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never-been-kissed

Perfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, Molly O’Keefe’s second novel in her exciting new series—The Boys of Bishop—features an irresistible romance and unforgettable characters in a page-turning story that delivers equal parts emotion and humor . . . with a little edge to boot.As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enoPerfect for readers of Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Rachel Gibson, Molly O’Keefe’s second novel in her exciting new series—The Boys of Bishop—features an irresistible romance and unforgettable characters in a page-turning story that delivers equal parts emotion and humor . . . with a little edge to boot.As the daughter of a wealthy politician, Ashley Montgomery has had enough of her parents’ expectations for her future and is going her own way, volunteering to work at a refugee camp in Africa. But her act of charity turns dangerous when she takes a boat trip and is abducted by Somali pirates. Enter Brody Baxter, who was a bodyguard for the Montgomery family ten years ago and doesn’t think twice about coming to Ashley’s rescue. Handsome and tough, Brody has always done what needed to be done. So he swoops in, saves Ashley, and brings her to a place where she can rest and recuperate without the glare of the press and her demanding family: Brody’s small hometown of Bishop, Arkansas. But Ashley soon realizes that she’s not the only one in need of healing.Holed up with Ashley in a tiny apartment over his brother’s bar in Bishop, Brody is tempted and torn in ways he never anticipated. Beautiful Ashley, vibrant despite her ordeal, fearless enough to love him beyond his wall of self-punishment, is now determined to save him. But with a little faith and a lot of love, they just may find happiness in each others’ arms....

Title : Never Been Kissed
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345549013
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Never Been Kissed Reviews

  • Michelle [Helen Geek]
    2019-04-30 19:21

    03/08/2014 --Overall Rating = 3.5 StarsBook Cover / Book Blurb / Book Title = 3 / 3 /1 = 2.5 StarsWriter’s Voice = 4 StarsCharacter Development = 3.5 StarsStory Appreciation = 3.5 StarsWorth the Chili = 4 Stars -- [$5.99 on Amazon when released in July 2014]Smexy [HEAT] Rating = Moderate384 pagesThis is the 4th or 5th Loveswept book I've read in the last few months. Kudo's to the publisher. The publisher is bringing us an edgier, grittier read. The covers aren't indicative of the story underneath. The stories are a bit more than you'd expect. Very well written. Not your mom's romance novel!Molly O'Keefe is an auto read author for me. She always has an interesting twist and her characters jump out of the pages at you.+++++++++++ SMACK!! ++++++++++++++++++This book was a good example of this authors talent. It had a few issues, but overall, I really liked it.What stood out for me in this one?1 -- I say it again and again, but the characters do it for me. Almost every time [this includes dialogue and character interaction - the whole enchilada!!]. Brody -- what an interesting man. He holds everyone at an arm's distance. Everyone. He feels so deeply about the people in his life, but he can't trust this. He doesn't think he deserves good things. He feels he will be a huge disappointment anyway. He never voices this and you have to wait a while for it to all be revealed. You feel him and his need to connect.Ashley is a really good person. You know it immediately. But, she has the self-confidence of a gnat. Brody knew her 10 years ago. She was a 17 year old girl in her first throes of love for the beautiful bodyguard. She has never forgotten him. At her brother's request, Brody steps in to save her and bring her safely home. What she doesn't know is, Brody never forgot her either. When he found out about her situation, his blood ran cold. He couldn't do anything else but come to her rescue. He has always cared about her. Two people who care about the other, have never forgotten, but will they have the courage now to do something about it? Gah!Sounds trite and cheesy, but it works. It really is a rather unique set of circumstances [which make the story so good ..] and kept me very engaged.2 -- Loved Sean and Cora. We almost get two stories for the price of one in this one with their banter and relationship. Sean's relationship with Brody is rather complex. Brody has always kept him at a distance. There is a 7 year difference between these two "brothers" and some how it seemed stuck. Never quite moving past the younger brother idolizing the older. It eventually gets all worked out, but watching the struggle for Sean was interesting. I could have easily disliked him because he seemed so immature at time. However .. in walks Cora. Cora .. she adds an element of hominess. An element of "things will be alright." She makes Sean a man in this story. Through his interactions with her, you know he is not the kid [at 30 years old] he is with Brody. Not sure how to describe it, but I really liked her in this story and don't think the story would have worked so well without her.3 -- The backdrop or back-story. Ashley was rescued from Somali pirates by Brody. Her family [father and brother are Georgian politicians] paid the ransom asked. They asked Brody to go collect her. They knew he would keep it all quiet. He brought her home, but now her family wanted to use her hostage situation for their own political gain and she just couldn't do it. At least not right now. She needed to get her psyche back in order. She asked Brody to take her somewhere they couldn't find her - just for a little while. He took her home to Arkansas. Sounds strange, but it all works. Poor Ashley is a mess. She has black eyes and a swollen face. She has stitches from knife wounds. She has sleeps all the time and has lost so much weight. Brody cares for her. He has to stay close to her. They stay in the apartment above his brothers' "hole in the wall" bar.Now, for a few things that I had a few issues with:1 -- The title and the cover make the whole thing sound like a fluffy read. It really isn't. The story and the characters have grit. Be prepared.2 -- There were a few places where the story transition was clunky. Didn't flow particularly well and I had to stop, re-read the paragraph to make sense of it. May be due to me reading an ARC copy, so I didn't discount this in my review, but mention it.3 -- I didn't think the last 40% or so was as well put together as the first part of the book. It seemed to lag a bit and lost a bit of it's oompf for me. Almost like Ms. O'Keefe lost her way a bit and couldn't figure out her next move. Up to this point, I would have had no issue with awarding 5 stars. Also, again, may be due to me having an ARC copy, but need to comment on this and will consider this in my rating. It is important and I can't re-read the last half at some point to know whether they "fixed" things or not. Maybe the ARC was released a bit too soon? The book's not due out until July .. this is March.Further explain on my logic .. I wasn't asked to read a Beta copy for content and grammar adjustment, I asked for and was awarded an ARC copy. ARC's are "almost ready for prime time .. almost released". My assumption is that flow / content issues have been resolved by now.4 -- Brody's birth mother is Filipino, his birth father is Black. He is adopted by White parents. Cora is Black. Ashley and Sean are White. Not enough was done with these cultural differences. Remember, most of the story takes place in Arkansas. I'm next door in Oklahoma and know this is still a huge deal and could have been played up nicely in this story. Either the author or the publisher is testing the waters by having characters with various backgrounds. Either way, the author really didn't do much with it. I was a bit disappointed. It was great that it worked out and there was little effort really, but this is Arkansas. Ashley has highly influential politicians in her immediate family [Georgia politicians - no less]. Nothing really touched on here. She could have done so much with this element and didn't. Why?I love Molly O'Keefe. I love how she brings together a story and develops her characters. When you read her, you know you'll get a touch of unique and unusual and really well drawn characters. I wasn't disappointed in Ashley and Brody and feel like I was awarded a BOGO when I got Cora and Sean too. Very nice. An auto-read author for me with good reason. She rarely disappoints me.ARC provided by the author and Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++03/05/2014 -- One of this authors books was a fav of mine last year. I CAN NOT WAIT to read this! She does a really nice job. VERY happy right now!!

