September 11, 2014

REVIEW: After This Night (Seductive Nights #2)

After This Night (Seductive Nights #2), by Lauren Blakely
Published May 12, 2014
Publisher: Blakely Books
Format: e-book, purchased
Genre: adult erotic romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating: 4.5 STARS

(From Goodreads) Their world was passion, pleasure and secrets.

Far too many secrets. But Clay Nichols can't get Julia Bell out of his mind. He's so drawn to her, and to the nights they shared, that he can't focus on work or business. Only her. And she's pissing him off with her hot and cold act. She has her reasons though–she's trying to stay one step ahead of the trouble that's been chasing her for months now, thanks to the criminal world her ex dragged her into. If only she can get out of this mess, then maybe she can invite the man who ignites her back in her life, so she can have him–heart, mind and body.

He won't take less than all of her, and the full truth too. When he runs into her again at her sister's wedding, they have a second chance but she'll have to let him all the way in. And they'll learn just how much more there is to the intense sexual chemistry they share, and whether love can carry them well past the danger of her past and into a new future, after this night...

All of the issues I had in Night After Night disappeared as Julia and Clay both softened up just enough to let each other in. Which, in turn, allowed me to love them both.

After things between Julia and Clay being left in a bad place at the end of Night After Night, I didn't know how they would both come around and start to get over their hangups. Julia wasn't ready to fully trust Clay with the truth, and Clay wasn't ready to let go of old ghosts. But, their short time together was enough for them to get under each others' skin, and simply walking away is no longer an option. Something has to give on both sides, though, in order for them both to come together. 

Julia and Clay find themselves back on opposite ends of the country again, and it was actually a good thing. They really were fast and furious there for awhile. There was no slow build. No time to really get to know one another. There were initial impressions and instant infatuation, on which do not a relationship build. So, Julia and Clay now have some forced time apart, and at first they are both resolved to not contact the other. 

I loved how little time there was before they started communicating again. It showed how much they really had affected each other in such a shot time. But, without the messy complications of sex and secrets in their immediate way, they were forced to actually, oh, I don't know - TALK. Their e-mails were one of my favorite parts of the whole book. They joked with each other and updated each other on things going on in their lives. Their affection and attraction for one another came through in those e-mails and texts and in their phone calls. 

Clay really stepped up to prove himself to Julia in After This Night. He makes some big overtures to assure her that he can be trusted and that he's working on getting over his own commitment issues. It was Julia I was frustrated with the most as she held on very tightly to her secrets in an effort to protect Clay. While I appreciate her motives, he made it clear that he was in it with her for good, and that means you take the good with the bad and deal with them together. It took her awhile to get there, but eventually she did, and Clay went into full-on alpha protective mode. *swoon* My favorite thing. 

Clay has some good ideas for solutions to Julia's problems, and I love how well they worked together and talked. Clay takes his alpha mode a bit too far and makes a few mistakes, though. I did think that Julia overreacted in her response to his missteps, but it certainly did make for a dramatic ending. And, the ending was simply the best part of the whole book. 

Night After Night and After This Night were perfect companion books, and I did love them so much. Clay was so unbelievably perfect, and Julia really came around. This series is one of the hottest I've read in awhile, which was super fun for me. For my first experience with Lauren Blakely, I can assure you there will be more books by her in my future. 

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