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Dear Author

REVIEW: Hot Under Pressure by Kathleen O’Reilly

Dear Ms. O’Reilly,

I love what you do with your heroes and heroines. They’re not always totally believable (I mean, stranger sex in a stretch Hummer?) but I like these people. I’d like to have dinner with them on a couples night out and just sit and talk for hours. I feel that comfortable with most of them by the time the story, regrettably, ends.

David McLean (aka “hot man”) and Ashley Larsen meet not-so-cute in the confines of a packed airplane that’s going no where. Trapped beside a kid from hell whose parents are AWOL even though they’re sitting right there, they chat and attempt to while away the time until it’s finally clear that the spare part or spare plane isn’t going to arrive at O’Hare airport in time to get them to their business meetings in LA.

Which is when they decide to give into the heat that’s been smoldering between them for hours and check into an airport hotel. A night of hot, explosive sex results. But Ashley decides that she wants to leave it at a fling. If they plan for a future, then the “bam” of their hot, sorta stranger sex will be gone and things will simply become mundane. After her divorce, she’s still a bit shaky about relationships and after his divorce, David hasn’t dated much so…they come to an agreement. They’ll talk and arrange monthly meetings since both travel so much but that will be it.

Until “it” isn’t enough for David and he starts pressing Ashley for more. She’s agreed to let him help her set up a fashion “reality” thing for her Chicago boutiques but with her complicated family situation, Ashley is reluctant to allow more. Until the moment that “it’ isn’t enough for her either.

So will they be able to work out a long distance relationship? Cause I hope they have unlimited long distance calling with all the horror (Ashley’s choice) movies they’re watching at the same time. Will Ashley be able to finally “cut the cord” with her dependent sister? Cause Val is an alcoholic piece of work. Or will David have to settle for a solo life in NYC, working for the Brooks financial power duo and being best friends with his hand?

Before I forget, I squeed when I realized that Andrew and Jamie were playing bit parts in this story which really makes sense since David works in financial stuff and lives in NYC. But their bit parts are perfectly in keeping with this story and never overshadow the main action. Squee over now.

I also noticed that this book seems a little hotter than your last few. I mean, it is a Blaze but there is a lot more talk of “cocks” and filling Ashley up and stuff like that. Are you taking your books to a higher erotic level? Or am I just delusional?

Ashley and David’s relationship starts with hot sex, and initially, continues with hot sex before they begin to get to know each other. But the pacing works for me since we get roughly 100 pages of heat, 100 pages of reality hitting and them starting to fumble through a longer termed relationship then the final, “yes, we care but we have a few issues to resolve first” 100+ pages.

Hmmm, another few things. Love Ashley’s pink bunny slippers she uses as a crutch to relax her enough to fly. But I got tired of the conversations she’d have in her head with Val. And what’s with Val’s daughter calling her mother and Ashley by name? I kept waiting for this to be explained. Is it because Brianna is more the adult, even at age eight, then her mother?

I love that David is worried about the fact that Ashley might think his initial attempts at love making leave something to be desired since all David can pretty much think is sex, sex, sex!

