Updated: Jan 21
by Cecy Robson
Published by Cecy Robson, LLC
Book #4 in the O'Brien Family Series
Declan O’Brien was always driven to take his place among Philly’s elite,
working hard for everything he’s earned, including the title of Assistant District Attorney. He’s won seemingly impossible cases, so he’s furious when he’s assigned to lead the one unit he doesn’t want.
Melissa Fenske was born hearing impaired to a neglectful mother, finding solace when she was adopted by a young attorney, now Declan’s boss. As the current Director of Victim Services, Melissa’s livid when Declan is placed in the main unit she oversees. She can’t forget their disastrous first encounter. Or shake how he makes her feel.
Declan considers the assignment another step toward his political aspirations, despite that he can’t get Melissa out of his mind. Melissa sees Declan as egotistical and self-serving, kicking herself for how fast she’s falling for him. Someone as hot, smooth, and perfect as Declan isn’t supposed to want her.
In another situation with any other woman, Declan wouldn’t hesitate to take Melissa to bed. But she is the boss’s daughter, and for once, Declan finds himself wanting more than just a one night stand.
Neither counted on each other. Both just met their match.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Romance Feel Good
Feel Me by Cecy Robson is the 4th book in the O'Brien Family series, and is written from the second eldest son's POV, Declan O'Brien, a highly successful Assistant District Attorney, and on the fast track to being mayor, and Melissa Fenske, Director of Victim Services.
I have been waiting to read Declan and Melissa's story since book one in the series, where they first met in a diner, after Declan bet Curran that he could get any woman Curran picked out for him, using his charm. Curran points to Melissa, an attractive woman, yet not Declan's usual size 0 model type, and Declan goes to introduce himself. Only she ignores him. When he sat down in front of her, he asked "What are you, deaf? I'm trying to tell you you're beautiful," not realizing, that in fact, she is hearing impaired. She storms up embarrassed and angry, and Declan felt like an ass, and felt truly bad. He seemingly forgot about the encounter, until his boss introduces him to the D.A's office newest director of Victim Service, and his daughter, Melissa ... the same woman he failed to pick up, and insulted.
So their first meeting didn't go well. As you can expect. Melissa had no issues telling her Dad what happened, and she thought Declan was an asshole. We also get a glimpse of their working relationship in Wren's story, in book 3. They were in a meeting, when Curran and Wren show up to talk to Declan. Declan thanks Melissa for her help on a case, and tries to use ASL to tell her to go home and go to bed, as she has been working hard. Only problem, he does it wrong, and instead tells her to go home and go fuck herself ... earning him another "you asshole", and her storming out embarrassed and upset again.
Their disastrous encounters were entertaining, so I couldn't wait to dive into this story. Their story is a good one. Her father, the current District Attorney, is forced to take a leave of absence, and wants to make Declan acting D.A. in his absence, much to Melissa's objection. He also places Declan as Director of her unit, where she will need to work closely with Declan on sensitive cases. After working together for several weeks, they grow from enemies, to friends. Their attraction to one another grows, until they end up dating.
This leads me to my ONLY issue with the book. I feel like there was a lot of time jumps. Whereas with the past three O'Brien books ... hell, even the Shattered Past series, you get to experience what these characters are going through, and their conversations that slowly take them from friends to lovers. I kind of feel like this book skipped out on that. We went right from Melissa not wanting to work with him, to several weeks later, learning that them working together made them closer, as friends, and an attraction formed. Before they even have their first date, she loves him. It's not that the characters don't have chemistry together. The story is great. I just wish we got to see more of the in between stuff that gets these characters where they end up.
I really liked Melissa's character. I love that she is described as the complete opposite of Declan's usual super model body type. She is more of a Marilyn Monroe with brown hair. I love that she owns her curves, and Declan ends up loving them just as much. She is kind and intelligent. I loved her quirk, her love of cheesy erotica novels. I loved that she has a disability, because it adds a depth to her character, makes her vulnerable, and brings awareness to how hard to world can be to someone who is hearing impaired. And I really love that Cecy Robson didn't make her some inexperienced woman, who never been with a man because of her hearing impairment ... Melissa might not be able to hear, but it didn't get in the way of having an active romantic life.
I liked Declan too. He is not my favorite of the O'Brien family, but I liked him. He is obviously passionate about his job and goals, intelligent, and charming. I love him around his family, when he can truly be himself. He was truly confusing though, and I understand why Melissa walked away when she did. Why stay with a man who says he loves you, but doesn't believe in it?
This is when we come to another time jump, a month later, and Declan has decided he believes in love with her and tries to get back together with her. I'm glad he realizes this ... but I would have liked to see his struggles in that month, and how he finally came to that realization.
In the end, I loved the story itself. The romance, and the tough as hell cases were intriguing, and I found myself not being able to put the book down (I finished it in a day). The time jumps that skip over their building feelings for one another, and skips over Declan finally figuring out how he feels and accepting it, bums me out though, and I found it surprising that Cecy Robson skips over this. Her past books have many moments of emotional intimacy, so I was sad we didn't get a lot of it in this book. I do still recommend it, but sadly, it's the weakest of the O'Brien series to date.
Top 3 Favorite Moments
1. Declan joining Miles and Melissa for dinner, and them making fun of each other's exes
2. Melissa and her Dad cuddling, them remembering when they became a family.
3. Declan and Melissa in the limo
4. (bonus) Declan getting Melissa back in the end, with all those cheesy romance books she likes
5. (bonus!) The epilogue
Where to Buy:
I rap on the door.
Tess: "Just a minute!"
There's some fumbling.
Tess: "Come in."
Declan: "Hey, Tess."
I roll my eyes when I realize who's here. No wonder she needed a minute.
I shut the door behind me
Declan: "Curran, what the hell?"
Curran: "You have a problem with me kissing my wife?"
Declan: "She's at work."
Curran: "I haven't seen her since I left for my shift yesterday. You act like we were fu-"
Tess: "Curran. Declan, I would never engage in the activity your brother suggested at the office. I take my job seriously and will only behave in the professional matter you've come to expect from me."
Declan: "Oh, I know you wouldn't engage."
Curran: *laughs* "You calling me unprofessional?"
Declan: "No, I'm calling you a horny bastard."
Curran: "I'll give you that."
Tess: *groans* "God, it's like I married a teenager. Behave."
Curran: "You're either going to be at each other's throats or in each other's beds."
Curran: "What? Just speaking the truth, angel face."
Declan: "What makes you think we'll end up in bed? We work together for hell's sake."
Curran: "Been there, bro. Remember? You see, when two hot bodies spend that much time together, it doesn't take long before the sexy broad throws herself at you, so taken by your wit and ruggedly handsome face she can't see straight, and begging you to please her with your super-sized masculine regions and whoop-whoop-whooping when you finally do. *he holds out his hands* What can I say? Professional or not, I am a man - A generous man who couldn't leave that sexy broad hanging, especially when she's clawing off my clothes and leaping onto my lap like a seasoned gymnast. Isn't that right, babe?"
Tess flips the page, not bothering to glance up when she answers.
Tess: "I may have to beat you to death."
Declan: "Boobs? Did you seriously just use that word? What are you, twelve?"
Curran: "Well, technically she signed 'tits' I think. But Tess says I'm not allowed to say that word because it's vulgar and demeaning. Unless of course we're fu-"
Declan: "How the hell did you end up together? You're going to fucking drain the class right out of her."
Curran: "I'm classy."
Tess: "Of course you are, my beloved."
Declan: "You think you can draw something for me?"
Rosana: "You want me to draw you a picture?"
Declan: "Yeah. Why not?"
Rosana: "What do you want me to draw?"
Declan: "How about me?"
Declan: "Sure. Draw me as you see me. Or, I don't know, on a white stallion with the sun setting behind me. Just be sure to catch my right side. It's my best side."
Interpreter: "Oh, D.A. O'Brien, you're so funny!"
Rosana: "This is the guy who's gonna save me?"
Melissa: "Just be sure to catch his good side."
Melissa: "I just never expected you to be so ... You."
Declan: "You say that like it's a bad thing."
Melissa starts to blush.
Declan: "Are you blushing?"
Melissa: "I don't blush."
Declan: "I don't know. I've made plenty of women blush in my life ..."
Melissa: "Oh, I'm sure you have, counselor."
Declan: "... and I'm pretty sure that's a blush you have going on. Hmm, it might be one of my best ones yet."
Melissa: "Is there something you need help with Assistant District Attorney O'Brien? I'm very busy."
Declan: "No, I just came in here to see if you're mad at me. Nice to know you're not."
Declan: "My Lusty Highlander. My Pirate, My Lover? The Naked Cowboy who Deflowered Me? You -"
He pauses, as if gathering his words. But when he swallows hard enough to bounce his Adam's apple. it's clear he's trying not to laugh.
Declan: "You like this sort of thing?"
Melissa: "Of course not!"
Declan: "Then why do you have them?"
Melissa: "I picked them up at a used bookstore."
Declan: "They sell crotch-less panties at that bookstore?"
Tess: "What are you doing here, cop?"
Curran: "Watching you get me hot."
Tess: "Curran, I'm at work."
Curran: "What? It's not like I grabbed your ass like last time."
Melissa: "I like that wife of yours."
Curran: "I do, too. She's perfect."
Declan: "What did you mean when you told her physical appearance shouldn't matter? Are you saying she only talks to me because I'm pretty?"
Melissa: "You think you're pretty?"
Declan: "You don't?"
Melissa: "Fish for compliments much?"
Declan: "I don't usually have to. I know that shocks you."
Melissa: "Nothing really shocks me about you, Declan, except for your ongoing love affair with yourself.
