Never Been Kissed, by Molly O’Keefe

Never Been Kissed (Boys of Bishop #2)
By: Molly O’Keefe
Published date: July 1, 2014

Overall Rating: 4 out of 5 
Cheeseball rating: 2 out of 5.
Authenticity of Spirit: I believed these characters could exist.
How hot is it: Like 3 out of 5 for a romance novel.
Hero: Ashley.
Heroine: Brody.

So this was a solid read, and after reading some kind of crappy stuff I totally appreciated it. Thanks, Ms. O’Keefe! It was an emotional ride, but still had some light and funny moments. Truth be told, the first chapter turned me off and I almost just put the book down because it seemed super heavy, but I kept going, and I’m glad I did!

After a career-ending injury in the Marines, Brody becomes a bodyguard for Ashley’s political family. When Ashley is only seventeen years old, she falls in love with the twenty-four year old Brody, which ends up in him leaving her family’s employ. They reconnect ten years later when Ashley is caught by Somali pirates (romantic! sort of!). She’s been badly beaten, and to avoid her controlling mother and the global press, Brody takes her to his hometown of Bishop, Arkansas so she can recuperate.

Essentially, they’re stuck together in a tiny apartment above Brody’s brother’s bar, in the middle summer without air conditioning, I might add. And so yeah, that tripped me up a lot, and I kind of thought that I’d rather be with pirates than be in an upstairs apartment in Arkansas in the summer without air conditioning. Seriously, I spent way too much time thinking about it. Every time they were in the apartment I was just like, dudes, are you putting your head in the freezer every once in a while to cool down? But anyway, sorry, I just think I would die.

The relationship between Brody and Ashley is lovely. I thought Ashley was one of the most likable heroines I’ve read in a while. She was sweet and considerate and smart without being a total weenie. And Brody, what wasn’t to like about a brooding, buff bodyguard with a dry sense of humor? The answer is, uh, nothing. I liked everything. The underneath of these characters was well-drawn and was truthful and subtle in a way not super common in romance novels. I liked the emotional complexity of their difficulties, and how they were able to help each other deal with their respective hang ups.

I wish I’d started with the first book in this series, but I’m excited that I’ve discovered a great new author to read!

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