Customer Reviews: Someone To Believe In (The O'Neils Book 1)
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on September 20, 2005
Kathryn Shay's books are on my must-buy list for a reason: nobody does intense emotions better.

In Someone to Believe In, Bailey O'Neil and Senator Clay Wainwright have a real conflict. They've been public enemies for over a decade--ever since he sent her to prison for a year. She's known as The Street Angel for her work with kids in gangs. He's also concerned with youth gangs, but believes Bailey's going about it the wrong way, that she should leave things to the authorities, and that she shows a blatant disregard for her own safety.

The conflict doesn't go away just because these two fall in love. On the contrary, it makes their differences more important and painful. They make it in the end, of course--it is a romance, after all--but it's definitely not an easy journey.

The good:

The writing. Nobody does emotionally charged romance better than Kathryn Shay. The emotions of all the characters are right there on the page, and they're understandable.

The topic. Ms. Shay has done her research, making the problem of youth gangs real, and the differing opinions of how to deal with them clear.

The characters. Even the secondary characters--Bailey's son, brothers, co-workers, and Clay's son, and his political rival--are three-dimensional with clear motives and goals.

The bad:

I really had to agree with Clay: Bailey took too many stupid chances with her safety, particularly since she had a young son depending on her. It made me less able to connect with her as a character.

The final conflict went on a bit too long, and made me impatient.

The verdict:

This isn't a sweet, happy love story. It's painful and emotional, and you'll stay up way too late reading it to find out how Clay and Bailey manage to earn their happy-ever-after. But it's worth it.
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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2009
This is a worthy book with a strong hero and heroine but the trouble was there was TOO much politics in it, and bickering. The story could have been condensed into a smaller time frame with a lot fewer pages.

I also found every single Irish cliche in the book really irritating after a while. Bailey is good hearted but foolish, Clay has his issues, they sparkle together but don't really scorch the pages because of all their bickering about the best ways to deal with gang violence, domestic abuse, and so on.

The author has really done her homework, I have to give her that, but it does not make for a sexy read. Also, with all of Bailey's brothers and family entanglements, I felt as though I was coming in at the end of a really loooong series of books, and yet when I looked at the ends for the author's other books, none of them seemed to be linked to this one. So it is good to have secondary supporting characters, but not to the point where it really detracts from the romance between the hero and heroine. It was hard to get involved with either character because their points of view were so extreme.

Finally, the ending was complete tell, not show, and very trite, and left me feeling fairly cheated after having read for sooo many pages.
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on September 6, 2005
This isn't my first book by Mrs. Shay and definitely won't be my last. Shay gets better with each book released. The story moves along extremely well and the characters seem to come alive right before your eyes.

Senator Clay Wainwright and Street Angel Bailey O'Neil (name given due to her reaching out and helping gangsters get out of their gangs and off the streets of death) are bitter adversaries in the press. Have been for over 10 years. He sent her to prison, and she persecutes him almost on a daily basis now that she's released and he's up for another term as senator.

The story starts out with Bailey's trial 11 years earlier, while Clay is still district attorney. We see the support Bailey has from the citizens of New York, even from the Judge and the Jury. Clay doesn't quite get why many support a woman who harbors young criminals and allows them to hide out from the law.

Only serving a one-year prison term, a much wiser and stronger Bailey is still up to her old tricks, with Clay, now a popular Senator up in Washington, still fighting against her unorthodox ways. Where he is much more conservative and upholds the law religiously, Bailey isn't against helping kids get out of gangs any way she can and still stay within legal grounds because someone close to her suffered because there was no one else to turn to for help.

Now with Congress dishing out over $400 million dollars to social agencies and women shelters, etc, Bailey wants to expand her shelter for gangsters ESCAPE and build a much bigger program GUARDIAN to house, educate, and protect those kids willing to leave their gangs behind. She needs this funding from Congress but there's a one-man roadblock preventing this: Clay Wainwright. He feels she breaks the law and that this money should go to kids who aren't thugs and abused women and schools that need it.

We see that Bailey doesn't break the law, in fact puts her very life on the line to help a young woman escape a dangerous life. Tazmania, the young woman, is a great secondary character who pulls you into her life and makes you understand how hard it is to leave her homies. Taz reminds Bailey so much of her sister who died from being in a gang and the bond that develops between these two are very touching.

