About Last Night, by Ruthie Knox

>> Monday, October 07, 2013

TITLE: About Last Night
AUTHOR: Ruthie Knox

PAGES: 248
PUBLISHER: Loveswept

SETTING: Contemporary England
TYPE: Romance

Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it, and God knows she’s made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go . . . in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her.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?
Cath Talarico spent most of her teens and early twenties making bad decisions she now regrets. Determined to turn her life around, she decided to move from Chicago to London and only make sensible, sober decisions from then on, and concentrate on building a career as a museum curator. It's been going relatively well. She's been good at resisting temptation, and has managed to get a foot into the really-hard-to-break-into museum world.

And then one night, against her instincts, she accepts a blind date. It goes as badly as she guessed it would, and after a couple ill-advised drinks, Cath finds herself on the train home pretty much off her face.

The man who comes to her rescue is another regular on her train journey every morning. Cath has come to know most of the passengers who travel at the same time as her, and has nicknames for each. This handsome, elegant man in a perfect suit she calls "City".

City is Nev Chamberlain (yes, I know, the name never stops being ridiculous, unfortunately, and neither is it a believable one, given what we see of his family). As Cath guessed, he is indeed a banker from a wealthy family and works in the City. But this is not the life Nev wants. He's let his family pressure him into the family business, but he hates every minute, and wishes he was back home with his paintings.

Cath is just as irresistible to Nev as he is to her. However, while he sees in Cath the right woman for him, she's convinced her attraction to Nev is yet another example of her wanting something that is bad for her, and thus is determined not to give in. The chemistry between them is scorching, and even better, you get a sense of them clicking together as people as well, as they spend time together.

I had only two issues with this, neither of them too bad. First, Knox brings in some only-in-romance-novels plot devices which would have fit better in a Harlequin Presents than in a book with such realistically modern characters. I did like what she did with those plot devices, how she played with them, but they still felt out of place here. Also, I felt some of Nev's dialogue felt a little bit off sometimes, like when he called Cath "love" right after they'd met. That's got some very distinct class markers here, and is really not something someone with Nev's background would say.

Still, this was a very enjoyable book, and I enjoyed it almost as much as Ride With Me.



msaggie,  7 October 2013 at 08:13  

Thanks for your review of this one, Rosario. Ruthie Knox is one of the very few writers of contemporary romances that I enjoy. I agree totally about the use of "love" - and this is something one appreciates much more living in Britain. It's a very heartwarming story, although there is a quite a bit of suspension of disbelief.

CD,  7 October 2013 at 10:31  

LOL! Definite class marker. Aside from that, and the hero's name of course (honestly?!), would you say that Knox got the feel of London? As a born and bred Londoner, this is pretty important...

CD,  7 October 2013 at 10:36  

BTW, there's a romance review at Smart Bitches where the hero is called... David Cameron!!

Such a pity - the story looked interesting but I really can't imagine reading David Cameron sex scenes [huge shudder of revulsion]. I know North Americans are pretty clueless about the rest of the world but not knowing who David Cameron is is a major whooper...

Rosario 7 October 2013 at 20:47  

msaggie: I like contemporary romance more than you do, but I think I can kind of see why she would work for you when other authors don't. I can't quite put my finger on it, though. She feels fresher than others, and she goes a lot deeper into the characters, as well. Maybe that's it?

Rosario 7 October 2013 at 20:57  

CD: Hmm, not really. It did feel "non US", but not particularly London, at least to me. But then, I'm not a born and bred Londoner, just an adopted scouser, so I'd be very interested in hearing your take on it ;)

I did see that book at Smart Bitches. Wow, just... wow. And there was a link to an interview with the author titled something like "the perils of not googling your hero's name". Seriously, you'd need to google it? It did sound good, and I might have bought it and gone through the effort of doing a search and replace for the name (yeah, euwwww!) if it had been something like that the penny hadn't dropped until she'd seen first and last names together in the blurb. But not knowing who Cameron is at all? Wow.

CD,  8 October 2013 at 03:40  

Hmmmnn - I think I might try AFTER HOURS first just in case. Seriously, I'm so behind on my reading.

Yes, and needing to google "David Cameron" is pretty awful. It's not about politics - I don't expect Americans to know about his policies - but not even knowing his name?! Come on - that's just basic general knowledge. It makes me a bit wary about what else she's got wrong in a British historical - maybe there's a Russian prince (sequel batch, natch) called Vladimir Putin and a German maid called Angela Merkel...

Meri,  10 October 2013 at 10:24  

It took me about a year to get past the hero's name and read this one. In the end I'm glad I did because it was really enjoyable, but I still don't get why she had to name him Nev Chamberlain when all it did was set up a not-very-funny joke.

How can someone not know who David Cameron is?

Rosario 11 October 2013 at 08:15  

Meri: No, neither do I. I wonder if she realised just how much it would put off potential readers. Probably not.

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