One Night More
Zebra / September 2, 2014 / $6.99 print, $7.59 digital
Savvy, hard-riding, rule-breaking—they’ll go anywhere and do anything it takes to protect and serve. But this U. S. Marshal has just met his match—and playing for keeps is one sizzling game…
Getting saved from disaster by a handsome stranger—Harper Allen has no problem with that. But when he leaves without a word or a clue to his real identity, the newbie reporter writes it off as the best one-night-stand she’ll ever have. Until a year later, when Harper comes face to face with the man assigned to hide her from a senator’s killer…
Galen Kelly hasn’t forgotten a single sensual minute of his night with Harper . . . or that she betrayed him. With the FBI also on their trail, he’s got to pretend he’s never met her or risk both their lives. But as danger closes in, Galen may not be able to protect himself from taking the biggest risk of all…
One Night More is the first in Mandy Baxter's US Marshal series, and filled with intense, fast-paced action and scorching-hot sexual chemistry between the hero and heroine. The intensity of their attraction had me immersed deep inside their minds and emotions.
To offset the mystery and suspenseful plot, there's witty and sexually driven banter between Galen and Harper. While Galen is the superhero type, Harper is a trouble magnet, sort of like Lois Lane. She is a journalist looking for the next big story, and she definitely has a thing for superheroes:
“So,” she began, taking a sip of her drink for a little liquid courage. “I know you enjoy tackling would-be sex offenders and you like imported beer. How about a name to go with your superhero persona?”
He brought the bottle to his lips and drank a deeply, as if needing a moment to consider her request. When he turned to face her, his navy-blue eyes sparked with mischief. “No self-respecting superhero spills this secret identity. I mean, as soon as he hero’s alter ego is revealed, his heroine inevitably finds herself in danger. You’ve already had a brush with evil once, tonight. It I want to protect you. I really don’t have a choice, do I?”
“Far be it from me to ask you to reveal your true identity.” She couldn’t believe her brazen behavior. Since when had she become the sly seductress? “But if I can’t have your name, maybe I won't give you mine.”
Many of my favorite bits of the book were text messages Galen sent Harper when his boss forced him to stay away from her for a few days, even though he was still in charge of her protection.
“Is Landon still there?”
“Actually I invited him over for a threesome with me and Peggy. He’s on his way up right now. Goodnight.”
“I rescind my earlier opinion. You’re not funny. Also, Deputy McCabe is getting reassigned in the morning.”
Even though the working relationship between Galen and Harper is entertaining, the attraction between them is explosive. It finally comes to a boiling point when they couldn’t even manage small talk without an argument:
“Have you ever noticed how truly awful daytime TV is?”
“Its not all awful, TNT shows reruns of Supernatural.”
“What’s that about?”
Harper stared, mouth agape. How could she possibly be attracted to him?
“Supernatural is pretty much the best show on TV. Dean and Sam Winchester are demon hunters and all-around badasses. You’re missing out.”
“They're probably Hollywood pretty boys, too, right? Too cute for words?” Galen mocked a swoon.
Incensed, Harper jacked her chin up a notch. “Maybe. But that’s not why the show is good.”
Galen laughed and it caused her indignation to boil even hotter. “Right. That’s like saying guys watch the Lingerie Football for the sportsmanship.”
Did he actually watch that crap? Harper could feel her eyes trying to pop out of her head. “No, you watch it for the fake boobs and ass cheeks hanging out of their booty shorts.”
Galen shrugged as though he couldn’t argue.
“I mean, seriously, Galen. Is that what you like? Half-naked women slapping their teammates on the ass and tackling each other to the ground, pretending to be respectable athletes while they roll around on artificial turf in a bra and panties?”
“Maybe.” His sardonic reply made Harper want to slap the smug grin off his face. “I’m a very dedicated sports fan.”
And then there is the most important conversation, the confession of undying love:
“How can you forget me like that?” Her body shook with each word she shouted. “Was it seriously that meaningless to you? I thought about you, Galen. Everyday for a freaking year! I really want to know, was I just another conquest for you? A girl you bragged about to your buddies at work the next day? Or was wiped from your memory the second you walked out my door?”
He reached up and gently pulled the elastic band from her hair, allowing the thick locks to cascade down her shoulders. His fingers wound through the curly length, sending pleasant shivers down Harper’s spine. “Everyday for a year I saw your face in my mind, heard your voice in my ears.”
In addition to all the witty banter and sexual chemistry, One Night More's Galen Kelly is the kind of hero who tackles the bad guy, takes a bullet for you, and holds you while you cry.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of One Night More by Mandy Baxter, available September 2, 2014: