Feel Me by Cecy Robson Book Review
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
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.
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
Melissa: "Okay, you might have guessed I hit puberty a little young. Dad was oblivious. 'You don't need those things', he said when I asked him to take me bra shopping."
Declan: "Those things?"
Miles: "Declan, I was more prepared to fly a plane around the world than I was for puberty. You'll forgive me if I wasn't exactly jumping up and down."
Melissa: "He was mortified. At first."
Declan: "Oh, yeah?"
Miles face reddens as he chuckles.
Melissa: "Mmm-hmm. And I honestly felt bad for making him take me. But turns out, if you want to pick up women, all you have to do is take your little daughter to Victoria's Secret and tell the horde - that's right horde of sales associates who rush you - and all the single mothers shopping there with their daughters listening in - how you don't know the first thing about lingerie. And how tough it is being a single dad and trying to do right by your daughter -"
Miles: "She's exaggerating."
Melissa: "Am I? How many phone numbers did you get the first time we went there?"
Miles: "Six, maybe seven."
Melissa: *rolling her eyes* "More like nine. His social calendar was booked for the next month. By your third date, I no longer believed you were hanging pictures in your bedroom."
Declan: "Hanging pictures?"
Melissa: "It's how he explained all the banging coming from his bedroom."
I almost spit out my water, making Miles crack up and hang tight to his side.
Declan: "How many women were you taking home?"
Miles: "There weren't that many women. But enough that warranted an excuse, however pathetic."
Melissa: "He used to sneak them out in the morning before I'd see them. But I knew those tramps were there."
Miles: "They weren't tramps. At least twenty-two to twenty-eight percent attended church on a regular basis."
Melissa: "Nice, Daddy."
Declan: "I see your point. But everything I've come to know about Melissa shows me you did a damn good job."
Miles: "Hopefully, but as a parent you always wish you could have done better, said something a little differently, tried a little harder, and opened your mind a little more. She's my greatest gift, but one I don't think I've given enough back to."
Declan: "Miles, Melissa couldn't have asked for a better mother or father than you."
Miles: "God, I hope so."
With a sigh, she reaches for her phone.
Declan: "What are you doing? We're just getting started."
Melissa: "Don't worry, this will only take a minute."
Holds up phone.
Melissa: "Hi. It's Melissa Fenske ... No, nothing's wrong. I'm having dinner with my dad and Declan. Is Curran home?"
All traces of humor immediately dissolve from my face.
Melissa: "Hey, Curran. Declan is here asking my father about my ex-boyfriend. But I don't want him to feel left out, seeing how we're only talking about me and not him. Care to share any interesting stories about his past girlfriends or hook-ups? ... You would?"
She bats my hand away when I try to reach for the phone.
Melissa: "Great, I'll put you on speaker."
Declan: "For shit's sake."
Curran: "Her name was Wrestling Rhonda Signaterri also known as Rhonda the Wrangler."
No ... no ... Fuck.
Melissa: "What an interesting nickname. I wonder how she acquired a name like that."
Curran: "Wonder no more. So Rhonda was hot - a slutty kind of hot - but still hot. She liked to wrestle, as in got off on it. Oh, can your dad hear me?"
Miles: *laughing* "Yes."
Curran: "Good. I don't want him to miss a thing. Anyway, so Declan, of course, challenges her to a wrestling match, trying to get her worked up so maybe they can wrestle afterwards with their clothes off, if you know what I mean."
Melissa and Miles: "Oh, we know"
Curran: "Anyway, Declan wins, or so he thought. Rhonda's breathing fast and so is he. They run back to our house knowing the house is empty and our mother is at work. But me and my brothers were curious to see if Deck gets the job done, or in this case, Rhonda done. We sneak back to the house only to find Declan tied to Ma's bed, spread eagle wearing nothing, but a pair of tighty-whities and a grin. All our shit - out TV, our sound system, everything is gone. Turns out while he was sleeping off the experience with Rhonda the Wrestler, her brothers Patrick the Prowler and Theodore the Thug robbed us blind."
Melissa and Miles aren't laughing. They're howling, and so is Tess in the background because why not?
Curran: "I don't think we're there two minutes before our Ma walks in. Angus, our oldest brother, tries to give Declan a running start and cuts him free. Deck barely rolls off the bed before our mother snatches him off the floor by his throat. The rest of us run for our lives. Oh, but that's nothing. Wait till I tell you about Tina the Tramp ..."
Melissa: "It was hard. I pushed through and survived. But because I know what it's like to grow up and live with special needs, and because I've seen how cruel people can be, I don't want my babies to struggle. That doesn't mean that I'd love my child any less if he or she had issues. I'm only saying I wouldn't wish that kind of heartbreak on anyone."
Declan: "Neither would I. But like you said, everything you went through, good and bad, helped you become who you are. And I think you're fucking amazing."
