My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Cecy Robson is another new to me author (YAY!) and although this is book four in The O’Brien Family series, I had no problem understanding or connecting with this huge, boisterous and rowdy family. You won’t find a whole lot of outrageous angst in this story BUT there was a lot of emotional tension that kept me riveted to the pages! Ms. Robson weaves several really tough issues into the story including cancer, rape, and domestic violence but in a way that doesn’t overwhelm or dominate over the main story: the relationship between Declan and Melissa. Declan is the overly ambitious politician, aghast at the possibility of falling in love with the beautiful, tenacious Melissa. Melissa is hearing impaired but that doesn’t hold her back. She’s formidable and bold but also compassionate and generous especially with the victims she represents. I loved her character so it’s no wonder that Declan falls for her! I also adored the secondary characters, Declan’s brothers, their loves and his sister. They added a bit of humor to the story, keeping it from being really dark. For me, this was an emotional rollercoaster, a well written, sexy read with a happy and sweet end. Told from dual POVs. I received, read and voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
powerhouse meets the one woman immune to his charm . . .
Declan O’Brien was always driven to take his place among Philly’s elite, working hard for everything he’s earned, including the title of Assistant District Attorney. He’s won seemingly impossible cases, so he’s furious when he’s assigned to lead the one unit he doesn’t want.
Melissa Fenske was born hearing impaired to a neglectful mother, finding solace when she was adopted by a young attorney, now Declan’s boss. As the current Director of Victim Services, Melissa’s livid when Declan is placed in the main unit she oversees. She can’t forget their disastrous first encounter. Or shake how he makes her feel.
Declan considers the assignment another step toward his political aspirations, despite that he can’t get Melissa out of his mind. Melissa sees Declan as egotistical and self-serving, kicking herself for how fast she’s falling for him. Someone as hot, smooth, and perfect as Declan isn’t supposed to want her.
In another situation with any other woman, Declan wouldn’t hesitate to take Melissa to bed. But she is the boss’s daughter, and for once, Declan finds himself wanting more than just a one night stand.
Neither counted on each other. Both just met their match.
Mel? What can I say? She’s the one person who’s never been taken by my charm. Today’s no
different. Unlike the other women who work here, from interns to attorneys, she doesn’t meet me with a grin, flash a little leg, or pretend to flirt. Her hair is brown and her eyes are almost as dark. Nothing extraordinary about her appearance, right?
Damn, I wish that were true. Her creamy skin makes her hair and eyes stand out, as if that killer hourglass figure isn’t enough. And don’t get me started on her lips. They look like they’ve been dipped in honey and soften her look further, despite her steel-hard exterior.
She walks in with her hips swinging, her bright red dress hugging her curves. With an unyielding stare she meets my eyes, giving nothing away, no matter how hard I’ve chipped at that armor.
Mel doesn’t like me. Not that I blame her considering the way I keep wrecking each rare moment we find ourselves alone. Of course, she has to be the one woman I can’t get out of my mind …
“How are you, Declan?” Miles asks.
I reply with a stiff nod rather than the grin I usually offer him. This is a man I admire the hell out of. Not just because of what he’s accomplished in the political arena and in the judicial circuit, but because he’s a good man. Not someone trying to be good. Just someone who is, a rare entity in the circles we frequent.
Today that smile is not going to happen. Whether he meant to or not, the old man screwed me. Yesterday, when he called me into his office, I thought it was to tell me I would head Homicide or maybe White Collar. SACBU was not where I expected to land, ever.
“I’m well, Miles. And you?” I ask. Pissed or not, I won’t disrespect him, especially in front of his daughter.
“Fine. Thank you,” he responds. His deep voice is pleasant as always, but for some reason Melissa bristles. As her father looks to Curran and shakes his hand, my eyes trail to her.
“Mel,” I say, adding a subtle tilt of my chin. It’s not much of a greeting, but it’s more than she’s ever offered me. I don’t think she’s ever smiled in presence. But it’s not like I don’t deserve it. Hell, I still cringe when I think about the first time we met, and every moment that followed.
“Declan,” she replies. Her voice is clear enough to understand, but similar to those with significant hearing loss. Miles mentioned she learned to speak late in life, and that she articulates in the way she hears others. But her voice isn’t what gives me pause.
This is the first time she hasn’t addressed me by my title.
Miles laughs at something Curran says before Curran turns and lifts his hand. “Gotta run. See youz later.”
“Later, Curran,” I say. I keep my attention on Melissa, motioning for her and Miles to sit as I resume my professional pose.
Curran grins at Melissa. Before she can take a seat, he signs something I don’t understand. Whatever it is brings out a smile I’ve never managed to stir. She signs in return, her reply making him laugh out loud.
I don’t have to guess they’re talking about me, because that’s what they do. The hard stare I toss my brother’s way is enough to let him know today is not the day to piss me off. He winks and grins anyway since sometimes, no matter what, Curran could give a damn.