Never Been Kissed: A Novel

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But in this case, I am going to tell you to pass this one by. The premise was great and I loved the fact that Shelly was only just beginning her weight loss journey when she begins her relationship with both of these guys. It is her delightful personality and not her tiny butt which gains her their attention. I loved that part but it is the only thing that earned a star. There was no true threesomes being had. I am not a big erotica reader.

I like sex to be a part of a good romance story as opposed to the main focus of the story. But if I picked this up thinking it was erotica, I would be left wondering what the big hoopla was all about with the sudden flood of erotic novels. Actually, I was quite surprised to see the Mari Carr has dozens of books listed under her name on Goodreads. The writing was so basic that I thought it was her first novel. Toggle navigation. Received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Like this post? It seemed to lag a bit and lost a bit of it's oompf for me. Almost like Ms. O'Keefe lost her way a bit and couldn't figure out her next move. Up to this point, I would have had no issue with awarding 5 stars. Also, again, may be due to me having an ARC copy, but need to comment on this and will consider this in my rating. It is important and I can't re-read the last half at some point to know whether they "fixed" things or not.

Maybe the ARC was released a bit too soon? The book's not due out until July.. Further explain on my logic.. I wasn't asked to read a Beta copy for content and grammar adjustment, I asked for and was awarded an ARC copy. ARC's are "almost ready for prime time.. He is adopted by White parents. Cora is Black. Ashley and Sean are White. Not enough was done with these cultural differences. Remember, most of the story takes place in Arkansas. I'm next door in Oklahoma and know this is still a huge deal and could have been played up nicely in this story.

Either the author or the publisher is testing the waters by having characters with various backgrounds. Either way, the author really didn't do much with it. I was a bit disappointed. It was great that it worked out and there was little effort really, but this is Arkansas. Ashley has highly influential politicians in her immediate family [Georgia politicians - no less]. Nothing really touched on here. She could have done so much with this element and didn't. I love Molly O'Keefe. I love how she brings together a story and develops her characters.

When you read her, you know you'll get a touch of unique and unusual and really well drawn characters. Very nice. An auto-read author for me with good reason. She rarely disappoints me. She does a really nice job. VERY happy right now!! I know her stories will always have something "more" and this book is no exception. Quick summary Brody Baxter is a professional bodyguard and was on an assignment when he's contacted by Harrison Montgomery to rescue his sister, Ashley, who's been abducted by Somali pirates.

Brody has a history with the family especially Ashley and doesn't hesitate. The abduction wasn't pretty and neither was the rescue so when Ashley needs a respite from her high profile family and the world, Brody takes her to his hometown of Bishop, Arkansas to recuperate. The issues Ashley's not the only one with family issues.

Brody has a fractured relationship with his father and rarely comes back home. His brother, Sean, works hard at trying to be the peacemaker and maintain a relationship with Brody, who he admires and adores but it isn't easy. Brody has some deep rooted issues he's struggling with, one of them being his feelings for Ashley. As for her, she's been in love with him since he first worked for her family. What I loved, loved, loved There are so many layers to the story and the characters!

There are family dynamics - Ashley's with hers, Brody's with his and Brody's with the Montgomerys - that complicate Brody's ability to accept what Ashley wants to offer. His path to personal freedom was tough, maddening at times, but also incredibly interesting and honest. Each character, including Sean and father Ed, becomes three dimensional through Brody's exploration, giving the story texture and flavor.

All of this just makes the relationship that develops between Brody and Ashley much more endearing. She fights hard for him, a reflection of her character and what she brings to the story. Sean's romance with Cora, a diner owner who at first was a bit prickly with him, is an added bonus. Theirs is an unlikely relationship that is pretty special.

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I'll leave the details to be discovered as I did. The bottom line The writing is just superb! The characters are well crafted and the story complex. Don't let the cover mislead you in thinking this is just another typical romance. It's a contemporary novel of substance that happens to include romance. You'll want to take the time to read this one when you can pause and reflect. O'Keefe never makes it easy and I for one think that's a wonderful thing.

