Catch Your Breath by Shannyn Schroeder: Review, Guest Post & Excerpt

June 30, 2014 Reviews 3 ★★★★

Catch Your Breath by Shannyn Schroeder: Review, Guest Post & Excerpt

I was provided with an advance reader copy by Tasty Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. Any and all opinions expressed in this review are mine alone. I received no financial incentives to review this book.

Catch Your Breath by Shannyn Schroeder: Review, Guest Post & ExcerptCatch Your Breath by Shannyn Schroeder
Series: The O'Learys #4
Published by Kensington Zebra on July 3, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Format: eARC
Source: Tasty Book Tours
As kids they steered clear of one another--but now a beautiful, well-connected reporter and a sexy, driven detective are all grown-up and on the job. . .

Moira O'Leary's work as a reporter gives her access to some of Chicago's swankiest soirées. She knows how to navigate the jet-set crowd, and her style and confidence help her blend right in. But when her childhood crush starts popping up at posh events, her poise begins to falter--until she realizes she has the upper hand in a high-stakes game of secrets and seduction. . .

Jimmy O'Malley has always tried to avoid his friend Liam's little sister. Something about Moira spelled trouble. But he's out of his element working undercover in Chicago's high society, and Moira is his ticket to the inner circle. As sparks begin to fly--and their chemistry heats up--Moira gets dangerously close to his investigation. Will Jimmy be forced to push her away to keep her safe--or will they surrender to a desire that could leave them breathless?

Shannyn Schroeder’s O’Leary series has been one of my favourite contemporary series of late. Catch Your Breath is the fourth in the series, and tells the story of Moira, the sister of previous heroes Ryan and Colin, and Jimmy, the good friend of their brother Liam. Once I knew this was up for review, I was on it like white on rice. I’ve really enjoyed the first books, and I can tell you I wasn’t disappointed by this one.

As this is part of the review tour for Catch Your Breath, I’m not only reviewing the book – I am also lucky enough to have Shannyn Schroeder herself stopping by to talk a little bit about the role of music in her books, and in particular in Catch Your Breath. There is also an awesome giveaway at the end of this post as well, so stay tuned!

Over to you, Shannyn!

Like many writers, I write to music. Until I started the third book in the O’Leary series, I listened to whatever was on the radio. When I was ready to start writing Something to Prove, it was the first time I created a soundtrack specifically for the book. It’s something that, like the visual collages I create, grounds me in the characters and book. Because I create the soundtrack before I write a single word, the songs sometimes don’t fit the book by the time I’m done. With Catch Your Breath, though, I feel like I nailed the soundtrack.

The songs are fun and sexy and reflect who the characters are. In Catch Your Breath, Maggie O’Leary has been in love with Jimmy O’Malley since she was 10. Jimmy doesn’t give her the time of day because she is his friend’s (Liam) little sister. He’s attracted to her, but doesn’t want to be. Jimmy also isn’t much of a talker, which bugs the hell out of Moira, who he affectionately calls Mouthy Moira because of her affinity for talking.

Kiss You All Over – Exile

Maybe I’m Amazed – Paul McCartney

Leave Right Now – Will Young

One Thing – One Direction

Come On Get Higher – Matt Nathanson

Take a Chance On Me – ABBA

Things I’ll Never Say – Avril Lavigne

Domino – Jessie J

When You Say Nothing at All – Alison Krauss

Jealousy – Natalie Merchant

Everyday Superhero – Smash Mouth

Superman Tonight – Bon Jovi

Here’s what I thought about it:

Catch Your Breath is an excellent continuation of a fantastic series.

There is a real spark of chemistry between Moira and Jimmy – the pull away from and push towards each other is done fantastically, with witty dialogue and a real sense of fun. You just know that these two need to get together, and that when they do, it’s something special, and not to mention hot!

I loved that Moira and Jimmy had this past, this connection that came from having known each other for a long time. Yes, Moira has a mad case of the hots for Jimmy, and has had for years, but I loved that she didn’t have that “woe is me, he won’t look my way” thing going on. Jimmy did have those typical man moments, but it was easy to see that he had his heart in the right place.

I really liked the mystery aspect, surrounding the society thefts, and how it brings Moira and Jimmy together.

As with any series I love, I enjoyed catching up with the characters from the previous O’Leary books – I love this big, boisterous family, and you would be so happy to know people like them. I also really enjoyed the characters that emerged from Jimmy’s family, and I would love to see their stories brought to life.