  • Jonetta
    2019-05-10 12:35

    Originally posted on The Book NymphoMolly O'Keefe is an auto-read for me. I know her stories will always have something "more" and this book is no exception. Quick summaryBrody Baxter is a professional bodyguard and was on an assignment when he's contacted by Harrison Montgomery to rescue his sister, Ashley, who's been abducted by Somali pirates. Brody has a history with the family (especially Ashley) and doesn't hesitate. The abduction wasn't pretty and neither was the rescue so when Ashley needs a respite from her high profile family and the world, Brody takes her to his hometown of Bishop, Arkansas to recuperate. The issuesAshley's not the only one with family issues. Brody has a fractured relationship with his father and rarely comes back home. His brother, Sean, works hard at trying to be the peacemaker and maintain a relationship with Brody, who he admires and adores but it isn't easy. Brody has some deep rooted issues he's struggling with, one of them being his feelings for Ashley. As for her, she's been in love with him since he first worked for her family. What I loved, loved, lovedThere are so many layers to the story and the characters! There are family dynamics - Ashley's with hers, Brody's with his and Brody's with the Montgomerys - that complicate Brody's ability to accept what Ashley wants to offer. His path to personal freedom was tough, maddening at times, but also incredibly interesting and honest. Each character, including Sean and father Ed, becomes three dimensional through Brody's exploration, giving the story texture and flavor. All of this just makes the relationship that develops between Brody and Ashley much more endearing. She fights hard for him, a reflection of her character and what she brings to the story. Sean's romance with Cora, a diner owner who at first was a bit prickly with him, is an added bonus. Theirs is an unlikely relationship that is pretty special. I'll leave the details to be discovered as I did. The bottom lineThe writing is just superb! The characters are well crafted and the story complex. Don't let the cover mislead you in thinking this is just another typical romance. It's a contemporary novel of substance that happens to include romance. You'll want to take the time to read this one when you can pause and reflect. O'Keefe never makes it easy and I for one think that's a wonderful thing. (I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review)

  • Jen
    2019-05-19 20:38

    A book with two interracial relationships for the price of one? Of course I had to read it. I had some issues with it.Besides the whitewashed cover that makes me see red, I was disappointed in the fact that race was downplayed so much in this book. It mostly takes place in a small town in Arkansas and I’m surprised that a white couple with an adopted black/Filipino son made no waves. Really? Everyone’s just completely accepting, nothing to see here? And what about Brody, what it must've been like for him? How did it shape his identity? Likewise, the two relationships in the book are handled in the same colorblind way (as another review mentioned, Ashley is the daughter of a wealthy southern politician). It feels odd that with all that was included in this book, racism was the thing to shy away from. There were parts that I really enjoyed, which were mostly the scenes between Cora and Sean. Sean was such a whiny little brat and he made me laugh. Ashley mostly annoyed me. The do-gooder who downplays her involvement in everything she does, being sooo incredibly humble, while Brody would think, “I’m sure what she gave/did was MUCH more than she claimed.” When she got back to the states she couldn’t eat food at first without thinking of how she could split her loaves and fishes for the poor. She lets Brody walk all over her, presents herself to him time and time again, even though he’s an ass to her. I get it, she’s a giver but ENOUGH.I do have to say that it was jarring for me to read about how battered/gruesome/broken she looked and then about Brody’s dick getting hard from looking at her. And then you find out that she’s a virgin on top of it all so she has to be handled MORE delicately…it was too much. I should mention that I did enjoy the scenes where there was an unspoken tension between them and I did feel like there was a genuine connection there. I really liked Brody, strong and silent ass though he might have been. When he washes and combs her hair? Yeah, that was a swoon-worthy moment.It was a mixed bag for me. 2.5 stars? I have no clue.

