Once Kissed by Cecy Robson Book Review
Updated: Sep 27, 2022
by Cecy Robson
Published by Loveswept
Book #1 in the O'Brien Family Series
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.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Romance Feel Good
Once Kissed is the first book in the O'Brien Family series, and is a spin-off from Cecy Robson's Shattered Past series. This series is all about the remaining O'Brien's (Killian's crazy Irish family we fell in love with in Once Pure), finding love. Once Kissed centers on Curran O'Brien, a police officer who is dealing with PTSD after watching a rookie almost die in front of him. In order for him to prove that he is ready to get back on the force, he is assigned to protect Contessa (Tess) Newart, his brother Declan's intern for a major case against a mob family. But when they recognize each other as a wild one night stand they had back in college, their attraction quickly grows into much more.
I just had to read this series. I fell in LOVE with the O'Brien's in Once Pure. They were one of the highlights of the novel. So when I found out there was a whole series dedicated to them, I just HAD to read it. With this first one, Once Kissed, I am not disappointed. First of all, I finished it in a day. Once I started reading it, I had a hard time putting it down. Not only was Curran's and Tess's individual struggles interesting, but their relationship and chemistry drew me in. If you like steamy romances, Once Kissed has plenty of steam. I can't forget to talk about how funny it is. There were several times I laughed out loud for a good minute or two.
Curran is a fun read, due to his sense of humor, and general sweetness. His family may rip on him a bit for being a player, but he is a good guy. His struggles with PTSD were written realistically, and while an important part of his story, didn't override it. Much like Tess with her struggles of constant abuse from her father. She was easy to sympathize with, and I appreciate Cecy Robson making more readers aware of different types of abuse, and what this kind of abuse does to a person.
If you like romance, sex, and a well-written story that will make you laugh at some parts, and cry, you have to read this book. The characters were easy to fall for, and the story doesn't drag at any point. You won't regret reading this novel. I promise.
1. When he promises to keep the fact they went to college together secret, her thinking that included their one night stand, only for him to yell if he can still brag about their crazy sex.
2. Declan trying to teach Curran how to woo a woman like Tess, not knowing they are already together, and embarrassing himself with the hearing impaired woman.
3. When they tell each other they love one another
4. (bonus) The pregnancy
Where to Buy:
Declan: "Did you fuck my intern?"
Curran: "Just a little."
Burton: "Who's this?"
Tess: "He's my - I mean, he's here to help me with the Montenegro case."
Burton: "Help you? If you say so, Contessa."
Curran: "Not that it's any of your business, but I'm the cop assigned to watch Tess's back. Who are you, the office idiot?"
Burton: "I'll let that slide, given I'm a well-respected attorney."
Curran: "A well-respected attorney?"
Burton: "That's right."
Curan: "Hmmm. And you work here? In a library? Mom and Dad must be proud."
Burton: "Unlike your situation, mine is temporary. Just biding my time until the next DA's spot opens up."
Curran: "And how long has this temporary gig been going on?"
Burton: "That's none of your business."
Curran: "And it's none of your business what I am to Tess, asshole."
Burton: "I think DA Fenske would take offense to your choice of vocabulary, Officer."
Curran: "He didn't seem to mind when he thanked me for putting my life on the line a few minutes ago - it's what us boys in blue do to keep the community safe. I know it' not the same as filing books after spending two hundred grand on education, but he seemed to appreciate it."
Burton: "Consider your inappropriate language and misconduct reported."
Curran: "To who, my brother Declan O'Brien, the assistant DA? Nah, he can't do much seeing how I don't technically work here. And my captain probably wouldn't pay much attention to a whiny little wannabe librarian."
Tess: "Your presence caught me by surprise."
Curran: *chucking* "Believe me, I almost fell off that damn chair when I realized who you were. Which leads me to ask, why the hell are you so pissed?"
Tess: "I'm not pissed."
Curran: "Yeah, you are."
Tess: "I am not!"
Curran: *laughing* "Then why are you yelling?"
Tess: "I'm not yelling. Listen to me, Officer O'Brien -"
Curran: "It's Curran. But I think you remember that. And my guess, based on how you're acting, is you remember a lot more than that."
