ARC-Review: ABOUT LAST NIGHT by Ruthie Knox

Cath Talarico knows a mistake when she makes it, and God knows she’s made her share. So many, in fact, that this Chicago girl knows London is her last, best shot at starting over. But bad habits are hard to break, and soon Cath finds herself back where she has vowed never to go . . . in the bed of a man who is all kinds of wrong: too rich, too classy, too uptight for a free-spirited troublemaker like her.

Nev Chamberlain feels trapped and miserable in his family’s banking empire. But beneath his pinstripes there’s an artist and bohemian struggling to break free and lose control. Mary Catherine—even her name turns him on—with her tattoos, her secrets, and her gamine, sex-starved body, unleashes all kinds of fantasies.

When blue blood mixes with bad blood, can a couple that is definitely wrong for each other ever be perfectly right? And with a little luck and a lot of love, can they make last night last a lifetime?

Title: ABOUT LAST NIGHT
Author: Ruthie Knox
Series: standalone
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Random House LoveSwept
Year of release: 2012 June 11
Format: eBook
Source: received an e-ARC from publisher through NetGalley after answering to a call for reviewers on Twitter

First line:
The Pigeon Man was usually here by now.

Last line:
“Shut up and kiss me, Neville.”
Clever man, he did.

Memorable Scenes:
– when Cath impatiently yanks down her bra during their first time together > so typically Cath and so funny
– the scene during Nev’s conference call at his office > OMG! This isn’t even an office romance and the author gave me desk smexing! WOOHOO! But it wasn’t just the smexing. I loved the aftermath of the scene too: Cath and Nev curled up in his chair
– the exchange between Nev and Judith (Cath’s boss) when Nev picks Cath up at work > so funny and endearing at the same time. I already had a soft spot for Nev but this scene sealed the deal
– Cath and Evita bonding over knitting > this scene totally took me by surprise and I loved it. It made Cath’s star shine even more and it made Evita more human
– the paintings > OMG! I bawled!

Mary Catherine “Cath” Talarico is originally from Chicago but is an expat in London. Cath is energetic, witty and lively. She has some great self-deprecating humor and is determined to stay on the right path after her bad girl days. I loved Cath and her inner struggle to behave like a respectable woman. I loved the nicknames Cath gave to her fellow train station regulars. It’s one of the many proofs of this author’s witty talent and uncanny creativity.

There’s a lot more to Cath than meets the eye. Underneath the witty, bubbly, seemingly shallow exterior is a world of hurt and vulnerability, which is why she tries to keep things with Nev on the surface. Cath just can’t seem to resist Nev. She tries to be good and resist temptation but the attraction is too strong and she finds herself constantly in his vicinity, doing things the “new Cath” would not approve.

Neville “Nev” Chamberlain is a banker in the city but only because of the pressure from his family because in his heart he’s an artist, a painter. Nev has an outer appearance of a nice boring banker but underneath is a naughty, dirty bad boy who was just waiting for the right woman to come along for him to come out and play. Cath is the perfect woman.

Nev has the patience of a saint with Cath. She pulls and pushes but he plays along and takes what little he can manage to get from her. And slowly, little by little, he wins her heart and her trust.

Cath and Nev are polar opposites and we all know what they say about those. Opposites attract and Nev and Cath sure weren’t an exception to that rule. As much as I loved Nev, I think I loved Cath more. She was such a great character. Her inner turmoil, her sense of humor, her impulsiveness and her determination…it all clicked for me and resonated as few female characters have been able to do with me.

I have to mention a few secondary characters as well. There were two who annoyed me to the “I want to punch you in the face” stage. I’m talking about Nev’s snobby and uptight brother Winston and Nev’s mother, the cold, calculated Evita. At least Nev’s mother had some redeeming actions and qualities but Winston, I hated his guts from the moment he set foot in the story right until and including his last appearance.

One of the secondary characters I just loved was Nev’s dad Richard. He, calm and accepting, was the one who made me forget all about those pesky annoying secondary characters I wanted to yank out of the book by their ears. Another secondary character I loved was Cath’s boss Judith…she was awesome: ornery on the outside but underneath that she had a heart of gold and genuinely cared about Cath.

The humor in this book was outstanding. Ruthie Knox certainly has a knack for funny wit. Both in her characters’ POVs and in the dialogues it shines through clearly yet excels in its subtlety. I can’t count the times I was smiling or grinning or laughing out loud while reading this wonderful book. Mixed in with the witty humorous tone of ABOUT LAST NIGHT there’s also a depth to the characters and the story that rather took me by surprise and left me in even more awe of this author than I already was. I loved how the back-stories, Nev’s and especially Cath’s, are gradually disclosed throughout the story. Unobtrusive and yet complete, they add to my impression that Ruthie Knox is one helluva talented writer. Whereas the first half of the book is mainly witty fun, the second part is much more emotional and shows deeper and darker sides of both Nev and Cath. Some heavier subjects are broached and I ate it all up.

When you pick up a Ruthie Know book, you can be sure of a few things:
-It’ll be sexy
-It’ll be witty
-It’ll be emotional
-It’ll be brilliantly written
For a fan of sexy contemporaries (like I am) her books are, without a shadow of a doubt, must-haves!

Favorite Quotes:

Then he smiled and Cath temporarily forgot how to breathe. City didn’t look like City when he smiled. It was still his face, though with nice teeth and a boyish dimple in one cheek. Pleasant surprises, but there was something else, too. An I’m-going-to-eat-you-up something. Smiling City didn’t appear altogether safe. To her dismay he lit her up, like a pinball machine.

(…)The smile widened and she decided it ought to be classified as a misdemeanor. Grinning with Intent to Discombobulate.

His voice. She had no defenses against his voice. Low and hungry, that haughty accent such a delicious contrast to his naughty mouth.

Resting on one elbow beside her, he ran a hand slowly from her shoulder to her knee, watching her with those green-brown eyes, keen and hot. “All right, love?”
“Yeah.” Her voice came out weak, She was more than all right. She was stripped down, naked and reborn. She was rippling with pleasure. From her baby toes to the roots of her hair. Holy Mother of God, City had just blown her mind.

He trailed a finger down her bare arm, leaving a trail of sighing nerve endings.

Cath cast her eyes heavenward in an attempt to keep up a good front, but really now was she supposed to resist a man who came courting with junk food?

“I know that, darling. It wounds my pride you won’t go out with me, but I can console myself with the knowledge that when you do see me, you can’t keep your knickers on for ten minutes running”
She threw a cookie at him feigning indignation.
“You bastard! Are you calling me easy?”
“I like you easy. Besides, you’re not to blame. Who’d want to wear wet knickers?”

Dropping them [their bags] inside the door, he pulled it shut behind him and flipped the lock. When he turned and met her eyes, she saw that City had taken a hike. Nev stood across the room, hot as the infernal regions and he was looking at her like he wanted to screw her six ways from Sunday.

“I would do it better,” he said in a deep rumble. “I would use my tongue. First through those pretty knickers, and then when I had you soaking and trashing around, I’d rip them off and spread your thighs wide and hold you open while I made a banquet of you.”

He’d stolen her whole life story and flipped it around, making it beautiful and tragic instead of sordid and stupid.

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2 thoughts on “ARC-Review: ABOUT LAST NIGHT by Ruthie Knox

  1. I adored this book. One of my favorites of the year so far. Also, it didn’t hurt that I kept hearing Nev’s words in my head in a lovely British accent.

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