STARTING OVER                                            BARBIE BOHRMAN

Starting Over by Barbie BohrmanSingle mom Vanessa Holt has a daughter she loves, a supportive family, and her art. Having given up on finding true love—if that even exists, which she doubts—she’s content to put romance on the back burner. But not everyone agrees. Those nearest and dearest are ready to see Vanessa let down her long blonde hair and have some fun.

To put their grumbling to rest, Vanessa agrees to go on a date with the next man who asks. Luckily for her, that man is Cameron Thomas, her daughter’s extremely handsome science teacher. She’d felt a spark of chemistry the first time she’d laid eyes on him. Now she’s ready to lay a whole lot more on the sexy bachelor.

But just as things get hot, they also get heavy. When the man who broke Vanessa’s heart reappears, her old doubts and fears about love rush to the surface. Will her fresh start with Cameron be over before it’s barely begun?
     How do you start over when you have been out of circulation too long?  At least that is the way Vanessa Holt, 30 something, was feeling.  She has been a single mom since the day her daughter was born and she used an art scholarship she received to go to college, she lived on tips from waitressing and from selling art pieces to make ends meet.  Until her father offered her an office job part time so she could raise her now 12 year old daughter, Josie.
     Working at Holt Construction and having her family were a gift and she knew it.  She took the job so she could work, devote herself to her most important job being Josie’s mom and being able to do her beloved art on the weekends to keep her sane.  Now her daughter was in a new phase of her life and was spending more time with friends.
     For years her parents had been nagging her about getting together with her friends or dating.  She always got so angry with them inside because she couldn’t admit she lost her friends within months, a year tops of having her daughter Josie.  They had nothing in common as for dating she didn’t want to parade new men around Josie giving her the wrong message.  Plus by the time she got up at 5 a.m. ran 2 miles, got Josie up, and to school, herself to work, picked up Josie from school which could be later if she had and event, then home to cook dinner, and then finally bed. She was exhausted! 
     For the first time since Josie had been born she had actually shown not only visual interest but sexual interest in a man.  Yet, he had to be totally off limits, hands off!!!  Why because if Josie found out she would die.  Because the man is Cameron Thomas.  Better known as Mr. Thomas, Josie’s Science teacher.  At back to school night she noticed she was not the only mom to show an active interest in him.  In fact one was very obvious and boy were the open whispers flying about her.  Vanessa wanted no part of that.  So she exited as soon as it was over.
     That night she makes the mistake of asking her sister-in-law if she thought Harrison Ford was cute in Indiana Jones.  Making Alex’s wife, Julia, grill her if she had a guy in mind or a boyfriend.  She promised to tell her if she did.  But then a time later is where her dad brought it up about him and her mom think she should start dating.  So, when at the art fair Mr. Thomas bought her mother’s painting from Josie, and was flirting with her mom and she didn’t get it she confronted her mom.
     Josie wanted to know if her mom was happy.  Because she thinks Vanessa is using her as an excuse to not date.  Her mom tells her she’s really happy.  Josie asks her to promise her one thing, “If someone asked you out, would you say yes?”  Vanessa says she doesn’t know if she can answer but then she sees the disappointment on Josie.  She says to herself well new beginning just like I thought about.  Just like Josie is starting a new phase I am too.  So excitedly she says okay.
     Just when she thinks she could open her heart and her mind to dating and find a man in her life maybe even Cameron.  A letter arrives at her office that could change her and Josie’s lives forever.  Sending Vanessa into a tailspin until her brother Alex helps her walk through it devising a plan.
     Can Vanessa detach enough from Josie to find a new life for herself that will include Josie not hold her hostage?  Can this letter cause a rift between Josie and Vanessa?  Can Vanessa ever get a life and stop using Josie as an excuse?
     What an amazingly sweet story of a mother and daughter learning to find their way as Vanessa’s daughter Josie becomes a tweenie.  With the love of her parents but especially her younger brother Alex who took up the role of father for Josie.  You see Josie’s sperm donor ran out on her and her mom 3 months into her pregnancy.  So watch how they learn to maneuver the newness of pre-empty nest-syndrome and pre-teen emotions.  I give this 5 stars.  Provided by

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