Part of a series? Yes.
Category/Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Once they shared a night of passion. Now a chance encounter forces them back together. In Cecy Robson’s O’Brien Family series debut—perfect for readers of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—two total opposites find that the flames of desire are still smoldering.
Tough-as-steel cop Curran O’Brien is quickly rising through the ranks of the Philadelphia police department. But when his rookie partner is almost killed under his watch, Curran just wants to prove he still has what it takes to walk among Philly’s finest. So he’s pissed to be stuck on a cushy security assignment for the DA’s office . . . until he gets a good look at the sweet, straitlaced intern he’s supposed to protect—but not touch.
Tess Newart recognizes Curran instantly. How could she not? Back in college she tied this former frat boy to the bed with her argyle socks! That sizzling one-night stand was the only indiscretion Tess ever allowed herself. She has survived law school so far, despite being pushed to succeed by her overbearing father. Now that she’s interning on a major case against a ruthless crime boss, she won’t jeopardize her career by giving in to temptation again. She just never expected temptation to look so damn hot in uniform.
Tess knows her father has other plans for her, and they don’t include Curran. But soon she’s falling for him all over again. And when danger emerges, Curran will prove just how good a bad-boy cop can be.
I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.
Once Kissed is the first book in the O’Brien Family series. Each book features a different member of the O’Brien family so this first installment can be read as a standalone. But of course, the author gives us some leads as to what to expect in the second book.
I don’t know if you feel the same when you read a book, but sometimes you feel like you’re going to easily rate it 4 stars and then you get disappointed by some things, find some things lacking and you end up thinking you’ll rate it 3 stars instead before things get better again. And so on.
This book has me wondering more than once if I should be rating it 4 or 3 stars and to be perfectly honest, now that I’m finished with it I’m still not decided. There are things I truly enjoy in this book and others I think could have been improved a lot.
First, I think the writing is quite good overall. I do think some parts are a bit less interesting and the writing itself isn’t as polished or lively (and more passive), but it’s good and kept me going. That being said, I don’t think the sex scenes are that interesting other than a couple. The rest aren’t as compelling so I do think the author could have left out some of these or given us more of an input as to what her characters are feeling because honestly, these scenes are rather blah in my opinion. (And no, I don’t want overly graphic scenes, but I think the emotions and feelings are too often overlooked).
The plot while interesting could have been tightened a bit more. I love how Curran and Tess meet again after years without seeing each other. I truly had a huge shit-eating grin on my face. It’s well-done and overall I enjoy how Curran keeps on trying to get a rise out of Tess, but I think the book is a bit slow. And it’s strange because if not so much would have been happening in the last 20% of the book I wouldn’t be saying it’s slow, but considering all of the suspense part of the story is unraveling then at once, I can’t help but think it’s anticlimactic to the whole tone and atmosphere of the book. I would have welcomed it if the author would have spread things out a bit more throughout the book instead.
Curran and Tess are great characters and I think they work really well together. Some jumps in time (a few weeks here and there) make it a bit hard for me to fully appreciate how their relationship evolves, but still, I really like them together.
Curran’s family is interesting, but I can’t help but feel like we don’t see close to enough of them. In fact, I was taken aback when I realized how Tess was involved with all of them so quickly because it’s basically not showed. Considering this series is about the O’Brien family, I’m left hanging when it comes to discovering more of their true dynamic instead of just reading a few family stories here and there. I’d have loved a scene with Curran’s mother and Tess for example, but it’s just my opinion.
What I wasn’t expecting when I started reading this book is finding some heavy subjects the author broach. I always enjoy when an author goes for something emotional, but I think here it could have gone deeper. But still, I’m glad because it gives a bit more depth to both Tess and Curran.
This novel is a great first installment for this series and I think I’ll be reading the next installment when it comes out.
I recommend this book if you’re looking for a nice romance with some thrills.