View all 7 comments. O'Keefe is a talented author who creates some wonderful and interesting characters as well as great stories that capture my attention and imagination. Brody, Ashley, Sean and Cora all made me think, laugh and moved me in different ways and I'm glad I took the journey. Not because it isn't an acceptable romantic image, but because it doesn't accurately represent the lead hero, Brody, and I can't help but wonder at the various reasons behind that. I've read numerous complaints from readers about how cover images often don't accurately represent the characters within, but this goes beyond blonde versus brunette, etc.

Brody's ancestry is Filipino and African American. Why does the cover not reflect this? What exactly was the publisher thinking? What's behind this particular choice? What's the message they're sending out here? And is it really one they want to be sending? Or am I expected to believe that this was an oversight? That's some oversight. Especially in a book with not one but two interracial romance story lines.

Do they honestly think readers just don't notice? We notice. View all 10 comments. Mar 08, Jen rated it it was ok Shelves: black-hero , interracial-romance , library-book , cover-wtf , whitewashed-cover. A book with two interracial relationships for the price of one?

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Of course I had to read it. I had some issues with it. Besides the whitewashed cover that makes me see red, I was disappointed in the fact that race was downplayed so much in this book. And what about Brody, what it must've been lik A book with two interracial relationships for the price of one? And what about Brody, what it must've been like for him?

How did it shape his identity? Likewise, the two relationships in the book are handled in the same colorblind way as another review mentioned, Ashley is the daughter of a wealthy southern politician. It feels odd that with all that was included in this book, racism was the thing to shy away from. There were parts that I really enjoyed, which were mostly the scenes between Cora and Sean. Sean was such a whiny little brat and he made me laugh. Ashley mostly annoyed me. I should mention that I did enjoy the scenes where there was an unspoken tension between them and I did feel like there was a genuine connection there.

I really liked Brody, strong and silent ass though he might have been. When he washes and combs her hair? Yeah, that was a swoon-worthy moment. It was a mixed bag for me. I have no clue. View 1 comment. Dec 26, Ksenia rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites , beautiful-prose , , romance , contemporary.

I binge read this series, and Never Been Kissed is my favorite book. I loved this story to pieces. This is the reason we read this kind of stories after all. There were a lot of chemistry and feelings.

There was also second love story between Cora and Sean. To my surprise I enjoyed it a lot. But in this case second romance worked perfectly. Her characters were well written and multidimensional. I also was fascinated by dynamic between Brody and his brother Sean. Molly added many nuances to their relationship. Their story was sad and full of heartbreak, but also filled with love and hope. Oh, there was a little bit mystery too. I loved how the author revealed it bit by bit. There were so many times I wanted to quote, and then realized that these words would lose part of their charm out of context.

In truth Never Been Kissed has so many stereotypical tropes virginal blushing heroine, who has a long-time crush on strong brooding hero; guy who thinks that he is not good enough for heroine, and saves her from bad guys. But Molly miraculously gave them all new touch. I loved this story and put Never Been Kissed on my favourite shelf. Highly recommended. You can find my reviews That's it. I'm sure Ms O'Keefe has cast a spell on me. Color me a fan girl. Synopsis: Brody is on his way to extricate our fair heroine from the clutches of Somali pirates.

Brody whisks her away to his home town which is replete with all sorts of family issues of his own. They move into a dump of an apartment over That's it. They move into a dump of an apartment over his brother's bar and we let the adventures begin while Ashley heals body and soul. Heroine: Ashley. She and Brody have history from the time when he was a body guard to her political family.

She lusted after him, went to far with it and he left. She's not doing that again. This time, she is making sure it sticks. Truly a GOOD character. She spews goodness. She reeks of goodness. And you will love her for it. Hero: Brody, the disturbed. This one is a heart grabber and oucher. The sh! Never seen a character so hell-bent on his own suffering.

Talk about taking the Buddha way too seriously with the "All life is suffering" business. But you will love every minute of his pain and his emergence. Why it did or didn't work for me: It worked.

Never Been Kissed A Novel by Melody Carlson

It was poetry. The words that O'Keefe strings together stop my heart every single damned time. Add to that, the extremely well developed and defined characters and I bow down to the greatness of the written word. Extreme praise. I know. And I totes think Ms O'Keefe deserves every second of it. Signed, O'Keefe'w books are my jam Peace View 2 comments. Nov 02, CL rated it it was amazing Shelves: favourites , read-in , romance-past-love , romance , arc , romance-military , published-in , romance-chef , romance-contemporary , romance-millionnaire.

Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review If Wild Child , the first book in Molly O'Keefe's 'Boys of Bishop' series, was the standout, underrated romance novel of , then chances are the second book in the series could well win the standout romance of - and the best thing about it is that you don't need to have read the first book in the series to enjoy this. I just fell in love with this book from start to finish. Things I loved in no particular order : - Brody the Alp Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review If Wild Child , the first book in Molly O'Keefe's 'Boys of Bishop' series, was the standout, underrated romance novel of , then chances are the second book in the series could well win the standout romance of - and the best thing about it is that you don't need to have read the first book in the series to enjoy this.

I'm only sad that I'll have to wait until the end of the year to read it. May 22, Ellie rated it really liked it Shelves: romance , favourites , military-men. I really enjoyed it! A great romance, actually there are two parallel love stories in this book and both were very good. I'm already excited for Harrison's story in Indecent Proposal which will come out in November A forced marriage for political reasons coupled with a pregnancy - it's a new romantic trope for me, so I'm curious about how it will all play out. 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. 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. 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. Another winner by Molly O'Keefe!

Never Been Kissed : A Never Been Novel

Just like her last book in this series, Molly has written an awesome story with realistic characters who grow and change through the story. Both Brody and Ashley change so much it's amazing. The story starts off with Ashley having been kidnapped by Somali pirates and Brody being hired to go retrieve her after the ransom is paid. Let me just stop right here and voice my disgust for Ashley's family.

Sure, they paid the ransom, but sent Another winner by Molly O'Keefe! Sure, they paid the ransom, but sent someone else to pick her up cause they didn't want all the press. Ashley's family needs to drown a horrible death in acid. Brody goes to get her and takes her back to the states and takes care of her, much to Ashley's eternal happiness, cause see, Ashley has loved Brody since she was 17 and he was a bodyguard for her family.

What follows is a story of love and learning to stand on your own and to feel worthy of being loved by others. This was the second book in this series, but can easily be read as a stand alone. The previous book's plot was barely mentioned and in fact, Jackson and Monica didn't even make an appearance. They were only mentioned briefly. So, if you haven't read anything in this series, get this book, or the first one, and get busy! It's well worth the time spent reading : ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley Jul 09, Jacqueline J rated it it was amazing Shelves: 2nd-chance-at-love , contemporary-romance , from-readers-world , angsty , bodyguard.

I was pretty surprised at this book. The cover and the title led me to believe it would be a much lighter read. This was the story of a very damaged man. Most of it was told in his POV. He was taciturn and very closed off. He didn't know how to show or accept love. The heroine finally helped him overcome his fear that to love someone would cause them to leave him somehow.

She only helped him though. He made the decision to change and open up on his own. This wasn't a case of insta love though. T I was pretty surprised at this book. They had had a previous abortive but emotional relationship but she had been too young for him to follow up on it. Plus this story where they met again took place over a month or so where they got to know each other again.

I totally recommend this for readers who like damaged quiet but wonderful heroes. Feb 03, Susan rated it really liked it Shelves: romance , books-read , ebook. Good second chance romance with some deep emotional issues. The book opened with a rush and a blast from the past. As Brody worked a bodyguard job, he was approached by Harrison Montgomery.

Brody had worked as a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years earlier. Hearing that Harrison's sister Ashley had been kidnapped by Somali pirates, Brody didn't hesitate when he was asked to get her after the ransom was paid. Brody and Ashley have an awkward history. At seventeen, Ashley had a huge crush Good second chance romance with some deep emotional issues. At seventeen, Ashley had a huge crush on Brody that she acted on.

Brody was interested in her also, but her age made it impossible. After the fiasco of that encounter, Brody quit the detail and moved on with his life, and Ashley did the same. I liked Brody, though he frequently frustrated me also. Events of his childhood had left him unable to accept love, to believe that he deserves to be loved. He keeps his emotions locked up tight. As the book progressed it was easy to see how much he cared for his family and Ashley, but he always felt that he would mess it up somehow.