Tess: "You ... cad."
Tess: "I said you're a cad!"
Curran: "I heard what you said. I've just never heard anyone aside from Bugs Bunny use the word. You gonna call me a scoundrel next?"
Curran: "What's the big deal?"
Tess: "The big deal is, I've worked hard to get where I am. This internship cana open doors, or it could close them tightly behind me. I don't want my morals or position questioned because of my past, ah, indiscretions."
Curran: "Indiscretions. So you don't want anyone to know we ... went to college together."
Tess: "Yes. Please don't tell anyone that we, eh, attended the same college, as you put it."
Tess: "Okay? Really?"
Curran: "Yeah. I get it. No one will know we went to college together."
Tess: "Thank you."
With that I turn and proceed down the second set of steps, stumbling over the last two when Curran yells
Curran: "But can I still brag about our crazy sex?"
Tess: "Don't you touch me, you cretin!"
Curran: "I guess that's a better word. Don't remember Bugs using that one."
Tess: "How about 'asshole'? Did Bugs ever use 'asshole'?"
Curran: "No. Come to think of it, I don't think he did. Though it would have been damn funny if he had."
Tess: "How did your mother not drown you at birth?"
Curran: "Ma wouldn't do that. I've always been her favorite."
Tess: "We were both young, and intoxicated, and, and -"
Curran: "You forgot horny."
Curran: "Come on, I'll take you in my squad car. Relax, baby. It's not like I'm going to cuff you or anything. *I dance my eyebrows* Unless you want me to."
Curran: "You all right?"
Tess: "No. I went to bed with you. And now you're here, reminding me what happened and picturing me naked."
Curran: "I'm not picturing you naked."
Tess: "You're not?"
Curran: "Well, I wasn't before. But now that you mentioned it, I kind of have to."
Tess: "Oh, God."
Curran: "Hold up. You're at the senior center?"
Tess: "It's not the senior center."
Curran: "Don't old people live in that place?"
Tess: "They're retired, but most are still quite active."
Curran: "I don't doubt it. Saturday nights must be hard core. Bingo must get all crazy up in this bitch."
Tess: "Why can't you be more like your brother?"
Curran: "You mean metrosexual with a small dick? Sorry, babe. I gotta use the gifts God gave me."
Declan: "Fuck you. I don't have a small dick."
Tess: "Did you always want to be a police officer?"
Curran: "Either that or a stripper, but stripping doesn't offer dental."
Curran: "So I'm all excited, thinking my time had come. What I didn't know was that Ma had to close down the dry cleaner she ran early due to a gas leak in the building."
Tess: "Your mother walked in on you?"
Curran: "And my grandmother - God rest her soul."
Curran: "Oh yeah. So there I am, wearing Deanna's green panties -"
Tess: "Why were you wearing green panties?"
Curran: "Deanna was also into some kinky shit."
Tess: "I can't believe that was your first sexual experience."
Curran: "I never said it was my first time. Ma freaked out and beat me over the head with her sneakers while Grammie begged God not to send me straight to hell. Deanna ran out without her panties and I spent the rest of the afternoon in confession wearing them beneath my jeans. So, you going to tell me what your first time was like?"
Lu: "O'Brien! You gonna sit on your ass with that stupid smile on your face or are you going to give me some kind of report?"
Curran: "Why don't you wave a sign over my head announcing I'm a cop - who happens to be the brother of the DA the mob is targeting - so any perp tracking us can just put a bullet in my head and be done?"
Lu: "Because I already swept the area for any unknown cars, called and checked in with our girl, secured the first, second, and, yeah, the other three floors of the building - in other words, did my job - while you sat there on your ass, again, with that asshole grin on your face."
Curran: "Assholes don't grin."
Lu: "Fuck you."
Lu: "You're not goddamn leaving, are ya, O'Brien?"
Curran: "Lu, it's no biggie. Ever see her with anyone under seventy outside of her law classes and the DA's office? She's a good kid. Lonely is all. She invited me up after my shift to talk."
Lu: "To talk?"
Curran: "That's right."
