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Starting Over (Treading Water #3)

4.47  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,160 Ratings  ·  115 Reviews
In a drunken stupor, Brandon O'Malley frightens his brother Aidan's girlfriend, enraging his brother and the rest of his family. Aidan offers Brandon the choice of rehab or jail, and Brandon reluctantly enters treatment. While in rehab, he confronts the lifetime of secrets and resentments that fueled his spiral into alcoholism, and these revelations have a major effect on ...more
Published December 27th 2011 (first published December 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Rachel Regina
Overall rating: 4 "Second Chance" stars!

Cheating: (view spoiler)
Love triangle: (view spoiler)
Sex with om/ow: (view spoiler)
Intimate pasts: (view spoiler)
Why the one-star when Marie Force is one of my top three favorite authors? I could not get into this story line. I could tell that the author did a lot of research about AA but the story contained too many details that I got bored. I also did not connect with the H.

Books 1 and 2 were so amazing, full of angst and heartbreak. I hope my rating of the book doesn't discourage any to try it. It might be your cup of tea. Marie is a wonderful author. I just did not connect with this story, hence the ra
Dec 29, 2011 Kathy rated it it was amazing
Authors please pay attention- if you want to know how to write the kind of epilogues that readers want, read Starting Over's. Not only was the whole book wonderful, the epilogue had everything, I mean everything I want- it had a heartwarming twist, it provided updates for the series'major characters [a must for the readers], and it required a few tissues. Thank you Marie Force for ending this lovely trilogy on a perfect note!
I so enjoyed this whole trilogy and highly recommend it! Marie Force is a favorite author of mine because her stories are deeper, a little edgier in plot line (this one was about and alcoholic) and evoke so much emotion from me - I can always count on a good cry and an uplifting HEA. She is also the queen of Love at First Sight story lines, which I don't always want, sometimes I like the "I love you's" to take awhile, but sometimes they are exactly what I need.

Starting Over has two, slightly th
Dec 28, 2011 Ann rated it liked it
Yes –(4 stars) Definitely enjoyed Brandon and the story surrounding his troubles with alcohol and journey to higher ground. The scene with him at the cemetery was a heart grabber and a Kleenex moment. No – (2.5-3 stars) Didn’t care for the whim, wham of the (and I hate to say this because I love Marie Force’s books) sappy love stories here. Again, as with Marking Time I feel like this story was another Lifetime movie and these lives are on a quick time table to meet fall head over heels in love ...more
Anne OK
Dec 19, 2011 Anne OK rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-reads
Book Three in Treading Water Trilogy

An excellent conclusion to the "Treading Water" trilogy. Once again, Marie Force offers her readers another extraordinarily interesting and entertaining storyline which includes sizzling romance and intriguing characters who'll make you cry, laugh and love right along with them. "Starting Over" features Brandon O'Malley who, despite his refusal to acknowledge he has a drinking problem, lands in rehab after he attacks his brother's girlfriend. Getting his life
Dec 26, 2011 Alison rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED this book! The O'Malley's are such an amazing family.

I laughed out loud at Dennis' fear of funny to imagine a big tough guy, whos raised 5 kids being scared of one woman.

I absolutly loved Mike and Brandon's relationship. She was the star of the book for me. The epilogue...tissues please!!!

I loved seeing Colin and Declan get their HEA's. Especially Colin, the steadfast "good kid", it was time he had something special just for himself.

On a side note, I was a little sad not to s
Dawn ♥ romance
An engrossing story with lots of information on alcoholism and enough romance including love at first sight secondary romances. Plot, pace and action all good with exciting ending. Recovering alcoholic Brandon meets Daphne and her precocious daughter living in the building he is restoring.
A Tasty Read Book Reviews
Dec 22, 2011 A Tasty Read Book Reviews rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone in need of a REAL story
I have to agree with a few of the other ladies that said Starting Over was their Favorite of the Treading Water Trilogy.