  • Ksenia
    2019-05-22 14:22

    I binge read this series, and Never Been Kissed is my favorite book. I loved this story to pieces. I enjoyed so many things about it; I don’t even know where to start.I’ll start with romance. This is the reason we read this kind of stories after all. Ashley and Brody’s story absolutely won me over. There were a lot of chemistry and feelings. And Molly O’Keefe writes such sensual erotic scenes. There was also second love story between Cora and Sean. To my surprise I enjoyed it a lot. I’m not usually a fan of “two stories in one”. I prefer books that concentrate on one couple and don’t divert readers attention. But in this case second romance worked perfectly.And Molly’s characterization was again impeccable. Her characters were well written and multidimensional.I also was fascinated by dynamic between Brody and his brother Sean. Molly added many nuances to their relationship. Their story was sad and full of heartbreak, but also filled with love and hope. Oh, there was a little bit mystery too. Brody was her father’s bodyguard many years ago and Ashley had a teenage crush on him. It’s obvious that something happened, but we don’t know exactly what. I loved how the author revealed it bit by bit.There were so many times I wanted to quote, and then realized that these words would lose part of their charm out of context. It’s better to read this book.In truth Never Been Kissed has so many stereotypical tropes (virginal blushing heroine, who has a long-time crush on strong brooding hero; guy who thinks that he is not good enough for heroine, and saves her from bad guys). But Molly miraculously gave them all new touch.I loved this story and put Never Been Kissed on my favourite shelf. Highly recommended.You can find my reviews:

  • Ally
    2019-04-27 20:46

    That's it. I'm sure Ms O'Keefe has cast a spell on me. Series: YepSexy times: Hotty hotty hotnessPlan on reading more by the author: Always. Color me a fan girl. Synopsis: Brody is on his way to extricate our fair heroine from the clutches of Somali pirates. Upon doing so, her super politicized ick of a mother/monster, swoops down upon our sweet Ashley. Brody whisks her away to his home town which is replete with all sorts of family issues of his own. They move into a dump of an apartment over his brother's bar and we let the adventures begin while Ashley heals body and soul. Heroine: Ashley. Dooood. She and Brody have history from the time when he was a body guard to her political family. She lusted after him, went to far with it and he left. She's not doing that again. This time, she is making sure it sticks. Truly a GOOD character. She spews goodness. She reeks of goodness. And you will love her for it. Hero: Brody, the disturbed. Gah. This one is a heart grabber and oucher. The sh!t he has been through and the messed upness in his brain will make you wince in sympathy. Never seen a character so hell-bent on his own suffering. Talk about taking the Buddha way too seriously with the "All life is suffering" business. But you will love every minute of his pain and his emergence. Why it did or didn't work for me: It worked. It was poetry. The words that O'Keefe strings together stop my heart every single damned time. Add to that, the extremely well developed and defined characters and I bow down to the greatness of the written word. Extreme praise. I know. And I totes think Ms O'Keefe deserves every second of it. Signed, O'Keefe'w books are my jamPeace

  • CL
    2019-05-07 15:44

    Received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest reviewIf Wild Child, the first book in Molly O'Keefe's 'Boys of Bishop' series, was the standout, underrated romance novel of 2013, then chances are the second book in the series could well win the standout romance of 2014 - and the best thing about it is that you don't need to have read the first book in the series to enjoy this.I just fell in love with this book from start to finish.Things I loved (in no particular order):- Brody the Alpha male hero/bodyguard with self esteem issues- Ashley the likeable Heroine who fights for what she wants- Rescue scenario- Flashback to ten years ago- The crush that would never die- The sexual tension- Virgin- Posh Momma's boy Harrison- Hero's ethnicity - it was mentioned, it's unusual in mainstream romance but it wasn't made a "BIG DEAL" of which I liked- Misunderstood father- The secondary romance of Sean/Cora- Sean/Brody's relationshipETA: I have just read the summary for Book #4 in the series and I am ecstatic that Harrison is going to get his own story (and love the trope Molly decided to go with), especially since I'm sure the summary for Book #3 says that it is the last book in the 'Boys Of Bishop' trilogy. I'm only sad that I'll have to wait until the end of the year to read it.www.loveisastateofmind.net

  • Ellie
    2019-04-28 18:25

    I really enjoyed it! A great romance, actually there are two parallel love stories in this book and both were very good.I'm already excited for Harrison's story in Indecent Proposal which will come out in November 2014. A forced marriage for political reasons coupled with a pregnancy - it's a new romantic trope for me, so I'm curious about how it will all play out.Full review published also on my blog - http://elliereadsfiction.blogspot.com/This is the second book in the Boys of Bishop series but I'm reading it out of order, so I've already read and loved book 3, Between the Sheets. Still, there were no major spoilers, except the HEA which is to be expected, it's romance after all.This book actually tells two parallel love stories. Brody and Ashley may be the main couple, but his brother Sean and Cora gave them a run for their money. Actually, a lot of times I liked Sean much better than Brody.Just like Between the Sheets, here Ms O'Keefe tells a very intense and emotional story. Brody and Ashley have a history and the present brought them back together 10 years later. They have strong feelings for one another but both are fighting against them - she in order to avoid the pain and humiliation she suffered the first time round, him - to protect himself from potential heartbreak.On the surface, they appear opposites, yet they have a lot in common - they both are hurt and they serious family issues they need to deal with. Ahsley, though recovering after being taken hostage by Somalian pirates and being physically rather weak, came off as stronger, willing to try, to stand up for herself, even against her family. Brody is bad ass, ex-marine, now bodyguard, yet at time his insistence on staying away and detached from everyone was really annoying. He needed to man up and admit that he cared about his brother and father, about Ashely.I greatly enjoyed the parallel love story of Sean and Cora. He was awkward, slightly lost, struggling with his business, trying to take care of his father and trying to get through to his brother. She was more in control, in command. It is a tender hate-to-love story between a sweet beta male and a strong, independent woman.I liked the small-town setting, though the story is very much focused on the two main couples. We don't really get to see much of the town and its people. A minor complaint I have relates to the way the events that happened between Ashley and Brody 10 years ago were handled in the present. We see how what happened affected them and changed the direction of their lives. It's mostly presented from Ashley's POV and is never openly discussed between her and Brody. I missed a heart-to-heart scene where they get to talk about their past, accept and move on. I didn't get the feeling that Brody realized how much it all has affected Ashley.Overall, it's a good small-town romance with complex characters, some drama, some fun times and some sexy times. They characters are portrayed realistically and they are easy to relate to. The next book in the series,Indecent Proposal, will be about Ashley's brother, Harrison and his political marriage and it comes out in November.

