Sean O’Malley has never tried to hide who he is. He shows it in the motorcycle thrumming between the legs of his tight jeans…the shaggy hair that falls in his gorgeous eyes…the wicked gleam in his smile when he asks Emma out for a drink. Sean is a rebel, a bad boy, and a ton of fun: exactly the kind of guy she’s sworn off forever.
Emma isn’t just the the prim kindergarten teacher she appears to be. And somehow Sean can tell. As soon as he pulls up to her overheated car he knows that a fast bike and a cold beer will fix her rotten day better than compliments or a bubble bath. Her straitlaced exterior and her wild heart light him up. But Emma wants to escape her past and settle down—and if her desk jockey dates don’t understand where she comes from, at least she doesn’t worry about them bringing her back.
One weekend of intense connection can’t change the paths Sean and Emma have chosen. But with a little space to be themselves together, maybe the rest of the world can wait…
In Your Arms is the story of Emma and Sean and how they fall in love. They meet when Emma’s car breaks down and Sean offers to help. The meeting turns into a night out which turns into a weekend together and they find themselves in a friends with benefits relationship until they both realize that they’re in love with each other and should get together instead of beating around the bush.
So, the plot is pretty generic, but the book is a fun read! I like the characters, especially Sean. He’s cocky. He knows he’s got it and he isn’t afraid to show it. He’s smart and witty and funny and charming when he wants to be. He knows what he wants and he does what he can to get it. Yeah, typical alpha male. But, he loves his family, even if he tries to behave otherwise and he loves his sister so much. That kind of warms my heart. He’s also straight with his partners. He doesn’t lie or deceive or make false promises. So, that’s good.
Emma, on the other hand, was kind of different. She’s a kindergarten teacher by profession but she loves leather jackets and bike rides and getting drunk off her ass. So, yeah, different from what you’d expect a high school teacher to be. I like that. I was pretty surprised when I found out she taught KG. When it was said she’s a teacher, I thought maybe high school (like Sean) but then she said she teaches KG and I’m like, wow! I did not expect that. She’s also done with ‘bad boys’ and wants to find a man to settle down with – one who has a decent job and who can look after her (which Sean can’t do because he has a propensity to lose jobs and lives with his father and bother.) What I don’t like is she wants a man to look after her. I mean, this is the 21st century, girl! You can look after yourself. That is not the reason to get into a relationship. Also, she sort of behaves that she deserves someone better than Sean for a majority of the book when he’s been nothing but understanding. I mean, just because he’s struggling with a job doesn’t make him the wrong person to get into a relationship with, especially because they click so well in every other aspect. They have a great time together, have so much to talk about, have similar interests, have mind blowing sex. I mean, what else do you need in a relationship?
All in all, this was a good read, but Emma kind of put it off for me. I’m glad that Sean and her resolved their issues towards the end of the book. Sean’s character development through the story is done amazingly. I like that. He was a different person when the book started from who he was when it ended and he’d changed for the better. So, yes, good for him. This wraps up nicely for all parties involved with a promise for Sean and Emma becoming even more serious in the later books.
A little more than ten minutes later, she was on her way back. The sight of her knocked the wind from him. Snug jeans and fitted tank top covered her, and she had a sweatshirt tied at her waist. She’d traded the heels for a pair of sneakers. Her hair was now completely down and long brown waves flew around in the breeze. For a moment, he considered that she’d lied about it being her mom’s place because he didn’t know any moms who dressed like that. But her bag was overstuffed, he assumed with her clothes.
He pushed off the bike. “That was fast.”
She offered a crooked smile. “I really need a drink. The radiator hose was the last in a line of things ruining my day.”
“Hop on and you can tell me all about it over a beer. Or wine. Or whatever.”
“Tonight’s a whiskey night.”
Sean liked the sound of that. They mounted the bike and she put the helmet on. Before he started the engine, he asked, “Any place in mind?”
“No. You pick.”
Since he normally didn’t drink in the area, he drove closer to his neighborhood and parked beside his favorite dive bar. It was dark and relatively quiet. They could shoot pool or play darts or just listen to music. He helped Emma off the bike and locked his helmet down. Then he led her into the bar and directly to a corner table.
“This okay?” he asked before sitting.
She glanced around. “Fine.”
She swung her bag over her head and plopped it on the free chair between them.
A waitress came to the table. “Hey, Sean. Haven’t seen you in a while. You could give a girl a complex.”
When he chose the bar, he hadn’t thought about Amanda possibly working. “Hi, Amanda.”
He became acutely aware of Emma watching Amanda and him. He prayed Amanda wouldn’t say anything else.
She smiled broadly and looked at Emma. “What can I get for you?”
“A shot of Jack and light beer.”
“Miller,” Sean added.
“Bottle or tap?”
“Bottle,” both he and Emma said.
Amanda tucked a tray under her arm. “That question was for the lady. I’m pretty sure I know how you like it.” Then she spun on her heel and walked off.
Emma’s mouth eased into a small smile. He wanted to believe she was just being friendly.
“So how long did you two go out?”
“Uh . . .”
Emma waved a hand. “Forget I asked. It was obvious though. You might want to rethink bringing dates here if you’re going to run into your ex.”
He searched for the words to let her know that Amanda wasn’t exactly an ex when Amanda reappeared with their drinks. She set them down quietly without comment, thank God.
Emma picked up her beer and took a swig. “Well, you obviously didn’t screw her over too badly, or you’d probably be wearing your beer.”
“It’s not like that. We had a good night together. Maybe two. Doesn’t quite give her ex status.”
Sean pointed to the shot and asked, “So what makes this a whiskey night, other than your brother screwing up your car?”
“What do you do?”
Emma grabbed the shot and slammed it back. When she set the glass back down, he noticed a butterfly tattoo peeking out from the tank top on the back of her shoulder. She looked at him. “I’m a teacher.”
He froze. He hadn’t expected that. One look at the suit she’d worn and he’d assumed some kind of office job, secretary or something. She was a teacher. He laughed as she took a gulp of beer.
“What’s so funny?”
“I can’t imagine any teacher I ever had doing a shot of Jack in a bar like this.”
A dark look passed over her face, but then she covered it with a smile. “I guess we all have some surprises.”
He reached over and brushed her hair off her shoulder. “I can guarantee I never had a teacher as hot as you. I never would’ve gotten out of school otherwise.”
Emma snorted at him and then took another drink of beer. “You already got me to the bar, buddy, no need for compliments.”
Sean’s hand slid away. He didn’t know how to read that. Women usually liked some sweet talk. “Being honest. If you were my teacher, I’d spend all my time imagining you naked.”
“Show me a good time and you might not have to imagine it.” Her voice was low and a little husky.
“You mean rigging your car to get you to safety, giving you a ride on my bike, and buying you a drink wasn’t enough?”
She laughed. That too was a low, sexy sound. “I might be easy, but not that easy.”
Shannyn is an occasional English teacher, who also 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. The 6-book O’Leary series has wrapped up, as well as 2 Hot & Nerdy new adult trilogies. She’s currently working on her next series.
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.