Beyond Breathless (2007)

Beyond Breathless by Kathleen O'Reilly
By Kathleen O'Reilly

Nicknamed "The Porcupine," Jamie McNamara has a tough-as-nails attitude that makes her a force to be reckoned with on Wall Street. So it's a shock even to her when she seduces a sexy investment broker in a Hummer limo on the way to a business meeting. But when her erotic escapade becomes the topic of the "Red Choo Diaries" sex blog and threatens to destroy her steely persona, Jamie realizes a fling isn't always frivolous.

Used to getting what he wants, gorgeous man-about-town Andrew Brooks knows a good thing when he sees it--and he sees and wants Jamie. Her drive and passion have him consumed. He's determined to transform their passionate limo encounter into a long-term merger--and he's prepared to negotiate!
it's probably not fair of me to comment on this book now that I've read the vastly superior Sex, Straight Up (post coming soon). But here I go anyway.

First up, I adore the cover. These people look like they're having serious fun. I also like the idea that they just get carried away, kind of creeped out that they're in something as tacky as a stretch Hummer--and then to mess around on top of that! Like it offends their basic sense of class, but they do it anyway.

However I didn't care so much for Jamie. She was starched to the point of cracking, and that sort of perfection is just hard to relate to. Also, we're told she's this financial whizkid, but all we see are times when she hits a wall and cannot negotiate her way into a choice business deal. I know this has to do with the nature of storytelling. We start at the beginning of trouble, and trouble is when she can't get her way. But as a result it just seems like she's much less capable than we're told.

I did like Andrew's relationship with his brother and sister. This is not a picture-perfect trio, and when you throw in their mother, the family becomes downright dysfunctional. I like to see the competition and very real sense of "I deserve this" going on between the siblings. Andrew thought he was making a better life for them, but Mercedes and Jeff just wanted him to back off--at least in theory. The dynamics there made for an interesting family.

A good read, but I can't wait to gush about O'Reilly's later work. I'm not quite to the point of gushing with this one.

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