Friday, February 17, 2012

Review of Anthology Kiss Me, I'm Irish!

Wow, I am so far behind on my reviews it’s not even funny! Here’s hoping that I can take some time off from doing my taxes and grading exams to write a few reviews this weekend!

Title: Kiss Me, I’m Irish
Authors: Roxanne St. Claire, Jill Shalvis, Maureen Child
Publisher: Harlequin
Format: eBook and Mass Market Paperback
Source: NetGalley
Publication Date: January 31, 2012
Rating: 4 out of 5

Anything with Jill Shalvis’s name on it is going to be an auto-buy for me, so when I saw this anthology on NetGalley, naturally I requested it. I hadn’t read anything by either of the other authors, but of course I recognized their names, so I was really excited to check out this book. I’m happy to say I was not disappointed! The three novellas have been previously published separately, so if you’re a fan of these authors, check your bookshelf before purchasing the anthology. Even though these novellas were published as early as 2003, for the most part they manage to remain relevant, although there are a few parts of the Roxanne St. Claire novella that were fairly dated, even though it’s only 6 years old.
Roxanne St. Claire The Sins of His Past (originally published 2006)
This was a touching reunion romance between baseball star Seamus “Deuce” Monroe and Kendra Locke. Years before Deuce had hooked up with Kendra, his best friend’s younger sister, then never called her afterwards. Fast forward to the present, and Deuce has returned home after a car wreck and accident that’s forced the baseball team to invoke a contract clause and fire him. He’s planning on running the family-owned sports bar, Monroe’s, but when he arrives at the sports bar, Kendra has turned it into an internet café. Deuce’s father finds himself in the awkward position of having to decide if he’ll continue with the plans to turn Monroe’s into an internet café or if he should allow Deuce to turn it back into a successful sports bar. There’s also some mystery as to why Kendra, the smartest girl in high school, dropped out of Harvard.
This was a sweet romance, filled with lots of angst and difficult decisions. Unfortunately, the premise of the internet café really dates the story. With the popularity of smart phones today, the internet café and Kendra’s reasons for starting one are very dated. That said, the romance between the irresponsible Deuce and the go-getter Kendra sizzles, and you’ll root for both of them. 4 out of 5
Jill Shalvis Tangling with Ty (originally published in 2003)
I really enjoyed this story of child genius turned doctor Nicole Mann and the aloof architect Ty Patrick O’Grady. Because of Nicole’s high IQ, she graduated high school and college at obscenely early ages, making it difficult for this workaholic to relate to people. She’s currently living in an old apartment building, and the two other young women in the building have taken her under their wings. When the building’s owner hires Ty to look into fixing up the building, he and Nicole set off sparks, but the two loners struggle to find their way.
I liked the pairing of this couple, although you have to suspend disbelief a bit to accept that these two loners would actually find their way together. But my absolute favorite part of the novella is how Nicole deals with her boss, who’s trying (and failing) to sexually harass her. Really, that was the most satisfying part of the entire novella. 3.5 out 5
Maureen Child Whatever Reilly Wants (originally published in 2005)
Marine Connor Reilly is a triplet and quite the hottie! Unfortunately, he and his brothers made a bet with their older brother Liam, a priest, that they can’t remain celibate for 90 days. If they lose the bet, they have to shell out $10,000 and dress up in embarrassing costumes. One of the triplets has already bit the dust, and the novella begins just after his wedding. Mechanic Emma Jacobsen is a friend of Connor’s and is stunned when he tells her how much her friendship means to him, because he doesn’t think of her as a woman! Naturally this means war. Emma goes on the offensive, and Connor never sees it coming.
This was a cute story, and I really liked how Emma deals with the situation. She makes Connor take notice, but I love that she confronts Connor with who she really is, pointing out that he didn’t notice her as a woman until she changed. 4 out of 5

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