Once Pure

Once Pure

by Cecy Robson

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RITA AWARD FINALIST • She bears the scars of the past. He blames himself for things he can’t control. Their defenses are up, but in Cecy Robson’s latest Shattered Past novel—perfect for fans of Monica Murphy and J. Lynn—true love lands a knockout punch.
Sofia Tres Santos remembers a time before her life went sour, before her innocence was ripped away, before she began punishing herself with risky behavior and unworthy men. Now, at twenty, she just hopes she’s ready to rebuild some of what she lost. One way or another, it always comes back to her childhood friend and longtime crush, Killian O’Brien.
As strong as Killian is, Sofia has always been his one weakness. He knows Sofia has suffered and wants to ensure she’s never hurt again—not like before, and definitely not under his watch. When Sofia agrees to work at his mixed martial arts gym, Killian seizes the opportunity to help and protect the sweet girl he’s always cared for. And yet, as he trains Sofia to defend herself using his hard-hitting MMA techniques, he’s drawn to the vulnerable beauty in ways he never expected.
As Sofia grows stronger, she also grows brave enough to open herself up to love. And along the way, she challenges everything Killian believes to be true, showing him that no matter how much he dominates in the ring, the real battle is fought in the heart.

Praise for Once Pure
“The sexual tension between Sofia and Killian is super steamy; the passion builds with every page.”RT Book Reviews

“Sexy and heartbreaking, Once Pure is an excellent, emotional read.”New York Times bestselling author Monica Murphy

“Intense and powerfully emotional, Cecy Robson’s Once Pure grabs hold of your heart from the first page and doesn’t let go until the last.”USA Today bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly

“Cecy Robson has once again shared a story that keeps us in suspense throughout.”—Between Dreams and Reality
“Sweet and sexy . . . Killian and Sofia make each other better . . . what could be more romantic than that?”—Whiskey in the Jar Likes to Read
“I have been waiting for this couple’s story and I was not disappointed! Ever since Killian was introduced in the first book and Robson gave us the inkling that he possibly liked Sofia, I knew this was going to be my favorite book out of the series.”—The Book Whisperer
“Killian is just a perfect male lead and ‘book boyfriend’ material. I loved this book . . . definitely one of my favorites for this year!”—The Book Reading Gals
Once Pure tugged at my emotional strings and made me laugh out loud. I really enjoyed the way these characters were when they were together and I’m looking forward to seeing both of them in other books in this series.”—My Little Happily Ever After

Includes a special message from the editor, as well as an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780553393729
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/19/2015
Series: Shattered Past Series , #3
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 270
Sales rank: 174,395
File size: 867 KB

About the Author

Cecy Robson is the author of the Shattered Past series, the O’Brien Family novels, the upcoming Carolina Beach novels, and the award-winning Weird Girls urban fantasy romance series. A double-nominated RITA Award finalist for Once Pure and Once Kissed, Cecy is a recovering Jersey girl living in the South who enjoys carbs way too much and exercise way too little. Gifted and cursed with an overactive imagination, she can typically be found on her laptop silencing the yappy characters in her head by telling their stories.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The steady pummeling of fists against the speed bag continued as if the body slams and swears weren’t bouncing off every wall of the MMA gym. Every strike, every blow, promised pain and demanded respect. I tried not to react to each loud smack, or cower from supersized bodies dripping with sweat, but it was hard. Controlled chaos was the best way to describe the scene unraveling before me. And no one owned it like Killian O’Brien.

I slipped my fingers into the computer bag hooked to my shoulder, pretending to fumble with the files tucked against my laptop, while totally checking out Killian behind the safety of my sunglasses.

His broad and muscular back was to me, but that was okay. I liked the way his Celtic cross tat crawled up the length of his spine and spread across his shoulder blades. I liked the way his wavy jet-black hair tickled the base of his skull. I liked the way—okay, who was I kidding? I liked everything about him. I had since I was seven, when he and his large Catholic family moved into the row home across from ours.

Killian hadn’t noticed me. He was busy kicking what remained of a heavy bag, showing the younger MMA brawlers how it was done. At six feet five, and fighting at super heavyweight status, Killian shouldn’t have been so flexible. But he was. Dear Lord, he so was.

His foot skimmed the top of the bag with each brutal thump, causing the chain holding it to rattle and jolt with hard shakes. Killian was best known for his kicks. If he caught his opponent in the face with his foot, the poor guy was done, and so was what remained of his face.

“Hey, Sofia!”

I jumped when the youngest O’Brien approached. “Oh. Hi, Finn.”

The dimple on his right cheek deepened when he grinned. He motioned to my nylon computer bag. “You ready to work?”

