Kathleen O’Reilly – “Nightcap”

13 Feb

oreilly-kathleen-nightcap
GENRE: Romance / Contemporary
PUBLISHED: Harlequin Blaze, 2008

SERIES: “Sexy O’Sullivans” series, #3

WHY THIS NOVEL: I have the first two books in this series, so I had to get this one, too.


The back blurb:
“Sean O’Sullivan claims that his family’s landmark bar is the victim of City Hall shenanigans only means more work for Cleo Hollings, the mayor’s number one mover and shaker. Since Sean’s got her busy, she decides she’ll keep Mr. Testosterone busy, too…but between the sheets.
Yet sleeping with the hunky O’Sullivan isn’t that simple. Everyone said Sean would be inexhaustible–even unforgettable. Nobody warned her he was lovable, too. Now other clubs’ drinks taste like dust. Nothing measures up to a nightcap–with a chaser of O’Sullivan stud!”


The back blurb makes Nightcap sound much more fluffy than it actually is.

Nightcap is the story of two strong people who are used to getting what they want. In particular, it’s the story of Cleo Hollings, who might be “the mayor’s number one mover and shaker” in New York, but who has to face things in her private life that, no matter how hard she tries, she won’t be able to beat in the long run. That’s a tough deal for a woman who likes to sort out messes and take responsibility. Cleo thrives on conflict and after she took the advice of one of her superiors (a woman) to heart – to grow a pair – there was no stopping her and she’s now deputy mayor at the age of 31.

Sean O’Sullivan is the one guy you go to when you want to get things fixed. He knows all and everyone and if he doesn’t, thanks to his charm this soon changes. The result is always the same: things get fixed. Only, the problems with his brother’s bar Prime just keep coming: one problem solved, two new ones on the horizon. He decides to approach Cleo Hollings for the hopefully end-all solution. This is more based on her looks than on her being the one best suited for what he needs and nicely introduces what Sean is (was) all about, IMO.

Nightcap really shines when these two go at it, verbally (and non-verbally). I mean, Sean is a lawyer – and a very good one at that – and Cleo is a very good politician. They know how to talk their way out of anything and how to get their way, so when these two talk, sparks fly. They can’t bullshit each other and I loved that.

More good things: the voice mail messages they exchange, the Town Hall meeting with Cleo in pink, two main characters we actually see working and who have to struggle and compromise to get it all done: work, family, social life. The real conflict in Nightcap is how Cleo and Sean can reconcile these different demands and make it all work. And: a woman who has a pair and isn’t afraid to show it.

So these are the things I loved.

Things I didn’t love as much:

  1. The short time frame. The conflict and the story would have benefited from more time (and space).
  2. I didn’t completely believe in the romance (again, the time frame). I especially had difficulty to believe Sean’s knowing it’s love so soon.
  3. I thought there would be more about the problems with the bar because it was part of all three novels, but it’s just what brings Cleo and Sean together. It stays in the background for most of the story and the solution seemed slightly “off,” disappointing maybe.

Verdict: Nightcap falls between Shaken and Stirred (which I thought good) and Sex, Straight Up (which I loved). There were parts I really liked and if not for the quibbles stated above, this would have been a 4,5/5. As it is, Nightcap is a good conclusion to the series, making “Those Sexy O’Sullivans” a very strong trilogy. 4/5.

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5 Responses to “Kathleen O’Reilly – “Nightcap””

  1. Jace Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Great review. πŸ˜€

    I’ve never read this author before … should I check out her other books? I don’t like to read about politicians and lawyers so that rules this one out. πŸ˜‰

    You live in Germany, right? How do you get your English books? Online purchases?

    I heard that English books are very expensive in Germany. I wonder if they cost as much as mine? The cost of one paperback in Malaysia is equivalent to about 3 modest lunches. Sadly, new books are a luxury to many people here, and right at the bottom on the list of necessities. Our public libraries are crap too, so you could say we’re pretty deprived in this area.

  2. Taja Saturday, February 14, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    Thanks, Jace. πŸ˜€

    I read 4 novels by O’Reilly. I think she’s good with dialog and her characters show some “common sense” which I always appreciate. And I enjoyed the way she wrote the brothers’ relationship in the trilogy. Obviously I would recommend Sex, Straight Up (don’t look at the title and the back blurb) but it’s oop except of course for the ebook edition. Since I don’t know if you read ebooks, I say that O’Reilly might not be exactly an auto-buy author for me but she’s one of the authors I have no problem to buy a book without reading reviews first if I think the story interesting. Does that help?

    Yes, I live in Germany and for English books it’s online purchases for me. It’s cheaper to buy them online. Sometimes I can get two books online for the price I would have to pay for one in a store (which doesn’t carry the books I want in the first place). Category novels come in around 3 Euro (13,9 MYR), full-length books 3,5 Euro – 6 Euro, trade paperbacks around 9 Euro (online prices). German paperback books cost around 10 Euro (46 MYR), seldom less and often more. So it’s actually cheaper for me to read in English! πŸ™‚

    9 Euro will get you about two modest lunches in Germany and there are quite a few people who have to opt for the lunches instead of the paperback each month here. It’s a sad but true fact that for many people worldwide it’s not possible to buy books new. 😦

  3. Jace Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 7:20 pm #

    Thanks for the tips on O’Reilly. Perhaps I’ll try Sex, Straight Up if I can find it here.

    Your online book prices seem alright. I have to say, though, it’s ridiculous that imported English books cost so much less than German books (which I assume are printed in Germany)! I agree, all the more reason for you to read in English! πŸ˜€

  4. Christine Monday, February 16, 2009 at 3:53 am #

    Hi Taja!
    Sorry it’s been a while since I visited you… construction has kept me so busy and I’ve had close to no free time. Anyway, I’m glad to see this review, as you know I recently started this series. I’m hoping to read Sex, Straight Up by the end of this month and Nightcap shortly after that.

    So sorry to hear how much more expensive books are in other parts of the world. It’s something I take for granted, I’m sure. My library only carries really popular mainstream romance like Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie, Linda Howard… I guess stuff that typically comes out in hard cover.

  5. Taja Monday, February 16, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    Jace – if you find it I hope you like it!

    I forgot to say , the online shops are located in Germany so I don’t have to pay for international shipping. I think there are two reasons why German books are more expensive: 1. the number of copies for each title (much higher in the US, I think); 2. the exchange rate. A few years ago it was more expensive to buy US titles, and few months ago it was cheaper than it is now. But yes, it’s seriously LOL that the German books cost more! πŸ˜€

    You know, with the way the economy works nowadays I wouldn’t be much surprised to find out that German books are printed in another country.

    Christine – it’s good to read you! I thought you would be busy with the construction. I hope it’s coming along without too many of those hitches these projects seem to attract. I’m always happy to see you comment on blogs (or post on your blog). I like to think that you found a bit of breathing room then. πŸ˜€

    Well, part of the reason I read this was because your and Keishon’s review of the first one last month reminded me that I had this in my TBR pile. I hope you find the time to read the other ones and that you’ll like them.

    One of the things I will do no matter what if I someday visit the States is to go into a big bookstore and spent a few hours there, gawking at all the romance novels on the shelf! LOL

    ETA: And buy books! How could I ever forget that?

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