Once Kissed: An O'Brien Family Novel

Once Kissed: An O'Brien Family Novel

by Cecy Robson

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RITA AWARD FINALIST • Once they shared a night of passion. Now a chance encounter forces them back together. In Cecy Robson’s O’Brien Family series debut—perfect for readers of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—two total opposites find that the flames of desire are still smoldering.

Tough-as-steel cop Curran O’Brien is quickly rising through the ranks of the Philadelphia police department. But when his rookie partner is almost killed under his watch, Curran just wants to prove he still has what it takes to walk among Philly’s finest. So he’s pissed to be stuck on a cushy security assignment for the DA’s office . . . until he gets a good look at the sweet, straitlaced intern he’s supposed to protect—but not touch.

Tess Newart recognizes Curran instantly. How could she not? Back in college she tied this former frat boy to the bed with her argyle socks! That sizzling one-night stand was the only indiscretion Tess ever allowed herself. She has survived law school so far, despite being pushed to succeed by her overbearing father. Now that she’s interning on a major case against a ruthless crime boss, she won’t jeopardize her career by giving in to temptation again. She just never expected temptation to look so damn hot in uniform.

Tess knows her father has other plans for her, and they don’t include Curran. But soon she’s falling for him all over again. And when danger emerges, Curran will prove just how good a bad-boy cop can be.

Praise for Once Kissed

“Make room on your list of book boyfriends for Curran O’Brien! This bad-boy cop is fiercely protective of the feisty Tess, and the sexual tension between these two is off the charts!”USA Today bestselling author Lauren Layne

“Robson’s O’Brien family has the hottest brothers ever! . . . It’s impossible not to keep your fingers crossed for an HEA, but the author knows exactly what she’s doing as readers hold their breath during this roller-coaster ride of passion.”RT Book Reviews

“If you love a hot alpha male with a badge, you’ll love Cecy Robson’s Once Kissed.”New York Times bestselling author Claudia Connor

“A delightful and sensual read with a cheeky hero and a sharp heroine.”Heroes and Heartbreakers
“A riotous hit.”—Addicted to Happily Ever After
“Robson proves once again that she can sweep us off our feet with a fun, romantic tale. . . . [Once Kissed] is another must-read. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.”—Rainy Day Ramblings
“[Robson] truly is a talented writer who never ceases to amaze me with her words.”—My Guilty Obsession
“Robson [is] an amazing author that captivates you with her words . . . I enjoyed [Once Kissed] immensely.”—Collector of Book Boyfriends & Girlfriends
“I was very pleased with Once Kissed and all it offered. Especially the laughs.”—Christy’s Love of Books

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101883556
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 11/03/2015
Series: O'Brien Family Series , #1
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 293
Sales rank: 54,537
File size: 919 KB

About the Author

Cecy Robson is the author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels, the upcoming Carolina Beach novels, and the award-winning Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A double-nominated RITA Award finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she can typically be found on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1


“Are you seriously kidding me?” I nail my brother with my best cop face. Any perp would freeze, curse, or take off running. Declan doesn’t so much as blink. It shouldn’t surprise me. He’s never been the type to run from a fight, even before he earned his title as assistant DA.

“Curran, quit your bitching. It’s a cake assignment,” he says. “Look at it as a break until you’re back on the job.”

“You sayin’ I can’t do the job?”

Declan’s jaw tightens hard enough to stiffen every muscle in his face. Either I pissed him off or I’m onto something. “I’m saying it wouldn’t hurt to have more time before you’re back on the streets,” he answers, keeping his voice low. “What happened to your partner Joey isn’t something you just get over.”

“Who’s saying I’m over it? I know I screwed up.” And so does everyone on the force, I don’t add. “That doesn’t mean I’m washed up or can’t do my job.”

Declan’s already stiff posture tenses even more. “I never said you were washed up, or that you can’t—”

“Might as well have.”

“Curran, don’t you get it? It’s not a punishment.”

“Don’t you get it? While you’re sitting here behind a desk, I got dealers and gangbangers offing people left and right—and you’re asking me to play bodyguard to your librarian.”

