Series: O'Brien Family #4
on May 23rd 2017
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RT Book Reviews proclaims that the O’Brien Family series from award-winning author Cecy Robson “has the hottest brothers ever!” And in FEEL ME, Declan, the sexy, driven powerhouse meets his match...
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 his charm. 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.
Wren and Evan’s story, Crave Me, is still my favorite, but Mel and Declan comes in at a very close second.
Declan O’Brien is focused on his success and nothing else. He has his sights on being the youngest D.A., then Mayor of Philly, and then Governor. He has no time for romance or dating and no real interest. He picks women for looks, not substance. He needs a woman to look good on his arm at parties and to keep his bed warm — nothing else. That makes his desire for Melissa Fenske, who happens to be his boss’s daughter, all the more confusing to him. Not only is she not the leggy blonde he is usually drawn to, but she is as intelligent and driven as he is and he doesn’t know what to do with the feelings she evokes in him.
Declan and Mel’s meet-cute back in Once Kissed wasn’t so cute. Declan’s brother bets him that he can’t pick up Mel at a restaurant. Declan approaches Mel while she is having lunch and reading. He is his usual charming self, but when she doesn’t respond, he gets rather rude and asks if she’s deaf? (Really? How rude!) Well, she is deaf and quite offended by Declan from this first meeting, so starts the animosity between the two. While Declan shouldn’t care that Mel doesn’t like him, as long as they can work together when necessary, he does and the harder he tries to charm her, the more she dislikes him.
Once Declan drops his political charm persona and let’s Mel see the man he really is, then she begins to admire Declan and his hard work. She sees more than just the politician grasping for power. She now sees a the man who is trying to make real changes. But she fears that her growing admiration for him will be her downfall. As she strips the wall she built which was keeping her from falling for the charms of the overly handsome A.D.A., she is afraid she will lose her heart to a man who isn’t even attractive to women like her, dark-haired and curvy.
I was surprised that Declan was so against finding a woman and getting married. He might not believe in love and all that rubbish but he has so much political aspiration and having the right social wife to handle your social functions and make you look wholesome and stable seems to be as much a part of being a politician as your stand on issues. He might not have been looking for Mrs. Right, but I am surprised he wasn’t interviewing candidates to fill that space.
Declan tells us that he doesn’t know what love is but we know he he loves his family. How can he not not recognize those feelings and understand that his feelings for Mel puts her into another category from the women he usually spends time with. It takes him too long to work this out in his head and because of this, Mel’s fear escalates leaving her feeling that Declan’s interest in her is only for her and her father’s political connections. This completely screws up all our happy, warm feelings over this couple. Bad Declan!
I was disappointed that Declan doesn’t make more of an effort to learn ASL. He is trying to mend the rift between them but doesn’t make more of an effort to work in her comfort zone or to show he would put in an effort for her. He makes one attempt in Crave Me which fails miserably. His brother knows ASL and communicates with Mel behind Declan’s back. Even if he is too busy to go to a class, he could ask his brother when he sees him for Sunday dinners or just look it up online and make a better attempt, or simply ask Mel to help him once they start dating.
Regardless of small flaws, this is such a great couple and the backdrop of their work together to bring justice to victims strengthens their bonds and makes for an interesting storyline.
While there is only one brother unhitched, you would think Seamus would be next, and he might be, but I am more curious about Angus and his dysfunctional relationship which has lasted years. Years! They are still engaged and don’t seem to have sex anymore. Why are they together? Really? Why are they STILL together? After seeing his siblings getting married and having loving, happy relationships, will they fix their relationship or will they finally admit defeat and more on?
I’m good at getting women into bed, or making them think they’re luring me there. But anything deeper than that is something I’ve never bothered with. Never had to before. With Mel…I’m in a whole different playing field
I need a woman’s perspective. So I make the mistake of calling my sister Erin, better known as “Wren” or God’s cure for silence as our mother calls her.
“Hey, what’s up, Declan? Ready for the F-150 your ass needs to be driving.”
“No, Wren,” I say. “Wait, what the hell? You don’t even sell cars anymore–“
“That doesn’t mean I’m not watching out for you. And honest to shit you’ve got to stop driving those metro-sexual pieces of crap. I can get you a deal on a sweet ride that will have women tossing their panties against your windshield every time you drive down South Street.”
“I don’t need a new car,” I insist. Compared to the rest of my family, I’m the most serious. I’ve had to be to get where I am. But I’ll admit this whole thing with Mel makes me even more serious because I don’t want to screw it up.
“Look, I have something to tell you,” I say, speaking slowly so she knows I’m not messing around. The problem is I’m more serious than she’s used to and takes it the wrong way.
“Holy shit,” she says, her voice cracking. “Ma’s dead, isn’t she?”
“What? No, listen.”
Of course, she doesn’t. “Finnie!” she yells to our brother. “Ma’s dead!”
“What?” Finnie shouts somewhere in the background.
“Declan says Ma’s dead!”
“Christ, Wren. Ma’s not dead. That’s not why I’m calling!”
“Ma’s not dead?” she squeaks. “You sure? Is she sick?”
“No!” I snap. “I just talked other the other night when she came in from Bingo.”
“Then why would you make me think something’s wrong? Jesus Christ, you sounded like hell,” she fires back. There’s some shuffling. “It’s okay, Finnie, calm down. Ma’s not dead.”
“Then why he’d make you think she was” Finn asked, sounding confused.
“God only knows, you know how he gets,” she tells him.
“You’re an asshole, Declan,” Finn shouts.
I am. An asshole for calling this nuthouse.
I pinch the bridge of my nose. “Look Wren, I need some advice.”
She pauses. “About cars?”
“No,” I say.
“How to dress like you actually have balls?” she offers
“Just because I won’t wear that damn biker jacket you bought me for Christmas doesn’t mean I don’t dress like I have balls.”
If he wasn’t covered with ink, or didn’t drive a truck or muscle car, my sister didn’t consider any guy a real man. Thank God, she upped her standards when she found Evan.
“I paid good money for that jacket,” she says, getting defensive.
“Lord help me,” I mumble.
“So what’s up?”
I take a breath. “If you were single what would you want a guy to bring if you invited him to your place for dinner?”
“Take out,” she says, munching on what sounds like potato chips. “You know I don’t cook.”
“You’ve been on your own for like ten years and are fucking engaged, and you still don’t know how to cook?”
“Just because I’m a woman doesn’t mean I have to learn how to cook. But I have to say, Finnie’s gotten pretty good at it. The other night he had us over for Shepard’s Pie. I’ll be honest, despite the crust being harder than a drill sergeant’s nutsack, it was pretty good.”
I hang up and call Tess.