REVIEW: One Night of Sin by Elle Kennedy
Dear Ms. Kennedy:
I’m a big fan of your past work and was very happy to find an ARC of One Night of Sin in my inbox. The story has a fairly simple setup which is perfect for the length of the novella which clocks in a little under 35,000 words. I’m not a fan of this form as most of the time I feel like I didn’t get enough but the straight forward nature of both characters helped.
Skyler Thompson is on a first date with someone who’s more interested in perusing the available women than talking with the one he’s sitting with. Skyler finds a small alley in the back away from the noise, smoke and crowd. Gage Holt, one of the three owners of the club, steps out to enjoy a drag off his e-cigarette.
Minutes later, they are in each other’s arms because Skyler doesn’t care that she doesn’t know his name or that they met five minutes ago. She just wants to enjoy the moment which blows Gage’s perceptions of her as too innocent and too sweet for him. But a timely interruption from Gage’s partners to let them know that the security camera is picking up his intimate embrace ends their encounter.
Gage reverts to his former thinking that he doesn’t have enough to offer a woman like Skyler. He’s fighting in cage matches to pay off his brother’s drug debt. He’s struggling to make his nightclub a success. And generally, he just doesn’t believe in relationships particularly with women like Skyler. What makes the book different and good is that Gage’s presuppositions about what type women are based on a few external ticks are completely wrong and Skyler sets out to prove that.
She initially offers just a physical relationship with Gage. She’s busy pursuing her master’s in psychology as well as holding down a job but she’d like to be intimate with someone and Gage turns her on. And she doesn’t take no for an answer.
“Yes.” Skyler released a glum breath. “I think he was trying to do the ‘right thing’”—she used air quotes—“by stopping. He pretty much said I was a ‘good girl’”—air quotes again—“and that I’d end up regretting it if I did anything with him, which is pure and total bullshit.”
Time and again when Gage retreats, Skyler pursues. I liked that she found something she wanted and went after it instead of sitting at home nursing hurt feelings. Both Skyler and Gage have personal problems. Skyler’s parents have both passed and the only close relative is her stepfather, a man she resents for breaking up her parents’ marriage but he reaches out consistently to have a relationship with her.
Gage has his recovering drug addict brother and the criminal boss who threatens his safety. The book ends both issues with fairly pat resolutions but the relationship aspect was well developed taking us from friends with benefits to true lovers. We see the couple in bed and out of it. It’s a sexy story that was the perfect right before bed read. B