I can honestly say that Brandon stole my heart in this book and I think might hold onto it for a while. I tend to be a woman who always went after the man who needed to be "saved". So in Starting Over I found myself feeling so bad for Valerie, Brandon's ex, who put so much of herself into the relationship with a man who was lost. The book starts out with a lot of heavy baggage
Apr 23, 2012 Tina rated it it was ok
Eh, glad I only borrowed this one. This was one of those quick, easy contemporary reads that I like to gobble down once in awhile. I liked the first two books in the series they yanked a lot of outrage chains and they were super fun to read. This one fell all over itself in it's earnestness. Part of he problem is that the first part of the book felt like it was a by-the-book primer on AA and Al-Anon. I felt like I was reading a manual, not a story about this person's experience with alcohol addi ...more
Dec 23, 2011 Sheri rated it liked it
My grade: C+. This is the third book of a trilogy. I didn't read the first two books but had no trouble keeping all the characters and backstories straight. The book starts with Brandon starting a 30 day rehab.

All 4 O'Malley brothers had relationships to fix, and all issues were rather quickly resolved near the end.

I liked Brandon's journey: accepting his alcoholism and his struggle with sobriety. That was unusual in a romance and I appreciated the research Force did. I liked Brandon and 5 year
May 04, 2013 Janell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-favorites
I really didn't think I was going to like this book as much as the first two, as the storyline is a little bit of a deviation from the others. (My plan was to rush through it so I could get to the 4th book and catch up with the other characters). Boy was I wrong! This book turned on the water works BIG TIME! I enjoyed all of the book, but I'd say the last 1/4 or 1/3 (not sure) I simply COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN and that Epilogue!!!! I got 1/2 way through it and had to start back reading it from the ...more
Apr 20, 2014 Mareli rated it it was amazing
Another O'Malley here, after Aidan in the previous book, we meet Brandon, who has serious alchol issue. After 30 days in rehab Brandon has to begin again with his family, his brothers and all the people he hurt in his drunken fog.

But he meets Mike, a wonderful 5 years old girl, who needs a father and her mother, who needs a friend and maybe someone who'll love her.

For those two woman Brandon becomes finally the man all his family wanted him to be.

Very emotional and sweet. A great trilogy, recomm
Aug 25, 2015 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful and heartwarming novel!!

What a wonderful and heartwarming novel. Brandon's story of his time from rehab through his ongoing recovery as an alcoholic was a moving and engaging story. Marie Force has taken some amazing characters and a very strong story line and truly brought the ups and downs and ins and outs of alcoholism and the recovery of an alcoholic to the forefront of the novel. She did so in such a realistic manner that this novel was very easy to relate to and the characters ac
Kerry Richardson
Dec 29, 2014 Kerry Richardson rated it really liked it
This was the 3rd instalment of this series and it didn't have great reviews like the first two books. However, I really liked the story and the characters. Some people had an issue with the alcoholic storyline and felt that it was too overpowering and in your face but I didn't feel that at all. I have a little understanding of the illness or disease of alcoholism having had a few friends over the years who've suffered and currently suffer from it. I've never been sure quite why I've had friends ...more
Aly Hackett
Dec 22, 2011 Aly Hackett rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
My favorite and a wonderful third book in this series. Realistic situations, beautifully packed together. I love the O'Malley clan! The relationship they all have is what - for me - was the core of this book and what made it work so well. But I have to say Mike & Brandon's relationship is the killer :) That kid slays me!!
Aug 02, 2012 Diana rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved all the books in the Treading Water Series, but by far my favorite was this book! Brandon and his brothers showed the true meaning of brotherhood in this book, I wanted to belong to their family. I was torn when I realized that I would not be reading more on the O'Malley's!
Dec 26, 2011 KK rated it it was amazing
So, SO amazing! This book has it all. As in all Marie Force books, there is definitely romance, but there is also a solid dose of humor, drama, and lots of tissue moments. You will fall in love with the O'Malley's and the people around them.
Kandis Redman
Aug 02, 2015 Kandis Redman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Starting Over

