actually flirting? I hadn't done that since... Actually, I couldn't remember ever flirting. That was pre-accident Jason and I was Jason 2.0. I never felt as if his experiences were really mine. **
We follow him through his initial meetings with Anna, and we can see - as clearly as he can - that they are worlds apart. However, Bonnie Dee also gives us Anna's POV, and she can see beyond the shattered exterior.
** He stared even more deeply into my eyes and asked, "Why?"
I blinked. "What?"
"Why would you want to go out with me? Why'd you even ask me to meet you here?" He sounded honestly curious.
"Why not? I like talking to you. Look, if you're not interested, just say so."
He was silent long enough for me to start feeling like a fool. "I'm interested," he said at last. "I just don't understand why you are." **
You'll have to indulge me. I'm including lots of quotes from New Life as I struggled to narrow it down to just a few extracts. The writing is beautiful. Bonnie Dee takes a mis-matched couple and makes them fit with each other, despite all their differences.
** He was anything but slow, despite his halting speech pattern. His sharp features would've been almost too conventionally handsome without the jagged scar that ran from temple to jaw on the right side. It gave the impression of trial by fire. This man had been through something heavy duty and emerged on the other side. **
Jason comes across as brave and self-reliant, and not prone to self-pity. He's making the best of things and Anna adores him for it.
** "I'd like to keep seeing you," I said. "But it's going to be hard to find time when we're on opposite shifts."
He took his arms from the back of the bench and folded them. "Plus, it's not like we're in the same social circle, I understand." He sounded as if he were responding to a "get lost."
I touched his arm. "Wait. I'm not saying I don't want to get together, only that it's going to take some arranging. But I want to, if you want to."
"Hell, yeah." **
Since he works nights, and she works days, it adds another layer of difficulty to their blossoming relationship. However, Anna buys a puppy - Baby - and since Jason is good with dogs, she invites him to come and care for her puppy and things take off between them.
** I kissed her hard enough to make her gasp when I let her go. Whether we saw each other again or not, it was a kiss she wouldn't forget.
"I'll text you," I said before I got out of the car.
"Me too." Her voice sounded a little breathless which was very satisfying.
I went into the building, but before the door closed behind me, I watched her drive away. Something was starting here, the first really good thing in my life in a long time. Now, if I could just keep from screwing it up. Excitement and happiness mingled with dread as I envisioned a hundred different ways that might happen. **
Of course, things do go wrong. Anna's parents call by unexpectedly for an excruciating visit that highlights to Jason just how different they really are.
** He gripped the handle of the floor polisher as if it were a crutch. "I think maybe we should chill things a little."
I would not let him know how much that hurt. "If that's what you want," I said so lightly the words bobbed up to the ceiling like helium balloons. **
** I took a last glance at his shoulders stretching the coverall as he guided the polisher back and forth, and felt a pang of pure desire. A crystal-clear realisation flashed in my mind: this was no longer a fling. I'd fallen hard for a guy I'd known only a short time, a guy who was damaged in more than physical ways, and nothing about that was going to be easy. **
And when Jason tries to patch things up between them, it makes an uncomfortable situation a thousand times worse.
** It didn't take nearly long enough for me to review the steps of my brilliant master plan: go to Anna's office, knock on the door, offer the flowers and a heartfelt apology for hooking up with Lisa, accept Anna's forgiveness and her kiss. How hard could it be?
If you feel impending disaster looming, you should probably listen to the voice in your head yelling, Danger Will Robinson. **
It would be hard not to like and admire Jason. Even when he screwed up, I still desperately wanted him to be able to fix things. I longed for them to not only survive as a couple, but to thrive on it.
** When you've hit rock bottom as many times as I have, you start to redefine what "bottom" means. Is it the moment when you wake from a coma and realize you've lost half your memories? Is it the time when you collapse during rehab and seriously doubt you're going to walk again? Is it the look in your girlfriend's eyes when she tells you to go away? **
I loved this book, can't you tell? The strength of the characters, the raw emotions on every page, the heartfelt longing for them to be together and to beat all the obstacles that kept rising before them. There was hot sex too, and that was a delicious garnish on an amazing story.
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.
The old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" is fitting for this story.
Anna Stevens life seems perfect to those on the outside. She graduated from college and
is now a lawyer at Haggenstern and Lowe. She has a nice apartment , car wears the best fashion.
When her boyfriend broke up with her six months ago she knew she would survive it.
She's lonely but not heartbroken.
Jason Reitmiller struggles everyday just to get by.
Three years ago after leaving a kegger party at college he was in a car accident.
He was in a coma for months and had to re-learn how to walk, talk, and was in physical therapy for years.
He walks with a limp and his face and body are scarred.
Did fate step in when the two met?
Anna finds Jason refreshing and finds she is drawn to him, but he is damaged is that
something she could handle, would she want to?
Jason finds Anna attractive and can't figure out why she would be interested in him? It
couldn't possibly last, was it pity, was he a charity case?
What a beautifully written story of coming to terms with what is important in ones' life,
the challenges life presents us when faced with the painful side of life. The story has sorrow,
love, cheating, acceptance and forgiveness. Another one of Bonnie Dee's books that I couldn't