Long, long ago (like last year) Laura Kaye wrote a little novella called Hearts in Darkness. Barbara read this hidden gem first, then sent me an e-mail going on and on about how great it was, telling me I just had to read it. I finally gave in, even though I didn’t “do” novellas. I was hooked from the very first page. There was so much emotion and chemistry packed into that little book, and I loved the unique idea of a couple who got to know each other before they’d even seen each other. Ever since then, Barbara and I have kept Kaye on our radar. I haven’t had a chance to read Kaye’s last couple of releases, but Barbara did and let’s just say she was, er, less than overwhelmed. I decided to jump on One Night with a Hero anyway, hoping that Kaye had found her mojo again and I wouldn’t be disappointed.
Brady grew up in an abusive home and his answer to dealing with it was shoving all his memories and feelings into a little box and throwing away the key. The only reason why Brady is even stateside anyway is because that box exploded open and Brady caused a bar fight with a superior officer. Brady has now been branded a trouble maker, and if he doesn’t get his crap together, he’s out. A lot of page time is focused on Brady: his past, his thoughts, his feelings, and his motivation. I really enjoyed his character progression from a perpetually pissed off man who exploded at the smallest thing, to one who was able and willing to open up, and to love and be loved.
Not nearly as much time was spent with Joss. That isn’t to say that I didn’t love her character, but I didn’t know her as well as Brady. Joss never really goes into detail about her past, only that she lived with two foster families and spent the rest of her youth living in a center. Her biggest fear is for no one to want her, and she managed to fall in love with the one man that does want her, but is struggling with his inner demons and doesn’t feel worthy to have her right now. And then, horror of all horrors to a brand new couple, Joss gets pregnant. And what little relationship the two had outside the bedroom completely deteriorates when Brady’s temper rears it’s ugly head.
Despite all the communication problems between Brady and Joss, the chemistry between the two is smokin’ hot. Sexual chemistry is one thing Kaye does well, down to the simple things like the way they look at each other, or a touch placed just so. It sends that zing up my spine that I crave. In this book, the couple does everything backwards. They fall into bed together, then they find out Joss is pregnant, then they do the dating thing. It’s really sweet and wonderful, and it worked for them. By the time they finally gave in, I didn’t feel jipped of a courtship, or that it was all too insta-love.
One Night with a Hero was a fun, quick and sexy read. I wish there would have been more in-depth character development for Joss, and I felt like she could have forgiven Brady a lot sooner than she did. Kaye drew it out a little too long for it to be believable. But despite all that, I really enjoyed the book and it left me feeling happy and content.