Review: Straight Up Irish – Magan Vernon

Review: Straight Up Irish – Magan VernonStraight Up Irish
by Magan Vernon
Series: Murphy Brothers #1
Publisher: Entangled: Embrace
Publication Date: February 19, 2018
Genres: Romance
Pages: 309
Reading Challenges: January - March 2018 Quarterly Challenge
Source: NetGalley

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My rating: One StarOne StarOne Star

I need a wife if I want to help save my family’s billion-dollar pub empire. There’s just one problem: I never plan on marrying. So, I need someone who understands that this is just another business deal. I don’t do commitments. And my brother’s executive assistant, Fallon Smith, fits that bill.

Fallon needs help with her grandmother’s expenses, and her pretending to be my fake wife is a way we can make that happen. She’s not my biggest fan, but we can help each other and then go our separate ways. That she’s beautiful and I enjoy spending time with her–doesn’t matter. When all of this is done, she’s heading home to America, and I’ve got a company to run.

A fake wedding and a whole lot of whiskey. What could go wrong?

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3 stars icon contemporary icon romance icon

This was a fun read, with a bit of a tour of Ireland – mainly Dublin and Galway, with a trip to the Cliffs of Moher.  This is the first in a trilogy focused on the Murphy brothers, who have inherited the international Murphy Pub chain from their father.
Connor is, to put it mildly, a playboy – one character calls him “Hottie McLucky-abs” – and the middle of the Murphy brothers.  So much so that he wakes up the morning of the reading of his father’s will in bed with a woman he doesn’t even remember picking up.  That he’s – almost – on time for the meeting at all is thanks to Fallon, his older brother’s assistant.  Fallon’s been on the job for six months, and it’s not the first time she’s had to play nanny over the phone for Connor.  Connor’s in for a day of surprises, though.  First, when he bumps into Fallon (dumping coffee all over her) and realizes that the nagging voice on the phone belongs to a beautiful woman, and secondly, when he finds out that the conditions of his father’s will state that, to inherit the company, each of the brothers must marry within a year.  After dinner and drinks (as an apology for spilling coffee all over her), Connor’s beginning to think that a marriage of convenience to Fallon is the answer to his problems.  Though they seem like complete opposites, they both want to do what’s best for their families, and, in this case, that entails marrying each other.  For Connor, it fulfills his part of the requirements of his dad’s will so he can keep the company in the family, and for Fallon, she gets the money to keep her beloved Nana in her nursing home.

“When it was just us joking around like this, I could forget about ex-boyfriends, his former flings, and impending marriage contracts.
This was how I liked us. How I always wanted it to be.
Stop thinking like that. There is no always.

Overall, I liked Fallon.  I loved that when she gets anxious, she, in her words, word vomits.  However, she was a bit too perfect and selfless to be truly believable.  Between student loans and paying for her Nana’s nursing home, she’s completely broke, and lives on PB&J at her company-supplied flat where the only furniture is a rickety twin bed that came with it and a desk she’s cobbled together.  She’s so nice, she can’t even properly break up with her deadbeat boyfriend back in America.  I had the same issue with Connor – it was hard to believe he’d go from complete playboy to devoted boyfriend in a few months.  I mean, it’s not an exaggeration to say that one of Fallon’s worries about every Murphy pub they go to, she has to wonder if he’s shagged their waitress (spoiler he probably has).  He also has a tendency to buy things for her, from fully furnishing the flat to ordering the entire room service menu at their hotel room, plus a set of pink golf clubs (because he wants to go golfing) and lots of clothes.
Nothing was holding me back from him. Nothing but possible regret I was sleeping with a known player I was in a fake relationship with. But what was marriage without a little fun?
While I thought the sexual tension throughout the book was great, the first sex scene was strangely unappealing to me.  It was more of a “count the orgasms” thing than actually sexy.  I also didn’t care for the event that triggered their big feelings reveal to each other.  It felt entirely over the top and a bit out of left field and seemed to take the focus away from Connor and Fallon and their relationship.
So, while I thoroughly enjoyed the first half of the book, I found the second half a bit of a letdown.  Overall, I did enjoy it though, and I’ll probably pick up Jack and Sean’s books.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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