One Dark Night by Jaid Black
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What would you expect from an author who's not only famous for her erotica/romantica books but is also the founder of Ellora's Cave, the world's first & foremost publisher of erotic romance for women? A scorchingly hot read that will leave you tingling and breathless, right? Well, you won't find that in this book. This is a straight romantic suspense novel - and there's nothing wrong with that. :)
Dr. Nicole "Nikki" Adenike is a successful trauma surgeon who secretly fantasizes about being sexually dominated in the bedroom. Knowing she can't simply start divulging her fantasy to her friends and coworkers in hopes of finding a Master to fulfill it, she's resigned to the fact that she'll never get to live it - until she stumbles upon a website dedicated to Dom/sub matching and meets Richard. He's a Dominant who's looking for a submissive and seems to be exactly what the doctor (aka Nikki, LOL) ordered, so they start exchanging emails. Nikki is smart enough to create a new (and supposedly untraceable) email account and never gives him any personal information that could identify her. She even hires a private detective to investigate him when their online relationship becomes more "serious" (i.e. she's contemplating meeting him in person) because she knows better than to believe what people say on the internet.
In the meanwhile... A serial killer is targeting strong, successful women in the city. Detective Thomas Cavanah has been hunting Lucifer, as the press has dubbed the killer, for over nine years but is still nowhere near to catching him. Lucifer never leaves any evidence and Thomas' frustration only grows over time. Will the police ever catch the vicious killer?
Well, it doesn't take a genius to know where the story goes from there so that's all the plot summary you'll get in this review. As predictable as the plot was, I still enjoyed this read because all the characters were well developed and interesting. Secondary characters weren't there just to fill empty spaces, they had lives and problems of their own and, in turn, added depth to Thomas' and Nikki's life. That also made the mystery/suspense part of the story more thrilling, because almost anyone could be Lucifer. I was sure I knew who he was, but his identity surprised the heck out of me. Well done, Ms. Black!
The relationship between Thomas and Nikki took some time to be developed - in fact, they only met around the second 1/4 of the book - but the wait was worth it. I loved them together! They were smart, funny, sexy, and very honest without being insensitive. I had no problem believing they fell in love with each other in such a short time (less than a month) and would live happily ever after.
As this is a Jaid Black book, I feel I must comment on the love scenes. There are three sex scenes in the book, and only one of them is detailed. It was hot and the D/s play wasn't too heavy, which made sense considering that neither Thomas nor Nikki were experts on the subject. However, I have to say that I started laughing when Thomas growled, "Who's your Daddy?" Sorry, but the word "Daddy" in the bedroom is a libido killer to me. Anyway, that didn't ruin the book, just the sex scene.
All in all, this was a very good read. The plot was formulaic, but I don't think there's anything wrong with following a formula that works. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
And just because I feel like adding some steam to this review to compensate for the lack of it in the book, here's a sneak peek at Thomas and Nikki "playing" in the bedroom:
To be accurate, Nikki was never blindfolded when they "played" in the book, but I'm sure she will be some time in the (not so distant) future. ;)
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