Review: Just Kiss Me by Kathleen O’Reilly

Format: E-bookjustkissme
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Joseph Matthias Barrington
Heroine: Amanda Sedgewick
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: August 1, 2002
Started On: October 29, 2015
Finished On: October 29, 2015

Kathleen O’Reilly landed on my reading radar with her novel Sex, Straight Up, which I just adored. The story was just so much more than what you would usually expect from a Harlequin Blaze novel and it blew my mind enough for me to always remember that read with fond memories. I have forgotten how I stumbled upon this earlier publication from the author. But something made me hit the one-click purchase button and there I was, burning the midnight oil.

Amanda Sedgewick has been in a predicament for more than half her life, and one that has proven difficult to shake off at every turn. That is Joseph Matthias Barrington (Joe)’s brother’s affections. No matter how many times Amanda has tried telling him that she wasn’t the one for him, Dr. Avery Barrington, III wouldn’t hear of it. So desperate times calling for desperate measures, Amanda seeks the help of the rougher around the edges than Avery, the blue-collar variety brother of his to engage with her in an affair that would keep Avery away from her – for good.

Joe knows a bad idea when he hears of one and sees one. But the desperation in Amanda’s eyes makes him say yes – to playing pretend boyfriend until the very first night they get together, Amanda completely blows his mind. From that moment on, Joe, who has given up trying to measure up to the brilliance that is his brother, turns over a new leaf. For him, becoming the sort of man that “deserves” a woman like Amanda is the goal that he hopes to attain.

For some reason, this story made confusing  turns that made it difficult for me to follow. One minute, Amanda was willing to indulge in the hottest affair of her life with Joe, the next she was busy trying to prove her worth in her career. Joe was the only one who made any kind of sense to me. And boy, was he deliciousness itself!

The simmering tension between Joe and Amanda is pretty low key until wham, with just one scene Kathleen O’Reilly literally blew my mind to smithereens! You’ve got to read this book, if only to experience the heat that that particular scene alone generated. Whew! Let me just say this. Joe was decadent!

Recommended, if you are up for a confusing story line, but one that nevertheless made me burn the midnight oil.

Final Verdict: Joe’s decadent nature makes this book worth a look!

Favorite Quotes

“We don’t have to pretend, Joe.”
“Yes. We do.”
She flashed him a gentle, comforting smile. “No. We don’t.”
“Yes. We do.”
Amanda moved in closer. “We could do torrid, you know.”
“No.”
“Hot.” She licked her lips, getting into this femme fatale persona. The courtroom had never been this exciting.
“No.” The denial sounded a little strained.
“I could make you forget your name.”
“You’re Avery’s girl. That’s all I need to remember.”

Amanda held his arm. “Stay, just a little bit longer.”
“Can’t. Look, I’ve got a few hours off on Saturday. I’ll call you and we’ll do something then.”
“Have sex?”
Just for that, he kissed her again. “Amanda. I’m shocked.” He tried to keep his tone light, but if he sounded like he was completely turned-on, well, there it was.
Her cool blue eyes flashed at him. Damn, she looked good when she was angry. “I don’t want you shocked, I want you aroused.”
Like lightning, he had her pressed against the wall. Locked together from breasts to thighs, he made sure she felt every tortured inch of him. “You don’t think I want you? You think I’ve been killing myself to keep from touching you—” he laughed “—God, I can’t even do that right.”

He cradled her body with his own, grazing his lips over her neck. She rubbed against him, and gentleman that he was, he locked his hands on her hips and pushed against her. His erection was hard and insistent, and she licked her lips, her eyes drifting shut.
Her legs started to shake, threatening collapse, but he held her tight. There was something incredible about the way he smelled. All musky and male. Each time she moved, he answered. Each time he moved, she moaned.