“Oh, yeah. Ready to go.” I patted the bag like a total loser, then rather awkwardly let my hand fall to my side. In an attempt to regain some sense of grace, I slipped my sunglasses to the top of my head, pushing the strands of my long, bouncy curls behind my ears.

Finn’s grin widened. He likely sensed my nervousness. His toothy smile made him appear younger than his nineteen years, but it was sweet enough to soothe the tension my first day back had caused. I liked Finn, I always had. He was smaller than his brothers, but just as tough, working his way up the MMA ranks as a welterweight.

He slapped his gloved hands together, full of energy as usual. God, it seemed, had dumped all the O’Brien muscle onto Killian’s heavy-duty frame. God was funny that way. That didn’t mean Finn wouldn’t take on a guy twice his size. Finn was funny that way.

He scratched the top of his curly ginger hair. “Killian know you’re here?”

“Ah, no, but that’s okay. I can just head to his office and start on his website—”

“Kill, Kill!” Finn cupped his mouth with his hands, yelling at the top of his lungs. “Your woman is here!” His attention cut to my mortified face. “You are his woman, right, Sofia?”

“Ah . . .”

Killian’s head jerked our way, along with most of the behemoths training. I wasn’t sure if he could see how red my face was from where he stood, but the easy smile spreading along his strong features told me he could. He abandoned what remained of the heavy bag and crossed the padded floor as the rest of the fighters resumed their free-for-alls.

I froze, watching him prowl forward like the mad beast he was, his hulking and densely tattooed arms swinging loosely against his sides. It wouldn’t take him long to reach us, despite the large expanse of the converted warehouse, so I tried to speak fast. “I’m not his woman, Finn.”

“So you’re just banging?”


“But you want to.”

“Want to what?”

“Bang my brother like a pair of cymbals,” he said, like I was the stupid one.

“Yes—no.” Oh, good heavens.

“Why not?”


“He’s a good guy.”

“Finn, I’m not having this conversation with you.”

“Do you want to have it with Kill instead?”

“Have what with me?” Killian’s deep voice rumbled like thunder as he stopped just in front of me.

Dear. Lord.

It had been a few weeks since I’d last seen him. Dark stubble grazed his chin, forming a mini-goatee and emphasizing the angles of his square jaw. But his face didn’t hold my attention for long. My gaze traveled down his body, taking in his light skin glistening with sweat . . . before I remembered that my sunglasses now rested on the top of my head and I was blatantly gawking at him.

“Like what you see?” he asked, playfully.

