A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

HOT NIGHTS by Shannon McKenna










Here's the set up and blurb from the back cover of the book:

THE PREDATOR
Gold. The most precious of metals. And someone would kill to get at the dazzling exhibit of priceless Spanish treasure Abby Maitland just landed for the museum. Too bad Zan Duncan had to show up to protect her, but someone’s waiting—and watching. She’s in the crosshairs and she doesn’t have a clue.

THE PREY
Abby is mesmerized by Zan’s untamed strength and his very sexual vibe. From the long dark hair, the thick, hard muscles, and the black leather jacket right on down to the honed fighting skills and the tattoos, Zan is everything a bad boy oughta be . . . and everything Abby has sworn to avoid. Yet he’s a master of subtle seduction, pushing her buttons with tantalizing promises of night after hot night of secret, endless pleasure. Promises that he keeps, to the letter . . .

But danger stalks them both, for a lethal game of deception, greed and murder is underway—a game more sinister than Abby and Zan ever imagined. And when no one can be trusted and no place is safe, passion may be the only thing that can save them . . .

Okay, I'm going to say it and just get it out of the way, I know that I shouldn't like Zan Duncan in HOT NIGHT by Shannon McKenna. In moments of intimacy he becomes, to quote Abby in the book, "Dominator Guy". No, not in a BDSM way, but in a very sexually aggressive way he is sort of dominate...no he IS dominant. But Abby likes it...ALOT. Turns out I did too.

In many ways Zan is just not politically correct. He screws up in his relationship with Abby over and over again and offers a lame "I'm sorry" just one too many times. Which to Abby's credit she calls him on and sends him packing. He deserves it too, even understands that he's screwed things up and probably deserves to be sent out of her life.

The thing is I really liked this story. The sexual tension between Abby and Zan is so thick I, for one, could hardly breathe a couple of times. From a real life perspective if a girlfriend told me about a guy like this I would probably tell her to run for her life. A wild card sort of guy rarely works out in real life. For all the "bad boys" friends and family have linked up with I can recall only one time it's worked out.

Fortunately, this is Romancelandia and for me, in this book, it just worked. I totally bought that Zan was a different type of lone wolf/bad boy. Yes, he makes mistakes, is obsessed with Abby and acts out inappropriately, but we are sympathetic to it because we know who the real bad guy is.

This is another story where I was intrigued by the characters' past and how it influenced who they are when we meet them. I was glad that Zan wasn't independently wealthy, or a CEO, but a working stiff ... a lock smith and computer consultant. I also really liked Abby defending her territory whether it was her apartment or her job. Even though we, and Zan, know she is vulnerable to him and his wily seductive ways.

In short I loved this book and couldn't put it down. That just hasn't been happening much lately. I was glad it was my off night from yoga, because once I started reading I didn't want to stop.


In general I'm a Shannon McKenna fan and I think she is getting better at bringing more character elements into her books. These elements are things that as readers we often think about but many authors rarely address. For instance, Abby's demand that Zan respect her, trust her and give a crap about her "professional dignity". We don't very often see a character worry about the fallout in her real life when she takes a leap or choice that to any right minded person seems a little nuts.

This is a Brava release, so it has very hot and erotic love scenes. I was in just the right mood and it was a captivating read...

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10 Comments:

Blogger Kristie (J) said...

I find with her, you have to be in a certain mood to really enjoy her books. But if you are in that mood - wow they work so well!!
And you are so right about the difference between real life and romancelandia. In romancelandia this type of hero works very well - but of course in real life - who would really want such a horses ass? *g*. Glad you liked this one. I've only read one of hers I didn't like and that was Return to Me. I just wish they weren't so darned expensive here though!!

8:51 AM PDT  
Blogger Devonna said...

I think I have some of hers in my TBR pile ~ if not, I may have to add her. Problem is I've been in such a reading funk lately. But, a romanceland hero like Zan may be exactly what I need.

...I don't think I'm ever going to get to the end my tbr pile....I add to it before I can ever get enough read from it.

9:40 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Kristie, I agree with you wholeheartedly on price. Why does Brava insist on their new releases being trade sized? Yes, if you want the book bad enough you will pay, but it seems mean and greedy. Besides, I keep wondering if they started out in mass market paperback they might do even better. Unfortunately, no one in publishing EVER asks me what I think! *G*

9:42 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Dev, don't worry about the TBR. Think of it as a safe, warm feeling of places to go and people to meet. Who wouldn't want a great big dose of that in their house?

The one thing I should have mentioned in my review. Zan does have a very tender side as well. It's what makes his Dominator guy in the bedroom all the more engaging because we know he has these two opposing sides that balance themselves.

9:45 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosario said...

What you say perfectly describes how I felt about most of the Shannon McKenna books that I've read. I've no idea why they work so well for me, LOL! I was kind of on the fence about this one, but I think I'll give it a try (only when it comes out in pb, though!)

9:35 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Rosario, I've read all her books and even the stuff in the anthologies. This is definitely one of her best. If you like what she's done in the past you won't be disappointed with HOT NIGHT.

4:12 PM PDT  
Blogger Holly said...

I just picked up one of her books this weekend, but I can't remember the name of it right now. I'm pretty sure it's not this one, though. I haven't started it yet, and it will be my first by her, so I'll let you know.

Your review made me want to read it, though. LOL

4:47 PM PDT  
Blogger Dylan said...

Okay, even though I'm not supposed to want to read this book because the hero is one of those heroes that I wouldn't want any of my real life friends to date, I still want to read it, just because...you liked it! lol...good review sweets!

7:01 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Holly: There are a couple of her books that aren't as snappy or have as much sexual tension as HOT NIGHTS. I'll be looking to see which one you have and what you thought.

Dylan: There is just so much sexual tension between these two!! I really enjoyed the read. I hope you do too...let me know what you think.

11:33 PM PDT  
Blogger Kristie (J) said...

Hmmm - just looked this one up at Chapters. It's 24% off then add another 10% with a Rewards card and the price just might be acceptable.

7:44 AM PDT  

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