Lu: "You're already fucking her. Aren't you, O'Brien? Jesus H. Christ. Didn't I tell you not to fuck her?"
Curran: "I can honestly say I'm not fucking her."
Lu: "Goddamnit, O'Brien."
Curran: "You gonna rat me out?"
Lu: "If the higher-ups ask, then yeah, I'll tell them. Otherwise, they don't need to know. I've seen the way she looks at you - hell, I've seen the way you look at her. Goddamn puppy-love shit makes me want to puke."
Curran: "Then why are you pissed? She's a nice girl."
Lu: "That's why I'm pissed. She's not a whore, kid. And you're all sorts of messed up. Do you really think she needs this shit?"
Curran: "You sayin' I'm not good enough for her?"
Curran: "The hell I'm not!"
Tess: "I was seeing someone about a year ago. Howard was pleasant -"
Curran: "Pleasant? Well, with a name like Howard I'd expect no less."
Curran: "You won't be mad if I'm with someone else?"
Tess: "No. But I won't welcome you back in my bed, either. There are a lot of things wrong in my life, Curran. I don't want you to be one of them."
Tess: "You like my body? Even after the weight I've gained?"
Curran: "You didn't gain weight. You gained curves. Men, real men, like curves, not fucking angles."
Tess: "Swearing aside, that's probably the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me."
Lety: "What are you up to?"
Curran: "Nothing bad."
Lety: "That's what you said when we broke into your father's liquor cabinet."
Curran: "Hey, we wouldn't have gotten caught if you hadn't fallen down the steps."
Lety: "You puked in my hair, Curran."
Curran: "Go ahead without me. I don't want anyone to see us together, just in case."
Lety: "Just in case what? Damnit, Curran. I'm here with my boyfriend and his parents. Don't start any shit that will embarrass me in front of them."
Curran: "Come on, Lety. When have I ever embarrassed you in front of anyone?
She looks at me.
Curran: "Okay, okay. But you have to admit, Father Flanagan's face was classic when he caught us eating all that sacramental bread."
Lety: "Oh, shit. It's about that girl, isn't it? Christ Almighty, you're not going to start a fight, are you?"
Brody: "Humph. And I thought this was going to be another boring-ass fundraiser. I got your back if you need to throw down, dude."
Lety: "Brody, do not encourage him."
Lety: "Curran, this is Edward Moore. My ..."
Edward: "I'm Lety's future father-in-law. But you may call me Edward."
Curran: "Hey, man, and congrats. I hear Lety's gonna pop out at least seven grandkids for you."
Edward: "I was hoping for two, but this is excellent news indeed."
Brody: "I like this guy."
Curran: "You can just call me Curran."
Tess: "It's just that I'm having a hard time picturing you as an altar boy."
Curran: "I didn't say I was good at it, just said I did it. All my brothers did it. It's something our ma expected. Just like she expected Wren to teach Sunday school."
Tess: "And did she?"
Curran: "Of course, but on her own terms, just like the rest of us. I gotta tell you. She abused her power. Told the little bastards they'd burn in hell if they didn't listen to her. Me and my brothers would steal sips of the holy wine, and one time Seamus was caught making out with his girlfriend in the confession booth. Grammie refused to walk beside us, convinced God would strike us all dead when we'd least expect it and take her with us before her time. I said we're Catholics, Tess. I never said we're good ones."
Curran: "The interior's all clear."
Lu: "So is the exterior. I did a sweep about fifteen minutes ago."
Her shit eatin' grin widens. I don't know what she thinks is so funny until she finally glances up.
Lu: "By the way, excellent technique there by the window, O'Brien. You and the princess gave me some new moves to try with the old man."
Text message exchange between Tess and Curran:
T: I'm not going to be able to see you tonight."
T: I have a lot of work to do. I have three exams this week and still have some research pending on the Montenegro case.
C: So do it now while I'm out here freezing my ass off. That way, when I'm off, we can grab a bite to eat.
T: It's not a good idea.
C: You thought it was a good idea this morning.
T: I'm sorry, but I'm too busy.
C: So you don't eat when you're working?
C: We'll get something to eat like we planned, and then I'll bring you back to your place afterward. I don't have to spend the night.