Customer Reviews

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Once Pure 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At first I thought this was going to be another 'Rocky Balboa' imitation. It is 'more'.
TheBookFairyReviews More than 1 year ago
Killian has lived with regret for having failed the one woman he never thought he would hurt or live with out. Sofia has scars from her past that have kept her a prisoner of her own fear. The one person she wants, the one person she will try to over come her fear for...Killian. When she finds out his secret will they be able to last? Love will overcome anything but it has to come from the heart it has to be pure. Reading this book you will understand more than anything that this book is about forgiveness of not only those around you but of yourself. If we ant forgive we will ever be able to move forward.  This series is about that kind of love forgiveness of those that have harmed you and of the st. It is the only way to build on the future.  NOW let's talk Killian. This man is pure hottness and love and passion. He patience and love for Sofia are just swoon worthy! There attraction is felt as you read each page. I swear you feel a current through your reader! Strong willed and shy Sofia is the girl you can't help but love. She is trying to move past her past and ensure that her future is not defined by it. It is amazing to watch her grow through out the story.  This book, no this series will steal your heart. I can't wait to see what more we get!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
gromine49 More than 1 year ago
This is another great story by Cecy Robson. Sofia has always had a crush since she was a little girl on Killian, when they were neighbors and he always there to protect her from her father and her terrible childhood. They're both grown up and he has a MMA fighter training business and she is helping him to get his business in order. He feels guilty about something he won't tell her about but ironically it is tied into what bad thing happened to her at the same time. Quick read, intense, and makes you want to go out and learn self-defense. Many funny parts(Killian's sister is a hoot) but also this story is emotional and sexy too.
Cheryl-S More than 1 year ago
Killian O'Brien is two years older than Sophia Tres Santos. They've always had a special connection from when they were children. When they were teens, he went and grew up without her. A promise made to her brother and a promise broken is what changed their lives forever. This book is amazing! There's never a dull moment from cover to cover. I was hooked from the beginning. Reading this book put me on an emotional roller coaster. One minute I was laughing at the crazy O'Brien family and the next I was shedding a tear for Sophia or someone else. The insight and self discovery these characters make is amazing. There were a few surprises that I was definitely not expecting. Superb storyline! I can't wait to read more from this fabulous author. Received a copy in exchange for an honest review
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book!!!!
BuckeyeAngel More than 1 year ago
**I received an ARC of this story in exchange for an honest review This is the third book in the Shattered Past trilogy. We finally get Sofia's tragic story. Because of everything that has happened to her, Sofia is still very damaged and is trying hard to get through her past so she can live without terror. Killian was one of her oldest friends and she had loved him for years. She now has an opportunity to get close to him again as she works on his fight club's website. Being around Sofia makes Killian extra protective and extra crazy about her. He has the patience if she's willing to try. The problem is getting through the pain of their pasts to see if they can have a future together. This story was so tragically beautiful. It was written just as well as the other stories and yet just as unique. In the beginning of the story (and actually the entire series), Sofia is a broken church mouse terrified of her own shadow because of her past. Because of Killian and his family, by the end of the book, she's been able to grow through her pain and become a lioness. Killian is also filled with his own pain and guilt. While he takes a bit more time to get past it, it's great watching him help Sofia move through hers. Cecy Robson is definitely my new favorite author. I highly recommend all of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such a strong story - Sophia is a wonderful character and Killian is the perfect hero for her. Warning - an emotional journey that will pull on your heart.  Hoping this author has more in store - this series was a great one!
KYBookmama More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in this series, although all books are standalone. So far this is my favorite!! I hate reading about women who are weak but I LOVED reading about Sofia who is a fearful, young woman who has been through so much. Killian has been her best friend since she was 8 and he was 10. A great MMA read with a big, strong, protective man and his woman who grows stronger both mentally and physically under his watch. *I received this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this story! By far my favorite in the entire shattered past series! I just loved Killian & Sofia!!! I read this story in a day. it was so good. I truly recommend it to others you won't be disappointed!!! Cecy Robson has a true talent with these stories. definitely one of my favorite authors! Killian & Sofia were just perfect for each other! U just can't help falling in love with both characters and there families! Once Pure just had me laughing, crying and falling in love!
Kryska14 More than 1 year ago
Sofia Tres Santos was brought up in a very abusive family. She was also robbed of her innocence which then defined of who she became.  Now as an adult she’s still haunted by that one horrific night; she’s still scared and very timid. But she’s had enough and wants to live her life without fear, accept that she cannot change what had happened to her and can move on from it; become strong and brave.  She’s been hired to manage the accounting and website advertising for the MMA gym owned by her childhood friend and secret crush Killian O’Brien. Sofia & Killian have been friends since they were children and Sofia has loved Killian ever since. With their age differences they ended up in different school levels throughout their teenage years resulting in losing touch with each other’s lives. Killian has lived with soul eating regret for not protecting Sofia when he made a promise that he would. He loved her growing up but she was years younger than he was; told himself she was hands off and had gone on living his teenage years without her.  Sofia comes to work for Killian; he can no longer stay away from her and will go to the ends of the earth to make sure she never suffers again. He will protect her something fierce. Killian wants a relationship with Sofia but is willing to go at her pace, however long as it will take. With Killian’s love and support will Sofia learn to let go of her fears and let Killian into her personal space? What happens when she finds out what promise Killian did not keep?  Incredible! This love story between Sofia & Killian is pure, brilliantly written. The sex scenes were arousing and sensual. It was emotional & gripping; stays with you even once you’re done the last page. An advance reading copy of ONCE PURE by CECY ROBSON was provided to me from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
