Review: Never Been Kissed by Molly O'Keefe


Title: Never Been Kissed (The The Boys of Bishop #2)
Author: Molly O'Keefe
Date of publication: 1 July 2014
Genre: Romance, Small town

Author's links: Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

My rating: 4 stars


As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enough of her parents’ expectations for her future and is going her own way, volunteering to work at a refugee camp in Africa. But her act of charity turns dangerous when she takes a boat trip and is abducted by Somali pirates. Enter Brody Baxter, who was a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years ago and doesn’t think twice about coming to Ashley’s rescue. Handsome and tough, Brody has always done what needed to be done. So he swoops in, saves Ashley, and brings her to a place where she can rest and recuperate without the glare of the press and her demanding family: Brody’s small hometown of Bishop, Arkansas. But Ashley soon realizes that she’s not the only one in need of healing.

Holed up with Ashley in a tiny apartment over his brother’s bar in Bishop, Brody is tempted and torn in ways he never anticipated. Beautiful Ashley, vibrant despite her ordeal, fearless enough to love him beyond his wall of self-punishment, is now determined to save him. But with a little faith and a lot of love, they just may find happiness in each others’ arms.


This is the second book in the Boys of Bishop series but I'm reading it out of order, so I've already read  and loved book 3 (my review). Still, there were no major spoilers, except the HEA which is to be expected, it's romance after all.

This book actually tells two parallel love stories. Brody and Ashley may be the main couple, but his brother Sean and Cora gave them a run for their money. Actually, a lot of times I liked Sean much better than Brody.

Just like Between the Sheets, here Ms O'Keefe tells a very intense and emotional story. Brody and Ashley have a history and the present brought them back together 10 years later. They have strong feelings for one another but both are fighting against them - she in order to avoid the pain and humiliation she suffered the first time round, him - to protect himself from potential heartbreak.

On the surface, they appear opposites, yet they have a lot in common - they both are hurt and they serious family issues they need to deal with. Ahsley, though recovering after being taken hostage by Somalian pirates and being physically rather weak, came off as stronger, willing to try, to stand up for herself, even against her family. Brody is bad ass, ex-marine, now bodyguard, yet at time his insistence on staying away and detached from everyone was really annoying. He needed to man up and admit that he cared about his brother and father, about Ashely.

I greatly enjoyed the parallel love story of Sean and Cora. He was awkward, slightly lost, struggling with his business, trying to take care of his father and trying to get through to his brother. She was more in control, in command. It is a tender hate-to-love story between a sweet beta male and a strong, independent woman.

I liked the small-town setting, though the story is very much focused on the two main couples. We don't really get to see much of the town  and its people. 

A minor complaint I have relates to the way the events that happened between Ashley and Brody 10 years ago were handled in the present. We see how what happened affected them and changed the direction of their lives. It's mostly presented from Ashley's POV and is never openly discussed between her and Brody. I missed a heart-to-heart scene where they get to talk about their past, accept and move on. I didn't get the feeling that Brody realized how much it all has affected Ashley.

Overall, it's a good small-town romance with complex characters, some drama, some fun times and some sexy times. They characters are portrayed realistically and they are easy to relate to. The next book in the series, Indecent Proposal, will be about Ashley's brother, Harrison and his political marriage and it  comes out in November.

Purchase Links: Amazon / B&N iBooks

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