Really looking forward to Liam’s story now!

Want a teaser? Here’s a little excerpt!

In this scene, it’s the annual block party and Moira is doing a water balloon toss before getting distracted.

Colin whistled to announce the start of the toss. After the first lob, the lines took a step back.

Olivia asked, “When’s Maggie coming home?”

“She was here at Christmas. Didn’t you see her?”

“Yeah, but I thought she’d be back by now.”

Moira shrugged as the balloon came back to her. Another step back, widening the gap between players. Balloons were dropped and handled too harshly. Women squealed as cold water splashed against them. It only took another ten minutes until they were down to the final three couples.

Olivia released the balloon into a high arc as someone yelled, “Hey, Moira.”

Moira looked next to Olivia and saw a second balloon in the air. This one coming like a line drive at her. What the hell?

She tried to keep her eye on her balloon, but the other reached her first and smacked her on the chest, exploding with cold water. In the meantime, her balloon landed at her feet, soaking into her gym shoes.

The cackling laugh sounding behind Olivia told her exactly who had thrown the balloon. Kevin. She was going to kill him. He ran down the block, laughing, so she took off after him. They neared his house and he whipped by Jimmy.

Jimmy stood and stopped her progression. “Don’t you think a wet T-shirt contest is a little inappropriate?”

She looked down at her chest and realized how exposed she was. Leave it to Jimmy to embarrass her. She clamped down on her jaw and held tight to her anger. “You think this was my idea? It was a water balloon toss that I haven’t lost for over ten years. If your stupid ass brother didn’t attack me with a water balloon, I would’ve won.”

“Kevin did this?”

“Doesn’t he always?”

She plucked the material from her skin and allowed a calming breath to ease past her lips.

Then Kevin made the mistake of yelling from his porch, “Looking good, Moira.”

Her rage returned tenfold and she leaped for him, but got nowhere. Jimmy had swooped in and scooped her up by her waist. She scrambled like a cartoon character with her feet off the ground.

He whispered in her ear. “Why don’t you go change? I’ll deal with Kevin.”

She smacked his chest and he set her down, but didn’t allow enough room for her escape. “Change into what? Unlike you, I don’t live at home. I don’t have clothes here.”

“Borrow something of Maggie’s.”

She laughed. “Have you ever taken a look at my baby sister? There’s no way her shirt would fit me.”

He sighed and his eyes darted everywhere but at her. Then he reached over his head and tugged his shirt off. Moira lost the ability to think. Whoever said Chicago cops carried a spare tire around the middle and ate nothing but doughnuts had never laid eyes on Jimmy. Lots of delectable muscle.

The shirt landed on her shoulder.

“Here. Lucky for you, I do live here and can get a new shirt.”

Her brain came back online and she said, “Thanks.” He always took her off guard when he did something nice. She couldn’t quite read him and it annoyed the hell out of her.

“Whatever. I’m sure your brothers don’t want everyone staring at you. I’m saving you some embarrassment.”

And he was back. The Jimmy she was used to, treating her like the bothersome kid sister who needed to be protected.

Here’s a little bit about Shannyn!

ShannynShannyn is a former English teacher, who now works as a part-time editor while raising her three kids.

Even though she wrote from high school through college (mostly poetry), she’d never considered a career as an author. Writing fell by the wayside as she focused her energy on creating lesson plans and new and fabulous ways to torment her teen students. One group in particular dubbed her “The Torture Master,” a title she carried into motherhood.

After the birth of baby number two, Shannyn resigned from teaching and fell in love with reading romance novels. She read so many books so quickly that her husband teased, “If you’re going to read so many damn books, why don’t you just write one?”

So she did.

That first book is safely buried on her hard drive, but the process set Shannyn on the path to where she is today—agented with a debut ebook coming out with Kensington in late 2012.

She is recovering from her Diet Coke addiction, fears putting her foot in her mouth on social media, and has a renewed appreciation for the bad girls of the world.

You can find Shannyn at her website (, FacebookTwitter and Goodreads.

Now for the giveaway!

As I mentioned at the start of the post, there are some super awesome prizes on offer, thanks to Shannyn Schroeder herself!

There are some awesome prizes on offer – including a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card, a digital copy of one of the first 3 O’Leary books (More Than This, A Good Time, or Something to Prove) or Three Swag packs including: Keeper Kase with signed cards, O’Learys bottle opener, and O’Learys post-its.

To be in with a chance to win, simply complete the Rafflecopter form below. Good luck!

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