Widowed more than a year ago by a husband she never wanted, Lady Jane Guthrie now finds herself in the despicable position of having every facet of her life controlled by her lecherous brother-in-law and his wife. Using her as everything from errand-girl to governess for their children is bad enough, but the lewd looks her late husband's brother gives her makes it clear he wants even more.
Determined to assert her independence and enjoy herself on one rare occasion, Jane sneaks off one evening to attend a most decadent masked ball thrown by one of the town's most notorious Courtesans. She never expected to find her childhood best friend there, the man she never stopped loving - Seth Rutledge.
She is even less prepared for his surprisingly amorous reaction to her now. It must be the mask, of course. If he knew who she really was, he would never touch her, not in a million years. Would he?
As a fan of historical romance, I found Sophie Jordan's ONE NIGHT WITH YOU very enjoyable. This delightful romance was wonderfully three-dimensional, fraught with sexual heat, intrigue, and tortured lovers. Ms. Jordan weaves a story that the reader can picture almost as if they were standing on the sidelines watching it all in real time.
From the moment we meet the main characters, I felt as if I knew them. Indeed, I wanted to know them - an element most important for both the story's hero and heroine. While extremely likable, both bear pain from their past that causes each to doubt whether or not the other can truly love them, even as they crave that very emotion from each other. A shared history makes it even more difficult for this pair to come together without the benefit of anonymity they enjoy in the beginning of the story.
But when circumstances demand the mask come off and Jane finally reveal herself to the man she adores as the mysterious woman who has so enthralled him, the story really heats up! The fireworks really let loose as Seth and Jane are forced to deal with each other and face their feelings and their past.
What disappointed me about ONE NIGHT WITH YOU was that I felt there were still too many loose ends when the last page was turned. While we learn about the underhanded deeds perpetrated on Jane by the book's villains, they never really get their come-uppance, leaving the reader without some closure there. In addition, we are left wondering what will happen to Jane's stepson, who as a minor is still in the clutches of his evil uncle. Perhaps these are items intended for a future sequel, but there was no sense that there would be a sequel when the story finished.
Regardless of those disappointments, ONE NIGHT WITH YOU is still a marvelously entertaining read. I am very glad to have met both Seth and Jane and have the chance to enjoy their romance with them.