Category Archives: Shannyn Schroeder

Review: Her Best Shot by Shannyn Schroeder

best shotTitle: Her Best Shot by Shannyn Schroeder
Hot & Nerdy Trilogy Book One
Publisher: eKensington
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, New Adult
Length: Novella/Word Count: 35,000
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


With college graduation looming, three childhood friends vow to make spring break their last blast of pure fun. But at least one of them didn’t count on such incredible heat…

Layla Sharpe is definitely more math ninja than bikini babe, and her future has been calculated with razor precision. Convinced to let loose over spring break, Layla is finally ready to party—until her car breaks down halfway to her destination, leaving her stranded in Georgia with a mouthwateringly hot pool shark. She knows more than enough about angles to learn the game, but this week she wants him to appreciate her curves…

Phin Marks has never met a girl like Layla. She’s more Star Wars geek than seductress, and when he offers her a place to stay while her car is in the shop, he’s counting on the attraction between them to set the nights ablaze, no strings attached. But every moment he spends with Layla makes it harder to let her go. Can he persuade her to gamble in the most dangerous way possible…on forever?

The Review:

Her Best Shot by Shannyn Schroeder is a scorching hot new adult romance that is fun, flirty and drama free. This first installment in the Hot & Nerdy Trilogy takes place over a few days and focuses mainly on the lead characters’ exploration of their sexual attraction but it is still a quick, enjoyable read.

Layla Sharpe is on her way to join her friends for spring break when car trouble leaves her stranded for a few days while she waits on repairs. She is drowning her sorrows in a dive bar when sexy pool player Phin Marks catches her eye. Layla impulsively accepts Phin’s offer to crash with him and their smoldering attraction quickly burns out of control.

The characters in Her Best Shot are fairly well developed for a novella. Layla is a smart, sassy and independent heroine but she is wound just a little tight. Phin is charming and easygoing, but he is not very forthcoming about his past. They come from completely different backgrounds but this diversity adds dimension to the characters and the overall plot.

Her Best Shot is a story that requires a suspension of disbelief to fully enjoy. Due to its short length, everything progresses between Layla and Phin at an accelerated rate. They are quick to jump into bed and their lust quickly gives way to love. The only conflict in the story results from Phin’s extreme reaction to Layla’s unexpected decision about her future. They resolve their problems fairly quickly with little angst but the book’s ending feels a bit abrupt.

All in all, Her Best Shot is an entertaining romance with likeable characters. It is a great beginning to Shannyn Schroeder’s Hot & Nerdy Trilogy that will leave readers eager for the next installment.  

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Filed under Contemporary, eKensington, Her Best Shot, Hot & Nerdy Trilogy, New Adult, Rated B, Review, Romance, Shannyn Schroeder

Review: Catch Your Breath by Shannyn Schroeder

catchTitle: Catch Your Breath by Shannyn Schroeder
The O’Leary’s Book Four
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Word Count: 100,897
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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?

The Review:

Catch Your Breath is the fourth installment of Shannyn Schroeder’s fabulous O’Leary’s series. In this outing, we finally get sister Moira’s story and in a refreshing change of pace, there is also a bit of a mystery element to the novel.

Moira is a freelance reporter who mainly covers society stories and when she runs into childhood friend and longtime crush Jimmy O’Malley at a swanky event, her curiosity is piqued. Seizing the opportunity to get an exclusive story (and get closer to Jimmy), she uses her connections to help Jimmy with his undercover investigation of thieves who have been targeting wealthy men. Moira quickly realizes that they share a sizzling hot attraction but Jimmy’s friendship with her brother Liam puts her firmly in the hands off category as far as Jimmy is concerned.

Moira is a great character: upbeat, enthusiastic and persistent. She loves her family, but she is getting a little tired of her overprotective brothers’ refusal to treat her as an adult. An invitation to her ten year high school reunion is a catalyst to re-evaluate her goals and her chance encounter with Jimmy provides her the impetus she needs to make some changes in her life. Jimmy is just the man to help her find what she’s looking for in both her professional and personal lives, but Moira quickly learns that convincing him is going to take a lot of work on her part.

