Wednesday, August 20, 2014

[Review] Promised (One Night #1) by Jodi Ellen Malpas

Livy notices him the moment he walks into the coffee shop. He's heart-stoppingly stunning, with a blue-eyed gaze so piercing she's almost too distracted to take his order. When he walks out the door, she thinks she'll never see him again. Then she finds the note he left on his napkin . . . signed M.  All he wants is one night to worship her. No feelings, no commitment, nothing but pleasure. Every defense mechanism Livy has adopted during her solitary life is at risk of being obliterated by this confounding man. He's obnoxious but well-mannered. He's a gentleman but aloof. He's passionate but emotionless. Yet the fascination is so powerful, Livy can't deny him... or herself.  M awakens something in Livy, something deep and addictive that she never knew existed -- and that she fears only he can satisfy. But she senses that behind the fast cars, fancy suits, and posh apartment, he's aching inside. To have him, body and soul, she'll have to brave his dark secrets. Delving into his world and breaking down his defenses become her obsession - an obsession that could shatter her heart beyond repair.

Whew!  I can't tell you how happy I was to have another Jodi Ellen Malpas book in my hands.  I read the entire This Man series at warp speed last winter, but never posted reviews for them since I was a bit late to the Lord of the Manor shindig.  So when this book was announced, I was brimming with excitement!  This book did not disappoint (I'll address the cliff hanger haters later).  Beautiful, complicated man?  Check.  Shady and secretive past?  Check.  Temperamental and impossible?  Check.  These are all male hero personality traits that are my guilty pleasure.  M, or Miller as you will learn, is all of these things and has made for a sexy and fast paced story that I can't wait to continue.

You know a bit about M, but let's talk about Livy.  Livy has a shady past, through no fault of her own.  She is a victim of circumstance, but she has managed to keep her head up.  She lives with her nebby grandmother and works in a coffee shop.  Nothing about Livy is fancy.  She keeps to herself in an attempt to avoid her mother's fate, who we learn about in Livy's thoughts and flashbacks.  Livy is very strong when it comes to turning down unwanted attention, but she can't seem to stay away from M.  Miller pursues Livy, and against her better judgment, she finds herself in a whirlwind of a dysfunctional relationship.  

I know there are people who aren't going to understand this, but I love Livy and Miller together.  She brings out his softer side, while he makes Livy feel alive for the first time ever.  There are many growing pains, including Livy's appraisal of M's, um, tendencies towards perfection.  Miller must learn to deal with feelings that he has never felt before due to Livy's sweet personality.  The sex scenes are vintage JEM.  From shower shenanigans, to office desks, there are many places where Livy and M get it on.  If you liked the romance scenes in This Man, you will love them in One Night.

This book ends on a cliffy.  Don't hate it.  Embrace it.  If you have read any of JEM's previous books, you know that this isn't the first cliff hanger she has left us hanging on.  As I reacall, This Man had an even crazier cliff hanger.  One Night ends in an explosion of information.  The scenes leading up to the end were hard for me to read.  I could see what Livy was doing, but I almost hated her for it.  She got what she asked for in the end, and it was heartbreaking for her and M.  But the absolute end?  Yeah.  Shit got real.  We learn more about M. and about someone from Livy's past in a short amount of time.  It left me reeling.  I, like many others, would have loved to have more answers.  But allow me to get on my high horse.  Get over the cliff hanger hate.  I know is sucks.  I know it's hard to wait.  But the waiting makes it so much sweeter.  And since we only have to wait until November, it's no big deal.  Embrace the cliff hanger, people.

There is something about JEM's writing that I connect with.  You know how sometimes an author comes along and you just immediately fall in step with their writing style?  That happens to me with Malpas.  I love how she writes, from her dialogue to her British colloquialisms (which I often have to look up for understanding).  Reading a JEM book  is like putting on an old and beloved pair of jeans and a favorite t shirt:  it makes me feel comfortable and in my favorite place.

If you are a fan of contemporary romance and dark and complex characters with shady pasts, this is a book you shouldn't miss.  If you enjoy some well written smut, pick this one up.  It might leave you hanging, but I know it will be so worth it in the end.


Carmel @ Rabid Reads said...

Nice! It looks like Jodi Ellen Malpas nailed all of the points on your check list. I have a love / hate relationship with cliff hangers. I'm not a fan because what reader likes to be left hanging, but I understand the point of them... it's to keep us coming back for more! Lovely review, Jamie. :)

Bookworm Brandee said...

I'm late to the "Lord of the Manor shindig" as well - I've yet to read it. But I intend to. :) And I'll be reading Promised One Night as well. I love dark and complex characters. And since I'm behind, #2 will probably be out before I get to it, so the cliffhanger won't bother me too much. ;) Wonderful review!

Jamie said...

Thanks, y'all! I really love JEM's work.

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