This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on April 25, 2018
A smidge of Catholic guilt, a series of family weddings, and Seamus finds himself desperately in need of a ‘girl I can bring home to my mother’ type of date. Too bad, Seamus’ contact list is full of quite the opposite, but then a sweet woman desperately whispers, ‘Save Me’ and he’s all in. The final book in the O’Brien Family series was irreverent fun, tender, sensual, and a whole lot of the feels.
Save Me is book five in the O’Brien Family and works as a romance for the last single O’Brien and a follow-up on the lives of all the rest. This is a culmination of a fantastic, deeply satisfying series and its not a good place to start.
The O’Briens are an Irish Philadelphia family who are boisterous, colorful, inappropriate, loyal, and loving. Raised by their mother, there are six brothers and one sister. Seamus is the third born and last to be single. Most think he’s a tomcat, but Seamus really does want a wife and family if only the right woman comes along.
Sharing this romance with Seamus is a girl from the old neighborhood who made good, Ally Mendes. Ally has put her life into her real estate business after her gorgeous, family-favorite sister stole her boyfriend right when she was expecting to have the white picket fence and everything Seamus is the first person to see beyond the dowdy clothes, bad hairstyle, and mousy persona she hides behind while staying far away from her toxic mother and sister. When her sister announces that she’s marrying Ally’s ex, she does something desperate to avoid the misery of still seeming hung up on the guy. Fake relationship time and trusting Seamus to help her with a sexy make over.
Much of this story can get unreal, but families and weddings can turn reality on its ear. Seamus is a blue-collar guy, as confident as they come, and honest- brutally so- to a tee, but Seamus is in for as big a shock as Ally. They start out awkwardly faking it, but its not long before they are both secretly longing for the real thing.
In between the scenes of Seamus and Ally spending time together and building a friendship into something else, I had a good time with the O’Brien family encounters. We have beautiful O’Brien weddings and babies. Sigh. On the other end, there are those ugly encounters with Ally’s family. Man, where is the bus that needs to run over her narcissistic and horrid sister when you need one.
As has happened with each of these books, when I wasn’t embarrassing myself with gut-wrenching laughter or enjoying the sensual friends to lovers fake mates romance, I found the true depth was when this couple had the intense heart to heart in the turning point of the book. Seamus, if I didn’t love him already, just tugged on my heart with that story from his past. He grew up hard in ways, but he had his proud loving mother and his wonderful family of siblings, but Ally being stuck as the ignored child and sibling was equally heartbreaking. Seeing Ally come into her own and stand up for herself had me nearly standing on the couch and cheering.
On a side note… I don’t normally do this, but I feel I should explain something that seems to be problematic particularly with our touchy social climate. This is not me saying you aren’t allowed to see it different than I do, just that this is how I read the situation. In the first portion of the book, at first glance, there are several statements that taken out of context or without due thought can seem sexist, demeaning, and chauvinistic. What I think readers might miss when Seamus is helping Ally with her ‘makeover’ is that first- he is doing it as a friend at the time and not her lover which makes a big difference when someone is honestly telling you where you’re going wrong. Secondly, she is onboard with him giving her advice on her looks and how to be sexy. It is her goal to not be such a pushover after her sister and the ex humiliate her. Seamus thought she was a beauty before the makeover- yes, he initially couldn’t remember her and thought she was one of his forgettable one night stands, but then he remembered her for her beautiful kindness. He also saw her as too classy and good for him which is why he held back with his true feelings for her. Am I denying that Seamus is a mess when he first meets Ally at the baker? Nope. Ally looks him in the eye and makes it clear that he needs some work as much as she does and they’ll help each other.
So, yes, this was the end. Only comfort I have is all the O’Brien stories on my Kindle that I can come back and visit later. For those who want a strong element of family in their romances, I can heartily recommend this series and the Shattered Past trio this one spun off of. Do yourselves a solid and don’t miss these.
My thanks to the author for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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