C: Besides, I'm tired. I didn't sleep last night because of all the wild gorilla and banana-eating baboon sex we had. By the way, ballerina school paid off. You're amazingly flexible.
T: You had to go there, didn't you?
C: Just speaking the truth, angel face. Hey, what was that thing you did around three a.m.? What's it called? A pirouette?
T: I believe you know it as a blow job.
C: Settle down there, princess.
T: Don't call me that.
C: Okay, nerd.
T: You are an absolute JACKASS!!!
C: A jackass you pirouetted at three a.m., and one you're having dinner with at nine. See you then.
Declan: "Don't be an asshole. I'm trying to teach you something here, so pay attention."
Curran: "Oh, I'm taking copious notes, believe me. Teach me, Obi-Wan Kenobi. You're my only hope."
Declan: "Women love me."
Curran: "Do they?"
Declan: "They do. I get dates. All the time. You know why?"
Curran: "They think you have money, and want you to be their sugar daddy."
Declan: "No, I -"
Curran: "They lost a bet."
Curran: "They prefer men with small dicks."
Declan: *throws a roll at Curran's face* "My dick is bigger than yours, and you goddamn know it."
Curran: *laughs* "Says you."
Declan: "Look. You're pissing me off, but I'm still going to give you some free advice."
Curran: "You're a hell of a guy."
Declan: "DO you want the goddamn advice or not?"
Curran: "Sure. Let 'er rip."
Declan: "Treat her like she's a goddess."
Declan: "Yeah, you know, like your world isn't the same until you see her smile, touch her skin, and breathe the same air she does. Bring her flowers for absolutely no reason. When she asks you why, let her know it was because you missed her, and couldn't stop thinking about her. Take her hand, interlacing your fingers with hers. Draw her close to you when it's cold to shield her from the bitter wind."
Curran: "Jesus, Declan."
Declan: "You say Jesus. I say help her off with her coat, and you'll be helping her out of her panties next."
Curran: "Okay. Got it."
I go back to eyeing my phone, grinning when I see Tess's reply. If I pick up her list of ingredients, she'll make me dinner tonight. Sweet.
Declan: "You already fucked her, didn't you?"
He looks stunned. He can't see my phone, but he knows me well enough.
Curran: "Oh, hell yeah. And I didn't even have to shield her against the bitter wind."
Declan: "Hello, miss. Forgive me, I don't usually approach women this way, but you look stunning in that dress."
She turns a page in her book without so much as smiling.
Declan: "I apologize for being so forward. But my position as assistant district attorney doesn't allow me time ti meet many women, especially one as lovely as yourself. Would you mind if I joined you?"
She sighs and turns another page. I straighten. She still hasn't even glanced up. Declan makes a motion with his hand like 'Don't worry, I got this', and lowers himself into the seat opposite her. He chuckles when the woman lifts her chin and finally acknowledges him.
Declan: "You're the sweetest thing I've ever seen in a red dress."
She knits her eyebrows. He laughs again.
Declan: "Come on, you're not deaf, are you? I'm trying to tell you you're beautiful."
She drops her book and stiffins, using her hands to sign The term is "hearing impaired," asshole.
It's then Declan pales whiter than my ass. Before his mouth pops open and his face turns a serious shade of red.
Declan: "Miss, I'm so sorry. I didn't mean -"
Woman: "Save it for someone who'll actually swallow your bullshit, loser."
Contrary to popular belief, I'm a sensitive and classy guy. So I wait for her to storm out of the bistro and cross the street, and for Declan to plop down in front of me, before laughing my ass off - at him.
Declan: "That's not funny."
Curran: "Holy shit, you went down in flames."
Declan: "Shut up, Curran."
Curran: "I mean like a fighter plane doused in gasoline, shot with a bazooka, into a burning field."
Declan: "Are you done?"
Curran: "No, dickless. Did it ever occur to you that she might actually be deaf? I mean, come on, Declan. Didn't you learn anything from all those sensitivity classes you were forced to talk? People have special needs -"
Declan: "No kidding - I know that. Fuck, I'm going to hell for this one. Look, I thought she was, you know, playing me. I'd never insult anyone like that, especially someone who has issues like her -"
Declan: "Someone like her must have struggled. It can't be easy being a non-hearing person in a hearing world."
