by Jo Leigh
Published by Harlequin on January 19, 2016
Sub-Genre/Theme: Contemporary, Military, Suspense
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First come lies
Then comes temptation…
Former Black Ops soldier Logan McCabe is in high-tech heaven. The "smart" apartment he's staying at has it all—luxurious amenities, walls that change color, and a seductive and nearly naked woman in the living room. Now, that's everything a man can ask for. Except Kensey Roberts is no pixel pinup…and the sexual tension between them is most assuredly real.
Kensey is in way over her head. She's undercover to expose a possible art thief and clear her absentee father's name. She doesn't need a distraction—especially the ex-military, crazy-sexy hot kind. "Captain McBabe" is over six feet of pure, delicious temptation. But one sizzling night won't just compromise her reputation…it could blow her cover sky-high.
One Sizzling Night was an enjoyable read and one that delved into deeper subject matter than I expected. I’ve come to love Harlequin Blaze titles–which makes this read bittersweet, following the recent announcement that the Blaze line will be ending in 2017. I rarely expect Blaze books to get too heavy as far as subject matter, but this one touches on PTSD at times, as well as the overall trauma of war. In addition to this, the story was pretty suspenseful, which kept things interesting.
Logan McCabe is a security specialist and former Black Ops soldier. When Logan’s in town to attend a security convention–and meet with a hotshot businessman to seek funding for his company–he’s staying at his old college friend’s “smart” apartment.
I loved the strong inclusion of technology in the story. Logan’s friend, Sam, is a computer and electronics genius. Her apartment is like something out of a sci-fi movie: sensors detect moods and turn the walls different colors, Skype calls display on the walls, and additional mood-sensors determine the type of music that plays.
When Logan arrives at the apartment, he isn’t expecting someone else to be there. So he’s surprised when he learns that art curator Kensey Roberts will be his roommate for the duration of his stay. Kensey is also a friend of Sam’s and she’s in town under the guise of attending the convention as well. In reality, she’s working undercover in attempts to clear her estranged father’s name. Her father is currently under investigation for some high-profile art thefts. This part of the story–the undercover work and the art references–reminded me a lot of the TV show White Collar, so I enjoyed this direction that the plot took.
It took me a while to warm up to Kensey. She comes across as very blue blood and struck me as kind of uptight, even though she’s taking a huge risk by going undercover without much of a concrete plan. As the story went on, I thought she was reckless at times, all at the expense of trying to clear her father’s name–despite the fact that he has rarely been in her life much. At the same time, I appreciated her strong sense of loyalty and determination.
I liked Logan from the start. A former soldier, he is fiercely passionate about fellow veterans and wants to use his company to employ others like himself who have seen combat and possess highly specialized skills, but might not find it simple to ease back into civilian life. But like Kensey, Logan has a lot of secrets. It’s just second nature, given the line of work that he is in. So that makes it hard to really trust someone else.
The chemistry between Kensey and Logan is immediate and intense. I didn’t have a problem with this, but like Logan, I didn’t really understand Kensey’s motivation whenever she would give him the cold shoulder. This is another reason why I didn’t like her much at first; I thought she gave him a lot of mixed signals.
The suspense element of the story comes to a head when Kensey meets with the ruthless businessman who also happens to be the person Logan is depending on to finance his subcontract. I was happy with the resolution of the story, but thought that the romance element was a bit rushed with the ending. Still, I enjoyed the author’s writing style and will be reading her books again in the future. The next book is Sam’s story, so I’m interested to read that one.
Note: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my review. I’m going through my NetGalley backlog and this book has since been published. My review is for the published version of the book, specifically the print edition.
Rating: 3 stars