Publisher: Harlequin Desire
Release Date: September 1, 2018
SASCHA DARLINGTON’S REVIEW
One Night Scandal is the 9th novel in Joanne Rock’s The McNeill Magnets series, but can mostly be read as a standalone except for the inundation of the usual cast of thousands found in series novels. The other thing that is an exception is that there is an obvious story thread being carried over and in this one it’s the existence of a blackmailer who has the McNeill family on tenterhooks.
Regardless, this romance between cowboy Brock and actress Hannah is an enjoyable fantasy that will transport the reader to Brock’s family’s ranch where Hannah is making a movie with a slimy director who took advantage of Hannah’s younger sister, Hope. It’s Hannah’s hope (no pun intended) that she will bring the director down after he makes a move on her or some other member of the production team.
Meanwhile, Brock and his family are dealing with the tension caused by a blackmailer. They suspect that it’s someone affiliated with the movie.
While the POVs of Brock and Hannah are to be expected, a third one is launched with Brock’s half-sister, Scarlet, an actress wannabe. I don’t know if Scarlet has had her own book or if she will have one upcoming (although she seems to be having a solid romance), but giving her a plotline in the novel seems a little out-of-place. Although Scarlet is feisty and interesting, this subplot takes away from Brock and Hannah.
Brock and Hannah are almost like a fairy tale with their immediate, intense attraction, which they act on in a rather steamy beginning. Later, Brock, wanting to date Hannah, invites her to dinner, which ends up being at his house because of security issues. At his dinner, he wears a tuxedo and she a beautiful dress and high heels while feasting on a tasting menu supplied by a gourmet chef. On a ranch. While sipping splendid champagne. So, yeah, this is a wonderful fantasy. (Unless these things really happen on ranches?)
There is some mystery and family drama, which carries the story along. Brock gets amnesia when a fixture falls on him (I thought this would have been engineered by some bad guy, but, nope, just coincidence).
While this is only the second novel of Rock’s I’ve read, I would probably enjoy reading more because she certainly knows how to craft a story to keep the reader turning pages.
If you dream of wealthy cowboys who have been known to dress in tuxedos for a dinner at home, this is your novel. It’s escapist fun with some intrigue.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
4 butterflies out of 5 butterflies
awareness over Hannah’s skin.
Brock, the rancher who turned her inside out with just a handful of words and a
from being around this stranger. Swallowing hard, she braced herself as she
turned around to refuse his offer.
She’d latched onto a pleasurable distraction and now she couldn’t quite let go.
She wanted to skim her hands up the triceps and over his shoulders. Instead,
she jammed her restless fingers in the back pockets of her jeans along with her
a lot easier to follow than it will be now.”
any kind. Just deep blackness and stars.
elk. Or some other wild animal that wasn’t expecting company at this hour.”
the best thing to do would be accept the ride and get home as fast as possible.
been a couple of golf carts and two trucks parked there.
her, close enough for her to feel the warmth of his body, close enough for his
sleeve to brush hers.
Her belly flipped.
Something her brain knew was a very, very bad idea.
so it was easier for her to see. “Step into the stirrup and you’ll be home in
faster. She understood that much. Willing herself to remain calm, she stabbed
the toe of her tennis shoe through the foothold.
skin reacted under her clothes. Her thigh tingled. Her waist…
so damn much…
regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing
community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree
in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing
skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann.
When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite
sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded