by Cecy Robson
Series: O'Brien Family #1
Published by: Random House
Genres: Contemporary Romance
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 love books about large, loud families and was excited to dive into Cecy Robson’s, O’Brien Family series with the first book Once Kissed. I immediately slipped into the story and giggled when I learned how this second chance romance began. Once Kissed earned a spot on my favorites of 2015 list.
There are seven siblings in the Irish O’Brien family and Once Kissed focuses on Philadelphia Police Officer Curran O’Brien. Curran is a natural and respected and admired by fellow officer, but after a rookie he was assigned to is almost killed Curran is temporarily reassigned to security detail. His first assignment is for the DA’s office, where his brother Declan is working on a high-profile case involving a mobster.
Tess Newart at first glance is a meek, geeky intern working for the DA’s office while finishing law school. Tess is working exclusively for Declan and this may be the case to help her secure a much-needed paying position. I was not sure of Tess at first, but appreciated her attitude when dealing with catty co-workers.
Curran is assigned to security detail for Declan’s assistant Contessa. He is not thrilled but oh lord wait until you see his reaction to Tess and hers to him. It is priceless and Robson had me giggling aloud as we learned about their shared past. At this point, I am all in. Did I mention the banter between Curran and Declan? I adore siblings and all the ball-busting that goes with it.
“I said you’re a cad!”
“I heard what you said. I’ve just never heard anyone aside from Bugs Bunny use that word. You gonna call me scoundrel next?”
Typical of new adult Once Kissed has two damaged characters who are good at the core, and through each other, they become stronger. I love Robson’s approach to her stories and the depth she brings to her characters. You get to know them, want to friend them, and ultimately care about them. Tess has been controlled her whole life and her Daddy holds the strings. She resents it, but has her eye on graduation and freedom. As I said, Curran is dealing with the rookie incident and the emotional impact. Robson avoids relationship drama and instead focused on their personal issues and suspenseful storyline. I was simply delighted that she had her character’s recommend outside help, instead of the “love fixes all” approach. Brilly! She then weaved in danger, a little suspense and a whole lotta love.
The romance is sweet, hot, heated and at times downright cute. Curran is hilarious but also gentle and sensitive. There is so much more to Tess. She is strong, brilliant, and clumsy. At times, her deadpan comments had me laugh aloud.
Robson weaves in the O’Brien family and I loved this loud, genuine, foul-mouthed family. They tease each other relentlessly, but make a move against one of them I dare you. Declan’s story is next, and a couple of scenes hinted at what is to come. I have a feeling it might be a hot, heated, haters to lovers story and I am giddy at the prospect.
Once Kissed wrapped up nicely without trying to tie things up in a bow. She provided a nice eulogy that made me smile and give a happy sigh.
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