Wednesday, January 18, 2012

REVIEW: The Longest Night by Kathleen O'Reilly

Published June 1, 2004 by Harlequin
TBR Challenge 2012 : January : category romance

I just finished reading this book this morning and surprisingly, it's the first book I've read in 2012. I'm off to a very slow start with my reading this year. Hopefully it'll pick up from here.

The optional theme for this month's TBR Challenge was a category romance, so I pulled this one out of the pile. Having thoroughly enjoyed the O'Sullivan trilogy by Kathleen O'Reilly a couple of years ago, I thought The Longest Night would be a good choice. Unfortunately, it didn't live up to my expectations.

Cassandra Ward is gorgeous, sexy and single. When Cassandra walks into a room, men notice. Those who pursue her learn quickly that Cassandra is willing to play the game of seduction as long as her rules are followed. No emotions, no strings attached--Cassandra is not interested in a long term relationship and marriage is out of the question. Unfortunately, she operates this way because trying to be seen or treated any other way by men has always been futile. If you can't fight 'em, join 'em.

At one time, Noah Barclay turned down Cassandra's attempt at seducing him, not wanting to be one of her boy toys. However, it's been months and he can't get her out of his head. Determined to win Cassandra's attention and affection in a genuine relationship, he proposes to court her the good old fashioned way with dates and kissing only--something no other man has every offered her. Despite this being risky business of breaking her own rules of emotional attachment, Cassandra cautiously agrees. The question is can she truly open up to someone, be herself and fall in love?

The premise of this story is refreshing--a welcomed reversal of a gender stereotype. Unfortunately, it didn't hold up for me. Neither the characters nor the conflict were fully developed, leaving me wanting more on all those fronts. A lot more. For example, we learn that Cassandra was hurt badly by her first love who couldn't trust her, but we never really learn the details of what actually happened between them. This old love even comes back on the scene to try to win Cassandra back, but their dialogue only implies a major fall out over him trusting her, never fully revealing the story to the reader. Knowing Cassandra's past would have helped me relate to her in the present, and perhaps I would have felt more connected to her story. I kept feeling like there was more to know about her, but that information was just out of reach.

As for Noah, his character fell a little flat and well, one dimensional. Yes, he wanted more from Cassandra than just her body, but why? What was it about her other than his physical attraction did he fall for? Her strength, confidence and intelligence? Those are some of Cassandra's best traits that I saw--but if that's what Noah saw, too, it wasn't spelled out in the story. It would have been nice to know why Noah fell for Cassandra.

Overall, The Longest Night didn't impress me, but it was a quick read that entertained me on a flight home earlier this week.



  1. Awww, sorry this didn't work. The premise did sound good though.

    LOL, you've been too busy detoxing :) but hey, you made it :)

  2. I like this theme too, where the hero Perseus the heroine and it was in fact,the theme of the book I read for the TBR challenge. It sounds like my book did it better than your book did. And doesn't THAT sound like a school yard taunt *chuckle*.

  3. I love this plot device, it's too bad that it wasn't developed in-depth, Christine. Some writers achieve that depth in this format and others just don't. I've enjoyed the couple of books I've read by Kathleen O'Reilly from the Blaze line, but I haven't tried any of her recent releases. Sorry this first read of the challenge didn't work for you. :(

  4. It's nice to hear of a plot where the heroine is the one who is sought after. I'm sorry this one didn't live up to it's predecessors by the same author. All the Best!

  5. Bummer. I too really love the hero in pursuit trope, and it sounds like it just wasn't fleshed out very well here. Also, I really enjoyed the old Temptation line. I was sorry to see it ride off into the sunset.....

  6. Look how many of us love the plot device in which the woman is the player and the man is in pursuit of a monogamous relationship. It would be nice to see more if this theme in romance, I think. Especially contemporary romance.


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