Bailey's relationship with her parents and four brothers is also beautifully woven in and will make you want Aiden and Paddy to have their very own book. We also learn that even families with a lot of love make mistakes and can overcome them.

Clay also has problems with those close to him, but not having that same support from his family that Bailey has. He has a young son, Jon, who sides with his rival for his seat in Congress; an on-again-and-off-again relationship with Jane (a snooty, spoiled, rich society dame); an ex-wife who resents him for not having enough time for their marriage; parents forcing a relationship upon him he doesn't want; on top of growing feelings for the Street Angel and a governor wanting him and Bailey to drop their fued and team up on a new anti-crime task force.

What we get is Clay and Bailey fighting each other in the media but heating the sheets (or the stairs, elevators, and the walls) up with love making). Talk about a hot book filled with great dialogue and love scenes.

This book is a must. I cried, laughed, and stayed up very late into the night and morning reading this book. I didn't want it to end.

You'll be greatly moved by Bailey's love of these troubled young teens and her fear of committing to Clay, as well as her love for her brothers and young son Rory; Then there's Clay risking his image as a senator, learning what it means to be a father, and willing to protect Bailey at any cost, including death.

You'll also enjoy the political and personal side to Bailey and Clay's relationship. Watching them go from bitter enemies to protective lovers was awesome. The fact that they both had the same goals, but went at it with different approaches was greatly told by Katheyn Shay.

Also the secondary characters keep things very interesting! They are just as well written as the main characters.

Mrs. Shay thank you for an incredible read. Please hurry with the next book :)
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on September 4, 2013
For the first time in a long time, I just had to stop reading this about a third of the way through. How many times does the author need to repeat what is basically the summary of the book? I simply tired of reading the same words over and over. The gang subplot shows promise, but was undeveloped. As another reviewer noted, there was no necessity to insert "porn" in an otherwise potentially informative book about gangs and government funding. But, in the final analysis, the cut and paste effect overwhelms the book.
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on June 2, 2014
I only read the first two chapters and then stopped. The story was a bit interesting, about a woman working to help gang members get out and into a safer life. And the Senator who doesn't want to fund her program. But I just don't want to be reading the F word every other sentence. I just believe a story can be told without using explicit foul language. I read to escape reality, not to read something I hear on the street daily.
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on September 15, 2012
really? you had such a good story dialog going on, why did you have to throw in soft porn in the first third of the book? not everyone wants to read so much sex in a book...good writers didn't have to resort to this type of writing. i deleted the book off my kindle and won't finish it.
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on April 5, 2016
Why do authors need to put such graphic sex in their novels. I know that sex sells... but I am SO SICK of these type of novels. BudBob...and Amazon, please put interesting new novels without so much sex... I do like romance stories... just leave out the description of what happens in the beds. Thank you
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on September 13, 2012
I read one of K. Shay's books years ago and absolutely loved it so I decided to try a new one. I think her writing style is fantastic, I just wish she would write something that allows you to escape from reality. This book is very politically driven and I couldn't finish it because I just kept getting angry with the dialogue between the H & H.
This is her choice and I am sure she has fans that love everything she writes, but I will be steering clear of all books with plots such as this one.
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on July 1, 2014
Hate is too strong a word, but I lost interest in the very tangled first several pages of this book. It was so involved that it made my brain hurt so much I fell asleep. Needless to say, it did not grab my attention for good reasons. Nice cover face, don't you think?
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on June 4, 2014
I read "Someone To Believe In" from start to finish in one sitting. Kathryn Shay is a very talented author who managed to hold my attention throughout. Since I read so many books, it's getting harder to find unique stories, or stories that hold my interests. Most authors are too wordy and repetitious just to lengthen their books and become tedious, but not Ms Shay--every word was well placed and needed to convey the story; it had a good flow.

This story gives insight into the penal system, gangs and the need for people like our Heroine, Bailey O'Neil AKA: "Street Angel" to help girls who want to escape street gangs.

Senator Clay Wainwright has apposing views on how to stop gang activity than Street Angel's. They are public enemies, with the Senator trying to block funding for her ESCAPE project.

There's offense language, detailed sexual encounters, and other content that I try to avoid when choosing a book, but in "Someone To Believe In" it's an integral part of the story. The story would not be realistic without it.

I enjoyed reading "Someone To Believe In" and like Ms Shay's writing style. She was a new author to me, but I will look for more of her books.
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