Mar 18, 2014

Posted by in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Just One Night by Lauren Layne (Sex, Love & Stiletto #3)

A little note. Some sites say this book is out already and others say it’s only out on April 22nd 2014. Interesting…

justonenight3 star

Contemporary Romance
March 11 2014
240 pages
Received from publisher via NetGalley

Yummy Man – Sam Compton
Kick Ass Chick – Riley McKenna

From Goodreads –
Riley McKenna knows sex—good sex, bad sex, kinky sex…Her articles in Stiletto magazine are consistently the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But Riley has a secret…all that sexy talk? Not an ounce of it comes from personal experience. Her own bedroom escapades are more limited than even her best friends know. When her editor requests that all columnists write something more personal for Stiletto’s anniversary issue, Riley turns to the one man she’s always been able to count on and calls in the favor of a lifetime.

Sam Compton would do anything for Riley McKenna. Anything except be her experimental sex toy. He refuses her request. At least until she tells him that it’ll either be him or she’ll go to someone else. And that, Sam can’t accept. Reluctantly he agrees to her terms—one night of completely meaningless sex in the name of research. Riley thinks she’s prepared for what awaits her in Sam’s bed. After ten years of writing about sex, actually doing it shouldn’t be that different, right? So wrong. What starts as “one time only” becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn first-hand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.


Just One Night is the third book in Lauren Layne’s Sex, Love & Stiletto series.  When I requested this title from NetGalley, it did not state that this was a book three.  When I started reading it, I immediately noticed that there was some backstory to a few couples and thought to myself “it seems like these guys have already had their stories told”.  I went to Goodreads to check and yup, the friends who are said to be madly in love had already had their books published.  But finding this out didn’t make me feel lost or upset, it made me curious about how these friends’ HEA happened because I was drawn to the secondary characters in this book.  They seem genuinely friendly, sassy, loyal and happy.  And other than the ‘happy’ part, I felt the same way about Sam and Riley, the hero and heroine of this latest book.

When I started reading, I instantly liked Lauren’s voice.  It really suits the genre and it held the fun and light quality – without coming across as flighty or silly – that I enjoy in a contemporary romance.  I also liked the idea of this book because who doesn’t like a friends-to-lovers romance story.  I think we’ve all been there, either as teenagers or as adults.  Close friends with a boy and daydreaming about him one day seeing you in a new light and wanting to profess his undying love for you right then and there because he’s not sure how he held off this long… *dreamy sigh*  Er…  *shakes head*

But back to the book.

Riley is a writer for Stiletto magazine.  She is their sex columnist and is good at her job yet she feels a bit like a fraud.  You see, she’s only had sex once in her life and it was years ago.  Why has she not been going at it with tons of guys?  She is smart and beautiful, so what is the issue?  Well, the issue is Sam.  Riley has had a crush on her brother’s best friend for over a decade and just can’t seem to want to be with anyone but him. The issue is Sam has yet to notice Riley in ‘that way’.  Or has he?…  Riley finds out she is to write a story about the ‘real’ her and it sort of freaks her out.  She decides to go after what she wants and asks Sam to give her one night so she can write about something real and not about something she made up, which she does not want to do.  Of course, Sam says no, then yes, then no, then yes, then…  You get the idea.

The idea, even though it is not something new to this genre, is fun.  And watching Sam torture himself over whether or not to take Riley up on her offer makes for entertaining reading.  Their chemistry is hot and their smexy scenes are really well written.  I liked this book very much but…certain plot points did start rubbing me the wrong way after a while.

There is one thing in any book that drives me bonkers is when someone is hiding something from the other person that really does not need to be hidden.  And if said thing would not be hidden, if they would just fess up and get on with things, it would make everything better for everyone.  Riley hides from Sam that she is practically a virgin and lets him believe that she is essentially a woman who sleeps around a lot.  Why?  Why why why?  This assumption of his hurts her.  I didn’t get the secrecy and, for me, it caused unnecessary stress and sadness for Riley.

Sam also has something that confused me a bit and it’s primarily because there wasn’t enough information about him for this to make sense.  At least, that’s my thinking.  He is starting is own brewery and is afraid of actually getting it off the ground.  Why?  He’s afraid of failure and his mother is horrible and makes him feel like a nothing but still, why?  I feel I needed a bit more elaboration about his decisions for them to make sense to me.  And he was doing the whole ‘I promised Riley’s brother, my BFF, that I wouldn’t touch his sister so I have to avoid my true feelings’ thing.  A lot.  Also frustrating.

Other than that, I did enjoy Just One Night.  It was a quick and fun read even with the issues I had with the story.  I am very picky when it comes to my contemporary romance books and the issues I had with this book are issues I would have if written by any author in any book.  Not just this one.  So if the issues I had with this latest installment are things that don’t usually bother you in a romance story, check this book out.  The author’s voice makes it worth it.

3.5 stars

Books in the Sex, Love & Stiletto series –
After the Kiss
Love the One You’re With
Just One Night


  1. Great review Julie! I’m glad this contemporary romance story was a more enjoyable read then the last one you reviewed. It sounds like a good read and I’m happy that it made you interested in the other two stories. Since you like the authors voice so much in this one, I hope the other two turn out as enjoyable reads as well, whenever you get around to them. 🙂

  2. Ah the big brother trope. I think it is time our heroines became brotherless.

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