I did not think I would like this book because I did not care for Brandon in Marking Time. He was just mean, scary, and drank too much. After reading his book this may be one of my favorites. I love Marie Force but this series just tugs on your heart. Brandon has hurt scared feelings that he has been trying to deal with, but turns to drinking. He becomes alcoholic and his family has had enough of putting up with him. He goes to rehab, shares his secrets, and falls in love. He falls
What a great story. I wasn't sure how I felt about Brandon in book two. But damn does this boy redeem himselfin this book. The epilogue still has me in tears. I love the wrap up.
Dec 20, 2011 Tracy rated it it was amazing
This is the BEST series I have read to date! This book was an emotional ride full of LOVE! Highly recommend.
Dec 27, 2011 Ju rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story. I loved the brothers and Mike was adorable. I really loved the ending.
Cocktails and Books
Dec 08, 2011 Cocktails and Books rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fabulous. Look for review on Night Owl Reviews
Laura's Book Addiction
Dec 20, 2011 Laura's Book Addiction rated it it was amazing
Starting Over is AMAZING my favourite of the series even my favourite book by Marie Force EVER!!!!!!!!!!
Sep 15, 2014 Lizz rated it really liked it
For SURE my favorite of the series. While the characters did the usual "we met a week ago and are engaged now" thing I loved watching Brandon's development as he worked his way to being sober. And the epilogue? OH! Tissues for sure! And ... um... WOW this family had babies!!! But yes. The ending kinda tied everything up with a bow except for Kate and Reid's story. It felt as if the author had intended for this to be the last book of the series, but then decided to go back in once more for the 4t ...more
Aug 22, 2015 Venessa rated it liked it
Shelves: series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews

4.5 Stars

This was another wonderful and emotional story from Marie Force. We met Brandon in Marking Time and knew he had a lot of demons to work out. From the moment I met Brandon I wanted to know what his story was. How could someone from such a strong, loving and supportive family be so down in the dumps that he had to turn to alcohol. Brandon's story touched me in more ways than one. My Uncle is a recovering alcoholic and lives his life by the Big Book and the Good Book. Before my Aun
Apr 02, 2013 Jatana rated it it was amazing
This is an incredible, well written emotional novel with a very deep subject matter of alcoholism. Clare and Aiden are visiting the O'Malley family when Brandon comes over drunk and attacks Clare. He's given a choice to either go to rehab or jail. While in rehab Brandon acknowledges he's an alcoholic and he sees how bad his life has gotten. During this time he also learns how much his family has done for him while he drank his life away. He addresses his past and realize the things in his life t ...more
Apr 15, 2013 Jodster's rated it it was amazing
WOW!!! I did not think this series could get any better. I have to say it did. This is by far my favorite thus far. I love Brandon. In Marking Time I thought he was a jack ass.... but he sure did surprise me.

Brandon... Going to rehab for a drinking problem was not what he wanted... but after attacking his brothers girlfriend he had no choice.. so he went, hated it and denied he had a problem.. some where in between arriving and leaving Brandon discovered new things about himself and his family.
Joyfully Reviewed
Feb 19, 2012 Joyfully Reviewed rated it it was amazing
Starting Over is a Joyfully Recommended Read

Brandon O’Malley found himself at rock bottom after learning that he hurt his brother’s girlfriend while in the midst of an alcohol induced rage. His brother gives him a choice rehab or jail. He takes rehab all while insisting he doesn’t have a problem. However, it doesn’t take him long to realize exactly how bad an alcoholic he is and how bad his life has gotten. After rehab, Brandon’s father gives him a restoration job to slowly bring him back into t
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aka M.S. Force

About the Author
About the Author
***Start reading Marie's New York Times Bestselling Gansett Island Series today with Maid for Love, free on Amazon. You can also sign up for Marie's newsletter at***

Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold more than 2.3 million books,
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Other Books in the Series

Treading Water (4 books)
  • Treading Water (Treading Water, #1)
  • Marking Time (Treading Water, #2)
  • Coming Home (Treading Water, #4)

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“Shit, shit, shit,” Dennis whispered. It was all Brandon could do not to dissolve into laughter. “Are you seriously hiding from a woman? After living with Mum for forty years?” “That woman makes your mother look like a pushover,” Dennis whispered. “This I have to see.” Brandon moved to the door.” 0 likes
“After the sneakers landed again—hopefully this time where they belonged—he heard little feet running in his direction, saw denim-clad legs come into the kitchen, and laughed when they came to a dead stop. “MOM!” the child shrieked. “A man lost his legs in our kitchen!” 0 likes
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