Genre: contemporary romance / erotica
Sex scenes: not quite hot
Everything about Kasie Fitzgerald’s life is sensible and boring. She’s been in her adult relationship with Dave for six years. She works in PR for a blue-chip firm, while Dave is a tax attorney. Kasie has achieved everything she has wanted, and everything her family wants for her, but she’s got the nagging feeling that it’s not enough.
One weekend, her best friend Simone drags her out to Vegas for a fun-filled weekend before the staid life of marriage to Dave. Simone has just one piece of advice for Kasie: ‘You should sleep with a stranger’. Kasie has no intention of taking Simone up on her advice – until she lays eyes on a handsome man in the hotel bar. He’s just the sort of man mothers warn their daughters away from, but Kasie is enthralled. A hot night of no-holds-barred sex is exactly what she needs and she takes comfort in the fact that Dave will be none the wiser.
Back at home and work, suddenly that stranger in Vegas becomes her firm’s biggest client – and Mr Robert Dade wants Kasie in charge of his account. With Robert, Kasie can truly be herself, and she discovers that the controlled, repressed woman she thought she was isn’t the woman she wants to be. There’s the small matter of her fiancé, Dave, and when he finds out about her illicit meetings with Robert, Kasie is faced with sacrificing a future with the man who enables her to be her true self …
This is part one of the Just One Night series, a ‘craze’ that’s gone through erotica in the last year or so; though I haven’t seen so much of it recently. To explain, a book is released in ‘parts’ in short succession, for example on the 1st of every month for three consecutive months. To be honest, I don’t really see the allure of having to pay for three (or more) separate parts of what would otherwise most likely be published as the same book; that said, it’s a good marketing concept and quickly creates a hype and following where a series is dynamic and fast-paced enough to fit into the framework.
The story of uptight, plays-it-by-the-rules-Kasie was good, but not quite enough for me to actively seek out parts 2 and 3. I received The Stranger through NetGalley and the other parts might also have been available too, but I don’t remember. If they were still there now, I’d read them for the sake of it, but as much as I want to know what happens, I’m not going to pay for it.
I’m really not particularly fond of Robert, or Dave for that matter. I can’t pin down why exactly, except to say that they both felt a little sleazy, which is not what you want from the hero(s) in a book. Especially a romance novel. Paired with their treatment of Kasie, I didn’t find it very enjoyable reading.
One thing I do love about these books: the covers. After Fifty Shades, all erotica covers suddenly had to have a sex-ified object on the cover, and it was all about making it as un-erotica-like as possible. These books have gone one step further and isolated an object within a larger setting, using really great colours and I love it. They're just really, really pretty and one of the best that I've seen.
Images courtesy of Kyra Davis