Review of Before That Night


Before That Night
Unfinished Love #1

By: Violet Duke

Releasing June 16, 2016


Before that night, Addison Milan had been just a college dropout secretly raising her two young siblings in a beat-up minivan she’d bought with her first semester’s tuition refund—the only money her addict mother hadn’t taken off with when she’d abandoned them the year prior.

Before that night, Caine Spencer had been just a rough, gruff cop sent to check out the phoned-in claims of suspected child neglect involving the same woman he’d met a month ago when she’d first served him the city’s worst diner coffee…which he’d been drinking daily ever since.

Before that night, Addison would never have thought the man she’d been fighting hard not to fall for—her only friend in her new shadow of a life—would be in a position to rip her family apart.

Before that night, Caine would never have believed any woman could make him fall head over heels, let alone make him feel so damn compelled to look the other way when it came to his job.

Then that one perfect night changed everything.

BEFORE THAT NIGHT (Book 1) chronicles the destiny-altering events that take place seven years prior to EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT YOU (Book 2), Caine & Addison’s emotional story of love, sacrifice, and the lengths one will run—and chase—when their past threatens their future.

The Unfinished Love series follows four brothers, each fighting for their second first chance at love. Each of the couples have two books (duets) that take place years apart.


For the most part when I start to write a book review, I have a pretty good idea of what I’m going to say. However, I’m feeling a little waffly right now about Violet Duke’s Before That Night. So let me just state some facts regarding my reading and see where we go from there.

  1. I finished Before That Night in one evening. This means to me that the story was engaging enough that I didn’t want to let it go.
  2. Addison was a cool character. I liked her interview with Joe when she was trying to get the waitress job. I liked that she felt loyalty and responsibility to her siblings. I liked her interactions with Caine.
  3. I liked Caine. He came across as steadfast, strong, caring, and sexy.
  4. The dramatic arc was pretty good, although predictable.
  5. The writing was good.

On the flipside.

  1. I am definitely not a fan of cliffhangers, which has become a trend lately. (Ugh.) Cliffhangers are definitely different from series as the author expects you to care enough about the characters to find out what happens to them. It feels like a little cheat to me because the author should just give us the whole relationship with a nice little bow.
  2. And, this cliffhanger is 7 years later.
  3. Addison was a little too good. I would have liked some character flaw that made her just a bit more human. Also, I would have liked further interactions with Joe.
  4. Which leads me to, I wish that the characters had been developed more because I never really felt like I knew either of them. This probably would have been accomplished if the intent wasn’t to make the book a cliffhanger and the focus had been on there here and now. The decision to make it a cliffhanger definitely short-shrifted the depth of the current story.
  5. I wasn’t keen on the large age difference between Caine and Addison. It felt like the old Harlequin books my mom used to have with the older dude and the naive young thing. Those may have seemed romantic at the time, but now feel a little “eww.”

So with those points, it looks like all things are equal, but I’m leaning toward giving this one an above average rating because it engaged me far more than “average” books tend to. There was a story that engaged me and the characters, although not as well-developed as I would have liked, did engage me.

PS if you actually read this review to this point, please tell me if you hate this style of reviewing.

I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

rating: 4-butterflies (4 out of 5 butterflies)



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Violet DukeAuthor Info

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education who is ecstatic to now be on the other side of the page writing wickedly fun contemporary romance novels. When she’s not arguing with her story characters or feeding her book-a-day reading addiction, she enjoys tackling reno projects with her power tools while trying pretty much anything without reading the directions first and cooking ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. Violet lives in Hawai’i with her two cute kids and similarly adorable husband.

Author Links:   Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads



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