More Than This by Shannyn Schroeder
Series: The O'Learys #1
Publisher: eKensington on January 3, 2013
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
When a lonely teacher teams up with a handsome bartender for some outrageous acts, they both get more than they bargained for…
Learning her ex-husband is going to be a father, Quinn Adams is determined to have a baby of her own—without the partnership of a man. But her sister and friends believe she needs to focus on herself first, and step out of her comfort zone by completing a list of adventures. Challenge number one is to go on five dates within two weeks. After a few disastrous attempts, Quinn’s ready to give up—until sexy bartender Ryan O’Leary offers his assistance.
Ryan has always been the dependable one in his family, often at his expense. But lately, he’s been longing for a life—and a woman—of his own. The woman he has in mind is Quinn. Though it seems all she wants is friendship, Ryan can’t ignore the explosive chemistry he feels between them. In the hopes of becoming closer, Ryan offers to help out with Quinn’s list. But when she asks him for a serious favor, he’s afraid it will jeopardize his chance to become more than friends.
This book includes mature subject matter that may not be appropriate for readers under the age of 18.
Quinn Adams has always been the practical one, but practicality hasn’t done her any favors. Her career is in a rut and her love life is non-existent, and while she wants better for herself, she has no idea where to start. When she finds out her bartender ex-husband is going to be a father, her biological clock goes haywire, and she’s determined that if nothing else, she will be a mother. Now if only she could find a willing and worthy father for her yet-to-be-conceived child.
Ryan O’Leary can’t help but notice the pretty teacher who never seems to take any risks. She comes into his bar, has a drink or two, and laughs it up with her friends, but in all the time he’s known her, she’s never come out of her shell. When Quinn’s sister and best friend set her up with a list of things to do, things to shake up her life an let her live a little, Ryan is more than willing to step in and be the man she turns to. If only she’d give him a chance.
Quinn is very easy to identify with. She’s not really a wallflower, but she’s not nearly as wild and outgoing as the friends with whom she surrounds herself. After being burned in the romance department, she’s also a little insecure about… well, everything, really. But she wants to get out of her rut and find happiness again. The list her friends give her to accomplish are the kinds of things that are completely outside her comfort zone, but she’s willing to give it a shot.
Ryan appears to be the typical playboy bartender. He’s absolutely gorgeous, and there are no shortage of women willing to join him for a romp between the sheets. But Quinn’s afraid he’s no better than her bartending ex-husband, the man whose wedding ring didn’t keep him from turning heads or out of other women’s beds. But he’s also the most responsible of his siblings, and while he may like to have fun, he’s not really a womanizer. And when he can’t deny the chemistry between him an Quinn, he wants to see where it could lead.
While I could understand Quinn’s reluctance to trust a man who on the surface could easily be the carbon copy of her cheating ex-husband, Ryan’s charm can quickly be seen as genuine. I loved that he was willing to be Quinn’s friend when she was hesitant to allow more, and I love that his interest didn’t wane even when she wasn’t entirely open to giving him a chance. However, I’ve got to admit that I wanted to shake some sense into her when near the end of the story she was still filled with doubt.
Through it all, we pretty meaty insights about the people closest to these two, not so much that it overwhelms Ryan and Quinn’s story but enough to leave me wanting to know more and the promise of it in future stories. Indy, Kate, Ryan’s best friend Griff, Ryan’s brother Colin…just to name a few…are all intriguing on their own and I want more of them. Lastly, the O’Leary brood, with their sibling issues and strong sense of family, provide a really nice backdrop for the series, completing this really attractive package.
The story provides multiple points of view and keeps the secondary characters in the foreground, things that have bothered me in other books but worked extremely well in this one. Instead of insulating Quinn and Ryan in a bubble and focusing only and unrealistically on them, the other characters made things more interesting, more like an actual look into a person’s everyday life. And having more than one point of view gave much more insight into everything that was going on, no matter what Quinn or Ryan may have been assuming.
The whole hunky guy volunteering to help a woman be a little more daring is not a new idea, but the way it played out in More Than This was fresh an engaging, and I definitely recommend it to all fans of contemporary romance. As for me, I’ll be grabbing the next couple of books in the series!