A star hockey player on the ice finds married life behind the scenes anything but perfect, especially after experiencing an unforgettable one-night connection with a woman he never expects to see again...but soon does. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Only One Night by Natasha Madison, along with my impressions of it, then add this third installment in the Only One series to your bookshelf too!
As captain of the Dallas Oilers, I was their leader on and off the ice. From the outside, it looked like I had the perfect life. I didn’t.
I was married to a woman who refused to give me a divorce. All she wanted was the status title, and all I wanted was to be set free.
It was supposed to be just another event, except it took a turn I didn’t see coming.
Attending my best friend’s bachelorette party isn’t something I was looking forward to.
But it’s strange what a couple of glasses of wine will do.
It was one night, and I thought I would never see him again.
Especially not coming face-to-face with him and his wife while picking up my nephew from hockey practice. All it takes is one kiss, one touch, one chance, and only one night.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Cheating in romances is never okay with me, but in this book Ms. Madison has managed to make it acceptable by crafting a very likable and sympathetic hero whose reasons for cheating become quite apparent. Manning Stevenson soon becomes an unconventional hero who readers will be rooting for from the very start despite their usual beliefs about infidelity. What starts out as a one-night stand soon becomes something vital for two people fighting for their HEA in an angsty romance full of emotionally intense highs and lows.
Throughout this series readers have seen how unhappy Manning is in his home life, seen how manipulative his wife Murielle is, and it's made him a prisoner in his heart and mind to her demands that allow him to stay in his son's life. He's just going through the motions of living, never expecting anything for himself as he continues to sacrifice himself to stay with his son. Meeting Evelyn changes everything as he's finally given a glimpse of happiness, given the chance to have something just for himself, and she becomes the impetus to him finally reclaiming the life Murielle stole from him. It's a bumpy journey though, an angsty one that pulled at my heartstrings while giving me a reason to cheer later on once Manning finally stood up for himself.
Evelyn is a likable heroine, one who I found easy to relate to as she has a kind heart and a loyalty to those she claims as her own. She's recently returned home after her own heartbreak and doesn't expect to find a connection to another man so quickly...but meeting Manning is like nothing she's experienced before. She might not know who he is when they first meet but the sparks between them are unforgettable and it makes their hard-fought journey to HEA all the more destined once they reconnect. It's not an easy journey as her feelings regarding fidelity, and their desire to keep his son safe and happy, weigh on them throughout their time together to give this story deep emotional depth that kept me glued to the pages.
From the first page to the last I was captivated by the love clearly on display between Manning and Evelyn, was won over by the sacrifices they were willing to make, but thrilled when they finally put their HEA at the top of their to-do list. Manning is a drool-worthy hero, great with his son, and courteous to a wife (in name only) who doesn't deserve his niceties. Murielle's a truly horrible wife and mother, happy to use Jaxon to keep Manning with her for his fame and connections, and far too often tore him down in order to lift herself up. I hated every scene she was in and by the end she didn't get near the comeuppance she deserved. The marriage in name only between the two of them was an unhappy time, depicted in painful ways that gave justification to Manning and Evelyn being together, and though I wish he had stood up for himself sooner I was thrilled when he finally did. Alongside this appealing main couple was a cast of equally likable secondary characters ranging from Manning's teammates to his son Jaxson...a sweet and wise beyond his years little boy whose interactions with his dad charmed me and made it understandable why Manning was willing to sacrifice so much for him. I also loved seeing past couples and teammates who had his back throughout the story, a strong and solid support that made me smile. Ms. Madison has crafted another winner in this romance of second chances set in the world of hockey, and though it's the third installment in the series, it stands strongly on its own and will be an emotionally engaging addition to your bookshelf!
My rating for this is a B+
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
When her nose isn't buried in a book, or her fingers flying across a keyboard writing, she's in the kitchen creating gourmet meals. You can find her, in four inch heels no less, in the car chauffeuring kids, or possibly with her husband scheduling his business trips. It's a good thing her characters do what she says, because even her Labrador doesn't listen to her...