Title: About Last Night
Author: Ruthie Knox
May Contain Spoilers
Sure, opposites attract, but in this sexy, smart, eBook original romance from Ruthie Knox, they positively combust! When a buttoned-up banker falls for a bad girl, “about last night” is just the beginning.
Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes is an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine—even her name turns him on—with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies.
When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a little luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime?
I enjoyed Ruthie Knox’s first book, Ride With Me, very much. Though I was at first afraid that a book about crossing the country on a bike would be boring, it was anything but. I loved the characters, especially cranky hero Tom. He could be such a jerk as he fought off his attraction for the outgoing Lexie that I found the conflict and tension between them convincing. When I picked up Ruthie’s new book, About Last Night, I wasn’t sure what I would discover, but a story about a heroine who was afraid of commitment wasn’t it. While it took a while for me to become engrossed in the story, once I was, whoa, boy! The payoff was worth every bit of perseverance to get over the hump that was the beginning of the book for me, and though it took a while to happen, once I was engaged in this story I didn’t want to put it down.
Cath was at first hard for me to like because she didn’t like herself and couldn’t forgive herself for making some major mistakes in her youth. She has convinced herself that she doesn’t deserve to be happy, and that there will never be a happily ever after for her. She is so certain that she will never have happiness that she constantly tries to sabotage her relationship with Nev. Cath is the definition of "angst," so if you like emotionally wrought stories, this one is right up your alley.
To make sure she doesn’t mess up again, Cath has had each of her major, life-altering disasters tattooed onto her skin. The tattoos are meant to remind her to never screw up again. Too bad for Cath that she enjoys men so much. She can’t deny her attraction to them, and she makes no excuses for enjoying sex. She just tries to avoid getting lassoed into another relationship with another loser, where she will forget every bit of common sense that she possesses. Cath is a woman who loves deeply and lives life passionately, and she just can’t help herself from getting caught up in the moment. This has caused a lifetime of heartbreak for her, and she is determined to never fall for another guy again.
After downing one too many drinks, she finds herself under the care of a handsome guy she knows from her train stop. While she doesn’t know his name, doesn’t even want to know it, she finds herself, once again, giving in to her “bad” Cath urges. She can’t resist City, as she calls him, and she is helpless to deny herself the promise of pleasure he offers. Before she can sneeze, she and Nev are embroiled in a satisfying and passionate affair. The pages sizzle when they are together, and I thought that my Kindle was going to burst in flames. Seriously. These guys are hot together.
Even though I couldn’t deny the flames that consumed them, at first, I wasn’t convinced of the relationship between Cath and Nev. I wasn’t drawn to Nev’s personality because he is such a good guy. I thought he was kind of boring. I like crabby cyclists better than I like perfect bankers who long to be painters. And Nev is perfect, in every way but one. While he realizes that what he and Cath have is special, he doesn’t want to frighten her off, so he gives her the emotional space and so much patience so she can finally start to confide in him about things that matter. Things of substance. Things that two people share that prove that they trust you and wield you together in mutual love and respect. So, even as Nev gives Cath everything she needs, he doesn’t have the strength to stand up against his family and take the things that he needs to make himself complete. This weakness nearly undoes him.
As the story unfurled, it became clear that Nev was just the kind of guy to give Cath the grounding and contentment she needed to find her own sense of self-worth. I don’t know why I think nice guys are boring, but Cath, based on her many errors in judgment, felt the exact same way. It wasn’t until Nev started to push back that I found him worth all of the emotional turmoil seething through this story. When he finally got well and truly pissed, and finally grew the other ball he needed to live life on his own terms, I finally said, “Crap! This is such a good book!”
The last half of About Last Night is so emotionally charged that I was exhausted by the time I finished it. In a good way. All of the misgivings I had for Cath and Nev evaporated – there could be no other partner for either of them. Together, they were finally able to confront, and defeat, the demons that plagued them. I am so curious to see what Ruthie Knox has up her sleeve for her next book, because her first two books were such satisfying reads.
Grade: Waffling between a B and a B+
Review copy provided by publisher