just one night

Five Stars

recommended by PL

Description

Katie Parker is a woman on a mission. On a Caribbean cruise for her annual girlfriends’ getaway, she’s determined to forget about the man who betrayed her. All she wants is to find a man for just one night of anonymous, no-strings-attached passion.

Mac Coleman needs to get away. For now, that means accompanying his brothers on a cruise to Mexico for his younger brother’s wedding. After that, he’ll be changing jobs and cities, all to get away from his stalker ex-girlfriend.

When the pair meet on board the ship, the chemistry is instant. Can Mac convince Katie that what they have deserves more than just one night?

Book Details

Review

This is a great summer read. Lots of Caribbean breezes and Margaritas to make you feel like you're on vacation. The plot is interesting and more surprising than I expected. The book is fast-paced and a lot of fun to read. As always, Spocks's characters are magnetic. Even the minor characters are so richly developed, I connected them to people in my real life.

Pandora Spocks has this delightful style which puts the reader right into the story. From swimming with the stingrays to kneeling in front of a partially naked stranger, you feel like you're along for the ride. (Of course, that's not always a good thing. When the main character has a bout of "teacher stress," I felt like I was staring down the barrel of the first day of school. NOT a good feeling in June. *wink*)

Excerpt

Ten minutes later, Mac leaned back against the headboard, legs outstretched and crossed at the ankles.  Katie sat facing him, her legs curled beneath her.  Neither had bothered to get dressed.  He poured a glass of wine and handed it to her, taking another for himself.

She sipped gratefully.  “It’s good.  And I was thirsty.”

He smiled.  “It was quite a workout.”  Taking a plump red berry, he held it out to her and she bit into it, laughing when juice ran down her chin.  She swiped at it with her empty hand.  Mac laughed too and ate the rest of the berry.

“So how were the stingrays?”

Katie rolled her eyes.  “About like I imagined.  Very crowded.  I mean, they were kind of cool.  But the way they fluttered around my legs really creeped me out.”  Mac laughed appreciatively.  “I didn’t stay in the water too long.”

She leaned over him to take a strawberry from the dish, and she held it to his mouth, watching him bite into it.  The rest she popped into her mouth.  “After the stingrays, we had lunch, then lounged on the beach for a few hours.  It was heavenly.”  She smiled with the memory.  “The others decided they needed to go shopping, but I stayed at the beach for a while longer.”

“You didn’t want to go shopping?”  He crooked a skeptical eyebrow.

Katie shook her head.  “There’s nothing in the world that I need in those touristy shops.  Besides, the water and sand were hypnotic.  I just sat there thinking about…”  She looked to him sheepishly, her face flushing pink.

“Thinking about last night.”  He smiled knowingly.  “I did some of that myself.”  He fed her another strawberry.

“Um,” she swallowed, “how was diving?  I already know that you didn’t get rushed to the hospital.”

He laughed.  “No, no hospital for me today.  Diving was great, actually.  It usually is in the Caymans.”  He sipped his wine.  “Would you like to see the pictures?  I downloaded them onto my tablet.”

Katie set down her glass and rolled onto her stomach, knees bent, her feet hovering over her ass.  Mac cued up the dive pictures and slid the tablet in front of her.  He watched as she slowly scrolled through his photos of the tropical reef fish, coral, and other things he’d seen that day.

“These are fantastic!  The water is crystal clear and the colors are just amazing.”  He watched her frown.  “Is this a shark?”

He tilted his head to the right to look at the tablet.  “Yep, a Caribbean reef shark.”

Katie gaped at him.  “Just swimming along with you?  I would have lost my mind.”

Mac laughed good-naturedly.  “They pretty much leave you alone.  You just have to be aware of what’s going on.”

She shook her head, disbelievingly.  “No freaking way,” she muttered as she continued scrolling through his pictures.  He handed her another strawberry.  She chewed thoughtfully.  “Tomorrow is my pick.  We’re going to see the ruins at Tulum.”

“Yeah?”

“I’m kind of a history nerd.  It’s just intriguing to me.  People lived there for hundreds of years, probably assumed that it would always be there, then, boom!  Can you imagine being the last person out of there?  It boggles my mind.”

