***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***
One Night of Trouble by Elle Kennedy
Book Three of the After Hours series
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Publication Date: January 5, 2015
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Purchased Kindle copy
Summary (from Goodreads):
No More Mr. Nice Guy…
The moment AJ Walsh sees the sexy, tattooed pixie walk up to his bar, it's lust at first sight. He's always been labeled the "nice" guy―opening doors, buying flowers, and never, ever having one-night stands. But with this wicked little angel with red lips and unfathomably dark eyes? Oh, yeah. Tonight, "nice" has nothing to do with it...
Brett Conlon is trying to convince her family that she's put away her reckless wild girl side for good. Nothing―and no one―could be better for her reputation than golden boy AJ Walsh. So they make a deal: if he plays The Good Boyfriend for her family, he can be a very, very bad boy with her. Now their one naughty night is about to turn into a whole lot of trouble...
What I Liked:
I bought this book for $0.99 a really long time ago and never read it! A shame, because I loved the first book in this series. Gage and Skylar are super cute today, very opposites-attract. This is the third and final book in the series, featuring Gage's friend and business partner AJ Walsh. I haven't read book two but I probably will at some point. In any case, this book was awesome!
AJ Walsh has been single for a little while, and he doesn't really mind. Not until a tiny girl with a smattering of tattoos walks into his nightclub. Their connection is instant, and AJ knows he can't walk away from her. It's the same for Brett Conlon - she is intoxicated by AJ from the moment she sees him in the nightclub. They come up with a mutually beneficial agreement: AJ and Brett will keep seeing each for the next month, and pretend to be boyfriend/girlfriend. Brett needs her family to think she is taking her life seriously and not sleeping around, because she wants to run her family's newest tattoo shop. But a short-term fake relationship turns into so much...
This book has a lot of tropes that I like: opposites attract, different upbringings, dominant alpha male, strong female, minimal drama. There are a few appearances of exes, but again, minimal drama. Elle Kennedy seems to have writing drama-free romances down to a science. I open her books and I know that I'm going to fall in love with the couple, and not get irritated with over-the-top drama.
On the outside, AJ seems to be a preppy, selfless, charming, golden boy. He tries to please everyone, especially his parents, and he puts on a good mask. But inside, he's a dominating, rough-and-tumble guy who likes control. He isn't as "nice" as he likes people to think he is. I like AJ; he genuinely is a good guy and has a good heart. He puts on a mask for selfless reasons. He's a good guy but he's also very yummy. There's a lot of passion simmering underneath that charming mask.
Brett is trying to be good; she has had some mistakes in her past, and she wants her father and brothers to see past these things. She wants to show them that she has matured, and she is taking the tattoo parlor business seriously. Getting caught with AJ by her brother wasn't part of the plan, so she lied and said that AJ is her boyfriend. I liked Brett's intentions - she loves working as a tattoo artist, and she has a good head for business.
AJ and Brett have instant chemistry. They're both strong individuals, but AJ is clearly the more alpha of the two, and Brett loves to please him. Their dynamic works for them. AJ is more of his alpha self around her (not in a bad way) and less of The Perfect Son that he wants his parents to think he is. AJ is good for Brett; she takes her work seriously, but she makes room in her heart for him. They develop a strong relationship, and yes, they are very steamy together. There are plenty of hot scenes in this book. It's amazing how the author keeps coming up with different, sizzling sexy times in all of her books (and she has a lot of books!).
The ending is fairly drama-free and it's really sweet! There isn't a huge grand gesture, which I appreciated - but there is some groveling (which was necessary). AJ and Brett are a cute couple and I was happy to see them overcome their inner demons and get together (especially on AJ's side). I wish we could see an extended epilogue with them!
What I Did Not Like:
Nothing in particular to mention! Except maybe that extended epilogue. It was nice to see Gage/Skylar and Reed/Darcy though!
Would I Recommend It:
If you like ~very~ steamy adult contemporary romance, Elle Kennedy's books are for you! I've only read several of her Brazen novels, but I've really enjoyed them. One Night of Sin (book one) is my absolute favorite. I love these books for how hot they are, how well-developed the relationships are, and how drama-free the stories are (or with minimal drama).
4 stars. This is book three and I still need to read book two, but I wish there were more books in the series! I love the Entangled Brazen line and I hope Elle Kennedy writes new books with this imprint in the future.