- File Size: 808 KB
- Print Length: 170 pages
- Publisher: Lyrical Press (January 3, 2017)
- Publication Date: January 3, 2017
- Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
- Language: English
- ASIN: B01EE08NPA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,227 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Penguin Random House Publisher Services
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Stroke of Midnight (One Night in South Beach) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Alana works at the family business. The end. That's her life. The most action that she's gotten lately is when a spreadsheet accidentally brushed against her breast. That was an exciting day for Alana. Her brother is drowning his relationship sorrows in women and booze, so she's not only carrying her load but picking up his slack as well. After some cajoling from her younger sister...a night out may be just what Alana needs.
Cole is an ex-Navy Seal in town visiting a friend for some R&R. South Beach may be just what he needs to get out of his funk...a funk he's been carrying around since he was rejected by his girlfriend when he proposed to her. How silly of him to think that her high society lifestyle would ever be accepting of a man raised in a trailer park by a drunk mother and absentee father.
A chance encounter on New Year's Eve changes everything for Cole and Alana. One night of no-strings, no-names sex was supposed to be a way to let off steam...but feelings have a way of throwing a wrench in things.
Alana was such a likable and relatable heroine. She wasn't waiting around for a man to validate her or pat her on the back for her accomplishments or make her life complete. She was comfortable in her own skin, even if her family was trying to push their old world values on her. But Cole brought out a side of her that she'd long forgotten...the part of her that craved the passion and desire of great sex...of nights covered in sweat and mornings dawning with bone deep satisfaction.
Cole was a terrific balance of strength and vulnerability. His take charge attitude between the sheets is what makes your lady parts beep, but his insecurity about not being good enough is what makes your heart reach out to him. He finds an ease with Alana that he's never felt before with any woman, including his ex, but those old doubts have a way of sneaking in.
Cole and Alana had fantastic chemistry. They may come from two totally different backgrounds, but they easily clicked. They effortlessly fit together. However, the relationship doubts they had were believable. I really liked that.
And the sex....just the perfect combination of unadulterated lust and sensuality. You aren't bombarded with sex scenes to prove that these two have chemistry...it just oozes off the page when they're together. Did I mention that I loved the ease of their relationship?
I do have to admit that the book is a bit rough around the edges. There are some editing issues, a few bumpy transitions and a couple of underdeveloped emotional aspects of the story that I would have liked explored more. Only for those reasons am I rounding down to three stars.
But overall, this was a great start to what looks like a promising series by an author who has terrific potential.
Now gimme Javi's book....
Alana comes from a wealthy Cuban-immigrant family in Miami. She's a lawyer in her father's family firm, and she's been keeping it afloat while her older brother, the golden boy, deals with this ex-wife's betrayal and pending divorce. He's dealing only in unhealthy ways, and all the work is piling up on her. Her younger sister demands that she come out with her for New Year's Eve, and won't take no for an answer.
Cole is in town from D.C. for vacation to visit his best friend. He gets blown off on New Year's Eve, so he sets out on his own to get drunk and try to have a nice time. He's been medically discharged from the Navy and he's a little lost. He comes from a poor background, and he still feels he isn't really good enough for any woman he's wanted to be with, since his last girlfriend rejected and humiliated him in front of their whole town.
Cole and Alana lock eyes across a busy bar, and they both know what they want. They decide to not even exchange names. Alana is acting quite out of character, but she's had it with her life and wants to be free, even if only for a night. Their chemistry is magic, and they have an amazing night together. Alana leaves before dawn, and Cole wakes up disappointed, with no way to contact her.
They, of course, run into each other again, unexpectedly. The sparks are still there, and they decide there's no need to fight it. They can have a fling while he's in town, and just not let anyone know. Famous last words! Emotions start becoming involved, and everything gets quite complicated.
I really liked this story, and the writing was great, but something about it just didn't make me happy in the end. There was a big confrontation towards the end, and I really wasn't a fan of how it all went down. I understand he didn't think he was good enough for her, and that he had a lot of issues about his past making that the case, but for him to just check out like that was not ok with me. He does some things to try to make it up to her, but to me, it didn't feel like enough. We get to see an epilogue, but I would rather have seen him actually addressing his issues, not just with Alana, but with his best friend as well, not just to assume it happened after the fact.
This was a great debut, and I am definitely interested in seeing the side characters get their own story. Alana's brother, especially, needs to redeem himself in my eyes, and I hope to see that soon, since his story is next.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
This story has a fairly typical romance storyline. Alana's brother Javier warns Cole away from her but that doesn't stop them from indulging in a secret (and very heated) affair. What makes it unique is the Cuban flair. The setting of little Havana, the cultural expectations, the food, and the politics make for an enjoyable story background. The family dynamics are a key part of the plot, Alana's relationship with her parents and siblings driving the story and making her affair with Cole the one place where she can be free to express herself fully. Naturally there is conflict to overcome, and the reality that Cole is only in Miami for a vacation while he sorts out what to do next with his life means he has to make some decisions that will affect both his and Alana's future. It's a good solid start to this series, and I'm looking forward to reading more by this author.