Review – One Hot Night (Old Port Nights #1) by Samantha Hunter

One Hot Night cover image
Publisher: Samhain
Publish Date: Out now
How I got this book: ARC from the publisher

She’s been there, done that–but never with the sexy hockey player next door.

Dating, marriage, divorce… Audra Leone has been there, done that. These days she’s focused on her antiques business and doesn’t need a man complicating her life.

Still, she can’t help but notice the flirty ex-hockey player who owns the sports bar next door, but he’s got two strikes against him. He’s her landlord, and he’s almost ten years younger–which puts Audra way outside the flock of twenty-somethings vying for his attention.

When Scott Beckett sees Audra hasn’t closed shop during a major snowstorm, he checks in on her–to find her shackled to a post. He’s more than happy to help and close the distance she keeps firmly between them. He’s well over his playboy days and hungering for something stronger, something lasting.

One spontaneous, bone-melting kiss leads to an explosive night of passion, and Scott realizes the quiet antiques lady is everything he craves. But it’ll take some doing–and maybe a disaster or two–to convince her to give forever a chance.

Warning: Contains a wounded heroine who’s put her heart on ice, and an ex-jock who still knows how to run interference on her defenses. Could have you wishing for snow in July.
This blurb came from the author’s website.

I requested this book because I enjoyed the blurb and thought I would enjoy watching Scott convince Audra the obstacles only existed in her mind. Unfortunately, I should have checked the classification because I found myself feeling letdown by this novella’s quick resolution given the extent of the internal and external conflict. I enjoyed the set-up and how Hunter worked in the history of Scott’s overtures and Audra’s resistance. I also laughed a lot at her predicament and all of the embarrassing assumptions or questions generated by that scene. It was after their night together I felt this story lost what attracted me to it in the beginning.

Audra was burned by a horrible previous marriage. Her life revolved around rebuilding herself and her livelihood as an antique dealer but she was not willing to take a chance on a man, especially not one who seemed to have a parade of women much younger then she was in his life. Not to mention the landlord aspect involved mixing business with pleasure another lesson Audra stumbled upon painfully in her last relationship. One night she needed Scott’s help and gave into her attraction to him only to have something go catastrophically wrong with her business. As a result, she fled from what they started.

Scott, an ex-hockey player turned bar owner and landlord, had a thing for his lessee, Audra. She was an older woman who barely made her ends meet and resisted his attempts to get to know her. When he found her in a difficult situation and needing his help, he took the opportunity to convince her to join him for dinner. Things were going well then the structural roof repairs he put off at Audra’s request and advice of the building inspector demonstrated they were no longer capable of holding. This put them both in a bad situation due to the loss of the building and her stock.

From this point, I felt as if One Hot Night suffered from superficiality. The detail from the setup and beginning was lost. In my mind, the additional pressure of losing her business would have added to the strain between them and it did temporarily but that strain vanished. Audra apparently changed her mind about Scott, her business, and her outlook on life but I did not see what triggered the transition I was told that it happened as she told Scott. I did not feel any sort of real character growth from Scott at all. As I said in the beginning, given the extent of the obstacles between Audra and Scott I wanted to see the transformation. As a result I could not believe in their romance or that her fears from the very beginning were assuaged especially with the loss of her business and inventory.

One Hot Night started off nicely but was unable to maintain the detail and emotional connection throughout the book. I went from deeply engrossed and curious to feeling letdown by the switch to tell instead of show. Hunter included too many serious issues as obstacles to the romance to be satisfied in a novella format and as a result the book suffered. Sadly I was not able to believe in the romance between Scott and Audra.

I give One Hot Night a D

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