Friday, March 23, 2018

Book Review: 'Once Upon A One Night Stand' by D.N. Hoxa


This is an interesting and slightly different style of story. I adored the title – that was what originally drew me to this book as I’ve not read anything previously by this author. I was a little intrigued by the heroine’s self-described “five different Londons inside her head” thing – it seemed a bit like the movie Inside Out, only in written form. While I found this certainly highlighted the point of having different desires contradicting themselves as reactions to various things – like simultaneously wanting to whimper in a corner, beat your boss silly and cry like a madwoman – the writing-out of the actual inner monologues really did make London seem slightly odd. I could certainly see the appeal of this unique style of story-telling from London’s perspective, but I was a little disappointed to find that for me, personally, the inner-monologue-arguments actually slowed the pace of the story. I really wanted to enjoy it, a different and fresh perspective on how we sometimes struggle with conflicting desires, but for me – it just ended up feeling odd and jarring to the pace.
Aside from that, I found this to be a charming chick-lit style of book told in the first person. London finally reached the edge of her patience waiting for her co-worker to notice her and on her birthday got completely drunk and had a lovely one night stand. It wasn’t a surprise at all when the mystery one-night-stand man turned out to be London’s new contact for a work contract, Liam Harper. Naturally mayhem ensues after London realizes that she has to work – and closely for an important work contract – with Liam and that he refuses to be relegated as a work-only friend once they reconnect. I found the story generally to be light-hearted, fun and a happy story to read, even if at times I really did want to groan at London acting in very a clichéd manner. I find nowadays my tolerance of heroines who want to stick their head in the sand over their sexual escapades is pretty thin. I find it much sexier – and realistic – for women to own their sexuality. While any character being arrogant or cocky is still a turn off, being confidant and unashamed of one’s sexual desires is so much hotter to my mind than being embarrassed or trying to ignore it and hope it goes away.
London, from the start of the story, was always portrayed as a discerning, picky woman (more power to her!) but I didn’t really understand why she couldn’t embrace a small fling or a steamy affair with Liam. Why make him jump through hoops and put her own desires and pleasures on hold? It made me think less of her and just dragged the story to my mind. Much of that part of the story really felt clichéd and old-fashioned to me, which was a real shame as so much of the rest of the story and especially the other characters felt modern and far more progressive to me.
I found the sex to be fun, descriptive and steamy, but nothing too outrageous. I feel only readers who like their romance behind closed doors will find the details to be too much. I particularly liked London’s best friends: Olivia, Valery, Eden and Ronnie. The group of girls together seemed like an unstoppable force. While it’s clear the other ladies are going to have their own books, there weren’t too many dangling plot-lines which was lovely in a “first of a series” book. Usually the happy ending is cut short with a bunch of plot set-ups for the following books and I was delighted this wasn’t the case here – Liam and London really took centre stage for most of the story and that was just perfect.
Readers looking for a fun, lighthearted and witty read should definitely enjoy this book. Even with the niggles I really enjoyed it and plan to keep an eye out for the following books in the series.

Editor's note: This article was originally published at Long and Short ReviewsIt has been republished with permission. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.