Jimmy is a wonderful character but he is also very frustrating. He is very dedicated to his family but he is running out of patience with his dad and his brothers. He likes to be in control of all situations and this becomes an issue in his relationship with Moira. He is passionate one minute and pushing Moira away the next and this pattern holds pretty much throughout the entire novel.

The mystery aspect of the storyline is key not only in bringing Jimmy and Moira together but it is also an excellent career opportunity for Moira. It gives her an idea for a story with the depth she is looking for but Jimmy’s fears for her safety drive a wedge between them. Jimmy’s investigation is interesting but it is wrapped up with little fanfare and gets a little lost in the resolution of the conflict between Jimmy and Moira.

Catch Your Breath is a lovely addition to Shannyn Schroeder’s O’Leary’s series. The storyline is fresh and innovative, the characters are fascinating and the interactions between the Moira and Jimmy are fiery and incredibly passionate. Intriguing glimpses of Liam leave me eagerly anticipating his novel, which will be released early next year.

You can read my review of the other books in the series HERE.


Filed under Catch Your Breath, Contemporary, Kensington, Rated B, Review, Romance, Shannyn Schroeder, The O'Leary's

Review: Something to Prove by Shannyn Schroeder

somethingTitle: Something to Prove by Shannyn Schroeder
The O’Leary’s Book Three
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Word Count: 85,000
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


Two ambitious people team up to prove themselves to their families–and find there may be more to their partnership than just business. . .

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?

85,000 Words

The Review:

Yay a new romance in Shannyn Schroeder’s fun and sexy O’Leary’s series! In Something to Prove oldest brother Colin finds love with Elizabeth Brannigan, but their road to happily ever after is anything but smooth.

Colin has been fighting to prove himself to his family since he returned to town after a three year absence. He has been steadfast and dependable working as a bartender in the family bar but earning his brother’s trust has been darn near impossible. While he has been content to work for Ryan, Colin’s dream is to someday purchase a bar of his own. So when Elizabeth Brannigan needs help renovating her family’s rough and tumble biker bar (!), Colin is eager to provide her with his expertise in exchange for a share of the profits. The fact that Colin is extremely interested in exploring their mutual attraction is added incentive to assist Elizabeth, but Colin is going to have to do some pretty fast talking to convince her to break her strict no mixing business with pleasure rule.

Elizabeth is all business, all the time. She and her brother Keith have been locked in fierce battle to secure the CEO position in the family’s business and with her father’s retirement looming, she is determined to come out on top. Seizing the opportunity to turn around the failing bar, Elizabeth undertakes the renovation on the sly with the hopes of impressing her father and winning the coveted position. Elizabeth has a take charge, no nonsense attitude and she butts heads with the more laidback, easy going Colin on more than one occasion. Working with a partner and taking his advice is difficult for Elizabeth, but if she is going to successfully revamp the bar, Elizabeth knows she needs to trust Colin’s judgment.

Colin regrets abandoning his family after his father’s death and he has been trying to make up for it ever since he returned to town. He has made great strides in restoring his relationship with his extended family but he still feels like he does not quite measure up to Ryan’s expectations. Helping Elizabeth revamp the bar will provide Colin with the money to buy his own place and hopefully show Ryan once and for all that he plans to stay in town for good. Colin is eager to help Elizabeth overhaul her business but he is also eager to loosen up his uptight, buttoned up business partner. An added bonus would be convincing Elizabeth that giving in to their attraction won’t affect their business arrangement.

Elizabeth and Colin’s professional relationship is anything but smooth in the beginning. Elizabeth is not willing to cede control and she is frustrated by Colin’s more casual approach to business. And of course there is also the matter of her attraction to her outgoing and flirtatious partner. The more time they spend together, the more difficult it is to resist giving in to their passion. Colin finally works past her defenses and presents a pretty convincing argument in favor of them indulging in their desire and although she still has reservations, Elizabeth agrees to a short term affair. When a health crises occurs, their casual fling begins to feel like a real relationship but will their personal insecurities tear them apart?

Elizabeth and Colin are appealing characters and their respective personal baggage brings a little bit more angst to the storyline than the previous novels. The O’Leary family dynamics are always compelling and their scenes together are always a joy. Elizabeth and Colin’s romance slowly simmers in the background as they wrestle with their personal demons but their conflicts are realistically and quickly resolved.

