Perhaps it was time to adjust her way of thinking and start embracing the possibilities of life with a man who wanted to take care of her. But Kara was not completely convinced that she would be able to overcome her apprehensions. After all, she reasoned, no grown woman ever truly believes she will find happily ever after, because any relationship that begins with a handsome prince usually ends up being just another fairy tale.
(from Diary of a One-Night Stand, page 157)
Diary of a One-Night Stand isn’t the kind of book I normally read, but having read and enjoyed To My Senses several years ago, I thought I’d give Alexandrea Weis’ latest novel a try. For the most part, I wasn’t disappointed, and I gobbled this one up in its entirety on a lazy Sunday afternoon.
The novel is just as steamy as you would expect given the title and the cover, and Weis wastes no time getting the characters in bed. Kara Barton is a 41-year-old attorney who goes back to work after her husband, Cal, falls ill and has to pull back on his workload. Kara isn’t happy with their marriage; Cal is perceived by Kara as overbearing and a mostly hands-off father to their young daughter, Simone. On top of all that, she doesn’t have much of a relationship with her mother, Helen, who was an alcoholic and had a string of failed relationships with wealthy men.
The novel opens with Kara getting ready for her tryst with Scott Ellsworth, a 51-year-old businessman whom she met at a political fundraiser. They knew right away they wanted one another, and she agrees to meet him in his hotel suite. When their night of passion is over, Kara wants to go back to her life, but Scott wants more from her. Scott has a reputation as a ladies’ man, and when he becomes a client of hers, Cal warns her about him and grows increasingly suspicious. It’s not long before what was supposed to be a one-night stand throws Kara’s life into chaos, and she must decide who owns her heart, even as she worries that Scott is hiding something from her.
I think Weis did a great job developing Kara. I felt like I knew her, though I didn’t agree with her decisions or thought processes. I never felt like I knew the real Cal or Scott, and at times, I wondered why she allowed them in her life. The only thing that really bothered me about the book was the neatly tied-up ending; given all Kara had gone through, it didn’t sit well with me and felt like an easy out.
Diary of a One-Night Stand is a well-written, quick read about a woman who is feeling her age and wanting to be beautiful, desirable, appreciated, and spoiled by a man. She’s a strong woman who can take care of herself, but she never felt like an equal in her relationship with Cal, insisting they got married and had a child because he demanded it. It’s easy to understand how she could get caught up in a relationship with Scott, but like many people, Kara confuses sex, lust, and loneliness with love.
Although I’m not a fan of graphic sex scenes, it made sense that they were included in a novel with lust and adultery at its core. What I appreciated most about the novel was Weis’ focus on older characters, as most of the hot-and-heavy novels I’ve read have main characters in their 20s or 30s. The novel did take me outside my comfort zone, but I think it’s good to read something different every now and then.
Disclosure: I received a copy of Diary of a One-Night Stand from the author for review.
© 2012 Anna Horner of Diary of an Eccentric. All Rights Reserved. Please do not reproduce or republish content without permission.