  • Susan (susayq ~)
    2019-05-22 14:46

    Another winner by Molly O'Keefe!Just like her last book in this series, Molly has written an awesome story with realistic characters who grow and change through the story. Both Brody and Ashley change so much it's amazing. The story starts off with Ashley having been kidnapped by Somali pirates and Brody being hired to go retrieve her after the ransom is paid. Let me just stop right here and voice my disgust for Ashley's family. WHY DIDN'T THEY GO GET HER???? Sure, they paid the ransom, but sent someone else to pick her up cause they didn't want all the press. THAT'S COMPLETE AND UTTER BULLSHIT! Ashley's family needs to drown a horrible death in acid. Anyway...Brody goes to get her and takes her back to the states and takes care of her, much to Ashley's eternal happiness, cause see, Ashley has loved Brody since she was 17 and he was a bodyguard for her family. What follows is a story of love and learning to stand on your own and to feel worthy of being loved by others.This was the second book in this series, but can easily be read as a stand alone. The previous book's plot was barely mentioned and in fact, Jackson and Monica didn't even make an appearance. They were only mentioned briefly. So, if you haven't read anything in this series, get this book, or the first one, and get busy! It's well worth the time spent reading :)ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley

  • Jacqueline
    2019-05-06 12:36

    I was pretty surprised at this book. The cover and the title led me to believe it would be a much lighter read. This was the story of a very damaged man. Most of it was told in his POV. He was taciturn and very closed off. He didn't know how to show or accept love. The heroine finally helped him overcome his fear that to love someone would cause them to leave him somehow. She only helped him though. He made the decision to change and open up on his own. This wasn't a case of insta love though. They had had a previous abortive but emotional relationship but she had been too young for him to follow up on it. Plus this story where they met again took place over a month or so where they got to know each other again.I totally recommend this for readers who like damaged quiet but wonderful heroes.

  • Molly O'keefe
    2019-05-22 12:38

    Never Been Kissed is on sale for 2.99 at Amazon for a limited time!! No idea how long this will last - but if you're interested in a second chance at love story between a sexy caregiver hero and a heroine who has been put through the wringer - this is for you. http://amzn.to/1IpnPFn

  • Lynn Spencer
    2019-05-20 19:44

    Sometimes I buy a book to read for pleasure, but I end up enjoying it enough that I just can't put it aside without reviewing it. Never Been Kissed was one of those. It's not perfect, but I did enjoy it quite a bit.Things get off to a rather action-packed start in this novel. Bodyguard Brody Baxter is working at a job, when he finds himself confronted by Harrison Montgomery, polished politician and son of a wealthy political family who employed him ten years before. Harrison has come to Brody with a job that requires some skill and discretion - rescuing his sister Ashley from Somali pirates and keeping things quiet. After all, Brody has kept Montgomery family secrets in the past, so Harrison figures he's the perfect one for this task, too.And so Brody finds himself going off in search of Ashley, the black sheep of the Montgomery family. Instead of hosting fundraisers and working for the family machine, Ashley has spent her time abroad as a relief worker. Her current predicament has left her very shaken and since it would bring up questions and issues no one wants to confront in the middle of her brother's campaign, Ashley needs a place to lay low. So, Brody takes her home to Bishop, Arkansas.Before you roll your eyes and think, "Oh no, not another small town romance," give this one a chance. O'Keefe writes wonderful dialogue and I found myself starting to really grow fond of her characters as I watched their interactions. Ashley can be a little bit of a Pollyanna sometimes and Brody has a giant chip on his shoulder, but there's a certain decency to them that shines through. The interesting secondary characters help in this regard, too. I found the sometimes tortured relationship between Brody and his brother at least as interesting as his budding relationship with Ashley.This is a partial review. You can find the complete text at All About Romance: http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookRev...

  • Heather andrews
    2019-05-19 16:24

    After everything Ashley has been through she can still be a smarta**, "no, actually, I fell down the stairs. Ran into a door." Brody smiled. Jet-lagged and concussed, Ashley still had it in her to go a few rounds with Patty Montgomery." Brody I think he likes to tease Ashley, "despite the sting in her arm, she held out her hand and he pulled the phone from his back pocket, but didn't give it to her. "You're pi**ing me off, Brody." That made his lip lift for just a moment, not enough to cause laugh lines or melt the icy river in his eyes, but it was an emotion." I don't know why Brody fights his feelings in this book his damn body wants her just as much as his brain, "he pressed his hips deeper into the mattress, trying to cut off blood flow to his co**, but it only excited him. She - in his bed - excited him." I mean when it comes down to it he'd do anything for this girl, she brings out every side of him, "she was naked but for a pair of polka-dot panties. They were pink. The polka dots were white. Stupid thing to stare at. But he was reduced to stupid. With lust and surprise, she'd made him a dumb beast."

  • Sarah
    2019-05-20 19:21

    Weirdly, I enjoyed the B-side story (Sean-Cora) more than the main story (which I liked despite it having a trope that's one I usually don't care for--I think it worked for me because that particular thing isn't a big deal like it is every other time I've come across it). Anyway, Molly's books are really good and if you're looking for a solid contemporary romance, her stuff is always a solid choice.I also liked the subtle subversion of the notion of "earning" love (such a common romance theme). Maybe I'm reading too much into it, I don't know, but it seemed pretty obvious to me.I do wish that Brody's identity as a half Filipino, half African American man adopted by a white family had been explored further. There's subtext that led me to believe that a lot of his broodiness and internally focused MO was wrapped up in that experience, but it would've been worth seeing on the page more. Also, wtf is with the dude on the cover? That's not the guy from the book even remotely. Get it together, Random House.

