I saw About Last Night by Ruthi Knox on Net Galley and grabbed it right up. It sounded right up my alley. I barely read the description before requesting it because I have heard good things about the author. I enjoyed this romance about the buttoned up british banker and the tattooed American bad girl, but I didn’t fall head over heels in love and rush to write a review so I can share my discovery with others.
Mary Catherine (aka Cath) is an American who has relocated to England and has left the “old Cath” behind, giving birth to the “new Cath” two years before. She sports 5 tattoos to remind her of mistakes she should never repeat again, and has been mistake-free for two years. Cath is working on a knitting exhibit for the V & A museum and just making ends meet, she has work acquaintances, but no real friends, and no family. It seems her sole entertainment is people watching at the train station. She is so good at it in fact, she can predict who is coming and going just by the sound of their footfalls.
One of the people she sees daily is “City”. Cath has named him this because of the 3 piece buttoned down suit and the financial newspaper he carries. The City is the square mile in London where all the major banking is done. City is handsome, boring, uptight, and nice. All the things Cath isn’t. But she has sworn off men anyway.
After being manipulated to go on a crappy blind date, Cath gets a bit drunk and finds herself at the train station barely coherent. City was there to save the day. The next morning Cath wakes up in his bed, and found City barely dressed and painting. Although he was a perfect gentleman while she slept, in the morning it was a different story. The attraction was instant, and powerful. As hard as she tried to resist him, she couldn’t. And when he kissed her, “his lips had liquefied her brain”.
”Call me Cath.”
“No, I don’t think I shall.” He grasped her by the waist and lifted her, and she locked her ankles behind his back. “I’m taking you to bed now Mary Catherine.” “Yeah,” she whispered. “I’d like that.”
Nev (aka City) longs to get out from under his very wealthy family’s thumb, and he is in the family banking business he hates. He also needs a “proper” wife to secure a promotion. Cath is anything but proper, but he can’t help himself from thinking about her. Cath, however, refuses to open up to him. She is not willing to open herself up to another mistake. She keeps intending to end things with him, but every time she sees him he makes the resolve melt away.
“She’d arrived locked down, but when he kissed her she swung open, so smoothly and easily he could almost forget she’d been otherwise. She was an enigma, this woman. Bold and reticent, passionate and distant. Open and shut. Completely fascinating.”
“She’d thought of how he’d seemed to her before she knew him, cold and polished as a marble statue at the train station. How he really was when they were alone. Hot and messy. Intense and conflicted. Vulnerable and real.”
What follows is a courtship of sorts, where Cath refuses to open up and share much, but still more than with anyone else. We, as readers, still don’t know the background she is hiding from, though we get bits and pieces through the story. Nev (City) pursues and gently pushes, but never too hard to scare her off.
“…when I meet a woman with whom I have a phenomenal physical connection, who I think about so much it disrupts my ability to do my job, not to mention sleep, and who I find attractive and interesting and funny and enjoy spending time with, perhaps it’s not a bad idea to get to know her better. Which is why I find it a bit baffling…that you’re so determined to keep me at arms length.”
- I really liked City. He was sexy and commanding but real with a vulnerable side.
- I liked the way the author wrote Cath’s voice, especially some great words like arythmiainducing, and assholery.
- I loved sexy flirting and funny banter between the two characters.
- I loved the inclusion of my favorite movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life“, and broke out into tears (happy) by just reading about it. You should see me when I watch it!
- I was annoyed with Cath for not opening up more. I never quite connected with her.
- You had to suspend reality a little too much for the end that wrapped to up quickly and too dramatically for my taste, but is was still super-over-the-top-sweet.
- Though there were some cute, funny lines, I for some reason I expected more of the fun parts.
Rating: 3.75 stars, 3.75 Heat
This story runs somewhere between a 3.5 and 4 stars. I really enjoyed it, but I didn’t love the heroine being so difficult the whole book, and I had some difficulties seeing why Nev was so crazy for her. That being said, I do like the writing, the opposites attract theme, and that the girl is the “bad guy” from the wrong side of the tracks in this case.
“They were loud and messy together. Sweaty and transcendent. Alarmingly, wonderfully out of control. They were the closest thing to perfect she’d ever known.”
*Thank you Net-Galley for the opportunity to read this book.
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