The premise of Night Games is simple and silly. Five hundred years in the future, sex has become a spectator sport. Brian Byrne is the MVP of his time. Because he is feeling overworked and burnt out he decides to take a vacation. In Brian’s century, time travel is possible, so he goes back five hundred years to our present day to stay at the Irish castle once owned by his ancestors.
Allie O’Neill is visiting Ireland with her great aunt Katy. Supposedly she is assisting Katy with research into the supernatural creatures and myths of Ireland, but Allie is also fleeing the embarrassment and hurt she experienced as a result of her now ex-husband leaving her for another woman. Much of Allie’s embarrassment stems from the fact that she had made a career out of writing a series of books on how to be a perfect wife.
Because it is supposed to be haunted, Allie and Katy camp near Brian’s castle. There they meet Brian, who is immediately attracted to Allie, but does not intend to pursue his interest because of the no-sex-while-not-on-the-job clause in his contract.
While the premise of Night Games sounded like a light, humorous read, the reality is that there were too many instances that pulled me out of my suspension of disbelief. The narrative flow was constantly interrupted and I was never able to give myself over fully to the story.
Brian, who consistently and annoyingly refers to Allie as “babe,” tells her almost immediately that he is from the future and what he does for a living. Although Allie does not believe him, she doesn’t run the other direction. When it is finally made clear to her that he is, indeed, from the future, she is relieved to realize that although he has public sex for pay with lots and lots of different women, he is an athlete, not a porn star. What a relief! She may have hated to have her honey sleeping around just for fame and money, but if there is a game to be won, well, that’s another story.
While many of the erotic scenes in the book were fun, many also suffered from bad descriptions. For example, in one scene Brian pulls a fully clothed Allie into the shower with him. According to the book “her blouse and jeans were soaked, so she felt everything as if no cloth separated their bodies.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve found soaking wet jeans are very noticeable. Also, the author included numerous comments on Brian’s sexual techniques. He did not believe in foreplay, because part of the sport was to bring a woman to orgasm in around two minutes. How this is achieved without foreplay is left up to the reader’s imagination. Frankly, the constant repetition of Brian’s skill at bringing about a quick orgasm made me wonder if he came with a battery pack and vibrating parts. While his technique may have been efficient, it did not read as either sensual or romantic.
Add in several extra characters that keep arriving from the future – including a seven and a half foot tall, green haired woman who goes relatively unremarked in a small Irish village – some unbelievable technology, and a truly stupid time travel device (particularly given all the technology of the time), and I found myself wondering how many pages I could read before I encountered the next tidbit that would make my suspension of disbelief snap.
Despite the many flaws in Night Games, Allie and Brian did come across as likable characters, and characters who grew as people as the story developed. Unfortunately, their growing romance is interrupted by all the other elements in the book that did not work. It would be interesting to see what the author could do with a straight contemporary romance, but as far as futuristics go, this one’s a pass.