Tonight or Never, by Dara Joy

>> Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Yesterday I finished Tonight or Never, by Dara Joy (the site is very Java-rich. If you want to go straight to where you can find most goodies, go here). I'd read only one of hers before, High Energy, and though it was nice, I thought it had too much sex and too little plot. I liked Tonight or Never much better.

Chloe - part French by birth, very French in temperament - has been in love with her friend Viscount John Sexton for years. Being a determined woman, who knows to get what she wants takes some risks, Chloe removes herself from his circle for a year and a half, time for her to mature from girl to woman, so that she can return as something more than a friend in John's eyes.

John, the 'Lord of Sex', but not much else as his father gambled away his inheritance, is a rouge and libertine. He is well known amongst the ton for his affairs, and his nickname is of long standing. Chloe has always been dear to John, and is very much valued as a friend. He is startled by her transformation, but stunned by her admission that she wants to be just like him - in effect, Lady Sex.

Chloe manipulates John into agreeing to marry her, so that she will be free to follow this path (never for one minute actually planning to go through with it). John agrees, because he cannot countenance Chloe putting her proposal to anyone else. And once he views Chloe as a sexual being, he finds he wants her for himself, and not to share. With Chloe comes her house, estate and charming, naughty grandmother, and household of eccentrics - all of whom John realises have made him feel at home. But not as much as Chloe does.

This book was a B+ for me. It was light, farcical, frothy nonsense, but of the kind that is delightful to read.

I adored John. He's a bit oversexed, yes, and I was a bit doubtful when in the first scene we see him having sex with some lady or other and it's revealed that he's a real slut, but he's an adorable, sweet, boyish puppy, really. He's a very rare hero, who doesn't mind being gently led around by the nose by his wife.

And Chloe was no TSTL twit. She decides on what she wants, goes for it and never gets cold feet in the process. Loved her.

Most of the book is Chloe and John making love (really steamy scenes, too) and some fun nonesense about a Black Rose superhero who's rescuing members of the French aristocracy from the guillotine. Nothing much comes of it, but it was fun to read.

The book's main problem is its resolution. Much too rushed, and not enough payoff for the reader who's expecting to see a big scene when John finds out Chloe wants him and only him.

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