Declan leans back in his office chair, clearly annoyed, but also worried. “She’s not a librarian, Curran. She’s an intern in her last year of law school who’s helping me with research in the Montenegro case.”

“Like I said, librarian.”

“Jesus. Just help me out, will ya?” he snaps, rubbing his forehead hard.

Ya? Okay, now he’s pissed. Behind that new suit, clean-shaven face, and hundred-dollar haircut, my brother’s Philly through and through. One more smartass comment from me and the “youz” are going to drop like water ice and his fist will swing my way.

With a groan, Declan pushes away from his desk and stands to face the window. Useless gesture, if you ask me. His view is a brick wall. But I suppose it’s either that or pace, and his closet-sized office isn’t big enough to take more than a few steps.

The thing is, I can read faces. He knows as much, and doesn’t want me to read his now. “Curran. This is my chance to move up,” he says. “Zabrinski, head of Homicide, is retiring in a few months. I’ve paid my dues, worked the shit cases, and won trials seasoned DAs thought I should plead out.” He looks at me then. “If I can put Montenegro away, it would upset organized crime from here to Jersey.”

“And seal your position in Homicide,” I finish for him.

“Yeah. It would.”

I cross my arms. “So why the hell do I have to babysit your librarian? If anything, I should be watching your back. You painted a bull’s-eye on your forehead by taking this case. Vincent Montenegro isn’t just a mob boss. He’s a legend only a dumbass would cross.” I roll my eyes at his glare. “Calm your shit—you know what I mean.”

“Don’t you think I know that? It’s the reason I don’t want anyone else helping me with this case. No other names. No one but me for the mob to target.”

“And no one else to steal your glory,” I add, which earns me yet another glare. “Declan, I know you want the promotion, just like I know you want the street cred. But don’t be stupid and get yourself killed in the process. Let me watch your back. The librarian can get another badge to shadow her.”

“I already have someone watching me.”

I straighten. “One of the boys in blue?”

“Actually a few. They alternate nights. When I’m at the office, or courtside, the detectives and sheriffs here have my back. Contessa will be—”

“Contessa? Is that even a real name?” Declan coughs into his fist in a lame attempt to muffle his laugh. “Damn. If it doesn’t mean ‘I have a stick rammed up my ass,’ I don’t know what does.”

My remark only makes my big bro laugh harder. “She’s . . . intense, and at times rigid, I’ll give you that.”

“Like I said, stick up the ass.”

“She’s a hard worker and a nice young lady, I assure you.”

I assure you, I repeat in my head. Okay, the Philly boy has officially left the building.

“Curran, just take the assignment. From what we hear, Montenegro isn’t going to go to prison without making a lot of noise. The badges assigned to this case have the smarts to watch my back and theirs.”

“But no one’s guarding the poor homely intern’s back. I get it.”

A sly grin edges across his face. “I never said she was homely, bro.”

