Drawn Deeper by Brenda Rothert
Lockhart Brothers, #3
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I’ve come undone. For years I thought the world looked at my family and saw perfection. I was a busy surgeon and my wife was devoted to our two boys. But her devotion crumbled as her alcoholism took over. The outside world saw all too well what I wanted to deny.
Ten months ago she filed for divorce, packed up and moved away. To where – I don’t know. Nor do I care. But my boys do. And they’re left with me, a man who never learned how to be the dad they deserve.
Just when I’m starting to pick up the pieces, my world is rocked again by the last woman I’d expect. Given her past with my family, she’s a bad idea. But I’m drawn like a moth to a flame. I can’t stay away, even though I know this, too, will eventually crumble around me.
We could hear the laughter inside my parents’ house through the screen door on the back sunroom.
I opened the door and Jordan and Eric walked in beneath my arm. As we walked into the kitchen, I saw that we were the last to arrive for dinner this Friday night.
My nephew Noah and was chasing my niece Alana around the kitchen. My brother Reed was talking to our dad, his arm around his wife Ivy’s waist. Another of my brothers, Mason, was carving a roast, his girlfriend April drying her hands on a dish towel. The last of my brothers who lived in Lovely, Austin, was chasing after Noah and Alana while his wife Hannah looked on with amusement.
“There you are,” my mom said, walking into the kitchen and hugging me.
Jordan and Eric gave her hugs before running off to the back yard.
“How are you, honey?” Mom asked me.
She looked at me for a second, gauging whether I meant it. My parents knew I’d struggled to get my shit together after Kim left.
“I’m good, Mom. Really. You need help with anything?”
“No, everything’s just about ready.” She leaned against the counter and smiled up at me. “Have you heard that Gretchen Palmer’s divorce is final now?”
“I always liked her.”
“Maybe you should ask her out,” I said wryly.
She gave me a pointed look. “I just think it would be good for you to get out. All you do is work and take care of the boys.”
I shrugged. “I don’t want to date, Mom.”
“I’m just suggesting—”
“I know. But I’m good.”
“Have you heard from Kim at all? Does she check on the boys?”
I shook my head. “I’m gonna grab a beer, okay?”
She nodded and pushed away from the counter. Even after ten months, my mom couldn’t understand how Kim could just leave her children.
I was over it, because I’d lived it. Kim’s glass or two of wine in the evening had become half a bottle, and then she’d started drinking during the day. I’d turned a blind eye, too wrapped up in work to consider that my wife was an alcoholic.
When she left me, Kim told me she felt like she’d missed out on a lot by marrying her high school sweetheart. By that point, I didn’t even want to fight her on it anymore. We’d gotten a quick, amicable divorce and she’d split.
My family had been supportive, but still, I was the odd man out now. Everyone but me was half of a couple. My youngest brother, Justin, was unattached, but he was finishing up law school in St. Louis, so he wasn’t home much.
I’d been the first of the five boys to get married and have kids. But when I saw the way Reed looked at Ivy, his expression full of admiration and warmth, I knew they had something Kim and I never did.
Ah, I have been waiting for Kyle’s book for ages! This eldest Lockhart brother has had my interest and attention since meeting him in DEEP DOWN, the first book in the Lockhart Brothers series by author Brenda Rothert, and I am excited to finally be able to read his story.
It’s taken time and a lot of work, but Dr. Kyle Lockhart has finally found a place of normalcy for himself and his two young sons. Working past the pain of a marriage long gone bad and his wife’s desertion, Kyle’s not interested in anything but maintaining a safe and loving environment for his boys. Sure, he’s lonely sometimes, but taking care of his sons is his main priority, so making time for a woman isn’t even really on his radar.
Meredith Hobbs knows all too well what it means to be lonely, too. The former fiancée of Kyle’s brother Reed, Meredith has been pretty much persona non grata in their small town of Lovely since she left Reed at the altar many years before . But Kyle isn’t concerned with the past, and is happy to take Meredith up on her offer to tutor his two sons in her spare time. Soon enough, the friendship between Kyle and Meredith changes into something much more, and leaves both of them feeling like second chances are definitely possible.
DRAWN DEEPER was most definitely worth the wait. Who knew that such a passionate man existed beneath the calm cool exterior that Dr. Lockhart projects (I had my suspicions, but, like, whoa, Dr. Kyle!)? One of the things that I like most about Kyle is his ability to look beyond Meredith’s past actions and appreciate her for who she has become. And Meredith, who had come across as not so necessarily likable in the past books, is really much stronger than she knows. Finding the love of the right man, and sharing the feeling of having a real family, brought out a whole new strength in her, and it was a pleasure to see her grow more into the current version of herself.
Brenda has done a great job of portraying all of the aspects that make Kyle a great dad, doctor, son, and lover, and seeing him and Meredith get their HEA is extremely satisfying. 4.5 ‘heartwarming but hot second-chance’ stars for Kyle and Meredith. I’m looking forward to HIDDEN DEPTH, the next book in the series, because, more Lockhart brothers? Yes, please!
***ARC generously provided for an honest review.***