*I was given a free copy of this book in return for an honest review. All thoughts are my own. I was not paid by the publisher or the author for my review.*
Between the Sheets — Molly O’Keefe
I’ve been patiently waiting to read and review this book. I got it in May, but decided to wait a while until it was closer to the publish date before starting it.
I wish I hadn’t waited.
This book was SO AMAZING. Quite honestly, it’s one of my most favorites I’ve read so far for this review blog. If you haven’t read anything by this author, you seriously need to go to your nearest bookstore or library or anywhere that you buy your books and get this authors stuff. You seriously shouldn’t miss her work. I won’t be from now on.
I don’t know if I can accurately describe to y’all how amazing the book was. I know I keep saying that, but it’s because there aren’t very many other words that exist in the English language that are fitting. Amazing? Awesome? Gripping? Complex? All of those words and more fit this book.
In Between the Sheets we have Wyatt (Ty) Svenson; a badass former biker dude, with hair that has to be pulled back into a ponytail, a face that seemingly always has a days worth of stubble on it and an eleven year old son that he learned about four months ago. So basically, he’s new at this dad thing. Really new. Poor guy.
We also have Shelby Monroe, who is our frozen heroine. I don’t mean the movie, Frozen. I mean that she has a seemingly impenetrable shell around her made of ice. Everyone in town thinks that she’s cool and collected, and that nothing fazes her. That’s not exactly the case. Shelby lives with her mother who has pretty severe Alzheimer’s. On top of caring for her mother, and keeping up the cool and collected facade, Shelby is also an elementary school art teacher.
Remember how I said earlier how this story is complex? It’s because of the characters. There are so many different sides to both of the main characters. It really helps build them and make them more human. If that makes sense.
Ty is used to being judged for his badass looks. He looks like a troublemaker, and when he was younger…he was one. Right around the time his son Casey was born (although he didn’t know about it at the time), Ty pulled himself out of the dangerous lifestyle he was living and made some huge changes. When he discovered he had a son, he worked his ass off to get custody and moved with Casey to a new small town for them both to start over.
That’s where he meets Shelby. Their introduction isn’t exactly the best. They’re neighbors and his loud motorcycle building habits that extend into the late night hours isn’t a very good match against a stressed Shelby and almost constantly confused mother. The stress of her mother’s disease has her more than a little on edge. When Ty finds out that Shelby is one of Casey’s teachers, I laughed at his reaction. Well. BOTH of their reactions. Shock. Horror. Disbelief. All of those emotions and more.
They’re both able to make peace between them for both Casey and their own sake… and their relationship begins. At first it’s pretty unstable. She’s fighting some pretty serious demons from her past, and doesn’t think she needs or wants a serious relationship (or any kind of relationship) with Ty. He’s not a stupid guy, and picks up on that vibe she gives off… but he can’t stay away.
Casey was the one that broke the news to Ty that he was a father. He was a smart enough kid to know that he was in a toxic situation and that he needed to find a way out of it. Luckily for him, Ty was that way out. He has some serious anger issues, but you can totally understand that based on his background. Casey’s mother — and Ty’s ex — was arrested for possession with the intent to sell… of meth. A very scary hard drug. She would drag him around to all of her crazy parties when he was a younger child… so he has some pretty bad trust issues.
The growth of both Ty and Shelby and for Casey in this book was so remarkable. For Ty, he was able to learn that putting down roots and developing ties to a community wasn’t a bad thing. Casey was able to learn that love — being loved — wasn’t a dangerous, hurtful thing. That he even had to learn that lesson broke my heart. I loved Casey. Shelby’s lessons were that it’s okay to rely on other people, that opening yourself up…while it might hurt… is a good thing. You can’t do everything for yourself. She learned she wasn’t Wonder Woman.
I loved being able to see how much these characters that I came to love grew and flourished during the book. There were some definite rough patches and stumbles along the way, but it helped shape them into becoming the people that they were supposed to be.
Molly O’Keefe has a wonderful ability to give life to a character in ways that I don’t always find when I’m reading a book. I haven’t fallen so hard in love with a new book by a new author in a long time. I’ve seriously liked a lot of books so far this year, and have found lots of fabulous new authors (new to me), but this one just got to me.
I seriously think that everyone needs to read this book. Wholeheartedly, 100% believe that people need to fall in love with Wyatt, Casey and Shelby like I did. You won’t be disappointed.
10/10 would DEFINITELY recommend.