REVIEW: Friday Night Mistress by Jan Colley
Dear Ms. Colley:
I’ve been meaning to write you for some time to tell you how much I enjoyed your book. In fact, I thought I had written you a letter until I did a search for it the other day and realized how delinquent I had been.
Jordan Lake has a secret lover, Nick Thorne; one she meets every friday night. The two act as if their weekly meetings are purely physical but they both secretly worry that the other is tiring of the situation and the relationship. They both long for something more but are afraid to broach the issue for fear that even the Friday night meetings will come to an end. Their fear and uncertainty of each other’s true feelings make every move subject to deep introspection and often erroneous assumptions.
Jordan and Nick are Juliet and Romeo. Their families have been fueding for at least a generation and the last fracas has resulted in Nick’s father suing Jordan’s for libel and slander in a highly embarassing and explosive trial. By day, Jordan and Nick cannot appear together nor show each other the slightest sign of affection or the press attention would be overwhelming not to mention the implications it might have for the trial.
Nick’s brothers think it would be clever if Nick seduced the Lake daughter. She’s hot, after all, and it shouldn’t be much of a hardship. This seeds an idea in Nick’s head that maybe he can have more than just Friday night.
"Does it bother you," he asked roughly, "this secret of ours? This thing between us?"
Jordan was past reason. She wanted much more of "this thing" between them, and she wanted it now. She stared at him, pushing back into his body, squeezing her thighs together to trap him.
With an effort almost too much to bear, she forced her mouth to open, to speak. "I know the score, Nick," she told him tightly. "I’m playing the game."
Simple. Sensational. Secret.
It was what she wanted. What she lived for. Her Friday afternoon delight
Nick begins to change his behavior; giving Jordan jewelry; pushing to see her more often; coming to her home. Jordan becomes confused with each deviation from their previous agreement. Particularly when Nick begins to show signs of jealousy which Jordan had never seen before:
"I didn’t realize that giving me a gift branded me as your exclusive property."
"It doesn’t, but your Friday afternoons are mine, not bloody Jason Cook’s."
As they begin to see each other outside of the bedroom, Jordan and Nick both realize that they don’t know much about each other. But each new kernel of knowledge about the others insecurity, their generosity and spirit fuels the physical attraction and deepens the emotional attachment.
Nick toes that careful line between uber alpha male and asshole. When he is assholic, it is generally because he is jealous or feels threatened. Although at one point in the story he is super hurtful toward Jordan and he probably doesn’t govel enough to make up for it.
Jordan has her own issues. Jordan’s public persona is one of a frivolous heiress with many affairs. She’s done little to tamp this down, preferring to play into the publicity rather than try to turn her image around. It’s no wonder that people assume certain things about her and it’s a little disingenuous of her to be hurt when others don’t look past the image she’s cultivated. She could have been more assertive, but she does tell Nick off when he needs a verbal slap in the face.
There are so many standard tropes in Friday Night Mistress: the interfering parents, the big betrayal, the misunderstanding, and even a secret baby. Despite that, or maybe even because of it, I totally enjoyed the love story of Jordan and Nick and their attempts to navigate the once solely physical attraction as it deepened into something more meaningful. B