Once Upon A Romance

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Straight Up by Deirdre Martin


Cover art: Straight Up Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Straight Up
Author: Deirdre Martin
Publisher: Berkley
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-23466-2
Release Date: May 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Contemporary Romance
Year/Setting: Present day, Ballycraig Ireland
Overall Rating: 4.5
Sexual Content Rating: Subtle/Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: None
Deirdre's Website/Blog: www.deirdremartin.com

Liam O’Brien has gotten onto the wrong side of the Irish mob in New York City. Now he’s living in exile back in his parent’s homeland of Ireland. It was decided the best way he could ride out the storm and stay alive was to go to his parents’ old village of Ballycraig, Ireland to live with his relatives until he can safely return to the States. He was able to get a job as a bartender at the local pub and is trying to have a little fun while waiting for word that he can go home.

The man she loved jilted Aislinn McCafferty at the altar. Any man that crosses her path is dealt with in a cool and efficient manner. Then he is sent away. Dealing with the double blow of her jilting and her parents’ deaths, she’s not out to make new friends. She wants to live in peace on the family farm and be a sheep farmer like her father was before her.

Liam takes a bet from the locals at the pub that he can get Aislinn to go out on a date with him. If he does, his wages will be double for a year, if not…no pay for a year. He’s totally confidant that he can tame her enough to get her to go out with him. And so the wooing begins…too bad she sees straight through his tactics. For the first time in his life, Liam O’Brien is having trouble getting a date.

What a spunky and fun romance! Aislinn is the kind of girl I always hoped to be when I grew up. She’s tough and can tackle anything and even owns and operates her own farm. Beyond that, she’s smart as a whip and can be quick with her tongue. Her retorts and comebacks are often quite funny and she has a great sense of humor.

Liam is a real ladies man. He’s quite good looking, but he needs something to take his mind off the fact that he might not see his family again for a long time to come. It’s a waiting game and it looks like it will take several years of waiting before he can go home. Ironic for the man who fantasized about getting away from his family to spread his wings. Now he’s away and can only dream of going home.

When Liam takes the bet, the book gets very lively. He’s pulling out all the stops to catch her attention and attract her. She’s truly impressed by all he’s doing and going through…but she won’t admit it. Aislinn is a stubborn woman who is digging in her heels to avoid Liam. I love watching them interact because it can be almost melodramatic at times. The two of them go at it and while they are in heated battle, it makes me laugh at their words and antics.

I wasn’t too happy with Liam about the bet from the beginning and as he begins to really like and respect Aislinn, he sees what a jerk he was to accept the bet in the first place. From there, his decisions are filled with a lot of male logic that is totally nonsensical to females everywhere. And once he puts his own brand of logic to the situation, the comedic factor increases a hundred percent.

I haven’t laughed so much through a book in a long time. Liam and Aislinn caught my attention and my heart from the beginning. I enjoyed every minute of being with them and kept wishing I could head to the pub and watch the show. I didn’t realize this was part of a series and now I’m going to be getting the previous books to read. Deirdre Martin knows how to add spunk and life to characters in a way that is genuinely funny. A delightful story that will captivate the reader from beginning to end.


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