Review of Straight Up Irish

Straight Up Irish (Murphy Brothers) by [Vernon, Magan]

Straight Up Irish

Magan Vernon

Entangled Embrace

February 19, 2018

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?


First off, I apologize. I don’t like to write “bad” reviews. I do personally know how much time and energy goes into trying to craft a novel and as always, I have the highest respect for any writer who manages to conceive of and finish a novel. It takes dedication and discipline.

I’ve always had an affinity for all things Irish. I can’t tell you its origin. I think it’s via my mother although in her family there was nary a drop of Irish blood, just Finnish and German…go figure.

As such, I’ve always had a penchant for contemporary Irish romances, whether they’re novels or movies so when I saw Straight Up Irish I knew I had to read it. There may have been salivating involved.

Unfortunately, as I write this review I am recovering from the whiplash I received after finishing Straight Up Irish, which seems to have been written by multiple personalities.

At the beginning Straight Up Irish was amusing with Fallon and Connor flirting and teasing. I was content and loving the beginning, even if Connor initially came off as a bit of a loser with the opening scene showing him blowing off a woman he’s in bed with because if he couldn’t remember the sex, it couldn’t have been that good. Now that I’ve written it and think about it, that’s not very nice, is it?

I was mystified, however, by the author having words like “courting,” “vixen,” and “spitfire” being uttered by Connor who was a University student in the US and has been working in Boston since then. If a Dublin teenager in this millennium ever spoke those words, I’m pretty sure that being around American university students, especially in a frat house, would have eradicated them from his system.

An aside: how can you describe batter-fried fish (as in fish and chips) as flaky when it’s just been put in front of you? Unless, you know, the waitress helped herself to a bite on the way over?

For the second part, after Fallon has agreed to Connor’s “proposal” to become his wife in name only, we are on the second round of diction. “Fecking,” which is a great Irish word has been replaced by the f-bomb. Also, twelve-year-olds are throwing around the word “fanny,” which is pretty harmless in the States, but in conservative Ireland is like tween boys in the Bible Belt saying c*nt and pussy in front of their mothers. Yet, the mothers laugh it off. It seems as if the author found a page of Irish slang on the internet and decided to use it all. Yippee.

The second part grew tedious with intentional and unintentional repetition.

While I’m supposed to believe that Fallon and Connor have a connection, I never feel anything in the way of chemistry. (I like swoon. I want swoon. Gimme swoon!) If the beginning, with the teasing and barbs, had continued throughout, I think this would have been a winner. I would have forgiven so much if the barbs and witty repartee had continued. Laughter is joy.

For the third part, Fallon and Connor finally get steamy, but it is so definitely a case of too little too late. I was bored by this time and found the excess of a billionaire nauseating.

For the most part the writing is good. It never felt clunky. But I’ve just read around four or five novels in the past couple of weeks that were above average, so this one really sticks out in comparison. But the writing was good. (Yes, I know that I repeated myself.) Does that mean your mileage may vary? Maybe so. I noted many 4 and 5 star reviews on Goodreads. This may be one for you. There’s a chance that you will fall under the spell of Connor and Fallon, or something. The things that bother me may mean diddly squat to you. It happens. I know that there is a reader out there for every book. Maybe this one is yours.

I believe that there are going to be two more installments to this series. I really hope that the author takes it down several notches with whichever writing personality appears and maybe relocates it to a familiar landscape and language. There really is something to be said for writing what you know unless you’re willing to do lots of research or create an entire fictional world (aka world building). And, I really, really want to love these books. I’m a lover, not a hater.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

From Amazon:

rating: 2-and-half

2 butterflies and a ladybug out of 5 butterflies

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