  • Mandy
    2019-05-04 18:45

    I liked this book but didn't love it. I really loved the whole idea behind the book - bodyguard and the girl he protects falling in love. The problem for me is that I just didn't feel the connection between Brody and Ashley. I felt like Brody was kind of a jerk for the first 80% of the book and I just didn't buy his reasons as to why he acted the way he did. Ashley is supposed to be this strong woman who survives pirates and helps in underdeveloped countries but puts up with Brody pushing her away. On the positive side, the steamy scenes were hot and I also liked the supporting characters. **ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review**

  • Saly
    2019-05-09 13:18

    LOVED IT!

  • Fabiola Chenet
    2019-05-15 19:46

    L'étoile en moins parce que j'ai vraiment du mal avec les héros qui s'estiment inférieurs aux héroïnes. 4 étoiles parce que malgré tout, son comportement est bien expliqué et plausible, l'héroïne est vraiment géniale, et j'ai adoré l'histoire d'amour secondaire.Ce roman était complètement différent du premier tome, et surtout, beaucoup plus émouvant.Le héros est noir, l'héroïne est blanche, mais l'auteur ne se focalise (heureusement) pas sur la différence de couleur de peau; en effet, ce n'est pas ce qui met un frein à la relation entre nos héros, et ce n'est pas à cause de ça que le héros s'estime inférieur. Un grand bravo à l'auteur pour la manière dont elle a géré leur relation.Si vous avez aimé le premier, vous aimerez le second. Ca peut aussi se lire seul bien sûr.

  • Jenn
    2019-04-30 20:43

    Ever been go on a NetGalley frenzy and click a bunch of random books. They look good, but you've not really sure about them. And then suddenly you are overwhelmed with new books (not necessarily a bad thing) and your ratio is shot to crap. And...the book that you were ify about slips to the back burner. Well... that's what happened with Never Been Kissed. But now that I have picked it up two things come to mind: don't doubt the powers of the NetGalley request frenzy and Why did it take me so long to read this?Want some x-military, commando, broody hotness? Give this book a go!Quick RecapAshley Montgomery wanting to escape her family hold and name, ventures off to use her money and resources in Africa. And just to be plain Ashley. But when she and her friend are captured by Somali pirates, it's not her name that saves her. But someone from her past.When Ashely's brother reaches out to Brody, he drops everything and flies to Africa. It has been ten years since he was the Montgomery bodyguard and he didn't leave on the best terms. Still he knows that he has to save this woman from his past. Returning her to the states and seeing her condition, he doesn't think twice about hiding her away from her overbearing, political oriented family when she asks. Taking her to his small home town in Bishop, AK he helps her fight the demons of her abduction while she helps him face the threads of his home life My ThoughtsOne reason I loved this book so much was because I related a lot to Ashley. Loved seeing her strength and honesty shine through after all she had suffered. On top of that, her ability to hold on to some of her snark and all around stubbornness made for some laugh out loud moments. She's a great character, not only for these qualities, but because she doesn't bounce right back. Still feeling flawed and scared from the capture, she holes up in the small apartment to recover. Only with the man that broke her heart ten years ago and who doesn't take the hint to leave her alone. Brody was a complex character. I loved his badass exterior, but even more loved moments when he showed his tender side to Ashley. It was sweet to see him care for her and try to coax her out of her funk. Badass with a dash of sweet = perfect hero. The more he opened up, the more I loved his character. Him being back home, opened a whole other emotion filled door -- having to face his brother and dad again. Loved learning about his past and family and what made him act the way he did.Sean (Brody's brother) was a lot of fun and added some great humor to book. And I appreciated that we got Sean's story in this book. I thought for sure that I was going to have wait and grab a copy of his book to see what happens. Instead, it was a nice surprise to see the author write chapters from his POV and to see his own conclusion. Though I loved staying with Brody and Ashley, it added some layers to see Sean's side of the story.The beginning especially was quick paced. Enjoyed every single minute of seeing macho Brody care for Ashley. The romance and sexual tension was sizzling between them. The writing flowed well and the characters voices were perfect. I will definitely be trying another Molly O'Keefe book soon.Great plot line, characters, and romance. 5 Stars Highly Recommend. *Thanks to NetGalley and Bantam for providing this copy in exchange for an honest review.

  • ShoSho
    2019-04-26 19:24

    4 shining starsFrom Netgalley in exchange for an honest review I have a habbit ( good or bad? I don't know) ,I don't read the blurbs before reading a book. I look at the cover , the title , the author and the ratings on GR to get a feel for the book.With this book  I was pretty sure the title and the cover wouldn't  be any  help and I was right. I wish this book had a deeper ,more dramatic title and a more related cover. What's inside it is much much better than what you see from the outside. Anyway ,from the experience that  I had with wild child ,I thought I knew what I was  getting into but this book surprised me ! In a very good way!This is the story of  Brody a brooding hero (I really wanted to say that ) and Ashley .We briefly met Brody in wild child and I was really curious about him and his brother( not that I could remember a lot about them!)Here's the good.The romance , the plot , hero and his dry sense of humor and heroine and her courage in getting herself out of the looming depression (although I think she put the trauma too easily behind her  ) and all the secondary characters. There was a secondary romance between Sean ,Brody's brother  and  Cora which was as good as the main  romance. The ending was as good as the beginning and best of all there was a nice little epilogue to finish it all up.I love tortured heroes and heroines and this one had both . There were a few inconsistencies here and there and with the way the characters acted but that was the only bad about this book.One of the reason this book didn't get a 5 star from me was the fact that the hero is African-American and the cover shows a Latino guy!!! That's misleading and we don't know this until halfway through the book.If you haven't read anything from Molly O'Keefeyet,and like angsty emotional read then you should remedy that ASAP . You don't know what you're missing!

