Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Review - Just This Night by Mari Madison

Title: Just This Night
Series: Exclusive Romance #1
Author: Mari Madison
Release Date: March 1, 2016

First in a sexy series set in a TV newsroom—from a multi Emmy Award-winning TV producer.

At News 9 San Diego, the hottest stories happen off camera. 

Betrayed and abandoned by his wife and left to raise their young daughter on his own, TV news photographer Jake "Mac" MacDonald has moved to San Diego for a fresh start. He’s sworn off women forever and devoted his life to his little girl. But when his brother-in-law drags him out to a night club, Mac can’t help but be drawn to the cute blonde who asks him to dance. Maybe he can make an exception...for just one night.

A hot fling is exactly what news reporter Elizabeth White had in mind when she brought Mac home. A quick cure to help her get over her ex-boyfriend. But things get awkward when her anonymous hookup turns out to be her newest colleague. Now they must put their attraction behind them and find a way to work together. But when someone starts sabotaging Beth’s career, she realizes Mac is the only one she can trust. And maybe their one night has the makings of an exclusive after all.

Elizabeth "Beth" White and Jake "Mac" MacDonald have both been dealt some seriously ugly love blows, resulting in a heaping load of baggage keeping them decidedly not interested in pursuing new relationships. Still, encouraged by friends to get out and back on the horse (so to speak), Beth and Mac find themselves lonely and miserable, together, at a club. They hit it off immediately—Beth's quick wit and kind demeanor immediately appealing as she saves Mac from an awkward situation. After spending some time getting to know each other, they decide to indulge themselves, following through on their crazy attraction for each other—for just one night. 

It was only supposed to be one night. Mac—a single dad—is in no position to take on a new relationship, and Beth can't afford to open her heart to someone not ready to emotionally invest in a relationship. Just one night, it's all they can give. So, imagine their surprise when they discover that they're now co-workers. The only thing more awkward than having to face your one night stand every day, is knowing that the connection feels so much deeper, the chemistry so hot it makes forgetting how they met nearly impossible. Mac and Beth try to navigate through this awkward new terrain, eventually forming a sweet friendship that lays the foundation for something so much bigger.

One of the first things I thought as I began this book was "Holy crap! I love this writing!" I can't even put my finger on what it is, but Ms. Madison managed to write her characters as sort of self-deprecating without ever drifting into "woe is me" territory. They have a sense of humor, heart, and a level of depth that I wasn't expecting from this book. My appreciation for Ms. Madison’s writing style persisted throughout the entire story; it completely sucked me in and kept me glued to my Kindle for the entirety of this story.

And, I loved this story! Mac and Beth were so incredibly likeable that even during the middle of the conflict when I wanted to shake some sense into them, I still loved them so much. They were sweet and tender and mature—openly communicating, and not creating drama. They were also incredibly sexy, their physical chemistry sparking even when their relationship was fizzling. 

I loved the family dynamic and the affection they all shared. I loved the plot twists and the news anchor storylines. The whole package is…wonderful! I cannot even tell you how much I enjoyed this book—if you could see my smile, it would speak for itself! 

The only minor complaint I have is that the ending felt rushed and didn't necessarily ring true for me. I felt like it might have worked better with an epilogue. It didn't negatively impact my enjoyment of the story, necessarily, but I felt that the timeline could have been shifted a bit to keep things true to character. 

That said, my minor grumble doesn't even come close to taking away from my enjoyment of this book. Funny and flirty and sexy while also dramatic and angsty, and even a tiny bit suspenseful, I never got frustrated or bored with this story. I was completely sucked in the entire time, gripped by Mac and Beth's stories, and completely invested in their happily ever after. I’m so excited that this is a series—and cannot wait for the next one! 
~ Review by Shelly

Mari Madison is a former multiple Emmy Award-winning television producer and author of novels for adults and teens. She’s worked at television news stations in Boston, San Diego, and Orlando and helped launch the nationally syndicated morning show Better in New York City. Under the name Mari Mancusi, she writes young adult books, including the Blood Coven Vampire novels, most recently Soul Bound and Bad Blood. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and young daughter and their dog Mesquite.

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