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I got this as part of the One Click Buy anthologies, and I wanted to take a minute to review this particular segment Yes, the man lost his wife on 9 11 but even with that sadness comes humor and joy I kinda wished I could see Catherine s sketches The auction house storyline was slightly less interesting, but it added a little dimension to Daniel s character The opening took me by surprise The whole thing about him reaching over every morning just hit me But I really loved the story, and the characters were sweet and engaging. Great book terrible title. @DOWNLOAD PDF ⚞ Sex, Straight Up ⚣ Meeting A Handsome Loner On A Deserted Beach In The Hamptons Was Like Being Hit By Lightning One Steamy Weekend In Bed With Daniel O Sullivan And Catherine Montefiore Was Marvelously Woozy From A Delicious Cocktail Of Sun, Sand And Superhot SexAbruptly, Though, Catherine S Forty Eight Hours Of Fun Are At An End When Her Family S Exclusive Auction House Is Hit By A Very Public Scandal She S Ready To Step In And Save The Day, But She S Hoping Daniel, Her Hot Irish Hunk, Will Lend A Hand After All, He S Got The Necessary Skills And, Straight Up Or Not, Catherine Wants Another Long Drink Of Daniel Before Another Forty Eight Hours Are Up And Her Legacy Is Lost Forever The first thing you have to do if you decide to read this book is to TOTALLY ERASE the title of it from your memory In fact, I had to erase this book from my kindle because TONS of people ask to SEE my Kindle and I didn t want anyone to think I used it to read porn Not that there s anything wrong with that, but still I have NO IDEA why this book was titled so poorly It has NOTHING to do with anything in the book that I could figure out Apparently, Harlequin Blaze just needed to fill a slot in this particular series.Secondly, you have read the opening pages of this book Since the summer he turned eleven, Daniel O Sullivan woke up every morning the same way With an aching hard on After he was married, the first light of dawn became his favorite time He d roll over, impatient hands searching for his wife After making love to her, he d shower, shave, and together they d take the subway to work Whatcould any guy want But then one September morning seven years ago, bright sunlight mocking in the sky, that all exploded, along with two airliners, two buildings and two thousand, seven hundred and forty people one of whom was his wife.Gone.For the next five years he rolled over to look for her, impatient hands searching blindly, and she wasn t there And so the hard on stayed I was immediately sucked in to his book And while the rest of the story was good and definitely readable, it wasn t earth shattering My biggest complaint about the Blaze line is that it actually isn t all that blazing Maybe I m the odd woman out, but when I think of blazing the last thing I think of is my husband waking up first thing in the morning poking me in the back Uh No. Don t judge a book by it s cover And the title is all wrong That said, this was the first book in a blogger bundle I purchased a few months ago The blogger was encouraging readers to take a second look at category romances I started reading category romances when I was 13 and I m not ashamed to say that I still enjoy them I have several favorite authors that are auto buys for me Kelly Hunter, Maisey Yates and Sandra Marton top my list Well, now I ve added a new favorite Kathleen O Reilly This story caught me by complete surprise I was expecting, well, as the title says Sex, Straight Up Instead, I was instantly pulled into the story of Daniel O Sullivan, a man who has been living in a fog since his wife was murdered on that horrible September day in NYC At the time of the story, it s been 7 years since 9 11 Daniel s brothers have been gently and not so gently prodding him to step into the world again, to stop living like a monk They set him up to spend a weekend in the Hamptons Not caring for the wild party antics of the other people in the house, he retreats to the beach in front of the house next door a house that belongs to Catherine Montefiore s family She s staying there alone that weekend Catherine works in the family auction house think Christie s but her artwork is her passion She watches the man sitting with his back to her on her private beach and begins to sketch him Sensing someone watching him, he turns around and sees her He introduces himself to her, apologizes for using her beach, but she invites him to continue using it He s absolutely gorgeous and she wants to continue sketching him secretly but she also sees the empty, lifeless expression in his gaze She s drawn to him And he is drawn to her That s how it begins And, as with all romance stories, you have a pretty good idea of how the story will end But I found the getting there to be a fresh, heartbreaking and heartwarming story And, yes, the sex was hot, too. Sex, Straight Up is yet another great installment in this fun, sexy, and romantic trilogy Another relatively short novel, yet impressively packed with an interesting story line and fantastic character and relationship development that is realistic, emotional, and truly compelling.The nature of this love story made for a fairly complicated emotional journey for Daniel O Sullivan He still loves his deceased wife, and knows he always will love her, but he also acknowledges that time has been telling him he s ready to move on Throughout the pages of the story, Daniel s struggle to figure out how exactly to do just that is emotional and also beautiful Once he and Catherine begin their affair the second time around, he s