Mac smiled at the insight into her intelligence.  “It will be a great trip.”

Katie nodded.  “And in Belize, Chelsea is making us zip-line in the jungle.  It’s a pretty sure bet I’ll break my neck.  Michelle has declared the last day of the cruise ‘spa day’.  Which I’ll probably need, assuming my neck isn’t broken.”

He laughed.

“We should get together every night to compare notes on our adventures.”  Katie grinned up at him, the guarded look suddenly gone as her face lit up, completely open to him.  “What are you guys doing in Mexico?  Will you go diving again?”

He felt the knot in his stomach as a frown crossed his face.  “We’re getting off in Mexico.  Tommy’s wedding is in Cancun tomorrow night.”

Her brow wrinkled.  “You’re getting off in Mexico?  You aren’t finishing the cruise?”

He shook his head.  “No.  The wedding is tomorrow night.  The next day I fly home and load up the moving truck.  I start my new job on Monday.”

Katie looked down, crestfallen.

“Hey, you, I’m really sorry.  I didn’t mean to—“

Abruptly, she pushed up off the bed.   “No, I’m sorry.  I wasn’t thinking.”  Her voice was soft, upbeat.  Her eyes betrayed her deeper feelings as her face closed again.  “Remember our deal—no strings, no expectations.  I just…”

She snatched up the fluffy white robe from the back of the chair and shrugged into it, stalking to the veranda door and crossing to lean against the railing overlooking the dark sea.  He padded out behind her, not bothering with a robe.

Mac approached her, wrapping his arms around her.  “I really am sorry,” he murmured into her hair.  “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”

“You didn’t hurt me.  No expectations, right?  It’s my own rule.  I just wasn’t thinking.  It’s no big deal.”

He pulled her closer and held her, gazing out over the sea.  “Somebody hurt you.”  It wasn’t a question.  The compassion in his voice caused her stomach to clench.

“It’s not something I want to talk about.”

“I understand,” he murmured softly.

She whirled around.  “Just stop!  Stop being all…” she waved her hands in frustration, “understanding!”

Mac threw back his head and laughed out loud.  “I could try for asshole,” he laughed, “but it’s not really my style.”  He wrapped his arms around her again, drawing her close.  “You can tell me anything you want.  Or nothing at all.  Just know,” he gently kissed the top of her head, “you’re safe here.”

Katie felt herself soften in his strong embrace.  To be safe.  Understood.  The concept was almost foreign.  She sighed deeply and turned away from him to face the ocean again, but she pulled his arms tightly around herself.

“It’s stupid.”

He said nothing, just nuzzled her temple, planting tiny kisses behind her ear.

She sighed again.  “I met a guy online.  Stupid, I know.  Just…  I don’t meet many men in my day to day life.  So I took a chance.  He seemed nice, owned his own business, the sex was—“  She sheepishly glanced up at him.  “Until very recently I thought it was great.”  She felt the chuckle in his chest as it vibrated against her back.  “One day I surprised him with lunch at his office.  When I walked in he was standing with his pants around his ankles.  A blonde was sucking him off right there in his office.”

Mac tightened his grip around her shoulders.  “I’m so sorry, you,” he murmured against her ear.

Katie shook her head.  “I should have known.  I should have seen the signs or something.  How can I be so stupid?  I can’t make that same mistake again.”

He turned her to face him, both of them leaning against the railing.  “I was dating a psycho.  I’m moving partly to get away from her.  But I’ll tell you something.”  His face was earnest.  “I realized that if I shut myself off from love, try to protect my heart, I’m going to miss the real deal when she comes along.”

He looked at her meaningfully.  “I’d much rather take the chance.  I didn’t die from a broken heart.”  He smiled at her ruefully.  “Look, we can take this thing however you want, but I’m telling you, there’s something here.  Something more than a ‘one night only’ kind of thing.”

Katie shook her head dismissively.  “No, this is just a vacation romance.  Not even romance.  Just sex.  There’s nothing wrong with that.”  There was challenge in her eyes as she met his.