Declan: "Look, I have something to tell you."
Wren: "Holy shit. *voice cracking* Ma's dead, isn't she?"
Declan: "What? No, listen."
Wren: "Finnie! Ma's dead!"
Wren: "Declan says Ma's dead!"
Declan: "Christ, Wren. Ma's not dead. That's not why I'm calling!"
Wren: "Ma's no dead? You sure? Is she sick?"
Declan: "No! I just talked to her the other night when she came in from Bingo."
Wren: "Then why would you make me think something's wrong? Jesus Christ, you sounded like hell. It's okay, Finnie, calm down. Ma's not dead."
Finn: "Then why he'd make you think she was?"
Wren: "God only knows, you know how he gets."
Finn: "You're an asshole, Declan."
I am. An asshole for calling this nuthouse.
Declan: "Look Wren, I need some advice."
Wren: "About cars?'
Wren: "How to dress like you actually have balls?"
Declan: "Just because I won't wear that damn biker jacket you bought me for Christmas doesn't mean I don't dress like I have balls."
Wren: "I paid good money for that jacket."
Declan: "Lord help me."
Wren: "So what's up?"
Declan: "If you were single, what would you want a guy to bring if you invited him to your place for dinner?"
Wren: "Take out. You know I don't cook."
Declan: "You've been on your own for like ten years and are fucking engaged, and you still don't know how to cook?"
Wren: "Just because I'm a woman doesn't mean I have to learn how to cook. Bit I have to say, Finnie's gotten pretty good at it. The other night he has us over for Shepard's Pie. I'll be honest, despite the crust being harder than a drill sergeant's nutsack, it was pretty good."
I hang up and call Tess.
Melissa: "Declan ..."
Declan: "Don't say anything. I just want to kiss you, and I really need you to let me."
Her hand slides down my shoulder to rest over my heart. It's something I notice her do during sex and once we settled into bed. I glance down at her hand and cock a brow.
Declan: "You like it there?"
Melissa: *laughs* "Yeah."
Declan: "What are you doing?"
Melissa: "Feeling you."
Declan: "There are better places to feel me. Just saying."
Melissa: "There are. But this is my favorite."
Declan: "Why? So you can push me away if I piss you off?"
Melissa: "No. Because I can feel your heart.
I don't move, losing my smile. She scans my face, a trickle of sadness shimmering her gaze.
Melissa; "Don't be embarrassed. It's a good heart, strong and honest, but tender when it needs to be just like its owner."
Declan: "Look. Jealousy isn't something I'm familiar with."
Declan: "Not even a little bit. It's an emotion I've never bothered to entertain. When some asshole got ahead of me in school, turned in a better grade, or scored an extra few points playing ball, it never made me jealous. All it did was drive me to be better than him next time. I used that drive to become who I am. SO me and jealousy, we don't know watch other."
Declan: "Why are you smiling?"
Melissa: "Because I think it's cute that despite how you're not a jealous person, you might be when it comes to me."
Declan: "You think it's cute?"
Melissa: "It really is. People see you like I think they used to see John F. Kennedy, suave, brilliant, a born leader - someone they support and rightfully believe in. You've taken on cases that have garnered you international attention, and you're not even thirty-five yet. Declan, politicians and members of the city's most exclusive circles not only know your name and reputation, they consider you one of them. You must know this."
Declan: "I do."
Melissa: "You met the governor once. Yet you held her attention and earned her respect from that single encounter. I don't have to tell you she's hard to get close to. Just like I don't have to tell you that you charm everyone else in the same manner. So do I think it;s cute you're a little jealous, of men from my past who'll never come close to the man you are? Oh my God, yes. It's good to know you're human after all."
Declan: "Do you ever feel jealous?"
Melissa: "You mean of all those perfect pretty women who turn to ogle you when we walk down the street together? Or of the ones who lea to their feet the moment they see you? Every day."
Her nails skim lightly again my arm, stimulating every nerve cell along the way.
Melissa: "What are you thinking?"
Declan: "That you have nothing to be jealous of because you're the hottest woman I know."
Melissa: "Do you remember the first night we became a family?"
Miles: "Of course. I still have the scars to prove it."
Melissa: *laughs* "Sorry, I bit you."
Miles: "Yeah. It shows."
Melissa: "I'm surprised you didn't send me right back into foster care."
Miles: "Oh, believe me, I thought about it more than once."
Miles: *laughs* "It's not that I didn't love you right away."
Melissa: "It's that you didn't like me."
Miles: "Yeah, you kind of sucked."
Melissa: "When did you know we were going to be okay?"
Miles: "You'd been letting me tuck you into bed for a while. Do you remember? I'd sign to you that it was bedtime. Like a good little girl, you'd stop coloring, or whatever you were doing, and follow me upstairs. I'd watch you brush your teeth - by the way you kind of sucked at the teeth brushing thing, too."