He wanted that connection with those he loved, but he didn't know how to make it happen. I liked Ashley too. She is kind-hearted and positive about most things but doesn't have much confidence in herself. She never felt like she fit in with her high profile, political family and their expectations - especially her mother's. Instead, she went after her dreams by volunteering at a refugee camp in Africa. That dream came to a violent end when she was kidnapped and held for ransom by Somali pirates.

From the moment Brody learned of Ashley's situation he focused on what needed to be done. Just thinking of what she might experience made his blood run cold. I ached for him and the way he felt at his first sight of her. It was clear from the beginning that Ashley still meant something to him. And even in her condition, it was obvious that she was aware of his presence, that he made her feel safe, and she wasn't going to let him go.

Once the rescue was done, Brody still couldn't force himself to leave her and continued his protection to her home in New York. That was another scene that showed his protectiveness. Besides trying to get her to eat, he was there to back her up when she faced her mother. Mom is an iron-clad witch of the first order and was determined to use Ashley and her experiences to further her family's political aspirations. Ashley has gained enough confidence to want to resist her mother's efforts but isn't in a physical condition to make it happen.

I loved how Brody stepped in with the perfect solution - for her, though not for him. Brody took Ashley to the one place no one would think to look for her - his hometown. Unfortunately for Brody, it is also the last place he wants to go. He has a difficult relationship with both his brother and his father because of his inability to let anyone get close.

He loves them both, but fears disappointing them, so he stays away. His brother, Sean, had always worshipped Brody, who protected him when he was a kid. But Sean also has a lot of anger because of the way that Brody always pushes him away. It was painful at times to see how much Sean wanted Brody's attention and approval, only to have every attempt rebuffed. Then there is their father, Ed, a grouchy old man with health issues. Ed has never been a touchy-feely kind of guy, but it got worse after his wife died. I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Brody and Ashley.

Brody's care and gentleness as he watched over her those first few days was very sweet. However, that intensity of attention ran up against Ashley's embarrassment at her weakness and her need to stand on her own feet. There were some very amusing moments between them as Ashley came out with some snarky reactions to his efforts. As she started to heal she became more interested in learning everything she could about Brody and the life he never shared with anyone. The more time they spent together, the greater the attraction between them grew, and the more she wanted from him.


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Brody also wanted more but was hesitant to pursue it, believing that he would only hurt her in the end. I loved watching her determination grow and her realization that Brody might feel the same but he wouldn't take the initiative to do anything about it. It was fun to see her chip away at his defenses. Just when it looked like he might believe that he's allowed to be happy, trouble from a previous job reared its ugly head. I wanted to smack Ashley's brother Harrison for the things he said and did that drove a wedge between them. I hurt for Ashley, who was devastated by Brody's retreat.

It took a near tragedy for Brody to realize what he was throwing away. I loved his "aha" moment and the effect it had on him. His big moment at the end was amazing. I loved seeing him open himself up to all those feelings that had been buried for so long. I also loved seeing Ashley's transformation into the woman Brody knew she could be all along.

The epilogue was a nice wrap-up to the book. There was also a secondary romance between Brody's brother Sean and diner owner Cora. They'd been fighting like cats and dogs for several years, but under the antagonism was an undeniable attraction. Sean has always been the one who acted like a juvenile delinquent, but he has finally outgrown that attitude. Sean also has a bit of a self-esteem problem that went along with his relationship with Brody.

I loved seeing how the changing relationship with Cora also gave him a boost in his own self-confidence. There were some terrific scenes of the two of them as they worked together on his bar expansion. I loved seeing how she pushed him, showing him that he had what it would take to be a success. Never Been Kissed is on sale for 2.

No idea how long this will last - but if you're interested in a second chance at love story between a sexy caregiver hero and a heroine who has been put through the wringer - this is for you. Jul 21, Saly rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , cops-law-enforcement-security , virgin-heroines , single-titles , rom-contemporary. Jul 07, Lynn Spencer rated it really liked it Shelves: contemporary-romance. Sometimes I buy a book to read for pleasure, but I end up enjoying it enough that I just can't put it aside without reviewing it.

