Berkley, May 2010, $7.99
When her fiancé jilted farmer Aislinn McCafferty, she vowed no more men in her life unless they are sheep. Soon afterward her parents died in a car accident. Grieving and angry she wants to be left alone with her flock though her sister is visiting her and her elderly loyal employee remains on her sheep farm.
Fleeing the New York Irish mob, Liam O'Brien hides in Ballycraig, Ireland. When he meets the acrimonious Aislinn, he wants her but she rejects him. Cocky, he makes a bet with the local pub owner that he will get her to go out with him. However, as Liam gets to know Aislinn, he wishes he never made that stupid wager as he is falling in love even as the doubting Aislinn begins to reconsider the charm of four legs vs. two and a half legs. Still refuses him; as she expects him to return across the Atlantic back to the big city.
Straight Up is an enjoyable romance starring two initially unlikable lead characters who grow on the reader. Liam has an ego larger than the Atlantic while Aislinn has had her esteem shattered. Although the thin plot is mindful of Doc Hollywood and filled with an eccentric secondary cast who like fans take bets on the outcome as Deidre Martin provides an amusing tale of love.