honest with Catherine and really does try to do the right thing One can t help but empathize with him and admire him for his efforts.At the same time that Daniel struggles with trying to let go of his past and start to move on, Catherine struggles with maintaining realistic expectations of her relationship with Daniel She knows she s falling in love with Daniel, but knows it wouldn t be wise to just give her heart up to him She wants to, though, because when she s with him, everything feels easy and right And yet, when it does start to show that he loves her, too, she doesn t just cave into that without thinking She s smart and knows Daniel isn t just going to get over his wife after a few nights or weeks of great sex and conversation So she s cautious And what s great about that is that while she s protecting herself from heartache, she s also helping Daniel figure out exactly what he needs, too He is the one who has to figure himself out and when he does figure it out, he s the one who has to make it happen between them.Sex, Straight Up is a really beautiful romance that is both passionate and tender Both characters do a lot of soul searching as they try to figure out what they want from the other person and what is a realistic and fair expectation Their actions are realistic and purposeful, even when it s just about the sex When love comes into play, this couple share some very tender and romantic moments that had such depth of emotion and truth You couldn t help but believe their love was true and meant to be. Ok, listen You are going to want to roll your eyes and ignore this book because of the ridiculous title Why, Harlequin, WHY You shouldn t, though, because this book was such an amazing find Its about a 9 11 widow who cannot move on and an introverted art appraiser who is trying to convince herself that she deserves to be 100% loved by someone It was such a wonderful, romantic, and sometimes sad story that did not shy away from the effects of grief, especially when it is tied to such a visible event Daniel is completely stuck in the past and really likes it there He has his job and the bar he owns with his brothers, and that s really all he needs Meeting Catherine, who doesn t demand change from him, wakes up a part of himself that he has missed, but you can imagine the mixed feelings he has Catherine loves what she does, but doesn t have the confidence to doand doesn t know how to communicate that t her family This book is about moving on, yes, but it s also about finding someone who lifts you up, taking change of your own happiness, and it was just so very good A big thanks goes to the Smart Bitches team because I ever would have heard about this without their weekly newsletter. First, I m 99% sure I read this before, back when the first book in this series I think was one of the Save the Contemporary picks from DA SBTB Second, I want Grace to read this because I want a NYC evaluation It reads pretty well to me, but I ve accepted that my readings of New York aren t always accurate At the very least, I like that it tries to integrate itself into the surroundings it has chosen for its setting.Third, I just really liked this A story about a 9 11 widower moving on could be really terrible, but it mostly just reads as a moving on story, period The 9 11 thing is just a part of the tapestry of Daniel s characterization, not the point, and that makes it a lotpalatable The hero and heroine both are interesting on their own and their dilemma about whether or not they can give each other what they want rings true I also dig both of their relationships with their family and I love their careers an accountant hero, how great is that I requested my library get the other two so I can reread them as well I definitely need to readKathleen O Reilly. This was surprisingly good despite its unfortunate title obviously, I ought to start raising personal expectations for Harlequin novels good in its poignancy and sensitivity Here are two rather mild mannered people working in professional, occasionally mundane, jobs They meet, they have a passionate affair, they break it off thinking they ll never see each other again Of course fate works its cheeky little way in, and they become embroiled in office politics on top of their own budding relationship That s not all to the story either, given that this hero is a widower, a victim to the September 11 attacks The woman is left constantly doubting herself, whether she ll forever be in the shadow of the late wife.This felt so real and raw Daniel s devotion to his wife was true, and not pathetic as it might have seemed on the surface And naturally Catherine has self doubt and shame at competing with a dead woman s love and memory But the reconciliation and union is sweet indeed.The story might have tired by the end will they, won t they but the writing does have occasional poetry about it which is rare in this genre Perhaps because O Reilly tries to weave the 9 11 tragedy still raw and painful after these eight years into her narrative Either way, five stars for the effort. Reviewed for THC Reviews 2.5 stars Even though the first book in Kathleen O Reilly s Those Sexy O Sullivans trilogy was just OK for me, I was looking forward to trying the next book, Sex, Straight Up, mainly because I thought the concept of a hero who had lost his wife on 9 11 was a very unique one that would probably make a great story Unfortunately, it turned out to be evenof a yawn than the first one which was extremely disappointing to me, as I ve liked some of Ms O Reilly s other work very much in the past In my opinion, she spent too much time on the details of