He tumbled on top of her, completely without finesse, but thankfully, she didn’t seem to mind. Her legs wrapped about him, pelvis surging toward him, and his hands went to his fly. Her breasts pressed against him, soft peaks in white cotton. If his zipper would ever get unstuck, he’d shove the bra aside, because he wanted to see-
Condom. Oh, shit. He needed a condom.
"Wait," he nearly yelled. He needed to get control. He needed to breathe. In the dim light of the single bedside lamp, she looked up at him, clothes ransacked into parts, exposing more skin than covering. Great skin. Gold and rose mixed together like mother-of-pearl. She wore white cotton panties. With a sun-yellow gypsy skirt, she wore white cotton panties, and did he even know he had a thing for white cotton? He definitely had a thing for white cotton. It was sexy as hell. She was sexy as hell.
His hands were still shaking as he shoved her bra aside. Like a total amateur.
Dude, get a hold of yourself. She’s going to think you’ve haven’t done this in like, months.
She’d be right, but he didn’t want to advertise the fact.
The foil packet tore exactly as it was supposed to, and then-
"Let me," she whispered in a husky voice that sent every drop of his blood out of his head. Into his head. There was courage in her eyes. The bunny-slipper woman, who was a trembling coward at ten thousand feet, now seemed mightier than any warrior queen with her clothes askew.
Oh, no. Her capable hands got busy on his cock, sending ten thousand volts to his system. Concentrate on something else. The breasts, for instance.
Didn’t work.
David wasn’t going to last, he was going to explode and this was going to be over. No way.
He pushed her into the bank of pillows, rough, again with the no-finesse thing, and then..
She was tight, perfectly tight, and wet.
He opened his eyes, looked down at those dark, dancing eyes and swallowed.
Had he truly forgotten that sex could be this awesome? Yes, yes, he had.
"Oh," he managed.
Ashley smiled at him, and it was a marvelous smile. A smile for a hot summer’s day, and he was so glad the airplane had had mechanical failure. He was even glad for Hell-boy Junior. Being like this, surrounded by her, was worth it, so worth it. He rocked his hips, going deeper inside her, and her smile turned serious. Again he thrust, just to see if it was as good as the first.
Yes, yes, it was.
Then his mind began to shut down, and biology, desire, and sex took over.
He should be doing more for her, pushing buttons somewhere, but his body was running on auto-pilot, pumping hard and fast, and she didn’t seem to mind. Her hands locked on his shoulders, pulling him, pushing him, and there was no finesse there, either. And he’d never had such great, mindless sex in his entire life.
Stranger sex? Is that what that meant? Shit. They were going to have to do that again.

The dialogue between Ashley and David sparkles at times while at others it’s quiet and serious as they discuss their feelings and the issues still keeping them apart. You didn’t go easy on the issues either. David with his broken family relationship caused when he caught his brother and now ex-wife in bed only to have those two marry after the divorce came through. And Ashley who acts almost as a mother to her 30 year old, champion guilt inducing younger sister who can manipulate with the best of them. The resolutions for both came raggedly yet in their own time. I appreciate the fact that neither is tied in a neat little bow and both appear to be sort of ongoing. Just as real life would be.

And I loved finding all the little indicators that show how much these two are falling – or have fallen – in love. “Then he was kissing her, and she was kissing him back, and she wanted to laugh again. He did that. Made her happy inside.” The story isn’t all sweetness and light, despite the bunny slippers, but it felt like real people stumbling in a real way towards a resolution of the things in their lives that were holding them back. B+


This book can be purchased at Amazon or in ebook format from Sony or other etailers.

Dear Author Recommends for August

Dear Author Recommends for August

459206Starting this month, all of the Dear Author recommended reads will be given a discount at digital bookseller, Books on Board.  ┬áThe discount page is here. (In the future, we’ll always try to post this on Tuesday so you can get the discount the day of the release).

  • Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran (recommended by Jennie, Janet/Robin and Jan)
  • Hot Under Pressure by Kathleen O’Reilly (recommended by Smart Bitches, Jayne and Jane)
  • Mistletoe Mommy by Tanya Michaels (recommended by Jayne who also recommends forgetting what the title is because it has nothing to do with Mommy or Christmas)
  • One Week As Lovers by Victoria Dahl (recommended by Janet/Robin and no, I don’t know what it will take for Victoria Dahl to get an A here at Dear Author)
  • Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare (recommended by Jane because I loved the immature, big hearted Lucy who had to have that fearless belief in life in order to bring about the brooding Jeremy).
  • Beloved Vampire by Joey Hill (recommended by Jane. The review will come at noon. Needless to say its a star crossed lover + vampire + love saves people story with a dark edge).
  • Since the Surrender by Julie Anne Long (recommended by Jane because even with the plot flaws and the WTFery sex scene, I still loved the characterizations).
  • Beyond the Rain by Jess Granger (this is a qualified rec by Jane. It was a very good SFR that was accessible but slow in some places. It’s a trade but if it were in mass market, it would be an unqualified rec. This one is not in ebook form and therefore not available under the discount).
  • Spider Touched by Jory Strong (I’m giving this the same qualified rec. The detail that Jory Strong has brought to her new alternative urban fantasy romance is amazing and I love that she uses the world to provide the basis of the conflict but it’s a trade).