As kids they steered clear of one another–but now a beautiful, well-connected reporter and a sexy, driven detective are all grown-up and on the job. . .
Moira O’Leary’s work as a reporter gives her access to some of Chicago’s swankiest soirées. She knows how to navigate the jet-set crowd, and her style and confidence help her blend right in. But when her childhood crush starts popping up at posh events, her poise begins to falter–until she realizes she has the upper hand in a high-stakes game of secrets and seduction. . .
Jimmy O’Malley has always tried to avoid his friend Liam’s little sister. Something about Moira spelled trouble. But he’s out of his element working undercover in Chicago’s high society, and Moira is his ticket to the inner circle. As sparks begin to fly–and their chemistry heats up–Moira gets dangerously close to his investigation. Will Jimmy be forced to push her away to keep her safe–or will they surrender to a desire that could leave them breathless?
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Jimmy and Moira are at another charity event. He sees her flirting with other guys and it makes Jimmy a little nuts. He interrupts her walk with a guy named Mike.
Once Mike was out of earshot, she asked, “What the hell are you doing?”
He glanced over his shoulder at the number of people still milling around. He grabbed Moira’s elbow and guided her farther away.
She struggled in his grasp, which caused her dress to gap and then tighten in all the places that shouldn’t draw his attention but did.
“Let go of me. What are you doing?”
When they were safely ensconced in shadows, he released her. “I was going to ask you the same thing.”
“I’m doing my job. Same as you.” The moonlight peeking through the foliage made her white skin glow. Her chest rose and fell fast; he knew she was getting wound up.
Well, so was he. “Your job is to flirt with every single guy you come across?”
“What do you care who I flirt with? You barely like me.”
Why did she keep going there? “I told you I like you just fine.”
“Funny way of showing it. You ruined a nice walk I was having with Mike. I don’t need another big brother. I’ve got that covered.”
He wasn’t looking at her like a little sister right now. In fact, he was having a hard time remembering she was a little sister. “You’re making me nuts. What are you trying to do?”
She sighed heavily and leaned against the rock outcropping behind her. “My friend Kathy—”
“Yeah. She pointed out that the events I attend have plenty of bachelors.”
Christ. She was taking dating advice from Hendricks? The woman briefly dated Kevin, which didn’t say much about her taste.
“Then something you said the other day stuck with me. Remember at the block party, you mentioned kissing every guy possible to find the one who would set off fireworks? Well, that got me to thinking. Maybe I was being too selective in trying to find the right guy. So I figured I’d give it a shot. It shouldn’t be a conflict of interest if I don’t write about the guys I date. And I might be able to find the one to make my toes curl—”
He lost the ability to think. Dropping his coat, he pushed against her, one hand bringing her hips toward him. He braced an arm against the rough rock to keep balance as he lowered himself to align his mouth with hers. His movement caused blessed silence from her except for a quick, sharp intake of breath.
God, she tasted just like he’d always imagined: like sweet sunshine and smiles. Pushing his tongue into her mouth to seek out hers elicited a moan from her, and it made him want to take more. His hand traveled up her back, pushing her more firmly against him and the softness of her chest pressed against him.
As her arms twined around his neck and her fingers rubbed his head, he could’ve sworn that he did indeed see fireworks. Like some damn kid.
He nipped her full lower lip and was about to dive in for more when the sound of laughter behind them caught his attention and he remembered where they were.
Shoving away as quickly as he’d moved in, he mumbled, “Fuck.”
“Not quite, but that was a hell of a start.”
He heard the smile in her voice, along with a hint of I told you so.
He took a full step back from her. “I’m sorry. That shouldn’t have happened.”
“Just what every girl likes to hear after being kissed senseless. Why not?”
“You mean besides the fact that you’re Liam’s little sister?”
“Definitely besides that. Liam doesn’t decide who I date, much less who I kiss or sleep with.”
He couldn’t think about her kissing or sleeping with anyone right now, even him. Especially him. “I’m supposed to be married, remember? Fuck. I don’t know how I let you do this to me.”
“So sorry to be an inconvenience.” Her voice didn’t hold an ounce of apology.
“I need to get back to the party.”
“So do I.” She took a few steps away from him until she stood in a pool of light. Her skin continued to glow and her hair was still in place, but her face was flush and her lips kiss swollen. “I’ve had some interesting conversations. You know, if you tell me what kind of information you’re looking for, I can probably find things out for you.”
Fury crept in quickly and he grabbed her elbow. “Stay out of my investigation.”
“I’m a reporter. I ask questions. It’s what I do for a living.”
“I’m not kidding, Moira. Stop playing Lois Lane. Leave it.”
Again with the snort. “If I’m Lois, it makes you who? Superman?”
“We don’t know what we’re dealing with. You’ll get your damn story. Stay away from it.”
“Whatever. I have people to meet.” She turned away to leave again.
“No more men tonight, Moira.”
“We’ll see,” she said without turning around. And he was certain she added a bit of sway to her hips just to make him crazier.