Mac nodded slowly.  “Like I said, we can take this any way you like.  But just know, I’m open to more.”

She tore her gaze away from his eyes, back to the safer region of the sea.  Lightly, he twirled a lock of her hair around his finger.  “Well, if this is our last night together, I’d very much like to take you back to bed and make love one more time.”

Katie turned back to face him, placing her hands against his chest for leverage, and leaned up to capture his lips in hers.  He opened to her and she explored further, finding his tongue and deepening her kiss.  His hands slid inside her robe, seeking and finding her firm, round tits, cupping them, thumbs teasing her sensitive nubs to pert attention.  She moaned lightly into his mouth.

Taking her hand, Mac led her back inside, pausing to slide the robe to the floor.  He lay back on the bed and watched as she crawled over him, moving to straddle his lap.  He stared up into her face, sliding his gaze to her perfect breasts.  “You take my breath away, you,” he murmured.

Katie leaned over him to retrieve another foil packet, tearing it open and sliding the protection down over his ready member.  Then she leaned slightly, reaching down to position him at her entrance.  Desire left her ready to accept him and she slid herself onto him, sitting stock still.  She gazed at him for a long moment, her sparkling eyes a stormy shade of green, before beginning to roll her hips rhythmically, gripping his cock tightly.  Mac let out a groan of pleasure, reaching to fondle her tits, tugging and teasing her aroused nipples.

“I need to be closer,” he muttered, pushing himself to a sitting position and gripping her hips.  She stopped her movements for a moment and smiled seductively.  Mac leaned down to capture a pert nipple between his lips.  Katie arched her back, giving him more access and he released the nipple to find the other one, pleasuring both of them equally.

Looking back up at her, he began to slowly thrust from beneath and Katie renewed her movements, guided by his grip on her hips.  “Watch me,” he told her.  “I want to see you come.”  She nodded, tightening her grip on his cock with every thrust.

Feeling her imminent release, she fought to keep her eyes on his, biting her lower lip in concentration.  “Oh…oooh..”  Her breaths became faster and shallower.  “Oh, God!”

Mac gave another deep thrust and cried out as his pleasure exploded in time with hers.  As her shuddering subsided, he continued to hold her close, whispering softly into her ear.  Katie sighed deeply as he gently lowered them onto the bed.

He pulled her close, arm around her while she rested her head on his shoulder.  He could feel her heart pounding against his chest.  Lightly, he kissed her forehead.

They must have dozed because Katie awoke with a start.  Mac looked down at her and smiled.  “Are you okay?”

Sleepily, she rubbed her eyes.  “I think I fell asleep for a minute.”

“You’ve had a good workout.”  His smile was knowing.

She couldn’t stop her own smile.  “True.”  She pushed herself up.  “I should probably be going.”

“Or, you could stay.  It’s only a couple of hours until daylight.”  As there had been the previous night, there was hope in his eyes.

Katie’s determined look was back.  “No, I should get a little sleep.  Our group leaves early for Tulum.”

“Maybe I’ll see you at breakfast?”

She shook her head.  “Like I said, we’re leaving early.”

Mac gave a frustrated sigh, but nodded.  “I understand.  I don’t suppose you’d let me walk you back to your room?”

Katie smiled as she slid on her dress and zipped it up the side.  “You go ahead and get some sleep.  You have a big day tomorrow.”

“Yeah.”  Mac stood and walked her to the door.  “You should know that this has been special.  Spending time with you has meant a lot to me.”

Katie’s smile turned sad, and the guarded glint was back in her eyes.  “You are so sweet.  I’ve had a great time, too.  Good luck with…everything.  Enjoy the rest of your trip.”

He nodded, resigned.  “You, too.”  He watched her hurry away down the passageway until she was out of sight.

Scores

Title, Description and Cover10
Characters10
Story, Plot, and Action9
Steaminess9
Bang for the Buck9
X-Factor10
The X-factor in this story is the characterization. Every group of girls has a mean girl who is critical of her friends, and this group was beautifully portrayed. The sex was super hot, too. This was a great summer read, so you should buy it!
9.5
Reader Rating: (0 Rates)0
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