Synopsis: Connor Reilly and his brothers have a bet: whomever can finish “no sex for ninety days” gets the money. Connor only has a few weeks to go and he figures no woman is safer to be around than his best friend, Emma Jacobsen. Until Emma shows up at a bar in a short skirt and high heels, and suddenly seems anything but safe!
Author: In her author’s note Maureen Child claims to be Irish and loves writing about Irish families. It seems she must be a descendent given that she was actually born in California. Maureen writes under various pseudonyms, one for each genre she writes, and has been nominated five times for the Rita Award for the Romance Writers of America.
Plot: This is the second book of the Three-Way Wager trilogy where triplets make a bet with their older brother—who is a priest—that they can be celibate for three months. While this novel can stand alone as a romance, it also feels like you started part way through a story and then had to leave before the slam-bank finish.
Romance: I love stories that are friends-to-lovers, but this one was more about the aftermath of a night together rather than secret crushes or gradually falling for each other. Due to the back cover blurb I was expecting a lot more resisting of temptation and therefore was a little disappointed by Connor’s minimal attempts at resistance. Nevertheless, this pair does make a cute couple that you can’t help rooting for.
Character: The Reilly brothers are a family I wish were real: all tall, dark, and gorgeous… plus identical triplets? Oooh mama! It states outright they are a Catholic family given that the eldest brother is a priest, and due to the author’s note you assume they are of Irish decent as there is no mention of actual Irishness or lovely lilting accents. It is entirely possible their parents are Irish –or at least the dad—give their names and perhaps their ancestry is explained more fully in the first novel of the trilogy.
Personal Thoughts: This might just be me, but two minor characters were named too closely that at first I thought it was the same person with a serious Jekyll/Hyde personality. Liam’s housekeeper is Mrs Hannigan and I assumed she wouldn’t play a big role and only remembered Mrs H—ahn. SO when Mrs Harrison appears I was momentarily confused and had to flip back to double check the name of the housekeeper.
Quote: We’re pals, Em. We can talk cars. You don’t expect me to bring you flowers or open doors for you. You’re not a woman, you’re a mechanic.
Verdict: For an Irish novel this was a bit disappointing given that it didn’t seem the least bit Irish outside of the names and being Catholic. The story itself was good, but not quite as implied by reading the blurb. The great writing and wonderful characters saved it, so it’s worth the read.