At twenty-eight, Matt Sky has the perfect life. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a massive inheritance, and four national bestsellers — all penned under his airtight alias, M. Pierce.
At twenty-seven, Hannah Catalano is a train wreck. Her boyfriend is a deadbeat and her job is abysmal.
Matt and Hannah meet online as writing partners. Their relationship is safe, anonymous, and innocent…
Until Matt sees a picture of Hannah. Hannah’s picture sparks an attraction Matt is powerless to ignore. When circumstance brings Matt and Hannah together, the strangers begin a love story that’s passionate, poignant, unforgettable, and unstoppable.
Oh, yes, you saw that right. This year’s second Bomy Award of Excellence, strangely enough also for a contemporary romance. Now, when I saw this title up on NetGalley, I was like “Hmm…Owl word in the title, hot cover…WANT!”. I had not heard about this baby, and you might accuse me of many things, but being one of the hardcore enthusiasts of contemporary romance isn’t one of them, I think. Yet here we are, my mind blown away by this nifty little piece of metafiction and dying to read the next one in the trilogy. Okay, it’s not little… but I want more xD
Hannah and Matt had me hooked pretty much from page one, because seriously, passionate writing partners? I mean, come on, what could possibly be hotter than that? I was entirely hopeless by page 1, and devoured the read with greed.
Hannah struck me as incredibly authentic, a down-to-earth young woman who might not have known exactly what she wanted at first, but certainly cleared her head fast and made change happen. She had this vulnerable, sensual side, and the way she responded to Matt had me fanning myself as I read (true, it’s also summer, so it’s quite hot, lol!). I loved Hannah as the story progressed too, and though I might not have liked the way she reacted at one point (that is to say, I would have seen another reaction happening through my own filter, not that hers wasn’t realistic), I loved the way she made sense of her feelings when Matt needed her the most… and the tender care and love she offered Matt melted my heart.
I guess I could start wondering why she reacted so intensely, or why he didn’t really push her to meet after the big-event-thing, or why anyone finds those Chuck Norris jokes funny (they must, the darn things never seem to stop popping up), or why anyone would willingly subject themselves to a Steven Seagal movie (if you’re a fan, you’re a fan, God bless, but it’s beyond me…). I mean, I could analytically poke at it, but what’s the point if it SO works and it’s magic? Night Owl worked, and it was freaking exhilarating to read.
Matt, though… sigh, Matt. I mean, I admit I have a real problem in that I love effed-up characters to bits, and if you don’t, he might not be as irresistible to you as he was to me, but man, do I LOVE effed-up, complex, slightly (or more) self-destructive characters!! And Matt delivered on all accounts. Not only was he charming in a very snappy, cynical, cruel way, but he was goddammn freaking explosively hot, smart as hell, and hot. I’d probably be able to imagine just one more thing he could have had to be the pinnacle of hotness in my mind, which would’ve been having some hardass tats going on. That’s. It. That’s the only thing possibly imaginable he might have needed to be PURRRFECT.
The chemistry between them was insanely hot, like close-to-melting-my-desktop-as-I-read kind of hot, the story was intensely emotional, kind of angsty (yey!!), very dramatic at some point and quite heartbreaking there for a bit. And it was delicious, and it hurt so good!
The story had a very intense emotional kind of action, though it’s one of those romance-trope-focused kind of reads. Yes, we do have an instance of the snappy-brooding-tycoon(bestselling author to boot, kyaaa!!)-meets-hot-girl-next-door trope, and Night Owl freaking rocks it! The first person, past tense narrative from his and her POV was just ah-mazing. The ending is frustrating, of course, via that pesky Epilogue, but after
stalking reading the author’s website I know Matt doesn’t R.I.P., and though I foresee much heartbreak in the next novel, I’m so on board, you’d need some Biblical catastrophe to shake me off, lol! It’s gonna hurt so good, all over again!!
Now, though I don’t usually like to do this, I feel this intense need to point out that this not the next best thing after say FSoG. This is THE best thing imo, excelling in all departments it could possibly have, getting me squirmy and lol-ing and screaming with frustration at one point, and wanting to hug the monitor, overcome with solar bursts of love for the words. I am NOT kidding. So though I don’t usually do it, I will:
“He was there because he wasn’t there. How could I make anyone understand? He was still with me. He was the negative space.”
“She left me alone in the riddle. I needed her because I loved her — or I loved her because I needed her. Why had the feelings turned to a maze? Now I was lost in the dark. In my dreams I ran paths walled with high hedges. Always the leaves brushing me like laughter. Always the long night.”
Are you freaking kidding me???? I had a braingasm reading this baby!!!
There’s a lot to love about this aside the brilliant writing, strong, authentic, deliciously effed-up characters, the metafiction side, the mystery around the actual author M. Pierce, and the M. Pierce from the novel, the passion, the obsession, the goddamn brilliant writing (recurring theme in my fit of fangrilism, you’ll notice)… Gawd. Just Gawd, so many FEELS!!
M. Pierce, I don’t care who you are, what you are, what in the world you’re doing and where, you gave me a freaking brilliant mindgasm with this novel and I am going to devour the next ones too!
I need to read the next one so bad right now, it’s not even funny…