Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Micah Adamson is the owner of a vineyard in Rochester NY. Between it and his close knit family, he has had little time to find the partner he knows is out there for him. Forced by his family to take a vacation, Micah attends a wine festival in Santa Monica, seven nights in a beautiful hotel on the beach. Micah expects to make some contacts and do some business. What he doesn’t expect is to meet the man he has been waiting for….
Liam Wade is s rich, successful lawyer. Scion of a wealthy family, he is expected to work for his father’s law office and conform to his family’s expectations. But Liam is also a father to a young daughter he loves. To do what he thinks will give her a family he has become engaged to a woman his family approves of and has close business ties with. And while he likes Leigh, he doesn’t love her. Plus he is gay. Now Liam has taken a week off to evaluate his wedding and his life.
A chance encounter on the beach brings these two men together for a night of passion and a morning after of uncertainty and questions. Micah would like to pursue a relationship but Liam is struggling with his duties, responsibilities and commitments that he hasn’t told Micah about. Can one night end up changing two lives forever?
Can one moment lead to your forever happiness? That’s the question that RJ Scott tries to answer in One Night, her recently released novella.
I found One Night an enjoyable read for many reasons. The first is RJ Scott’s ability to present the reader with realistic characters quickly and establish a connection to them and whatever situation they find on the road to romance and HEA. Starting with Micah and his New York vineyard, we got an immediate feel for his close knit family and Micah’s “Type A personality” that causes him to direct all his energies towards the business and family. Only the persistence of his sisters persuades Micah to take that long overdue vacation, and even then, its to a wine festival in Santa Monica. Of the two characters, Micah is easily to one most people will relate to and understand. He wants a lover and partner but just hasn’t found the right man yet. Oh how we get that.
Liam Wade is more problematic. His best friend got pregnant and Liam married her to give the child a loving family. But her death forced Liam to return to his wealthy parent’s home to take up his father’s expected law office responsibilities and duties in order to provide his daughter with stability and …well stability. Liam doesn’t need the money. So why return to a job and family obligations he doesn’t want? Especially when it means a return to the closet? I’m not sure Scott ever made her case for Liam’s acquiescing to his father’s demands so quickly and definitively, especially when it meant marrying a close business associate’s daughter. If Liam is submissive by nature, we don’t get that. Easy going and young? Perhaps. I just wish that RJ Scott had delivered a little more of Liam’s personality so we could get a grip on what drove him to accept the situation that he was in when he arrived in Santa Monica.
There are the small wonderful touches here that I have come to expect from this author. A moment when Liam looks at an “all too perfect” posed picture of his daughter that his fiance arranged and realizes that it’s the messy, carefree little girl he misses. An insightful and beautifully real instant in time, one that most parents will recognize. RJ Scott’s ability to deliver scenes like is just one of the many reasons I love her stories.
Then there are the funny “wine tasting” questions and the lovely vineyard setting in New York, each comes across as authentically as possible, telegraphing the author’s knowledge, research, and depth given to this story and plot.
There isn’t any true or instant love here but the possibility of one as well as a great future together for them both. I appreciated that the author didn’t have Liam just automatically follow Micah after the events of the festival. That was especially reassuring, considering we need to see him as a responsible and caring parent.
So what was missing? The romance. I wish that we had been given more time, more interaction between these characters to allow us to connect with their growing love for each other and HEA that was to follow. Perhaps even more scenes with Micah, Liam and his daughter to make the idea of them as a family a reality to us instead of a given. I wanted the “what happens next” and didn’t exactly get that full picture. Had this story been enlarged even further then I am sure this issue would have been resolved.
That said, I did enjoy One Night. I connected with the men, especially Micah. I loved the wine festival and the vineyard, wine snobs, and all. I loved the promise of a HEA and a family for that little girl in need of less structure and more love. I know that this tale is a restructuring of a previous story but I would love for RJ Scott to revisit this universe and let us know how this little family and the vineyards are flourishing. Until then, I will be on the lookout for the next Heroes or Sanctuary story or whatever else this wonderful and prolific author has in store for us all.
Cover design: Meredith Russell. Lovely. I liked the pier at Santa Monica and the small wine glass. I only wish the model for Micah would have been a little less scruffy, older and more professional. Picky, picky, picky….
This title was previously available with Silver Publishing. It has been re-edited and approximately 1,800 words added as an epilogue
Published June 6th 2013 by Love Lane Books (first published July 8th 2011)
charactersLiam Wade, Micah Anderson
settingSanta Monica, California (United States)
Rochester, New York (United States)