About the author
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies.
Also by Shannyn Schroeder
More Than This #1
A Good Time #2
Something to Prove #3
Interview with Holly Hewson
HH: Shannyn, thank you for talking with us at TRS. You featured book is Catch Your Breath and is part of your O’Learys series. What can you tell us about this exciting series?
SS: Thank you so much for having me. The O’Leary series is a series about an Irish-American family set in Chicago. Each book focuses on the romance of one of the O’Leary siblings. Although the secondary characters are recurring, each book can stand alone.
HH: What can you tell us about the books that came before?
SS: There are 3 previous books in the series:
More Than This
When a lonely teacher teams up with a handsome bartender for some outrageous acts, they both get more than they bargained for…
Learning her ex-husband is going to be a father, Quinn Adams is determined to have a baby of her own—without the partnership of a man. But her sister and friends believe she needs to focus on herself first, and step out of her comfort zone by completing a list of adventures. Challenge number one is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance.
Ryan has always been the dependable one in his family, often at his expense. But lately, he’s been longing for a life—and a woman—of his own. The woman he has in mind is Quinn. Though it seems all she wants is friendship, Ryan can’t ignore the explosive chemistry he feels between them. In the hopes of becoming closer, Ryan offers to help out with Quinn’s list. But when she asks him for a serious favor, he’s afraid it will jeopardize his chance to become more than friends.
A Good Time
A passionate free spirit and a sweet-talking playboy sound like a match made in heaven—until life gets in the way of all the fun and games…
Indy Adams values her freedom above all else. She works hard to support herself, moonlighting as a waitress while she fights for her first big sale in the Chicago real estate market. The last thing she needs is to be tied down, so she doesn’t think twice about declining her philandering boyfriend’s marriage proposal. Besides, she just landed a new client, a wealthy lothario—exactly the kind of guy who would understand her no-strings approach…
Handsome, rich, and charitable, most women jump at the chance to even talk to video game developer Griffin Walker, let alone date him. So he can’t understand why Indy wants nothing more than a few steamy nights together. Despite his romantic track record, Griffin longs for real love—complete with a home and family—and he wants it with Indy. But a blessing in disguise may lead them both to a life they never expected, and give Griffin a chance to show Indy that it’s okay to want more than a good time…
Something to Prove
Two ambitious people team up to prove themselves to their families—and find there may be more to their partnership than just business…
SS: Elizabeth Brannigan is determined to show her father she’s capable of running the family business. Saving his struggling Chicago bar seems like the perfect project. But she’ll need a little help dealing with the rough crowd. Who better to assist her than the handsome co-owner of a thriving Irish pub? Of course, with so much work to do, there are bound to be a few late nights…
Colin O’Leary’s father passed away before he could prove to him that he wasn’t a screw-up. Now he wants to show his brother he’s responsible enough to own a bar of his own—and Elizabeth may be able to help him. But when their professional aspirations clash, tempers—and passions—flare. Are they mature enough to mix business with pleasure—or will they have to choose between the two?
HH: How does Catch Your Breath continue the series and will there be more?
SS: Catch Your Breath is the 4th O’Leary book and it’s the story of Moira, the older of the two girls in the family. She has 4 older brothers and she’s in love with her brother Liam’s friend. I just turned in Just a Taste, which is the next O’Leary book (Liam’s story) and I’m drafting the final O’Leary book, which is the youngest sibling’s story.
HH: What do you like best about Moira and why will readers identify with her?
SS: There is a lot to like about Moira. I think she’s the most likeable heroine I’ve every written. She’s strong and independent and goes after what she wants. Her older brothers can be a bit overbearing, but she doesn’t take their crap. She can hold her own against any of them. I think readers will identify with her because she really is like the girl next door.
HH: What can you tell us about Jimmy and why will readers love him?
SS: Jimmy is the strong, quiet, brooding type, but he’s loyal and has a huge protective streak, which is what I think most readers will like most about him. He does a lot of stupid stuff (like many guys), but he tries to own up to it.
HH: What else do you have in store for lucky readers?
SS: In addition to the final 2 O’Leary books that will be out in 2015, I have a trilogy of New Adult novellas coming out this fall. The Hot & Nerdy series will release back-to-back: September, October, and November. Each features one of three childhood friends as they enjoy their last spring break before graduating college.
HH: For readers just discovering, what work would you recommend they read first?
SS: The O’Leary books can completely stand alone and read out of order, but as a reader who likes to glom a series, I always start from the beginning, which would be More Than This.
HH: What do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing?
SS: When I’m not writing, my days are pretty full. I have 3 kids and a part-time day job. I read every day and I watch more TV than is probably good for me, but the DVR makes it so easy to get wrapped up in new shows. I also love to bake.
HH: What are you reading now?
SS: Right now I’m reading the second book in Laura Kaye’s Hard Ink series, Hard as You Can.
HH: Where can readers find you online?
SS: Web site — http://www.shannynschroeder.com
Twitter — https://twitter.com/SSchroeder_