Customer Reviews

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Once Kissed: An O'Brien Family Novel 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
gaele More than 1 year ago
Curran is a police officer, still working through the guilt of a moment gone wrong when his partner, a rookie was almost killed. While everything sorts itself out from the administrative side, Curran has been placed on a security detail at the District Attorney’s office – for what he imagines will be a major yawn fest. He’s not happy with the whole idea, but his ‘assignment’ is both intriguing and somehow familiar. Tess is in that strange middle ground of life: a good girl who worked incredibly hard to prove herself and build a solid reputation has to fight both the perceptions of others because of her father, and find a way to work around the control and meddling he exerts on her life. Getting the plum assignment working for Declan O’Brien on a major case, she’s excited to prove herself. And then, she is given a security detail. Once in her young life Tess has let down her guard and it had to be with HIM. The hot cop in uniform who is looking at her like a tiger at a sika deer. And all of her insecurities come to light. Together these two are adorable: Curran has a habit of joking when things are uncomfortable, or to get to the point, and his humor comes forward repeatedly here: keeping everyone off guard and letting him deal with his own trials in private. Tess is learning that she has more strength than she believed, and she does have choices and options. In fact, one is right there at arm’s length – Curran. Robson builds characters that are HUMAN – no they aren’t always doing the right thing, or even particularly likable all the time, but you understand them and their struggles, and like them even more for the growth and heart they display. When you add in the family relationship between the O’Briens and that lovely mix of personalities that fights, picks, supports and above all loves one another no matter what, this story becomes so much more than just a tale about Curran and Tess. As a first story for the series, the introductions to the family, the heart that beams through and the intrigue coming from outside with the trial and Tess’ history with her father and the issues that causes you won’t be able to put this one down. I purchased a copy of the title for my personal library. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 3 months ago
BananaTricky More than 1 year ago
First off, hate the cover! I've read two of the other books in the O'Brien series - Declan's story with Melissa and Seamus' story with Allie - and wanted to read about the other family members, so this is where it all began with Curran. Curran is currently only administrative leave after his partner was shot in the line of duty. His older brother Declan, the District Attorney, is putting together a case against one of the biggest crime families in Philly and needs someone he trusts to provide police protection to the intern who is assisting him with the case - who better than his little brother? Contessa Newart comes from a family with lots of money, she's desperate to get away from her controlling father and is working hard to get her degree whilst taking an unpaid internship in the hopes of landing a prestigious job in law when she graduates. Imagine her horror when her boss introduces her to his younger brother and police protection - none other than the loud brash frat boy she had a freaky one-night stand with at college - awks! For his part Curran thinks this is a ridiculous assignment, cooked up by his chief because no-one on the force trusts him after he got his partner shot. Imagine his surprise when the mousy, nerdy girl from college that gave him the best night of his life is his new assignment. Together Curran and Tessa are both sweet and hot. I loved them, I loved the slow build, I loved meetings the rest of the O'Briens for the first time, I loved seeing the infamous moment when Declan hit on Melissa for a bet, I loved the hot steamy sex.
jeniNY More than 1 year ago
Back in college Tess Newart had a momentary lapse of sanity and decided to shed her good girl image for one night of passionate crazy sex with the most gorgeous guy on campus Curran O’Brien. She secretly had a crush on him so when he showed her some attention at a party one night she threw caution to the wind and had the best sex of her life ever. She never expected to run into Curran years later forget about having the now sexy cop become her body guard. Tess is in law school interning at the DA’s office involved in a high profile case with Curran’s brother the DA. She plans on keeping it strictly business she can’t afford to mess up her future with a fling with Curran—no matter how tempting. Curran is a superstar cop rising in the ranks of the Philly police department. When his rookie partner is nearly killed while working with Curran the incident has him losing his confidence. He’s out to prove he is not a danger to himself or his peers so when he gets assigned a job babysitting the DA’s intern he is anything but pleased. Until he realizes the intern is none other than the hot one-night stand from college who tied him up and gave him some of the best sex he’s ever had. I was so excited to finally read more about the O’Brien family. I loved Killian O’Brien in the Shattered Past series and I knew that the rest of the O’Brien family would be awesome. I was not wrong. Curran is a smartass fun loving cop with a secret he hopes to keep buried deep. He believes it’s his fault that his rookie partner was hurt on the job and he silently struggles with PTSD. Tess is a shy law student looking to get out from under her abusive father’s thumb. Curran and Tess couldn’t be more opposite, yet as they say opposites attract. The