Sex, Straight Up (2008)

Sex, Straight Up by Kathleen o'Reilly
By Kathleen O'Reilly

Meeting a handsome loner on a deserted beach in the Hamptons was like being hit by lightning. One steamy weekend in bed with Daniel O'Sullivan and Catherine Montefiore was marvelously woozy from a delicious cocktail of sun, sand and superhot sex.

Abruptly, though, Catherine's forty-eight hours of fun are at an end when her family's exclusive auction house is hit by a very public scandal. She's ready to step in and save the day, but she's hoping Daniel, her hot Irish hunk, will lend a hand. After all, he's got the necessary skills and, straight up or not, Catherine wants another long drink of Daniel before another forty-eight hours are up and her legacy is lost forever!
My, my. Doing an image search for this cover is really not safe for work. You get some really interesting photos for the phrase "sex straight up." Lesson learned.

(I decided to post this one today because JMC and Sula were discussing it in conjunction with Beyond Breathless from yesterday.)

Smart Bitches did a wonderful review on this one last week, to which I commented:

I read this on the train home on Sunday, all in one sitting--which is rare for me. I'm such a bloody slow reader. Anyway, I loved it. It had a lot more emotional depth than the other O'Reilly I enjoyed, Beyond Breathless. I liked how Daniel equated his subconscious moving-on (he didn't reach for her first thing in the morning) as a weakness, as a betrayal, so he worked all the harder to stay true to her in his waking hours, perpetuating his misery.

My fave scene to show his mental process was when he sorted through the photographs for his MIL. He found himself putting too many in her pile, his subconscious brain moving on, but then he started again and made both piles equal--that he should miss her as much as his MIL did. Trying to make grief into something orderly. I love male POV-heavy books, so this one was a good fit for me.

I also appreciated how Catherine wasn't a wundergirrrrrrl. She got tongue-tied and intimidated around her grandfather. Couldn't stand up to him for the longest time. And he wasn't a villain or anything, just an intimidating guy. She was loyal to him, but she couldn't get past that shyness to become what he wanted. No ugly duckling scenario, no uberwarrioress scenario. Just real life. Really, really good stuff.

Oh, and pretty damn smokin' hot. Loved it.
So there you have it. Seriously, this book had depth, great emotion, and the feeling that their love story was possible. Too often in romance novels, we go for such larger-than-life characters that the whole thing goes way over the top. Daniel and Catherine felt real and beautiful, a testament to a very skilled writer and highly enjoyable book.

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