  • JG
    2019-05-02 17:45

    Never Been Kissed is the second book in the The Boys of Bishop series by Ms. O' Keefe but can definitely be read as a standalone. So I definitely loved reading this one, like most of the author's previous works, this was so good it was no hardship to keep on reading. I love the main leads, Brody being a half-Filipino and half African-American with some deep abandonment issues unwilling to show the people he cares about how much he loves them. Ashley, a typical next door type who comes from a prominent political family whose trying to stand on her own merit. Her constant need to be something more than her family finds her working in Africa helping build communities. A tragic incident brings them together again. Brody decides to bring Ashley back to Bishop to help her heal but instead he ends up acknowledging how deep his feelings for her really runs. Most of the elements in this book are familiar tropes but in the hands of Ms. O' Keefe it turns into something extraordinary. The usual story of class divide takes on a more layered tone with Never Been Kissed with characters that are more developed and more flawed making them more real. Brody, the hero is given hero like characteristics but in the end he was the one being rescued from his own prison of emotional isolation. Ashley is portrayed initially as broken, literally this time. But the story is also a journey of self discovery for her, of fighting for what she really wanted which was her independence from her family and most importantly for Brody. This is a definite read for fans of the author and for those who love contemporary romance that is rooted in real life.*The ARC for this novel was provided by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review*

  • Mariel Hoss
    2019-05-05 18:38

    ***ARC from NetGalley in Exchange for an honest review***I was able to read the first book in this series, Wild Child but for the life of me, I could not remember the characters prominent in this book from that first one. I think looking for a sort of thread kind of worked against me. That being said, once I let go of the expectation stated previously, I was able to really get into and enjoy this book. I found that feelings (most of them hidden) were very central to the theme of this story. It focused on a connection forged a long time ago between Ashely and Brody. It also highlighted the uneasy (passive/aggressive) relationship between Brody and Sean, Sean and Ed, Brody and Ed. It showed the deep love between Harrison and Ashley. Though all the other “issues” (of race, of politics, parental issues, etc.) were in the periphery it helped to deepen the interactions, make them more meaningful and worthwhile. And in the center of it is the push and pull between Ashley and Brody that you could feel the “simmering”. I’m looking forward to the next one in this series.

  • Esther
    2019-05-05 20:44

    Netgalley for an honest review.It was a good read. Beginning was intriguing but a bit hard to sort out, track with and it picked up steam gradually. Characters interesting. Hero frustrated me at times but I came to eventually like. I like the heroine and her tender heart. These two complimented each other, good match. Romance was a slow build the steam factor was there. Was good but not a great read. Not sure what but something was missing.The story was about how the hero guarding the heroine (she was a daughter to a politician) when she was seventeen and she was infatuated with him and he quits and leaves. Years later she is kidnapped and he rescues her and they spend sometime together as she heals and keeps a low profile. During that time they work out the past and come to realize they love each other. General gist of the story.

  • Lynn
    2019-05-06 16:18

    3.5

  • Rebecca
    2019-05-22 14:29

    This was a quick and easy read. I can't remember when I read the first book in the series but I don't really think that matters as this book works very well as a standalone book. The main characters are Ashley and Brody. Ashley starts off this book as a captive of pirates and Brody is a bodyguard dispatched by her father to hand over the ransom money and bring her home safely. Brody is then hired to look after her as she gets over the events that happened and the two have a very quick connection. There are some secondary characters but none I found particularly noteworthy. It may be a while before I can read the next book in the series. The storyline isn't the most original but it was a nice quick and easy read. The pacing was also good although there wasn't much substance to this book. 3 stars an OK read.

  • Sassafrass
    2019-05-06 12:32

    I enjoyed this one more than I expected to but I felt the same way about the first book. These characters were flawed but perfect for each other. I was just glad that Brody got out of his own way enough to realize it. I liked the side story between Cora and Sean as well. I was sad though that I didn't see more of the characters in the first book, I was hoping for more continuity there.I think I'll be continuing on with this series at some point. I've come to enjoy the boys of Bishop.

  • Margreet Asselbergs
    2019-05-23 17:40

    http://ripeforreader.blogspot.com/201...My rating: 4.5 of 5 ⭐️******DO NOT let the cover fool you!!! This is not some cutesy little love story. This is way more involved than something as simple as that. It is broody and emotionally complex, gut-wrenching and breathtakingly tender. It is going to challenge your capacity for insight and understanding into the hearts and minds of characters, who all have found their own dysfunctional ways of dealing with life the best they know how. Molly O'Keefe tackles not just two main characters with issues, but the two entire families behind them, who shaped them into who they are today. Revealing layer by layer, the context needed to get a good grasp on the emotional barriers each protagonist has in place. And if you haven't developed a certain empathy for all of the characters (except perhaps one) by the end of the book, you weren't paying attention.Brody has never asked anything for himself. At a young age he has taught himself to be satisfied with fulfilling the role of protector to those he cared about. No more than that. Any more would be making himself vulnerable and that was something he wasn't used to feeling. Firmly believing that as long as he simply remained on the perifery of his loved ones' lives, he would be able to control their well-being. But never once had he considered that his unavailability would hold them back too. When faced with Ashley after ten years, another he 'abandoned' supposedly with her best interests at heart, he slowly started facing the potential error in his ways.Ashley grew up in the public eye, with ideals as big as the rest of her family, but objectives much more direct. Where they would talk about chance, Ashley preferred to roll up her sleeves and simply implement it. Not something that 'fit' into the family plan, which is why she ended up in Third World countries where a set of sturdy shoulders and a good head was exactly what was needed. Sure, she was hiding, avoiding claiming her own life back home. It wasn't until her experience in captivity and Brody's quiet presence, that she felt bolstered enough to claim her own spot, on her own terms. And that included claiming her place in Brody's life.There is at least one sub-plot that involves Brody's brother, and is at least as intriguing as the main story. The variety of relationship dynamics that are examined is amazing and the psychological and emotional insight displayed by Molly O'Keefe in these is nothing short of impressive. The half mark I deducted from the rating should truly not be counted against the author, but against the publisher, for not providing a more appropriate cover to reflect the quality of work inside. I wonder if the person choosing or designing the cover, even had an inkling that Brody is half African American. I would have expected much better homework from them!! This author and others like her, are not served by angry readers who buy based on the cover, only to find something completely different underneath. With that little rant off my chest, I am so excited to have both books #3 AND #4 in the Boys Of Bishop series on my Kindle, awaiting my reading AND review, for their upcoming releases end of July and end of September of this year, respectively. If they are anything close to NEVER BEEN KISSED, I will be thrilled!!✨A richly layered, full-bodied, all-out emotional and devilishly sexy novel!!✨**Copy provided in return for an honest review**

