4 silken sheets
From the opening lines, I was hooked.
I LIED TO Hannah about the picture.
I lied to her about a lot of things.
No relationship should be built on lies, but I was in no relationship—at least not with Hannah. She was a girl I met on the internet. Bethany was my girlfriend, who shared my apartment, my bed, and my life.
Hannah got the scraps.
At twenty-seven, Hannah Catalano has a train wreck. Her boyfriend is a deadbeat and her job is abysmal.
Matt and Hannah meet online as writing partners. Their relationship is safe, anonymous, and innocent…
Until Matt sees a picture of Hannah.
Hannah’s picture sparks an attraction Matt is powerless to ignore. When circumstance brings Matt and Hannah together, the strangers begin a love story that’s passionate, poignant, unforgettable, and unstoppable
It helped that my book buddy had been nagging me for weeks to read it, and she has very good taste. Not only did she devour it, but she desperately wanted to talk about it, which to me is the measure of a great book. Sometimes!
The opening chapters continued to reel me in. Matt (aka Night Owl) was passionate about his privacy. No real names. No contact details. He gave nothing away to his online writing partner, Little Bird (aka Hannah) and because she loved writing with him, she stuck to his rules. Well most of the time.
Not only a picture, but a picture of a gorgeous, sexy woman that Matt could not ignore.
I loved the way the story flowed around their online chat in the early part of the book. It was perhaps my favourite part. It was witty, sometimes raw, and usually with a heavy dose of flirtation.
Night.Owl: So what are you wearing?
Little.Bird: Lol! All the walls are coming down tonight…
Night.Owl: Haha. God, sorry. I have no idea why I just typed that. Ignore that. Such a creeper right now.
Little.Bird: No, it was funny, that’s all. You’re not a creeper, trust me. I’m a girl who used to play online games. I know what creepers are.
Night.Owl: Well, whatever.
I felt my face heating. Hannah and I were having our first actual conversation and I asked what she was wearing. I, a successful and very taken twenty-eight-year-old man, had become the equivalent of a horny fourteen-year-old. Real smooth.
And suddenly, as Hannah put it, the walls had come down. Chat about writing turned into heavy flirting, and then became even more intense.
I conjured up an image of a young woman seated at a computer desk, her small robe hanging open and her full breasts bared to the screen. I shoved my pants around my hips and freed my shaft. My whole body was tingling.
I needed to tell Hannah to stop and that I wasn’t single and that we were going to ruin our pleasant anonymous online friendship.
Night.Owl: Describe your body. Spread your legs. God, my heart is pounding. Little.Bird: Mine too. I spread them. Telling you this stuff is making me wet. Night.Owl: God, Hannah.
I began to pump my cock with one hand, pausing to swirl my thumb over the head. I could feel the lean muscles along my thighs and arms locking up—tensing in excitement or else willing me to stop. I needed to stop.
From there, it was a short step to them talking on the phone, and at this point, there was no turning back.
I haven’t seen you on Skype so I assume you’re on the road. I’m going to break another one of my rules. If you want to call, my number is 303-774-5761.
Hannah is in the process of leaving her boyfriend and moving back to her parents, while Matt is in a long-term relationship. I should say at this point, that if adulterous heroes are your hot button, don’t even think about reading Night Owl. Matt is a cheater of the highest calibre, and M. Pierce pulls no punches. We see inside Matt’s head, feel his confusion and desire, and sense his recklessness. After talking to Hannah – and having glorious dirty phone sex, he has to see her.
This is all in the first 20% of the book. Everything happens at top speed.
I loved their first encounter. Hannah’s at a club, and Matt is standing outside, with his pet rabbit, Laurence. He actually takes his pet for a walk on a leash, such a cute and quirky little idea. Anyway, having seen her in the flesh, Matt knows he cannot walk away.
I thought about Hannah in her bed. Hannah stretched out on her back, sleeping in a cami and thong, her beautiful breasts heaving slowly and her legs crooked apart. Or Hannah on her stomach, her heart-shaped rump in the air.
I could climb over her, wake her with a kiss. Brush my body along hers.
I felt a throb between my legs. I glared down at my cock.
“Hold your fucking horses,” I muttered.
God, fuck… was this seriously my life? Stalking a girl I’d met online, parked outside her house at midnight, speaking to my dick?
This book has so many things going for it. Matt has a filthy mouth and is creative and daring as a lover, and yes… the sex scenes are blisteringly hot. Hannah is gentle and kind, and suitably distressed when the truth comes out, as indeed it must. Matt not only has a girlfriend, he’s also the best-selling secretive novelist M.Pierce, of whom Hannah is a huge fan.
Matt’s breakdown is handled well. He manages to get Hannah a job, working for his agent. He covers up for his relatonship and he lies repeatedly to everyone, while slowly coming apart inside. He can’t sustain the deceptions forever.
I glanced up. I met Hannah’s big brown eyes, full of concern.
“Work is stressful,” I mumbled. “Really stressful. It’s a rough day. I’m fine. I couldn’t park for shit, I…”
At least I was saying a few true things.
Hannah reached for my hand and squeezed it. Such unconditional affection came across from her. And I was trash. I was filthier than trash.
Even though he’s a lyin’ cheatin’ son of a bitch, you can’t help liking Matt. Lusting after him. He’s made mistakes, that’s all. His sarcastic inner voice is amusing and provides a light contrast to all the darkness going on.
“Imperative that she…not know who I am,” I stumbled.
Awesome phrasing. Way to go bestselling author.
At this point, I felt the book took a downward swing. Without giving away any spoilers, while Matt’s behaviour was entirely in character, I didn’t buy Hannah’s way of thinking. To me, the first half was the best part of the book. It had the most energy, the most danger, and the most risk. The last third seemed skewed, as though the author was trying to push the characters in a direction they didn’t want. It was shocking and a little harsh, and then you have the ending… I’m not a fan of cliffhangers, especially not when you have to wait to read the next in the series.
Having said all that, Night Owl was one of the sexiest books I’ve read in a long time, and the initial premise was excellent. It’s worth reading for that alone. I’ll also be buying the second one, when it comes out – I have to know what happens next!!
4 silken sheets
5 sexy lips
Plot – great premise
Characters – exquisitely drawn characters
Warnings – if you avoid anything adulterous, stay away from this!
Genre: Contemporary erotic romance
Published: September 2013; $2.54 (Amazon)
Publisher: St Martin’s Griffin