About Last Night by Ruthie Knox
June 11, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
Earlier this year I read Ruthie Knox’s debut, Ride with Me, which is a cute contemporary that I enjoyed. Do you know what the wonderful thing is about her new release,About Last Night? It is even better.
Cath Talarico is from Chicago, but after a series of events, she finds herself working in London at a museum. Her passion is knitting, especially vintage knitting, and she is very happy working at the V&A museum helping to create and write the hand-knitting exhibit. It doesn’t pay a lot, but she works hard and hopes that one day it will all pay off.
Working hard at something is very important to Cath. At 14, her father died and Cath went crazy. Smoking, drinking and getting pregnant (a baby she eventually lost), she found herself in dark, dark places. But now she is at a place of peace and is looking to make the right decisions. You could even say her life is a little boring. The highlight: Every morning while on the train, she gives nicknames to who will get on next. There is one man in particular, whom she calls City and who never smiles and wears severe business suits.
When Cath wakes up after a blind date in City’s apartment, she knows she must have made another poor decision. But City actually found her wandering the streets drunk and lost and, recognizing her from the train, tucked her into bed at his place. City’s real name is Nev, and he is indeed a banker in England, taking after the family business. His true passion in life is painting, but his family has never approved of that.
Nev and Cath definitely have a strong flare of attraction between them, so much so that Nev wants to pursue a relationship. But Cath has extreme fear of commitment and figures he is just another disaster in her life waiting to happen.
I truly adored both characters in this book. Nev is so warm and patient as he pursues Cath. While you don’t know about it right away, Cath has a truly dark past, which makes her fear of getting too close to Nev very understandable. She actually has tattoos reminding her of all the bad deeds she has done. She is definitely attracted to him and loves to jump into bed with him, but anything considered a date, or spending quality time together, scares her away. Nev understands this, too. He never pushes her to give more, always hoping that one day she will let him in.
As she tries to explain what an Oreo cookie is to Englishman Nev:
"I can’t find them here. They’re these hard chocolate sandwich cookies — biscuits," she corrected.
"I know what a cookie is, Mary Catherine."
She hated her name, but she loved the way he said it. Like an endearment. Oh, she had it bad.
"And in between there’s a layer of white … frosting, I guess. Though it’s a stretch to call it that. It’s a sort of sweetened, whipped hydrogenated oil paste that the good people of Nabisco refer to as ‘Stuf.’ That’s Stuf with one f, City, if that gives you any idea of what I’m talking about. Anyway, they’re really gross. I love them."
Nev smiled. Reaching up, he tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear, his eyes never leaving her face. "Have dinner with me."
"Let me walk you home then."
"Give me your phone number?"
She smiled, looking down at her lap. "Sorry. No. It would be a mistake."
"Would it help if I promised not to be?"
Nev himself has family drama as he is not happy working for the family bank. His older brother hangs a promotion over his head, with the one condition that he marries, since this position will have him entertaining important clients, which is much better suited to someone who is married. While Nev doesn’t put too much stock in his brother’s threat, this does play out toward the end. At first I thought this was a little silly of a setup, but the way it plays out worked for me.
But let’s get back to Nev and Cath. For all of their issues, they have such a romantic, steamy love affair. Ruthie Knox writes the romance scenes so well and in great detail. They are playful, as Cath often refers to Nev as City, and he often refers to her using her full name, Mary Catherine. And when he murmurs, "Mary Catherine," it is so sexy.
Ruthie Knox does a great job with two characters who have to work through their issues, yet are so warm and sexy that you root for them all the way. A really great book that I hope you all get a chance to read.
This review first appeared at USA Today’s HEA blog.