Who’s Who in the For Your Love series
By: Shannyn Schroeder
Under Your Skin is the first book in the For Your Love series. This series follows the O’Malley siblings. The O’Malleys first appeared as secondary characters in Catch Your Breath (O’Learys #4), where the oldest, Jimmy was the hero. Jimmy can be overbearing and a bit controlling, but that stems from him being responsible for all of his younger siblings. All of my books can be read as stand alones, so even if you haven’t read Catch Your Breath, you’ll be fine picking up Under Your Skin.
Under Your Skin features Norah O’Malley, the youngest sibling who came home to Chicago seven months pregnant. While she’s dealing with major life decisions, she falls for Kai Ellis, her brother Tommy’s boss.
The next book in the series is In Your Arms, which will release in December. This is Sean’s book. Sean is a live-and-let-live kind of guy, living for the moment. He meets Emma Long when her car breaks down. Emma is a potty-mouthed Kindergarten teacher looking to settle down. What they both decide is a last weekend of summer fling turns into love.
The third book is Through Your Eyes, which comes out next summer. Tommy is the hero of this book. Tommy is the youngest O’Malley son. He has always longed to have a typical family. When he meets Deirdre Murphy, an O’Leary cousin visiting from Ireland, he starts to envision building a life with her.
So far, I’m only under contract for the three books, but I hope to also write Kevin’s book. Kevin is the second oldest and he’s the jokester of the family. He’s the kind of guy who is rarely taken seriously. Looking back on his life, he realizes the mistakes he’s made and he wants to win back the one who got away—she just happens to be friends with Moira O’Leary, Jimmy’s fiancée, who can’t stand him.
Shannyn Schroeder is the author of the O’Leary series, contemporary romances centered around a large Irish-American family in Chicago and the Hot & Nerdy series about 3 nerdy friends finding love. Her new series (For Your Love) will release this summer with the first title Under Your Skin. When she’s not wrangling her three kids or writing, she watches a ton of TV and loves to bake cookies. Find out more at: www.ShannynSchroeder.com
Kai Ellis came from the back room to the musical sound of female laughter. The girl sitting across from Tommy at the front counter had an awesome rack spilling out of her tank top and her tits jiggled as she laughed.
“Hey,” he called, “I told you no girls while you’re on the clock. Get busy on your own time.”
Tommy dropped the food in his hand. “Gross, man. This is my sister.”
She wiggled her fingers. Then she pointed. To Tommy, she said, “Let’s ask your friend here, I’m sure he’s made mistakes in his life.”
“Boss.” Kai crossed his arms. He had no intention of answering questions about his mistakes, but it annoyed him that she jumped to the conclusion that he’d made them. Part of the reason for opening his own business was so he would never have to answer to anyone about his past again.
“I’m his boss.”
She continued on as if he hadn’t spoken. “It’s normal for people to make mistakes, right? Even if they’re huge mistakes, you still learn from them. Life lessons and shit.”
He knew all about making life-altering mistakes, but he still wasn’t about to discuss them. Addressing Tommy, he said, “Girlfriend or not, she needs to go.”
Her eyes popped wide and she slid from the stool. Tommy laid a hand on her arm. “It’s fine.” He twisted on the stool. “Kai, this is my sister, Norah. She just moved back to town.”
Norah stepped around Tommy with her hand extended. Her belly stuck out full with a baby. He’d forgotten about Tommy bitching about his pregnant sister.
When he didn’t move, she dropped her hand. “Sorry. I thought I’d catch Tommy before his client came in. I brought him lunch and dessert.” She turned and picked up a plate from the counter. “Want a Rice Krispies Treat?”
Her smile was friendly as she spoke, but her light blue eyes filled with mischief. Like she was offering up more than marshmallows and cereal. It was a good thing that belly was between them. He stayed rooted to his spot. Then his phone rang. Again. He’d ignored Jaleesa all morning, but if he planned to get any work done, he’d have to deal with her.
With his phone in hand, he spun and walked back out the way he came. “Yeah.”
“It’s about time. I’ve been calling you all morning.”
“Mom’s surgery went fine. She came through with flying colors.”
He’d figured as much. It was just her knee. “Good to know.”
“Are you coming to the hospital today?”
He walked until he hit the back door of the shop and stood in the alley. “I don’t know. Depends on how busy I get.”
“Kai, it’s not like this was some surprise. We scheduled it. You could make sure you’re free. You’re choosing not to.”
His sister’s sigh whistled in his ear. “We need to talk about where Mom will go when she’s released from the hospital. She’ll only be here a few days.”
“I thought you were looking into a rehab facility.”
“I tried, but it made her upset. She thinks we’re going to dump her off and leave her for good.”
“So explain to her that’s not the case. She knows she won’t be able to get around your house. It’s not like she lost her mind.”
“She’s feeling vulnerable and she’s worried about being alone.”
“I don’t know what you want from me, Jaleesa.”
“Maybe she could stay with you.”
“I have stairs in my house.”
“Five, Kai. Five measly steps to get up to your door. Everything else is on one floor. You have the space.”
What she really meant was that he could make the space for his mom to move in. He didn’t want to. His house was set up exactly as he wanted. He would have to move all of his workout equipment somewhere, probably to the basement or the garage. He had no furniture for her. No bed or anything. He didn’t have guests and he liked it that way.
“I can’t take care of Mom. I don’t know what to do with her.”
“And I do? You figure it out, Kai. That’s what you do for family.”
“I have a business to run and I keep long hours.”
“At least think about it. We can probably hire someone to fill in when you’re not around so she’s not alone, but she’ll feel secure in your house.”
“Why can’t we hire someone to help at your house?”
“Maybe we can convert some space to make it work.”
“My whole family isn’t losing our living room so you don’t have to man up.”
He shook his head, not wanting to lose this argument. “We’ll talk about this later. I have to go.”
“Try to stop by the hospital. It’ll make her happy.”
“Yeah.” He clicked off and stared at the brick building across from him. He was tempted to throw his phone to hear the satisfying crack of plastic against the wall. Instead, he inhaled deeply and closed his eyes. The air he sucked in was rank with the smell of rotting garbage. Tomorrow was pickup day and the heat did no favors for the Chinese restaurant on the corner.
The sun beat against his skin, searing it. Five minutes of quiet without thinking about his mom at the hospital. Anything was better than the damn hospital. Leaning against the back door, with his eyes closed, he allowed the sun to sink into him.
The door thumped against him and he stepped away. So much for his five minutes.
Come to think of it, Kai’s relationships with his mom and sister were pretty good too. He did have that in his favor–though he was kind of an a$$ to them too at times. He gets better, at least.
Ms. Schroeder definitely went a different direction with her heroine on this one–I wasn’t too sure at first what to think of Norah, who’s only got about a month left in her pregnancy before she finally 1) tells the baby’s father or 2) actually makes a plan for what she’s going to do about her situation. Talk about denial! I really respected Noarah’s choice, though, and the way she stuck to it despite all the men she had getting in her face and trying to make her decide differently. She really did go with what would be best for the baby, and the fact that Kai was the only guy in her life that was behind that decision 100% definitely brought him up several notches in my estimation.
Fortunately, Norah and Kai’s relationship grew from there, and Kai gradually became a lot less of a jerk in the process. By the end when he’s managed to de-compartmentalize his life in an effort to make himself more worthy of Norah, I was in his corner 100%. I’ll enjoy seeing the two of them together as Norah’s brothers (except Jimmy, whose story–Catch Your Breath –was in another series and which I’m going to have read soon) get their own stories as the series continues.
Rating: 4 stars / B+
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.