  • Elisabeth Lane
    2019-05-25 16:33

    The second book of Molly O'Keefe's Boys of Bishop series, Never Been Kissed (pre-order now for release on July 1st), is an intensely personal journey of two very different people helping each other find love. When the book starts out, the heroine has been kidnapped by pirates. The hero rushes to her rescue, arriving in time to save her from both the pirates and her scary political mother. On the face of it, it's a pretty crazy premise for someone like me who's never been the least bit tempted by romantic suspense. Luckily, the story comes back down to earth very quickly.When Ashley Montgomery and Brody Baxter arrive in Brody's adoptive hometown of Bishop, Arkansas to allow Ashley recuperate out of the both the public eye and the not-so-nurturing bosom of her wealthy, political family, any hints of suspense fly out the window. The story becomes a journey of healing. Ashley has already been dismantled by her kidnapping and the subsequent less than supportive reaction of her family. Brody has never fit in anywhere or been close to anyone, having been adopted shortly before a difficult moment in his adoptive family's history. He's not used to relying on anyone or have them rely upon him but for the most concrete needs: money, personal safety, physical labor. Add in the fact that Brody and a young Ashley had met before when he was a bodyguard for her family and the tension in this book is off the charts.I struggled with the emotion here because it was just so believable. O'Keefe doesn't allow the reader any distance. There is a subplot that eases the dramatic tension somewhat, but I'll get to that in a moment. I'm not a crier by nature, but I felt so badly for these characters at one point in the story that tears were inevitable. Ashley and Brody both have such tremendous personal pain and so many defensive layers built up around their psychological wounds that they have become more like thick scar tissue. And in true small town romance fashion, it takes a village to help them work through that and bring them together. Brody's strained relationships with his father and brother are as much a part of his healing as his relationship with Ashley. And Ashley finds a context for her life independent from her high profile family through her interactions with Brody's dad.There is so much need in this book for love and forgiveness: Brody and Ashley, Ashley and her family, Brody and his family. And the fact that all of these relationships experience redemption I think is what kept this book from being depressing. I'm not normally a lover of angst in my romance, but when the problems are as common and real as the ones these characters experience, it made my heart happy to see them work through it. Like, Wild Child, the first book in this series, Never Been Kissed is one of my very few five star contemporary romance reads. I'm looking forward to more from Molly O'Keefe.I received this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.For more romance reviews and a recipe for Easy Weeknight Chili, visit my blog Cooking Up Romance: http://www.cooking-up-romance.com/201...

  • Anna
    2019-05-16 19:47

    I received a copy of this book from the LibraryThing Early Reviewers program. This review is also posted there.First things first. The title? Ugggh. It's absurd. It's a "metaphor"-ish reference to the heroine being a virgin, so it should really be "Never Been F*ed". "Never Been Screwed"? But I suspect that it would market the work to an entirely different group of readers. Either way, the title doesn't really match the vibe of the main couple, which tends to be edgier and angsty, rather than the more gentle image of a kiss.Cover: Well, the hero is half black, half Filipino and the guy on the cover bears no real resemblance to that description, other than being hot and deeply tanned. But these are superficial issues, and have less bearing on the book itself. I just had to get them off my chest before moving on.The Heroine: As my husband pointed out, Ashley is just plain "good people." She's got some issues, but they are real, understandable and she makes legit efforts to overcome them. For the most part, she comes across as natural, likable, someone I'd like to be friends with. What I don't quite understand is her obsession with Broody.The Hero: Brody, but Broody would have been more appropriate. My god, if ever there was a man with his emotions stuffed into a box, it's this guy. He'd rather take a bullet than admit he's got feelings. What I can't quite figure out is why anybody wants to be around him. Oh, he protected his kid brother growing up and he was Ashley's brooding bodyguard when she was a teenager. Sure, he was physically there, but in both cases, he was emotionally absent, lacking in any form of intimacy, for years. He comes around *ahem, no pun intended* eventually. But for me, he's never charming enough, funny enough, engaging enough to sell it. And his big ole muscles? He only really flexes them once in action. After that, he's relegated to construction work. Meh.The Relationship: That lack of intimacy was hard to break through. He admitted to himself that he wanted her fairly quickly, and even acknowledged his more tender feelings to himself, but it took a long time to admit them to her. Every time she approached him sexually, he'd go all dominant. That works for some but it's not for me. Then the essential separation occurs: he leaves, gets back to his barren DC apartment and realizes what a huge mistake he's made. It was a totally standard ending.The Side Characters: Awesome. Thank GOD for the supporting cast because they added much needed levity to the whole situation. Broody's brother Sean and his own love interest Cora are the lighter balance to the darkness around Broody and Ashley. Ashley's brother Harrison is clearly sequel bait, and her mother is a quintessential icy bitch. I wasn't as wild for either of them, but at least they provide some insight into who Ashley is.Overall: I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. I'd consider reading more from this author, but I'm not going to order her entire backlist, based on this book.

