Sweet Irish Kiss

JoAnne Kenrick
Sweet Irish Kiss
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Decadent Publishing
Release Date
September 2012
Chick-lit, Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance, Romantic Comedy

Shaun Bell, a divorced workaholic, spends all his time tending bar in his Irish Pub. He's ready to love again, but the women who visit his bar are only after his infamous Irish cocktails. At the advice of his darts team over a tanker or two of Beamish, he applies to 1Night Stand to get back into the swing of things and enjoy the company of a woman specially selected for him by Madame Evangeline.
Rachel Taylor has issues. Her father broke her mother's heart with his cheating and Rachel swore never to let that happen to her, but one ruined relationship after another and she's realized she's got to get over being closed off to men. Perhaps a one-night stand is just the baby step she needs to begin to build trust again.
A match seemingly made in heaven...until morning rolls around and Shaun can't bring himself to say good-bye. Can he win her over with his secret weapon, a Sweet Irish Kiss, or is Rachel still too scared to love?

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Nov 12, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
265 people found the following review helpful
The steamy, sweet read set in one of my favorite cities was as tasty and satisfying as its title implies.

When Shaun, the owner of a popular Irish pub in London, and Rachel, a hardworking shop assistant decide that their love lives need some serious help, they both turn to the 1 Night Stand Agency. Though the Agency's questionnaire is rather involved and often intimately personal, it assures its client exactly what its name implies: a perfectly arranged evening of pleasure with an ideal partner, no strings attached and no pressure to initiate a relationship the morning after.

But as soon as Shaun catches a glimpse of his one night stand, he realizes he's in trouble. Rachel is everything he could have wished for, from her fiery red hair to her big blue eyes, and in an instant, he's lost. But Rachel is here because she has issues of her own. A terrible childhood has left her too afraid to trust and terrified that a relationship might break her already fragile heart. Fortunately, Shaun seems willing to take things slowly and, after all, they have the whole night ahead of them…

While there's no lack of sizzle and steam in this story, I liked the fact that there was a lot of heart as well. There was a good amount of character development, making Shaun and Rachel's evening together not just a physical, but an emotional experience as well. Their slightly self-conscious attempts at conversation at the beginning of their evening were quite endearing and really helped develop their relationship.

Rachel is strong and brave, in spite of the past pain she's suffered, though not without a defensive streak and a sharp sense of humor. It was great to see that Shaun could appreciate both sides of her nature—the person who really wanted someone strong and protective, as well as the headstrong, passionate woman who needed to feel in control of her situation. Shaun is sweet and delightfully unaware of his own good looks and charm—and that brogue, my goodness that brogue!

While I did find there were a few awkward moments in the course of their evening, I have to admit that it made the story that much more real for me. If both of them were cover models with stellar pillow-talking skills, they certainly wouldn't be using 1 Night Stand, and I don't think I'd have enjoyed the encounter nearly as much. By the story's end, I was cheering for both Shaun and Rachel, and I know that their one night together was only the promise of many more fulfilling nights to come.

JoAnne Kenrick has once again delivered a story with a great balance of sexiness and sentiment. This was a very enjoyable bit of escape reading with great characters and a terrific setting—I'll be looking forward to her next project with eager anticipation!
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