Curran: "Maybe if you would have started off with something more like that, you would've actually stood a chance at getting those legs wrapped around you."
Declan: "I was going for charming."
Curran: "No. You were going for someone you thought could hear that charm. Maybe you should have gone for sensitive. Then you would've had your ass spanked like you wanted to, instead of having it handed back to you."
Declan: "Do you mind? I already feel like a big prick."
Curran: "They make it like they haven't been together long, but don't let them fool you. Kill's loved Sofe since before he got pubes."
A bunch of wolf-whistles.
Finn: "Hey, fucktards. Calm your shit. That's my sister."
Man: "Sister? Well, if she's your sister, I'd like to -"
Killian and Finn leap to their feet, arms loose, but ready to tear him apart.
Killian: "Watch your mouth before you lose the few teeth you have left, asshole."
Wren: *pats man on the head* "Sorry, I don't date men with small dicks."
Finn: "What's the cube root of seven hundred and twenty-nine?"
Killian: What the fuck, Finn?"
Wren: "Sofe, is that right?"
Sofia: "It sounds right."
Finn: "Siri, what's the cube root of seven hundred and twenty-nine?"
Siri: "Let me check on that."
Killian: "Quit being an asshole."
Siri: "The answer is nine."
Finn: "Holy shit."
Killian: "Tess, ignore these morons. You have to understand, Curran doesn't usually bring women around."
Sofia: "And when he does, they're not of your ... caliber."
Finn: "Hell, they can't even spell 'caliber'.
Wren: "Neither can you, dumbass."
Wren: "You see, Curran usually dates outside his race. He's a white Caucasian male, and his women are typically demon spawn from the planet Slut."
Tess: "So his typical companions are these, ah, fanatical, unemployed, hellish manicurists?"
Wren: "I'm not trying to put you on the spot here, but you're one hell of a breath of fresh air from what we've had to deal with. Remember crazy Miranda - the hairdresser? Do you think that asshole could have warned me he dumped her before I walked into her salon? Freaking nutcase came after me with scissors, yelling about him having no dick. I was like, 'Yo, you can't be spreading rumors about my brother having no dick, seeing how you straddled that shit in the back of his car.'"
Killian: *laughing* "What about Crazy Alexis? The girl with the pet monkey?"
Finn: "Or Shania? Oh, remember Shania? The one who spray-painted 'LYING PUSSY' on your truck, thinking it was Curran's."
Killian's stare turns deadly.
Killian: "I'm still pissed at him for that."
Tess: "Well, I assure you I'm not unstable. Nor do I own a monkey."
Finn: "So then what are you doing with Curran?"
Curran: "What's wrong?"
Tess: "Oh, nothing. Your family here was just explaining your preference for psychopathic and avenging monkey-owning manicurists who wield scissors they purchase with their welfare coupons."
He freezes before veering at his family.
Curran: "I leave you alone for fifteen fucking seconds and this is what you tell her?"
Wren: *sings* Curran's got a girlfriend."
His brothers laugh, and I can't tell who's redder in the face, me or Curran.
Sofia: "They mean well."
Finn: "Yeah, we do. She's nice. Not like that bitchy girl who tied you up in college."
Curran: "It's not all wild sex and movie star looks, babe. I got mad skills you've never even dreamed of."
Curran: "What if I love you?"
Curran: "I said, I love you."
Her face falls against my chest and she starts crying all over again.
Curran: "Christ, Killian warned me this would happen. Aw, baby, come on. Me lovin' you should be a good thing."
Being the sensitive guy I am, once more, I crack the hell up. She lifts her head and sighs, like she can't believe I'm the jackass she's stuck with. Of course, that only makes me laugh harder.
Curran: "Come here. Now, tell me you love me, too. *She laughs* Well, you gonna keep me hanging?"
Tess: "I love you."
Curran: "Say it again."
Tess: I love you."
Curran: "One more time - this time, with feeling."
Tess: "I love you, Curran. I love you so much."