REVIEW: Night of Love by Diana PalmerSaturday, August 2, 2008 16:00
This book is interesting, in my opinion, because it’s not part of Diana Palmer’s Long Tall Texans series. Of course, that’s not the only intriguing facet about it. The characters are well written and developed, though their story is slightly similar to Ms. Palmer’s other books.
Meg Shannon is a ballerina, and I have to say, I didn’t particularly like her based on how the book started. She gets a phone call from a woman and automatically assumes it’s one of Steven’s f**k-bunnies (although I’m sure that’s not a term that would have occurred to any of the characters, much less the author, especially at the time it was written), and pretends she’s just rolled over from a marathon session with Steve in bed. The scene just didn’t fit in with the rest of the book, or her personality. Still, her character becomes more developed, and enjoyable. Meg protects herself, and is generally able to go toe to toe with Steven, which is fun to read.
Steven Ryker, is of course, a business tycoon. He’s good friends with Meg’s older brother, and owns the company where they both work. He and Meg were involved a number of years ago, but circumstances split them up. Steve never got over it, and he’s rather cruel to Meg as a result. I enjoyed seeing how he changed throughout the book, especially as he became more certain of his relationship with Meg, and began to open up. He’s a good guy.
As usual, in a Ms. Palmer novel, much of the conflict, if not all, is due to an utter lack of communication between the characters. They do stupid things, yes, which result in relatively normal reactions, but the fact that all the problems could be easily solved both annoy the reader, and grips them. Meg has hang-ups about marriage, especially having children, and Steve doesn’t think Meg loves him for himself, and that he’s her second choice. Some pictures and unhelpful words and interference from parents led to Meg running away to New York from Wichita, KS after she had a blow up fight with Steve.
Luckily, the book begins with Meg’s homecoming, and both characters older, and slightly wiser. One thing I really enjoyed about the story was the secondary characters. They’re well written, a lot of fun, and a great support to the main story. You have to feel badly for Meg and Steve, who did love each other so much, but their own uncertainties as well as outside factors kept them apart. There’s the star crossed lovers aspect that has you rooting for them.
Another component to the book that I don’t know if I like or dislike, is … well the interaction of the characters. Specifically, the sex. The characters are generally repressed (which in a way is fun) – but the love scenes are a bit odd. Something like the proverbial train wreck, where you can’t look away. It’s horrid, yet fascinating at the same time. The characters are awkward, yet it works, especially for them, and in the context of the story.
I know this book is tied to at least three more, but I feel that a number of others are slightly connected to it as well. One thing that is definitely true of Ms. Palmer would be her mastery of series. I did like Meg and Steve, and their story, but this wouldn’t be labeled one of my favorite Ms. Palmer books. It is fun, however, and a necessary read if you’re a Ms. Palmer fan – especially because so many of the secondary characters get their own books.
The Man: Steven Ryker, strong-willed, determined… dangerous to love!
The Myth: That this tough guy didn’t give a thought to any woman.
The Legend: He was a man no female could resist, with a heart no woman could claim.
The Awful Truth: Meg Shannon was in town – and Steven was in trouble!
Once Steven had given sweet Meg his love, but she’d thrown it all away fro a life that excluded him. Well, he didn’t care that she was back in town; he’d learned his lesson the hard way. This bachelor wasn’t going to get burned again, no matter what Meg said about “circumstances beyonf our control.” His control was doing just fine, and she could forget all about rekindling their flame…
Night of Love can also be found as one half of the single-author anthology Man of the Hour (HQN, 1 Mar 08). The other half is Secret Agent Man – review to follow.