I return to my pad of paper, adding "must kick Declan's ass" to my to-do list.
Declan: "So are you going to tell me?"
Melissa: "Whether or not I think you're pretty?" I ask, underlining the ass kicking and adding a star. "You don't need me to, do you? I'm sure any one of your groupies would be more than happy to tell you between bows."
Declan: "Next question. How do you know so much about being dominated?"
Melissa: "I've spent a few nights at Club Hurt."
Water spews from his mouth, drenching the plastic takeout bag in front of him. I rush around the desk when he starts to choke, smacking his back a few time.
Melissa: "Are you okay?"
Declan: "You've seriously been there?"
Melissa: "I have. Tricia asked me to go so I can understand her lifestyle. Those things I said, about being stimulated and sexually freed are more or less what she and her Doms told me."
Declan: "Just so I'm clear, you went to Club Hurt and watched Tricia get spanked?"
Melissa: "That's her preference. But I only went because I wanted her to trust me and open up."
Declan: "By whipping her?"
Melissa: *laughing* "I didn't whip her, Declan. And I didn't watch either. I simply met privately with her and her favorite Doms. No one was in leather, in fact, one of the Doms was dressed in flannel."
Melissa: "It was cold in the office."
Declan: *laughs* "You know what I mean. Why did you meet with her and her buddies?"
Melissa: "I told you. So she'd trust me. A woman in Tricia's position wants to be understood, but given her history, she has some serious trust issues. She wanted me to be sympathetic to her lifestyle before she's open up. So I went. The ball gag made it a little hard to breathe through, but I did okay."
He laughs again, but then quiets the longer he watches me.
Melissa: "Before we get back to Tricia, I need to -"
Declan: "About your dad."
Declan: "He's - look, there are seven of us kids in the family. Six boys, and one girl who could kick out asses if we pissed her off enough. My mother raised us in a tiny three bedroom row home. She owned her own dry cleaning service and worked herself to exhaustion to put us through Catholic school. She's take us to church every Sunday so God wouldn't strike us dead for all the sins we'd commit Monday through Saturday. If it wasn't for her, none of us would have made it out of the neighborhood we were raised in alive. We barely knew our father. When he wasn't working his part time job at the post office, he was in bed with his mistress. Those baseball games dads take their kids to? It was our mother who took us, and paid for our popcorn and drinks because that's all she could afford. Those sports we were all in, the ones fathers are supposed to attend and cheer you on at? That was my mother yelling, and my brothers and sister cheering. Ideally we're supposed to have parents, a team that works together for their kids. But sometimes the team sucks, and only one parent steps up. That's okay. You have one good one, you can take on the fucking world. That's what your dad and my mother were to us."
Melissa: "Declan. I know Tricia is a challenging witness and somewhat hard to like."
Declan: "Hard to like? She asked me if I've ever taken it up the ass when I asked her to explain what happened when Morris entered her apartment. You heard that, right? And when I tried to redirect her she told me how she'd have fun shaving my boys."
Melissa: "She wasn't in a good place today."
Declan: "I don't know about that. She offered to buy me my first butt lug."
Melissa: "Declan ..."
Declan: "That was nice of her, don't you think? Oh, but the real treat was when she told me she'd get one with my birthstone on it."
Melissa: "I realize -"
Declan: "My fucking birthstone, Mel. I didn't even know they bedazzled that shit. Did you? If that doesn't say welcome to SACU, I don't know what does."
Melissa: "I thought you didn't date women you work with?"
Declan: "I'll make the exception for you."
Declan: "So when are you going to have dinner with me?"
Melissa: "I thought we decided it wasn't a good idea."
Declan: "No. You said it wasn't a good idea. I'm saying it is. I know I'm not one of those half-naked cowboys on the cover of those naughty books you like ..."
I bite down on my bottom lip to keep from laughing.
Declan: "Or a pirate on the seven seas, my bare chest exposed to the wicked winds. And if you want the truth, I don't even own a kilt.
I cover my mouth.
Declan: "But I'm not so bad. And if it's the kind of thing that turns you on, I'm sure I can find a place that rents ass-less chaps."
Melissa: "No need for ass-less chaps, I assure you."
Declan: "What about a parrot and an eye patch? Are pointy nipple pirates more your style?"
Melissa: "No. I like you just the way you are."
Melissa: "Dad, behave. You're already in trouble with ,e. Cozy dinner my Aunt Fanny."
Miles: "You hear how she treats me? You'd think after all those dates I gave up to take her to the movies, and door to door selling those damn cookies, she'd show me a little respect.
She crinkles her nose, laughing, although she's trying to sound annoyed.
Melissa: "You never gave up any dates. If anything, you used your sweet little innocent daughter to get them."
Miles: "Bull shit."
Melissa: "Okay, we'll let Declan be the judge."
Declan: "Oh, no. I'm only here for a delicious drama free meal."
Melissa motions to her breasts