He kissed her neck, whispering in her ear, in slow, exquisite detail exactly what he was going to do to her. What he wanted to do with her right here. Right under the watchful eyes of everyone around them.
Oh.
She chewed on her lip, ready to scream. When his thumb brushed against her, she felt her muscles shake and spasm. He covered her mouth with his own. That was all she could take. She closed her eyes, and watched the world shatter.
And he kissed away her cries.

One. Two. He was back. “I can’t wait,” he said, taking her lips in a quick kiss.
She fumbled with his briefs. “Now.”
He sheathed himself with shaking fingers. “I wanted this to be slow,” he said, lifting her.
She wrapped her legs around his waist, needing to feel him inside her. “Later.”
He took one step forward, braced her against the door, she locked her hands around his nape.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | HQ

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Review: Sex, Straight Up by Kathleen O’Reilly

Format: E-book
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Those Sexy O’Sullivans, Book 2
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Daniel O’Sullivan
Heroine: Catherine Montefiore
Sensuality: 3.5
Date of Publication: June 1, 2008
Started On: August 5, 2010
Finished On: August 7, 2010

I read this book upon coming across this title in a discussion forum on Amazon. If I hadn’t come across this title in such a manner, most probably I wouldn’t have given this book a second glance because the cover as well as its synopsis doesn’t do justice to what a great story this book really is. I guess the old adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” holds true for this title. Not that the book doesn’t have enough sensuality and passion to make your toes curl, but the story that unfolds when you start reading is a lot more than just sex and what goes behind closed doors, but rather how someone who has promised himself that he would stay faithful to the memory of his dead wife for seven long years, finds out that love can happen not only once in your life, but twice.

Daniel’s wife Michelle was killed in the September 11 attacks. An auditor/accountant by profession, Daniel likes his life to be ordered and balanced as the spreadsheets that he works with. The ring that he still wears on his left hand is a testament to his need to stay faithful to the memory of the one woman who was definitely made for him. Seven years on, his brothers Gabe and Sean are tired of the fact that Daniel always seems so haunted with an air of desolate sadness that always hangs around him. And so they together with Gabe’s girlfriend Tessa badger Daniel until he agrees to go to the Hamptons during the weekend to a retreat with a bunch of lawyer friends of Sean.

Catherine Montefiore works in the Montefiore auction house for her grandfather. A little on the curvy side with a talent for drawing which she keeps hidden from her mother and those close to her, Catherine comes across a hunk of a man sitting quietly on the beach of her grandfather’s beach house in the Hamptons. From the moment Catherine lays eyes on Daniel, she knows that he is a man who hides behind a wealth of sorrow that seems to linger all around him. And when Daniel strikes up a conversation with Catherine, Daniel is surprised to find how easy it is to be with the quiet and unassuming woman who all of a sudden seems to be calling to his baser nature.

Before the weekend is through, Daniel and Catherine end up having great sex, which they both know have no chance of growing into something further. And when Catherine sees Daniel put back his wedding ring on, she jumps to the worst conclusions and beats herself up about having the most fabulous sex of her life with a married man.

It is when trouble crops up at the Montefiore Auction House over a matter of price fixing with another competitive auctioneer, a crime which seems to be pointing towards Catherine’s beloved grandfather that Daniel’s firm is called in to audit and find out what has been going on. When Daniel and Catherine meet again, Daniel knows that he needs to come clean with Catherine about his dead wife, if for no reason other than the fact that he wants all Catherine has to give, even if he is not ready to let the memory of his dead wife go.

Catherine at first refuses to start an affair in which she knows she would end up getting hurt by falling in love with a man who has nothing left to give, but then again the temptation that Daniel provides is so hard to say no to as well. Once Catherine decides to live a little and go headlong into the affair with eyes wide open, Daniel starts to heal little by little and being happy becomes easier as time passes.

This was a wonderful story, definitely worth your time. Kathleen O’Reilly has done a splendid job with the character development that makes this Blaze an unforgettable one. And oh my! I didn’t know that auditors/accountants could be so HOT!!

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Kobo

[xrr rating=5/5]

Caliber Seal: OUTSTANDING READ!