Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: Starting Point (Turning Point #3) by N.R. Walker

Starting Point (Turning Point #3)
by N.R. Walker
Expected publication: May 23rd 2014 by Totally Bound

My Rating: 5 of 5 Stars

After going past the point of no return and finally reaching breaking point, the only thing Matthew Elliott can do now is start over.
Matthew Elliott is a recovering man. As an ex-cop and ex-fighter, his new job teaching kids at the local community gym about drug awareness and self-defence, is a little bit of both. His new focus on helping street kids is helping him heal, and with Kira by his side, he’s making strides.
Brother and sister, Rueben and Claudia, are homeless kids and they're very much alone. As they strike a chord with Matt, he does everything in his power to help them.
But when Ruby and Claude need more help than he bargained for, it stops being about work, and starts being about home.
The day he met Kira, Matt’s life changed direction, and it’s only now he realises that everything he’s been through was a lead up to this. It was never about endings. His life, his purpose, was just beginning.
Early Download - 25 April 2014
General Release - 23 May 2014

Starting Point is where it all comes full circle for both Matt and Kira. When they finally get to realize a life they had only dreamed of in the past. A life full of love that will last them through all the years of their lives. 

In this installment, Matt is finally able to realize a life where there is no violence facing him day in and day out. It is a life that he can enjoy: teaching kids self-defence and making sure they are freed from the temptation and violence of the streets, even for just a few hours. He religiously makes every single therapy appointment, and no matter how some days get bad, he always makes it for the next session. He is not at the top of the world, but it almost feels like it. When an unexpected relationship develops between him and a young homeless girl and her older brother, he starts to realize that maybe, just maybe, he is serving a new purpose and, sink or float, he needs to learn how to paddle.

There is some drama and thrill, although, not as up front like the first two installments which were a bit brutal in some parts. Here, there are still some dangers and threats but not pointed directly at Matt. The dangers come from the very streets. And even if life is almost blissfully happy for both men, things are not so easy for Matt. His vertigo can be a bit debilitating still and he copes. He perseveres. Where in the past Matt would hide, here, he never wants to let Kira down. Matt does his best to stick to his vow: no more lies. And he never does. 

But the inner beasts are still there. The demons of the past still haunt Matt and keeps him from getting the closure he needs.  

Of the trilogy, Starting Point is most probably the tamest in terms of action and violence. This is a new beginning for Matt and Kira, hence the title, so they are on a whole new level in their relationship and despite their faith and loyalty to each other, things still come up short and sometimes not too sweet. But they handle it. Both men learn the hard Knox of family life that may or may not include children and pets. 

N.R. Walker wrote this as a sweet and romantic book, but she also wrote it as heartbreaking in so many ways which just made Matt's and Kira's characters even more beautiful, in my opinion. It is in this book where all the barriers are finally broken down. Yes, we saw them clearly in Point of No Return and Breaking Point, but it was like being given the tip of the iceberg. Here, we finally get to see the men as they were meant to be.

It was upsetting when the book ended for I so just wanted more of these two. It was a great read from start to finish and quite impossible to put down. It is one of those reads that has upset me. Simply because it ended.

So yes, this is highly recommended. It is not often when I read a trilogy and all the books are 5 Stars, so this one is quite special. 

Related Links:
Turning Point #1: Point of No Return
Turning Point #2: Breaking Point

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