Guest Reviewed by Ami
Title: One of These Nights
Author: Kendra Leigh Castle
Series: Harvest Cove #3
Heroine/Hero: Zoe Watson/Jason Evans
Genre: MF Contemporary Romance
Length: 352 Pages
Publisher: September 1, 2015
Release Date: Penguin/Signet
Available at: Amazon and Barnes & Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: Moving to Harvest Cove has been like a dream come true for Zoe Watson, providing her with a job she loves and close friends she considers practically family. The only problem: a certain prickly—albeit handsome—park ranger who can’t seem to help tracking mud into her art gallery…or showing up in her dreams.
Jason Evans swore off relationships the day his ex-wife walked out the door, and the local gallery owner is no exception. But when an accident forces him to accept the one thing he hates most in the world—help—he discovers that with Zoe in his life, there are more highs than lows. Despite their long-simmering attraction, neither Jason nor Zoe thinks that two people with so little in common could possibly have a future together. But one of these nights, they may just discover how alike they are.…
Review: When I first read the glimpse of irritating slash intriguing arguments between Zoe Watson, the fiery gallery owner, and Jason Evans, the handsome park ranger (whom Zoe secretly called Treebeard behind his back) in book #1, I was already looking forward to their book. I thought Zoe and Jason had that “opposite attracts” factor down to a T. I couldn’t wait to read how they finally acknowledged their attraction. So when I was offered the ARC for this via The Blogger Girls blog, I couldn’t say “YES” fast enough. I immediately started reading it once it was delivered to my email.
Well, for the most part, I definitely got my wishes. I mean, look at the set-up!
Jason is forced into limited mobility after he broke his leg when trying to rescue a dog in the wood while avoiding trees coming down on him at the same time. He is out of commission, has to wear crutches, and ask for help every now and then. However, Jason’s biggest problem is coming his way … his mother.
Jason doesn’t have a good relationship with his family, especially his mother and his younger brother. He was always considered the less perfect one and having his mother over will smother him and drive him crazy. So when Zoe comes to visit at the ‘wrong’ time (Jason is on the phone with his mother), he ends up admitting a lie that surprises both of them. Jason tells his mother that Zoe is his girlfriend … in order to stop his mother from coming over.
Isn’t that perfect? Yep, fake girlfriend scenario (haha)
I really LOVED Zoe and Jason together … I loved that they finally, due to the circumstances, were able to learn about one another since they had to keep a united front in front of Jason’s mother. Zoe and Jason have been acquainted for the past two years and perform their ‘mating dance’ but there are still a lot of things they don’t know about each other. Add the adorable dog, Rosie, that Jason adopted, and I simply loved every single moment when they were together.
However, at the same time, that particular circumstance, a.k.a. Jason’s mother, became my biggest issue with this book. Molly Evans (Jason’s mother) is very overbearing – and we also have Jason dealing with his pompous younger brother later in the book – and every scene with her made my blood pressure rise. I could understand the need of having Molly as the antagonist character here. Reading the interactions between Jason and Molly is an effective way in showing how the scars run deep in Jason. We could understand why Jason became so hard-headed, why he built this wall around his heart.
Molly (and to an extent, his ex-wife, Sara) does a great number on Jason as a person, which as a result, makes it hard for Jason to see that Zoe is not at all like his mother or his ex-wife. Yes, Zoe is classy; she likes her tea, her arts, and she owns a gallery. However, Zoe is also quite down-to-earth. She loves Harvest Cove; she chooses to stay in this small-town. Yes, she brushes shoulder with gallery patrons, but Zoe can also enjoy a simple picnic. Zoe is nowhere similar to Molly or Sara and she doesn’t need all the things that Jason perceived being needed (or liked) by ‘the snobby people’.
Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that all the scenes with Molly took the time that could be spent for Jason and Zoe. And this frustrated me — because Molly frustrated Jason and it became a chain-like event. There was nothing good when reading about Molly and her inability to see Jason for his worth. So I wish there were MORE scenes of Jason and Zoe’s goodness. Even in the end, I expected more pages or an epilogue of some kind. Family drama is fine, but I don’t like it if it takes over the spotlight from the main couple’s romance, you know? That was the biggest obstacle for this book to be one of my perfect romance reads of the year, sadly. 😦
Despite everything, One of These Nights reaffirms for me that Kendra Leigh Castle is an author to watch out for when it comes to small-town contemporary romance. I am so bloody happy that we already have book #4 looming on the horizon (though not until March 2016). Because that means I’m not done with the Harvest Cove residents and I have something to look forward to next year.
Overall Impression: I really liked it
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*