One Night is Never Enough
by Anne Mallory
Charlotte Chatsworth is in a cage, bound by the rules of society. Her family isn't wealthy and her father gambles too much but, she has been taught from an early age that she must be perfect, and make the perfect match to save the family. After three seasons, Charlotte has become the untouchable, perfect, ice princess. Charlotte hates being perfect and she wants nothing more than to be free, but being perfect defines her. She must be perfect to make the perfect match and rule society.
When her father loses her for a night in Roman Merrick's bed, Charlotte's icy demeanor is the only thing that saves her and she steps up to do her duty. That night with Roman doesn't turn out as she expected, as he doesn't take her to bed, instead Roman slips under her icy control and makes her burn with just a taste of freedom. As Roman continues to stalk her to make her his own, Charlotte's need for freedom nearly costs her everything.
On the spur of the moment, Roman cheats to win Charlotte from another man, a man that needs Charlotte's perfection to secure his own place in society. That man will do whatever it takes to destroy Roman. At least he threatened it often enough, unfortunately it was never followed through on and it was just one more thing that left me scratching my head. There were a lot of things that were thrown out in the beginning of the book that I thought were important but never went anywhere, while at the end something is thrown at us out of the blue.
Charlotte was an intriguing character and her descriptions of herself almost bordered on the depressing. I wanted to know more about why Charlotte felt the way she did which kept me rapidly turning the pages. But, by about the half-way point, I was bored with hearing about Charlotte's chains and how she was only free with Roman. I never did fully understand why Charlotte felt so stifled.
I needed to understand why Charlotte's old neighbor, and the majority of the ton, hated Charlotte so much that they were ready to pounce on the slightest slip up. I needed to understand why Charlotte's only friend Miranda looked to Charlotte for guidance maneuvering through society. Sure, Miranda wasn't born to the ton but, she married a Viscount and will one day be a Marchioness, why should she care what persons of lower rank think when, with her status, she could rule them? Perhaps all of this was explained in Anne Mallory's previous book (Miranda's story) that I didn't read. Since it wasn't explained in One Night is Never Enough, I couldn't fully care about all of the undercurrents in the book.
Roman is your typical romance underworld hero; unrelenting, ruthless, but with a heart of gold, who doesn't believe he deserves love and pushes the heroine away for her own good. Nothing new there, yet despite that, I did like the characters of both Roman and Charlotte. I enjoyed watching Charlotte escape her bonds and fly free. I enjoyed watching Roman slip under Charlotte's icy perfection to the wanton that was just waiting to be unleashed. He teased her, and tantalized her until she stopped caring about what others thought. Unfortunately, there was just too much of his game playing, perhaps if there was more explanation of the undercurrents and less of Charlotte's chains, One Night is Never Enough would have been a fabulous read for me instead of just missing the mark.
Reviewed by: Valarie Pelissero
“She walks a fine line between perfection and ruination.”
March 2011, 384 pages
Powerful, ruthless, seductive - the lord of London's underworld - Roman Merrick gets anything he wants…and he burns for Charlotte Chatsworth, a polished jewel in the glittering ton. So he engages her debt-ridden gambler father in a game of chance, wagering ten thousand pounds against one night with the man's exquisite daughter. And Roman Merrick never loses.
Charlotte is devastated to learn that her reprobate father has lost her in a card game to the most dangerous man she's ever met. With the threat of ruin behind every corner, Charlotte embarks upon a perilous path with the man she cannot forget. But in truth, it's Roman who has everything to lose - for a game undertaken for pleasure alone soon has him gambling his heart. And love and passion unleashed could bring his great, dark empire tumbling down…