chemistry between these two characters comes to light right from their first meeting. They both try to keep it professional when Curran is assigned to be her bodyguard during a high profile murder case. However, they quickly realize their attraction is too strong to deny. They embark on a sweet and sexy relationship that I was so happy to be able to be a part of. Cecy Robson does a great job with character development and making you care about her characters and the obstacles they face. Curran is dealing with PTSD from the incident that caused his partner to be put in a wheelchair. Tess is dealing with her lifelong abuse physically and verbally at the hands of her father. This is two people who need each other to heal. When the two finally open up to each other their love grows and it is just magical. I highly recommend this author, this series and the Shattered Past series as well. Cecy has a way of bringing a big dose of reality into all her stories and it is pleasure to read her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Was a really good book. Good story line. The Obrien stories are all good, this one a little mystery, sex, and abuse and love.It's got it all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LOVED this book...perfect amount of passion and some suspense....had to hide my phone at work to keep reading cuz I couldn't stop!
WildHeartReviews More than 1 year ago
Once Kissed is the first book in the O’Brien Family series by Cecy Robson. It’s also the first book I’ve ready by this particular author but it will not be the last. It is a full length novel, it has no cliffhanger, and yes, it does have an HEA. The story is told from a dual third person point-of-view between the hero and heroine. This story intrigued me from the start. I’m a sucker for second chance romances, but this one was completely different. The characters knew each other, but it was from a one night stand, not from a prior relationship. Even just -how- they knew each other was enough to make me request an ARC of this book. I wasn’t disappointed. From the get go, you have two characters, with a ton of chemistry, and a past that will make you laugh at times. The co-stars in Once Kissed will also have you wanting to read more. Not just from this book, but you’re rooting for them to get their own. The pacing was great, it doesn’t lag out, you don’t get bored and it’s not one of those books that you’ll have the plot figured out before the end of it. I gave it a solid four stars. The writing is on point, the characters have depth, and overall it was a funny and attention capturing read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I couldnt put this book down. I LOVE the obryans and cant wait until the next book. I loved having a couple of scenes with some old characters, as ive missed them. Definitely a must read series.
Lab228 More than 1 year ago
Having read all the Shattered Past series, I was looking forward to this one. I like how the characters from the Shattered Past series are intertwined with this book. However you do not need to read those first to enjoy this book. While in law school, Tess works as an intern at the District Attorney’s office. She is handed the opportunity to work in a high profile case with the Assistant District Attorney, Declan. Since this case involves a certain amount of risk of retaliation by the accused, Tess is provided protection. The cop assigned to her is Declan’s brother, Curran. He makes it known he is less than thrilled with the assignment. But because he is on modified duty he figures this is more exciting than sitting at a desk. When they first meet each other, they are shocked. They have a past. One thing I like about this author is she is able to not only to pull at your emotional strings, but she does it in a humorous way. Both Tess and Curran are dealing with deep emotional baggage. However I did not think it detracted from the story. What I like about this book is the romance builds over time; it is not insta-love. The characters are well developed and complex. There is not a lot of internal dialogue to distract from the story. By the end, Curran and Tess are able to confront their demons. I like how Tess has the confidence to confront her father. She also sets the tone for the next book. So far I have not been disappointed in any book by Cecy Robson. I look forward to Declan’s story next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pretty good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I absolutely love Cecy's writing and this one sure doesn't disappoint! She writes subject matter that happens on a daily basis and doesnt cut corners when pulling her punches. This is a spin off of her Shattered series bringing the spotlight to Curran, Killian's brother. In college he had a crazy one night stand that as he put it "rocked his world." 4 years later he is a cop and is assigned to guard none other than his one night stand. Tess had her one night of indiscretion and wanted to leave it at that. As soon as she see's Curran she knows she's in trouble. Having him guard her and make sure her father doesn't know or try to interfere takes a toll on Tess. But is she willing to stand up to him? I love Curran. His sense of humor, his fierce need to protect what's his, and most of all his heart. He isn't one to play games and its exactly what Tess needs. And he needs her as well, especially to overcome what happened while on duty. I recommend this series and its totally not necessary to have read the shattered series.
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
