Stroke Of Midnight by Kelli Scott

Stroke Of Midnight by Kelli Scott
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Short Story (54 pgs)
Other: M/F, Anal Play
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Fern

Marley Arbuckle is looking for a little payback, closure, and a boost to her confidence after being cheated on by her fiancé—not necessarily in that order. Choosing a 1Night Stand date in Las Vegas on New Year’s Eve to exact her revenge, she’s planned the affair down to her perfectly styled hair and every last manicured fingernail and pedicured toenail. But what she didn’t count on was meeting Ian O’Keefe.

Ian has his own dark reasons for contacting Madame Evangeline for a no-strings-attached night of desire with a beautiful stranger. He’s got something to prove to himself and a long road to recovery after losing his wife. His redemption may begin with Marley, but can she teach him to love again?

Marley Arbuckle is on a mission. Instead of being a new bride for the New Year – to the man she’d dated since college, no less – she was going to a New Year’s party all alone and woefeully jilted. A day at the spa, primping and being glamourized to the point she hardly knew herself, Marley is determined to enjoy the party and her one night stand. This will get her back on track, she’s certain. Besides, what happens in Vegas, stayed in Vegas. Ian O’Keefe is also trying to mend his broken heart. With strict instructions to “Wow” Marley he’s both nervous and expectant of a wonderful evening.

I really enjoyed the characterization of both Marley and Ian. The author did an awesome job of making them both realistic, vulnerable and interesting all at once. There’s a nice amount of “getting to know you” before Marley and Ian jump into bed. While I was eager for the one night stand to begin, it was well worth the waiting, and felt a lot more intimate to me knowing more about each of the characters and how they came to use the services of Madame Eve. The sex is hotly written and while I felt it shorter than I would have hoped for, it certainly packed a punch.

Readers will likely enjoy how even when the sex is over, both Marley and Ian stick together. This is no wham-bam-thank you-ma’am one night stand, but grows quickly into something far more fulfilling. I feel the author has done an amazing job with the chemistry between Marley and Ian. Their connection is believable, even for two recently seriously hurt people. I enjoyed the mixture of them convincing themselves one minute that this was only a one night stand, then the next instant asking cat or dog preferences. The chemistry and connection felt real to me – and that glosses over any realism concerns I entertained of the emotional danger of trying to turn a one night, no strings fling into something more. The romantic in me closed my eyes to reality and enjoyed being swept away by the story.

A great novel with strong characterization I really enjoyed this story. It has a Happy For Now ending with a strong romantic link and the promise for more. I found it had a good mixture of hot sex and time for the characters to get to know each other. This is a good read I can strongly recommend for most romance readers.

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