Something to Prove is another spectacular addition to Shannyn Schroeder’s O’Leary’s series and I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.

Please click HERE to read my reviews of other books in The O’Leary’s series.

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Filed under Contemporary, Kensington, Rated B, Review, Romance, Shannyn Schroeder, Something to Prove, The O'Leary's

Review: A Good Time by Shannyn Schroeder

Title: A Good Time by Shannyn Schroeder
The O’Leary’s Book Two
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 99,258 Words
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


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. . .

99,258 Words

The Review:

In A Good Time, Shannyn Schroeder’s second novel in The O’Leary’s series, neither Indy Adams nor Griffin Walker are looking for a serious relationship. Indy is a fly by the seat of her pants type of woman who does not want any commitments or responsibilities to tie her down. Walker is convinced he is not marriage material, and he is in complete agreement with Indy’s suggestion to have a casual no strings fling.

Indy is fiercely independent and she does not want to depend on anyone but herself. Indy is hard working and she is currently working two jobs trying to make ends meet. She keeps her romantic entanglements free of emotion and when the fun ends, so does the relationship. She is attracted to Griffin, but she does not get socially involved with her clients.

In a refreshing change of pace, Griffin is the one who wants more from their relationship than Indy. Her fear of commitment is a source of frustration for him as he tries to take their relationship in a more serious direction. Instead of tackling their problems head on, Indy runs away time and again. She has a difficult time accepting help when she needs it and Griffin is sometimes guilty of manipulating her to get what he wants.

Griffin and Indy are flawed but sympathetic and likable characters. They are so intent on protecting themselves from hurt they are slow to recognize that they are falling in love. Their separations are essential to their growth as characters and they need the emotional distance from one another to deal with their respective pasts. Love does not come easily to this couple, but it is certainly worth the wait.

Please click HERE to read my reviews of other books in The O’Leary’s series.

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Filed under A Good Time, Contemporary, Kensington, Rated B, Romance, Shannyn Schroeder, The O'Leary's

Review: More Than This by Shannyn Schroeder

Title: More Than This by Shannyn Schroeder
The O’Leary’s Book One
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Word Length: 102,100
Book Rating: B

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


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.

102,100 Words.

The Review:

Fans of friends to lovers novels will want to add debut author Shannyn Schroeder’s More Than This to their must have list. An absolutely fun yet sexy read, I loved watching this mismatched pair find their way to happily ever after.

Quinn Adams’ one and only impulsive act ended in divorce and she now leads a carefully controlled and mapped out life. Her ex-husband’s announcement that he is going to be a dad shakes up her world and Quinn decides it is time to take control of her destiny. Acting on her sister Indy and best friend Kate’s advice, Quinn is ready to step out of her comfort zone and have a few outrageous escapades before she has the baby she has been longing for.

Ryan O’Leary is rock solid and dependable. Running two bars and dealing with family drama leaves little room for fun in his life. That is until his attraction to Quinn finds him offering to become her wingman as she stumbles from one bad date to the next. But the fun really begins when Ryan begins helping her check items off her list and their friendship crosses over into forbidden territory of lovers.

Ryan and Quinn’s relationship is a slowing growing and goes back and forth from friends to lovers and back again. For every few steps forward they make, they usually wind up taking one step back. Quinn has her sights set on achieving her goals and she has a very difficult time stepping out of her well-ordered life. She greatly values their friendship and her biggest fear is if their romance ends, she will lose Ryan as a friend.

The supporting cast of characters is superb and adds a great deal of depth to the story. Quinn’s sister Indy is her complete opposite and with her help, Quinn begins to find some much needed self-confidence. Ryan’s large family provides some of the conflict in the novel and I am crossing my fingers they will star in future books. Ryan’s friend Griffin is quite intriguing and Ms. Schroeder is pairing him up with Indy in the next book in the series. I am definitely looking forward to seeing what she has in store for this couple.

More Than This is an absolutely delightful novel with laugh out loud humor and charming characters. The story is well-executed and Shannyn Schroeder puts a unique spin on the friends to lovers storyline. It is a heartwarming romance that readers are sure to enjoy.


Filed under Contemporary, Kensington, More Than This, Rated B, Review, Romance, Shannyn Schroeder, The O'Leary's