After a tragic accident on the job, Curran has been placed on light duty. When his brother asks him to watch over his new intern during a high-profile case, he tries to refuse but is eventually talked into it. When Tess sees the cop that is supposed to watch over her, she's shocked to find that it's the one guy she had an indiscretion with in college. As they start to get close, it gets harder and harder for them to keep their secrets from each other. I loved this book. The author does an amazing job of creating characters whose lives aren't perfect and have went through don't very bad experiences. I loved seeing characters from her other series pop in too! I highly recommend it especially to those that don't like to just read the smooth easygoing books. **I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review
Under_The_Covers_BookBlog More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Angela and posted at Under The Covers Book Blog Once Kissed is the first installment from The O’brien Family and a spin-off from Shattered Past series. While Shattered Past focused on the Santos siblings, O’brien Family will focus on, well, the O’brien siblings. First up is Curran who is a Philly cop assigned on light duty due to a recent incident that resulted with his partner getting seriously hurt. This assignment is suppose to get him back on track. He’s not happy about it but it has its perks. The lady he’ll be protecting is no other than his one-night-stand from college, Tess Newart. He and Tess has changed quite a bit since the. but it’s obvious that the attraction remains the same. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. They both have demons that can prevent them from getting their happy-ending. Curran suffers from PTSD and Tess, an abusive father, not to mention the danger she is in by working with the District Attorney and simply, the pressures of life. I loved the opposite-attract vibe in their relationship. Curran is funny, flirty, and sexy while Tes sported a librarian look, very serious and very closed off. Despite the difference the pairing worked and not a sight of instalove in their relationship. Kudos to Cecy Robson, the romance was well done! The O’brien siblings together was a sight to be held. They were hilarious with their banters and teased each other to the brink of annoyance and embarrassment but in the end, the love and loyalty between them is strong and palpable. These siblings truly captured my heart. They are all down to earth, not just with their personalities, but the lives they live. There were are no gazilionaires with a tortured past in sight but honest to goodness regular people…down to earth. Curran’s brother Killian already had his book and there are a total of seven siblings. I’m excited to read all their stories. I’m not quite sure who’s up next but whether it’s Angus, Seamus, Declan, Finnie, or Wren, I’m confident that Ms. Robson will not disappoint. She hasn’t yet.
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
I admit it, Cecy Robson had me from the start. Two adults, one a “bad boy” cop, tough, strong and dedicated to his career is assigned to be security for the Assistant DA’s Assistant in a high profile case that could prove deadly. Making it even more difficult, the ADA is his powerful and outspoken brother, the one with the high conviction rate and the Mob surely won’t take this sitting down. Really, the assistant is also at risk? This was one of my favorite parts…in walks a beautiful an d all grown up version of the best one night stand he had in college and he knew her as Argyle Socks. It wasn’t until he saw those socks again, that he realized who his was to be body guard for. Tess recognized Curran immediately and crawling under a rock would have been preferable to seeing the light go on and hearing the words he uttered. Can you say less than stellar reunion? Fur flying? Words exchanged? Teeth bared? Once Kissed by Cecy Robson is like a science experiment that explodes with humor, tension, danger and steaming heat! Can Curran protect this woman from his past, a woman he never quite forgot? Can Tess endure his sexy comments knowing she has never forgotten him? More importantly, can Curran maintain enough distance to act in a professional manner or will Tess help him break all the rules and put them both in even more danger? Objectivity and vigilance is a must to keep her alive and Curran is losing both rapidly, only his commitment to never fail another causes more turmoil. Cecy Robson has a wonderful start to a sexy new series about brothers, because you KNOW, where there is one hot brother, there must be a few more, right? Her writing is smooth and her story is filled with heat, suspense and passion as two hearts reconnect, the world becomes a dangerous place to be in and the mob is on their tails. Through it all? Great dialogue! Great reading, kind of fun and sexy at the same time! A great journey to a sigh-worthy ending! I received an ARC edition from Loveswept in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
bc2mc3 More than 1 year ago
This is the first book that I have read by this author and was a little skeptical when I first started it. But, like with many other books by authors I have never read before, it didn't take me long to become involved in the storyline and the characters. Curran is an O'Brien who has six siblings. I sense this the is the start of a series about the O'Briens and if so, I will be waiting to read more of the family. Curran is a police officer and his brother, Declan, is the Assistant DA. Contessa is an unpaid intern for Declan and is finishing her last year of law school. She is under the thumb of her father who is a weathly, well known person in the community. Although he is not physically abusive, he is emotionally abusive. Curran and Contessa are the H/h and I really enjoyed their story. This was a fun read and as I said, I'm looking forward to more books about the O'Brien family. Thanks as always to Netgalley and the Publisher for allowing me to read and review this book.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4 heartwarming stars I really enjoyed Once Kissed, loved both Curran and Tess. They were fun, likable, interesting and entertaining characters. Loved watching them interact and fall in love. What a great start to the O'Brien Family series, looking forward to Once Crossed: An O'Brien Family Novel