the hero and heroine s professions, that of accountant and art appraiser respectively, which are rather snooze worthy jobs to begin with She also had a tendency to meander off onto various little rabbit trails that didn t really directly impact the couple s relationship All of this felt like a whole lot of filler when I thought she should have been building their connection and developing their emotions on a much deeper level Instead it seemed the hero and heroine were just wandering around from scene to scene with very little purpose or direction except trying to clear the heroine s grandfather of any implication in a price fixing scheme That part of the story resolved itself a little too quickly and easily as well with Daniel figuring out who really was responsible while in the midst of a drunken stupor and the bad guy being the one person who logically should have been able to cover his tracks, all of which lacked credibility I really felt like both Daniel and Catherine had great potential as interesting and likable characters, but just never lived up to the inherent possibilities I would normally love a quiet, brooding hero who is mourning a lost love, and I did adore Daniel for being so devoted to his wife so much so that he had remained celibate for the seven years since her death When we first meet Catherine, she seems like a very nice person too Her artist s eye instantly recognizes the loneliness in Daniel, and being a fellow introvert, she also understands his social awkwardness and need to be alone There seems to be some underlying hurt in her life as well that came from her desire to be an artist, but at the same time, feeling she could never quite live up to her grandfather s exacting standards either in art or business Unfortunately, this is as far as these two characters were developed, and I never felt like they blossomed through these adversities in the way they should have Everything simply stayed on a superficial level with them which made it very difficult to relate.Being an introvert myself, I typically love introverted characters, but Daniel and Catherine just seem to lack basic communication skills Generally, they only talk to each other in as few words as possible and never about the really difficult stuff which made them seem very closed off and emotionally distant from one another for the entire book I got very frustrated with both of them, because Daniel just went around pining for his wife and feeling like he s cheating on her without ever explaining his feelings and reasons to Catherine For her part, Catherine knew the score on Daniel still being attached to his first wife, but then got kind of snippy, refusing to share personal stuff about herself because Daniel wouldn t either Then on the rare occasions that he did try to open up a little, she usually cut him off and wouldn t listen because she s afraid of what she ll hear This couple were such poor communicators, I just never felt a true emotional connection either between themselves or with me as the reader, and consequently had a very difficult time investing myself in what the outcome would be for them I ve read other books with a widow widower character who was pining for a lost spouse that were done so much better I felt like what was truly missing here was a willingness on Daniel s part to express himself and an equal willingness from Catherine to be understanding of his feelings, as well as a strong differentiation of their relationship being something new, unique, and different from what he had in the past, but every bit as fulfilling Instead, all I felt from the pair was pure lust but never a true love connection.Considering that this was a Blaze novel, I was at least expecting some hot love scenes to liven things up, but even that expectation was dashed Daniel and Catherine do get it on a number of times, but surprisingly some of the scenes are closed door, others are barely there without any foreplay and over in a mere paragraph or two , and the ones that are a littledetailed were still not anywhere near as vivid and passionate as I would have anticipated from a book of this type In fact, I think it was perhaps the tamest Blaze I ve read to date Again, I thought there was some definite lost potential here, because Catherine is an artist who enjoys sketching nudes, but usually relies on paintings and sculptures instead of real models She did convince Daniel to model naked for her a couple of times, but instead of it being the exquisitely sensual experience it could have been, the scenario was initially rather academic and then led to one of those barely there love scenes which was quite frustrating It wasn t just the love scenes that were dull either A large part of the prose was rendered very simplistically in a passive voice with too much repetition for my taste, while much of the dialog was stilted The whole story was simply lackluster with no zing or excitement to really pull me in and keep me reading If the book had been any longer than it was, I probably would have had to lay it aside for something else Even though Sex, Straight Up didn t catch my fancy, I still plan to finish the trilogy for the sake of completeness, and because I already have the third book on my TBR pile and need it for a reading challenge in which I m participating I just won t be expecting much from the upcoming book, based on my experience with the first two and the fact that the soon to be hero hasn t particularly endeared himself to me yet in those stories either Sex, Straight Up is the second book in the Those Sexy O Sullivans trilogy It is preceded by Shaken and Stirred and followed by Nightcap.