ONE DAY AT A TIME by Dawn Douglas
One Day At A Time by Dawn Douglas
Reviewed by Cassie
Department of Homeland Security Agent Pete Olivera is in Evansville, Indiana, helping to train some of the local PD’s officers, when a policeman is forced to shoot a young teen. Knowing how it feels to have to shoot someone, especially a kid, Olivera decides to reach out to Officer Joe West, the policeman involved in the incident. He goes to West’s house and basically drags the man off, refusing to let him stay home, drink, and brood. At Olivera’s remote cabin, he plans to help West learn to accept that the shooting wasn’t his fault.
He doesn’t count on having feelings for West. Or on West returning those feelings.
One Day at a Time is a small slice of life for a Federal Agent and the cop he’s determined to help. Despite his gruff, no-attachments attitude, Olivera is a good guy. He knows what Joe West is going through, and he’s empathetic enough to want to ease the man’s pain. His way of doing so might be unorthodox, but it shakes West out of his alcohol-induced fog. Olivera is bisexual, something he keeps fairly quiet, and he doesn’t try to use West’s emotional turmoil to get him into bed. He still plans to leave his temporary assignment in Evansville when his remaining two months are up, and he doesn’t want to get into any attachments, which is why his unsettled response to West worries him a bit.
Seen through Olivera’s eyes, West is a good cop and a caring man who takes too much on himself and is hurting immensely because of what he had to do. West’s reaction to finding out about Olivera’s sexuality isn’t what Olivera expects, but it’s kind of sweet. The two men fumble their way into a weekend affair that just might turn into more.
One Day at a Time is unexpectedly sweet and emotional. The ending, while not a glowing HEA, is realistic and hopeful, and I liked it. An HEA ending would have felt forced and false in a way the hopeful ending did not. Kudos to Dawn Douglas for writing a rather up-in-the-air ending and making me appreciate it.