*This was a book I purchased. All thoughts about the book are my own. I have not been compensated in any way for my review*
Never Been Kissed (Boys of Bishop) — Molly O’Keefe
I think after reading this book, I’ll only have ONE book left in Molly’s Boys of Bishop series to read. Until she writes more of them, of course (or if she does…).
I realized today after double checking to see just how many books were in her series that I’ve read almost the entire series…out of order. Excuse me while I facepalm. I hate reading books out of order…but this is what I get for not doing more research. Good job, me.
Never Been Kissed is the SECOND book in her Boys of Bishop series. Between The Sheets comes after this one (the first book of her’s that I reviewed on my blog) and Indecent Proposal is book number FOUR (the last book that I reviewed by Molly). So now all I’m missing is book number one. It’s already been added to my very long “to be read” pile.
Just like the last two books I read by Molly, I loved this book. Loved. This. Book. I had already been introduced to the characters because of the first two books I’d read (which come after this one — again — OOPS)… so I kind of had a feeling of who Ashley and Brody were.
Though, just because I had been introduced to both of them previously, that doesn’t mean that I didn’t want to get to know them and learn their story. Because I did. Badly. I had zero willpower (again) and bought this book right after finishing Indecent Proposal. Because I had to.
Have you ever found a new author or book series and just fallen so in love with it that you have to have ALL of the book that are in that particular series or that particular author has written? That’s what’s happened here. I needed these books and I’m going to be SO SAD when they’re over.
In Never Been Kissed, we have the younger sister of Harrison (Harry) Montgomery from Indecent Proposal. Ashley Montgomery isn’t a politician like her older brother… but like him, she does want to make the world a better place. To make strives towards meeting that goal of helping the world (and probably also to get away from her mother), Ashley goes to Africa to do some humanitarian aid work. She’s a brave woman. There are places in that part of the world where this kind of aid is desperately needed, but it’s such a dangerous environment that not everyone can or would go.
While Ashley is in Africa, she and a friend that she makes while volunteering (another woman) take a short holiday cruise to recharge their batteries. This is where things go wrong. Remember when I said that this part of the world was dangerous!?
PIRATES. There are PIRATES there. I’m not talking about the Captain Jack Sparrow (he could kidnap me whenever he liked) type of pirate. These particular types of pirates are Somali Pirates. They typically go after shipping containers (Think the movie Captain Phillips) but are also known for going after wealthy Americans and other foreign nationals. That’s what happens to the girls.
Both Ashley and her friend Kate are kidnapped by the pirates and held captive for weeks. Their families are notified and ransoms are demanded before the girls will be allowed to go free.
That’s where Brody Baxter comes in.
Ten years before Ashley and Kate meet, become friends and are kidnapped in Africa, Brody had worked as a security guard for the Montgomery family. He and his team were tasked with the job of keeping the Montgomery’s safe. Ashley during that time, developed one hell of a crush on Brody. He’s this big badass man who is also very kind and sweet. Doesn’t seem to play the same type of games that most of the people in her world — her politician father’s world — like to play. He’s real. Her seventeen year old heart just about sent her into heart failure when he was around.
When she finally gets up the nerve to make a move on Brody, things go from bad to worse. He’s a bit older (I can’t remember by how much) and employed by her family. When she makes her move, he doesn’t react. Can’t react. That’s the bad part. The part that hurts Ashley’s young heart. The worse part is that her mother discovers them with her lips connected to his.
Ashley is led to believe that she got Brody fired from the job (she didn’t, he quit) and is even more heartbroken.
Fast forward back to the present time and Harrison Montgomery (after being notified that she has been kidnapped) knows that there is only one man that could bring her back safely. Unfortunately, it’s been ten years since Brody and Harrison last saw each other and neither man is particularly a big fan of the other. When Brody learns that it was Ashley that is in trouble, he immediately agrees to do whatever he can to help. For her.
Brody storms in to save the day and sweeps the battered Ashley away from the hell hole she’d been staying in. Ashley and Kate had been separated not long after they’d been taken, so Brody couldn’t take them both home. After a trip to a hospital to be patched up, and a long flight back stateside, Brody finally gets Ashley home.
Within hours of being home, Mrs. Montgomery makes an appearance and tries to persuade her daughter into doing television appearances and interviews to help her brother’s campaign. Since Ashley is just barely on the road to recovery, she refuses the “requests” her mother makes. But, knowing that her refusal won’t mean much to her mother for long, Ash knows she needs to get away from her family to give herself time to heal and get back to “normal”.
That’s where Brody comes in (again) to save the day.
He knows that Ashley will leave town with or without him, and with the concussion she has (plus other injuries) she can’t be by herself. So… he agrees to help her hide, and takes her to the one place that he knows none of the Montgomery’s will look for her.
This is where the story really takes off. We get to meet the main background characters and fall in love with them just like we (and by we I’m totally talking about myself) have started to fall for Brody and Ashley. We’re introduced to Brody’s younger brother Sean and their dad Ed…who along with his wife adopted Brody when he was a small child. We also get to meet Cora and get a peek at Wyatt and Shelby from Between The Sheets.
The chemistry and connection between Brody and Ashley gets to deepen and grow while they’re in Bishop. They take their relationship, which is defined by intense attraction, but isn’t really a friendship to the next level. It’s apparent to everyone that comes into contact with them that there is something magical happening between them, even if they can’t see it for themselves at first.
I loved the banter between Sean and Cora. Their relationship was just great. Miscommunication and jealousy kept them from really getting to know each other, but once they were able to work past all of that and really get to know each other, things for them just clicked. I loved that Brody was able to pick up on the tension between the two of them, and guess the reason behind it before they figured it out.
Once Ashley is finally starting to feel healed, and her stitches come out, the happy bubble she’s been in starts to deflate. Things happen and she has to go back home to deal with things. Brody learns some things about some people he’d protected in the past that could potentially ruin his future career and Ashley’s (plus Harrison’s) futures if things go too sideways. When Harrison learns about Brody’s issue, he makes it clear that whatever was happening between his sister and the other man need to stop. Pronto.
Basically, Harrison is a big brother and is trying to protect his little sister (AND HIMSELF… politicians.. ugh) and ends up doing more harm than good. Which is typically what I notice happens when brothers stick their noses in their sisters romantic business.
Both Brody and Ashley have to do some serious soul searching, but things end up happening just exactly the way that they should. I really loved the ending. Okay, I really loved the whole book, but I really loved the ending.
Like I’ve said with each of the other books in this series, you shouldn’t miss this one. Though, don’t do what I did. READ THEM IN ORDER. You’ll get to meet everyone in the right time and fall in love with them like you should.
The first book in the series, for those that want to read them in order (like I should have) is Wild Child. I’ve already bought it (Amazon is so handy) and it’s on my “To be read” list. Which is long. Very long.
Anyway. Don’t skip over this book… OR this author. Molly has a magical way of creating characters that have so much LIFE to them that you can’t believe that they aren’t real. I wish Brody was real… and maybe Wyatt too.
10/10 would recommend this book to everyone.