scambra More than 1 year ago
It seems like every time I read one of Cecy Robson's romances, all I can say is Wow! She seriously blows me away. The depth and vulnerability that is portrayed in her characters is what keeps me reading. I have loved Mateo & Evie, Lety & Brody and have now fell in love with Sofie & Killian's story. Sofie is a mess from her shattered past and Killian carries guilt from his. I have laughed and cried while reading their story. But as always, love wins.
IreneC More than 1 year ago
4.5 stars So many feels... Once Pure was a very emotional and heartfelt read, I loved it! Killian was such a sweetheart, loved seeing him with Sofia. They were truly perfect for each other.  Together Sofia and Killian were able to heal and find peace, love and happiness. Something that Sofia never had growing up.  I just loved them together. The writing is well done and the chemistry between the characters is smoking! You will definitely want to read this one, I highly recommend it.
Debby43 More than 1 year ago
 did not read the books before this one so I felt some detachment from the characters at first. After I realized who everyone was it started to roll right along.  Sofia has a damaged past that she hasn't quite gotten over. She is helping an old "friend" Killian with his growing business. Which just happens to involve lots of sweat and abs and... hotness! Killian has always had a crush on Sofia however she has never though he liked her like that. He starts to slowly make his move and it has to be super slow do to her past. They obviously both have super rocky pasts that kind of just mess up their relationship. There were a couple times were I wanted to be like you can't be so naive... but the next page had me back into loving the characters again. All in all a really good read I'm tempted to go back to the beginning to see if it helps me love these two characters even more.
Suzi1811 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book! I was glad to finally get the full story on what happened to Sofia, through her own eyes/memories. She really had a bad time and real trauma in her life, the rape on top of the abuse she endured from her father was the last thing she needed and she broke. It took a long time for her to pull herself together and Killian really helped her to regain her confidence and heal even further. They were a great match but their journey wasn't a smooth or easy one as they faced the past in order to make a real future. I love how Killian and Teo made up and regained their former tight friendship again as well, to the point that I really feel Teo approved of Killian being with Sofia (well as much as a big brother can approve of his baby sister dating!). I also loved getting updates on Teo & Evie and Lety & Brody too, even a small cameo from the crew from Teo's old bouncing job too! I will admit to tearing up more then once as their were a few really emotional scenes but I also laughed a lot as Cecy balances the emotional trauma with good doses of humour as well! This book marks the last book for the Tres Santos siblings but I'm happy that it does not mark the end of the series! I can't wait for Once Touched and to find out who will be starring in it! I hope it will be one of Killian's siblings, in particular Finn or Wren! I loved those two in this book and the rest of Killian's siblings too!
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
Adored this book! We've had sneak peeks at Sophie and Killian in prior books but this one gives us the whole story and what a heartbreaking and beautiful one it is. I love the way this author gives us these street tough, rugged heroes that love hard and fierce and do whatever is necessary to protect those they love. I also really enjoyed getting to know Killian's family, especially Wren. Her snark and quick wit were hilarious. I hope there are plans for her story, it is sure to be a great one. This is an absolute must read, I highly recommend it.
April-Hollingworth More than 1 year ago
Review Courtesy of April Hollingworth This is the third book in the outstandingly brilliant and heartbreaking Shattered Past series. Each book can be read as a standalone, but I would highly recommend reading them all.  Once Pure is breathtaking. It takes you by the hand and leads you on a broken path where secrets hold old hurts, where guilt of an act that couldn’t be prevented rules supreme. And how a decision and a chance at redemption can find peace or destroy everything in a once pure life. I adore this series so much. It makes me feel and cry. I hurt for the characters and rejoice for them too. Breathtakingly beautiful, the Shattered Past series are pure emotion, and a must read.  The Review: When the past haunts the future, and guilt gets in the way, it takes a strong man and woman to realize that a Shattered Past can either break you or make you.  Sofia Tres Santos remembers when her life was better, before her innocence was brutally ripped away. Before she started to punish herself; for something that wasn’t her fault; by risking her life with risky choices and unworthy men.  Now at twenty she hopes to rebuild her life and regain some of what she lost. One way or another that always comes back to her childhood friend and long time crush, Killian O’Brian. Killian O’Brian is strong and fierce, his only weakness is Sofia. He knows she has suffered; he wants to make sure she never does again. Not like before, and not under his watch. When Sofia agrees to work at his MMA gym, he is determined to take this opportunity to help and protect the sweet girl he’s always cared for. What he doesn’t expect is by helping her train in his hard-hitting MMA techniques, he becomes drawn to the vulnerable beauty, in ways he never expected to. As Sofia grows stronger in body, she becomes brave enough to open herself up to her heart’s desire. But will the secrets of the past prevent her and Killian from ever finding true happiness? FTC Advisory: Loveswept through Net Galley provided me with a copy of Once Pure by Cecy Robson. Published through Random House Publishing Group-Loveswept. Kindle Edition. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
stanhope3234 More than 1 year ago
3.75* This I was a very good book about self healing, growth and excepting love for what it truly is and being worthy of that love.  The book started out slow for me but then soon picked up as I was drawn in by Sofia and Killian's past relationship and the years they were separated. These two grow up as best friends and playmates until the day something terrible happened and nothing was the same. Given a second chance the day Sofia walked into Killian's gym for a job. Kill sees it as the opportunity to make thing up to Sofia and to protect her and this time he won't fail her.  Killian's just might be the sweetest alpha male that I've read in a long time. From the moment Sofia re-enters his life she becomes his whole world. He is so gentle with her and vows to give her everything and the time she needs. But when the other shoe falls will it be enough to hold them together?