Wednesday, May 21, 2008

TBR Day: REVIEW: Sex, Straight Up by Kathleen O'Reilly

SETTING: Contemporary - NYC
TYPE: Category Romance (Harlequin Blaze #388)
COPYRIGHT: April 2008
SERIES: Book #2 in "Those Sexy O'Sullivans" miniseries

THOUGHTS/OPINION:
This is my first book by this author and I was so pleased with it, I'm sure it won't be my last. I picked this up because of a glowing review over at DearAuthor. I don't read many of the new categories much anymore because most of them are pretty light on plot with very little sex. Harlequin Blaze are supposed to be sizzling hot and they generally are but most of them have silly or unbelievable plots (like virgin sex therapists - please, give me a break).

This series is about three brothers who own a bar in NYC. SSU is Daniel's story, the oldest brother, who is an accountant. Now if you are one of those (like me) that think that a book with an accountant for a hero would be boring, you'd be wrong. Daniel is an incredibly sexy, but tortured hero. Not angsty, but more sad and his story broke my heart. Six years ago his wife was killed on September 11th. They had both worked at an accounting firm in the twin towers and he had stopped that morning to get that special latte she liked at her favorite coffee shop. He was still inside the coffee shop when he heard the first boom. Now he stills suffers from survivors guilt and can't get over the pain of her loss.

His brothers pressure him into attending a weekend party at the beach in the Hamptons. But he doesn't want to be there so rather than participate in the partying, he sits on the beach instead. Next door in her grandfather's beach house, Catherine Montefiore observes a lonely but sexy man sitting on her beach motionless for hours and gets the urges to draw him so she pulls out her sketchpad and sits on the deck to draw. Catherine loves to sketch but she's not an artist. Her real job is assistant appraiser at Montefiore Auction House which is owned by her grandfather. Eventually they introduce themselves. Later that weekend they spend an incredibly hot evening together but it ends badly when Catherine catches him putting his wedding ring back on and doesn't realize he is widowed. Daniel and Catherine eventually meet again when a serious problem arises at the auction house involving commissions which could destroy their business. So Daniel's firm is called in to perform an audit.

Daniel and Catherine are wonderful 3-dimensional characters and the plot was handled very realistically. So many Blazes have silly plots but I found this one was refreshingly believable and heart wrenching. There were many sizzling sex scenes but they were integral to the plot and not just tacked on to up the heat level. Their relationship and growing love for each over develops slowly which was very believable. When Daniel is finally able to remove his old wedding ring we know that he is finally healing. Catherine is a special character and is no doormat. In the end she comes to believe in herself when she helps Daniel solve the mystery about the commissions. The dialog and plot move along very smoothly and I found it very easy to read but deeply emotional as well.

Book #1 (Shaken and Stirred) and Book #3 (Nightcap) maybe worth looking into.

GRADE: B+

3 comments:

ames said...

I read this a couple of weeks ago and I really enjoyed it too. And it was the first time I read Kathleen O'Reilly.

Christine said...

Thanks for the review, Lesley. I often hesitate to pick up this line of stories for the same reasons as you, but I think I'm going to give this one (and the other two in the series) a try.

ReneeW said...

Ames: Me too and I was impressed.

Christine: I have to agree with you about the Blaze line, but I think you'll be pleased with this book.

Wow, I haven't touched my blog in over 6 years and I'm still logged in!  Good thing because I have no idea what my password is.  In ...