One Night More
Do books where the hero and heroine jump to conclusions in a single bound and continue to stew in their misconceptions page after page after page inexplicably thrill you? If so, you might like One Night More. Otherwise, you will probably want to fill your romantic suspense needs elsewhere. This novel provides some suspenseful moments, but many readers will also spend way too much time wanting to knock some sense into the leads.
Now it’s not all bad. The story actually starts off hot and promising as US Marshal Galen Kelly and recent college grad Harper Allen meet in a bar and then end up sharing a mind-blowing night of passion. After having some amazing sex, Galen lies awake thinking about how this woman is different from all others and even if he seems to have made a rather sudden decision, I was willing to go with it because up until this point, I rather liked the characters. So, what happens next? Galen goes snooping and finds something he doesn’t like and instead of talking it over with Harper like a rational person might do, he just bolts.
We next meet our hero and heroine one year later. Galen is back in town,and Harper now works as a reporter. In chasing down the story that could be her next big break, Harper stumbles into the murder of a senator. Given her status as the only surviving witness to the crime, Harper ends up under the protection of the US Marshals. And guess who is in charge of her detail?
If you thought this would give Galen and Harper a chance for the much needed clearing of the air, you would be oh, so wrong. Galen continues to assume that Harper did him wrong, despite all evidence to the contrary. And the most frustrating part? The whole thing could have been resolved with one simple question and yet no one bothers to ask it until pretty far into the story. Brilliant investigative skills, Mr. Law Enforcement Hero.
To be fair, Galen’s actually not a bad hero despite his obtuseness regarding Harper. As the story moved along, I found myself warming up to him. I also found myself getting pulled into the suspense plot. Baxter gives readers a mystery story that is a touch different than the usual, and I liked that. Even though I figured out early who the bad guy was, the reason why it all happened took much longer to unravel.
So, with a nifty suspense plot and hot sex, why the blah C grade? Well, Harper doesn’t exactly acquit herself well in this book. In fact, she’s one of the most TSTL heroines I’ve read in quite a while. Readers who aren’t frustrated by the Big Mis in this story will still probably lose it over her antics as a “protected witness.” If Harper put as much effort into her journalism as she does into plotting how to evade security, keep going to work even though that’s one of the most dangerous places she could be, and otherwise just trying to get her own way, she’d have a Pulitzer by the end of the book. Even after one would expect her to have a clear idea of the peril she is in, the woman just can’t help herself it seems. As one can probably guess, I found her maddening.
One Night More started with a good idea, but the lackluster romance and frustrating leads drove this one deep into average-level territory for me. I enjoyed the suspense plot and found enough happy moments to give it the grade I did, but I just can’t recommend reading it.