Bartender Liam O'Brian is forced to hide in Ireland because of a threat by the New York Irish Mob and thinks that it's going to be absolutly boring. His new home is small and sleepy Ballycraig where life is totally different from New York City. When he meets feisty and harsh sheep farmer Aislinn, things finally start to look better. He sees right through her hard facade and realizes that she's not really harsh but only afraid to get hurt again.Aislinn hesitates to start something with Liam because the last man she trusted humiliated her. But she can't say no to Liam's charm for long and soon develops deep feelings for him. When Liam starts to fall in love with Aislinn, a stupid and mean bet (about "conquering"Aislinn) he made with his boss could destroy everything.
After reading the synopsis for "Straight Up" I was a bit sceptical about the story but as soon as I started reading the book all my doubts were forgotten. I enjoyed reading about Aislinn and Liam right from the first page and couldn't wait to see how their relationship developed. The love story between them is very believable and I love that Liam had to work hard to make Aislinn give him a second chance.
Aislinn is a great heroine. She combines strength and sweetness and I enjoyed that she is happy with her simple life and doesn't shy away from hard work.
Liam is a great and very interesting hero. He is suprised by his love for Aislinn and even though I hated that he took part in the bet, I forgave him (after a lot of crawling) just as Aislinn did.
I also enjoyed reading about life in Ballycraig and how nothing in the book is overly dramatic and that the bet and it's effect on Aislinn aren't sugarcoated.
The only thing I don't like about "Straight up" is the cover. IMO it looks cheap and doesn't fit the story at all. But that doesn't change the fact that I enjoyed reading the book a lot and can't wait for the next novel by Deirdre Martin.