  • Jackie
    2019-05-21 17:37

    3.5 Loved that O'Keefe opens with the guy rescuing the girl, but then goes on to build a far more interesting story about how a person whose life has been filled with rejection, both intentional and circumstantial, learns from the victim, a community builder who "gathers people close," the worth not just of loving, but of allowing himself to be loved.After his African-American father died when he was six (his illegal immigrant Filipino mother no longer on the scene), Brody was adopted by a white couple in Arkansas. But only three months later, his adopted mother got pregnant, and ended up hospitalized for the duration of her pregnancy. Brody quickly learns not to make waves, to make himself (and his own needs) as invisible as possible, so as not to lose what little he still has left. And then he schools himself not to want at all, out of fear of never getting what he wants. Now, as a 34-year-old bodyguard, he's asked to rescue the daughter of a former client, one who at 17 had a major crush on him.Ashley, now 27, has broken with her political family in order to focus on international charitable relief efforts. Being kidnapped while on vacation was NOT part of her plans, nor is facing the press with a brave (and bruised) face after she's rescued, as her mother insists she must in order to help her brother's political campaign. Brody ends up bringing Ashely back to his family's hometown in Arkansas (where most of the novel takes place) to hide. But Brody himself finds it increasingly difficult to hide from his younger brother, who longs for Brody to play a bigger role in his life and is deeply angry at his refusal, and from his father, whose health problems Brody does not wish to face (having lost his adopted mother to cancer 7 years earlier).Great character-driven romance, with lots of extras: Really loved the depiction of the estrangement between the two brothers, and how they gradually work their way toward resolving the anger that underlies their relationship, and the roles they were cast in as children. And I also liked the secondary romance, between white Sean and Carribbean-American tough-girl Cora.Only real negative: O'Keefe nods at the difficulties a mixed-race child might have faced growing up in a largely white town in the 1970s, but doesn't bring that much into play in Brody's story (weird comment: "All the frustrations Brody used to feel as a teenager, about his life, about every unsaid thing between him and Ed [his adopted father], he took out on the guys who went after Sean [his younger brother]. And later, as Brody got older, the idiots who called him names because of the color of his skin" (208)—what, no one name-called during his childhood or adolescence?? And of course, our cover Brody could easily be mistaken for Italian...

  • Shauni
    2019-05-24 17:32

    Originally reviewed for Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy.I must tell you, I enjoyed the first book in Molly O'Keefe's The Boys of Bishop Series, Wild Child, but her second book Never Been Kissed totally runs circles all around it.Brody Baxter lost his mother at a young age, the his loving father. But he got lucky and was adopted into a fabulous family. A gruff but loving father, an adoring mother and a younger brother to protect and pick on. Until once again everything shattered..his mother was dying of Cancer and his father was unable to take care of him. Leaving him alone in the family. He learned not to depend on anyone. Withdrawn and isolated he still feels the need to protect those who need it. When he is tracked down on his current job and told one of his former charges, a sweetheart of a girl he had fallen hard for, had been kidnapped by Somali pirates. He drops everything to save her.Ashley Montgomery is the exuberant daughter of a political family. Her uniqueness constantly rubs her oh so stuffy parents. She has loved once and only once but she was seventeen and had fallen hard for her bodyguard. When she made a move and was caught by her parents, innocent though that move was, he was fired and she was harranged and insulted by the family that was supposed to love her. It's been years since then and she has created her own life. While she still dreams of connecting with her family and earning their approval she still goes her way. After spending a year volunteering in Africa she is on a much needed vacation in the Seychelles when captured by Somali pirates. The Good news, they are out for ransom and rarely kill their victims (bad fir business) the bad news? There is nothing that says they can't be abused. Weeks go by and who should save her? Her own personal hero.The backstory is important as it creates an unbreakable bound between Brody and Ashley. But the real story begins when at her request he gets her out of the public eye and takes her to Bishop, AR. Where both of them discover who they truly are and what they believe in.Life is never easy but it certainly helps when you have someone who loves you, believes in you and is willing to stand at your back while you fight your demons.Ashley and Brody are a wonderful couple and Ms O'Keefe tells their story beautifully. A wonderfully sweet read.ShauniThis review is based on the ARC of Never Been Kissed, provided by NetGalley and scheduled for release on July 1, 2014

  • Chanpreet
    2019-05-25 20:43

    4.5 stars! I seriously want to find Molly O'Keefe and give her a hug or hack into her computer so I can read all her manuscripts ahead of time. I'll settle for the hug, a picture with her, and her signing my books. I can only dream about the hacking part. Anyhow, back to Molly and her terrific writing. She has this knack for writing characters that steal your heart. You laugh with them, cry with them, hurt with them, and just love them as they find their way. I wasn't sure how I expected the story to go, but it was much better than expected.Lets start with Ashley. I loved her. I think she's perfect for Brody. Her optimism was the perfect foil for Brody's protective shield. She might have been the smaller and physically weaker of the two, but she was stronger than Brody emotionally. I find that interesting especially since both of them haven't had the easiest of upbringings. And I loved Brody too, don't get me wrong. He's a man's man, one I didn't think I was going to love as much as I did. I think it took coming home with Ashley to bring out Brody's full potential. I really wanted to knock some sense into him and then cuddle with him afterwards. Alas, he's all Ashley's so I'll just have to imagine that.This book was more than just about Ashley and Brody, it was also about Sean and Cora, Ed, and other members of Bishop, Arkansas. I truly felt like I read three stories in one. It's another gift of Molly's. She manages to layer in multiple stories and does it seamlessly. It's almost like three books in one. I do wish I'd gotten to see Jackson and Monica from Wild Child, but with all that was going on, I'm really happy with this book and just eager for Shelby's story.I'm beginning to notice a similar theme in Molly's books. It's not just about individual couples, but it's about family and the relationships in them as well. It makes each story more powerful and easy to relate to. Molly has quickly become one of my favorite romance authors. I eagerly await news of her books and it's very easy to see why she writes award winning books.