EWright16 More than 1 year ago
Once Kissed was an absolutely wonderful read. The characters, the O'Brien family in particular, are vivid and real in a way that is hard to find. Both Curran and Tess broke my heart all the way through this book. Curran is suffering from PTSD after the near murder of his partner, and Poor Tess has been abused at her father's hands for her entire life. He has her so beaten down, albeit without physically hitting her, that she has no sense of self worth at all. At least not outside of school and her work for Cullen's brother. Cullen and Tess so clearly need each other but are afraid to connect, to be hurt or let down. This story wasn't all angst however. In true O'Brien fashion there are plenty of light moments of banter, innuendo, and family fun. I am really excited to have found Cecy Robson. She is super talented and writes amazing stories that are just a joy to read.
Debby43 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy Cecy Robson's writing style. Her characters seem to flow easily and she does tension between characters really well. This story is the first in a new series for her. It does have some characters from another series in it but can be read as a standalone book. Tess is just trying to make it through. Only a couple more months until the end of law school which marks the end of her father's controlling ways. Anyone looking in on this woman would see a penthouse suite, an ipad, and a rich daddy. However he only lets her have certain things at certain times and she is not to make him angry. Tess' character while somewhat strong wasn't strong enough for me. She wasn't afraid to stand up to people at work, Curran, or things she believed in. However she wouldn't try to stand for herself. Of course as the book goes on she seems to get a big stronger. I might have been reading to many books lately with super strong female leads so that might be my biggest complaint with this book. As much control her father has of her I would assume she would be more timid with more men. I of course have never been in her situation so I am unsure of how I would react. Curran on the other had was a great character. His background is of course just as tough. He comes from a wonderful family a big family (which I love). He is a cop and has gone through some rough things being a cop. He of course instantly recognizes Tess from that one night involving argyle socks. (I will never look at argyle socks the same way again!!) He can hardly believe his luck. Of course Tess has changed some... but Curran has changed a lot. He is no longer the party frat boy type. He's a serious cop with serious cop baggage. One thing he does know getting picked to guard Tessa the "librarian" may be the best job he's ever gotten. I did enjoy the chemistry in this book. Curran really fought to keep things professional but you know how that goes in an HEA book. I feel like the "surprise" later in the book was kind of predictable. Maybe it was just me ... but I almost wish it wouldn't have happened. The story line with the big family is great. I enjoyed the banter between the family members. I would definitely purchase the next book in this series.
scambra More than 1 year ago
I can honestly say that I love everything that Cecy Robson writes. She has never disappointed me! Once Kissed is a great start to the O'Brien Family series. Got to love her characters. The story of Curran & Tess will keep you turning the pages. Pretty much everything out of Curran's mouth made me laugh. What I loved most is the way they were there for each other. Both have demons from the past to fight, but together they can take on anything. I'm ready for more O'Brien stories!
stanhope3234 More than 1 year ago
4.75* I loved this book and it's a great start to a new series. I was so happy when I started to read the familiar names in the story. I didn't know it was a spinoff of the last book I read by Cecy Robson and one I immensely enjoyed "Once Pure (Shattered Past bk 3)". Curran O'Brien is a cop on a sort of leave and the brother of the Assistant DA Declan O'Brien who is on the verge of trying one of Philly's biggest mob bosses. His only law assistant is Contessa "Tess" Newart and he needs Curran to be one of her bodyguards. Unknown to the DA they've meet before in college and had a night full of passion hot smoking sex. That is until her father the head of the college found them and ended anything that could of been. Years and so many secrets later these two with a explosive chemistry are made to spend time together and try to keep their hands off each other. They could have it all if only they can work through their many problems. I can not wait to read the next book in this series.
PennieM More than 1 year ago
This is one of those books you should not start unless you are prepared to not do anything else until you finish it. Tess is an intern for the DA in her final semester of law school and working on an important case which could put her in jeopardy. The DA in charge as put his brother, Curran, in charge of her safety. These two people were truly made for each other. They are both damaged souls in need of healing. Curran, after a shooting which leaves his partner paralyzed and Tess (Contessa) who has been emotionally abused by her father all her life. Watching Tess come into her own was beautiful. I cannot wait for more of this series and seeing what is up with the rest of this family. **Received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. **