Just One Night was one of those books that starts off strong but ends problematically.
I really liked the beginning - meeting on the Caribbean cruise, getting together, all that fun stuff. Good sex, good writing. It was lovely.
A cruise makes a great place for some no-strings-attached summer loving, and I especially loved how Mac respected Katie’s wish to keep it low-key. While he stated his desires for more, he never pushed or forced himself on her, nor did he give her his phone number when she made it clear she didn’t want it. Super bonus points for consent.
The side characters (always important to me) were all great, and distinctive - not necessarily easy when the MFC has three friends and the MMC has two brothers.
I did have one quibble at this point: Katie and Mac didn’t know each other’s names until they parted, but the narration did. And so they kept referring to each other by name in their heads, which threw me out of the narrative a bit.
That was enough to knock it down maybe half a star, but if the book had ended here (about 75% of the way through, once they were done with the cruise), I would’ve given it a solid five stars.
Or if things had gone differently after.
But they didn’t.
I called that Mac would be moving to West Palm Beach - the author was trying to be coy and failing miserably. I didn’t mind that. If he and Katie had run into each other or ended up as (equal) coworkers or met through friends again, that would’ve been awesome.
No, the author had to introduce a power differential, with Mac as the new principal at Katie’s school.
He’s her boss. Which means it could turn into “have sex with me if you want to keep your job.” Which, in today’s environment, is an especially bad thing. It didn’t. But it could’ve. And all potential issues were only brought up as a single throwaway sentence and then promptly ignored so they could ride off into the sunset.
Ultimately, I enjoyed the beginning enough, and it was well-written enough, that I won’t knock it down entirely.
But the power differential pissed me off enough that this book only gets
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