Never Been Kissed was one of those. It's not perfect, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. Things get off to a rather action-packed start in this novel. Bodyguard Brody Baxter is working at a job, when he finds himself confronted by Harrison Montgomery, polished politician and son of a wealthy political family who employed him ten years before. Harrison has come to Brody wi Sometimes I buy a book to read for pleasure, but I end up enjoying it enough that I just can't put it aside without reviewing it.

Harrison has come to Brody with a job that requires some skill and discretion - rescuing his sister Ashley from Somali pirates and keeping things quiet. After all, Brody has kept Montgomery family secrets in the past, so Harrison figures he's the perfect one for this task, too. And so Brody finds himself going off in search of Ashley, the black sheep of the Montgomery family. Instead of hosting fundraisers and working for the family machine, Ashley has spent her time abroad as a relief worker.

Her current predicament has left her very shaken and since it would bring up questions and issues no one wants to confront in the middle of her brother's campaign, Ashley needs a place to lay low. So, Brody takes her home to Bishop, Arkansas. Before you roll your eyes and think, "Oh no, not another small town romance," give this one a chance. O'Keefe writes wonderful dialogue and I found myself starting to really grow fond of her characters as I watched their interactions.

Ashley can be a little bit of a Pollyanna sometimes and Brody has a giant chip on his shoulder, but there's a certain decency to them that shines through. The interesting secondary characters help in this regard, too. I found the sometimes tortured relationship between Brody and his brother at least as interesting as his budding relationship with Ashley.

This is a partial review. Mar 05, Heather andrews rated it it was amazing.

Never Been Kissed by Melody Carlson (, Paperback) for sale online | eBay

Ran into a door. Jet-lagged and concussed, Ashley still had it in her to go a few rounds with Patty Montgomery. She - in his bed - excited him. They were pink. The polka dots were white. Stupid thing to stare at. But he was reduced to stupid. With lust and surprise, she'd made him a dumb beast. Mar 06, Sarah added it. Weirdly, I enjoyed the B-side story Sean-Cora more than the main story which I liked despite it having a trope that's one I usually don't care for--I think it worked for me because that particular thing isn't a big deal like it is every other time I've come across it.

Anyway, Molly's books are really good and if you're looking for a solid contemporary romance, her stuff is always a solid choice. I also liked the subtle subversion of the notion of "earning" love such a common romance theme. Maybe I'm reading too much into it, I don't know, but it seemed pretty obvious to me. I do wish that Brody's identity as a half Filipino, half African American man adopted by a white family had been explored further.

There's subtext that led me to believe that a lot of his broodiness and internally focused MO was wrapped up in that experience, but it would've been worth seeing on the page more.

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Also, wtf is with the dude on the cover? That's not the guy from the book even remotely. Get it together, Random House. Nov 09, Esther rated it really liked it Shelves: virgin-heroine , contemporary-v , virgin. Netgalley for an honest review. It was a good read. Beginning was intriguing but a bit hard to sort out, track with and it picked up steam gradually.

Characters interesting. Hero frustrated me at times but I came to eventually like. I like the heroine and her tender heart. These two complimented each other, good match. Romance was a slow build the steam factor was there. Was good but not a great read. Not sure what but something was missing. The story was about how the hero guarding the heroine s Netgalley for an honest review. The story was about how the hero guarding the heroine she was a daughter to a politician when she was seventeen and she was infatuated with him and he quits and leaves. Years later she is kidnapped and he rescues her and they spend sometime together as she heals and keeps a low profile.

During that time they work out the past and come to realize they love each other. General gist of the story. Jun 23, Mandy rated it liked it Shelves: arc. I liked this book but didn't love it. I really loved the whole idea behind the book - bodyguard and the girl he protects falling in love. The problem for me is that I just didn't feel the connection between Brody and Ashley. Ashley is supposed to be this strong woman who survives pirates and helps in underdeveloped countries but puts up with Brody pushing her aw I liked this book but didn't love it. Ashley is supposed to be this strong woman who survives pirates and helps in underdeveloped countries but puts up with Brody pushing her away.

On the positive side, the steamy scenes were hot and I also liked the supporting characters. View all 4 comments. Mar 04, Jenn rated it it was amazing Shelves: netgalley-arc-reviews , brothers , badass-men , read-in