Updated: Jan 18, 2021
Just One Night
By Lauren Layne
Published by Loveswept
Book #3 in the sex, Love & Stiletto Series
Riley McKenna knows sex—
good sex, bad sex, kinky sex. Her articles in Stiletto magazine are the publication’s most scandalous—and the most read. But when Stiletto’s fiftieth anniversary issue requires her column to get a lot more personal, Riley is forced to confront a long-hidden secret: Her own sexual experience is limited to one awkward college encounter. Now Riley is about to call in the favor of a lifetime from the one man who’s always held her heart.
Sam Compton knows two things about Riley McKenna: She’s the only woman for him. But as his best friend’s little sister, she’s also completely off-limits. Sam shouldn’t even consider her proposition: to have a one-night stand in the name of research. But the thought of another man putting his hands on Riley is more than Sam can handle, and soon he’s agreeing to one night with New York’s resident sexpot. But Riley’s full of surprises, and what starts as “one time only” soon becomes “just one more time.” And then one more. And before they know it, Riley and Sam learn firsthand that when it comes to love, there’s no such thing as just one night.
RATED: 18+ CATEGORY: MOOD:
Steamy Rom-Com Feel Good
Spoilers ahead my fellow nerds.
Just One Night is the third book of the Sex, Love and Stiletto Series, and was actually meant to be the last book in the series, until Lauren Layne decided to write another book about Emma and Cassidy. This one, though, centers around Riley, Stiletto's Sex expert, and her brothers best friend, Sam Compton. Yes ... its one of those forbidden love stories between a little sister and brothers best friend.
It was rather a twist when we find out that Riley, who has been described as exuding all things sex in the last two books, is practically a virgin. While technically, she did have sex once in college, she hadn't since. And all because she never found someone that outshone Sam. Its sweet. I only question how she didn't realize she was in love with the guy before she did. You don't become celibate to hold out for just a crush. Sam being attracted to Riley from the start, but honoring his promise to her brother that he would stay away, it the classic cliche pause button on a relationship. As per the course with this series, the women need an article for Stiletto magazine to be their excuse to pursue something they haven't been brave enough to do before. In this case, for the 50th anniversary issue, all the articles had to be personal. While Riley could have continued to lie about her sexual activities to her readers, she decides she wants to actually see what the fuss is about, and who better than Sam Compton. It wasn't as easy as just asking him ... because it's Sam, and he is stubborn. With the insane sexual chemistry and a decades worth of tension, its funny they thought they could keep it to one night only.
The big difference from Just One Night, compared to the last two books in the series, is that it isn't our female protagonist getting in her own way of happiness. Riley knows she loves Sam. In this book, its Sam with the issues. It's the male who has severe self-esteem issues, resulting from his shitty mom, and he uses his promise to Liam, her brother, as an excuse to keep him from Riley, instead of admitting he just doesn't think he is good enough for her ... or anyone. Even the dog Riley buys for him. It's heartbreaking. And while it's Riley's ultimatum that initially pushes him to cut ties with his mother, and take the step to finally put his whiskey on the market (to huge success I might add), he doesn't admit to himself he is in love with Riley until he talks to Liam about it.
While the sexual tension, and eventual sex is a thrill, my favorite parts of this book is from the confrontation between Riley and Sam's mother to conclusion. It's a romance, so we knew they would end up together. But it's Sam's journey from a scared man who found himself unworthy, to finally seeing himself as others saw him; a brave man who was following his dreams, and deserving of happiness. And because I'm a sap, the way he gets Riley back makes my heart warm and fuzzy. The whole story is fun to read, and pretty fast paced. The only consistency issue I had was in the first book, its mentioned that Riley's parents lived in Florida, but they actually live in Brooklyn, and have Riley's entire life.