Nightfall by Anne Stuart

Nightfall is one of Anne Stuart’s earlier novels, first published back in 1995. The author has written several series and a few standalone books during her career, ranging from romantic suspense to regency and gothic romances, historical romances, as well as paranormal romances, to name just a few genres she has dabbed in. Personally I don’t care much about the romance genre, however I’ve been savoring her hot, steamy and dark romantic suspense novels for years.

I actually thought I’ve read all her books in the genre, however when I’ve learned that one of her earlier books, Nightfall, has been reissued in 2013, I realized that this is a book that I have yet to read.

As luck would have it, the book was sitting on my TBR (to be read) mountain for a long time, waiting for me to pick it up. Which is what I did yesterday when I wanted to read a good romantic suspense, a genre that I kind of neglected the last couple of years.

Nightfall by Anne Stuart

I have the older edition of the book with a different cover, which I started to read last night and finished this morning while eating my breakfast. I forgot how deep and dark Anne Stuart’s novels are, and how gripping and suspenseful they can be, keeping you reading until the last page to see what would happen next.

I also forgot how utterly hot and sexy her books can be.

The book is dark. Extremely so, in fact. Cassidy, the daughter of Sean O’Roarke (a well known and popular writer), is a grown up woman with an abused past behind her. She still loves her parents, however she’s learned to be independent in her life, in her cocoon of safety and blandness. After all she’s been through in her childhood (beating and emotional abuse from both her parents), bland and boring was a welcome change.

Richard Tiernan is a convicted killer who is waiting for his execution in prison for having killed his wife, probably his two kids and possibly some other women as well. The tabloids call him a dangerous serial killer.

So big is Cassidy’s surprise when her father bails Richard out and takes him in his home for the next couple of months while waiting for the results of the appeal. Sean has paid a nice sum of a million dollar for Richard’s bail. In return he has Richard’s promise to help writing a last book – his best yet, about Richard’s side of the story.

And even bigger is Cassidy’s surprise when her father asks her to visit him and his 5th wife in their New York apartment because he is seemingly ill and wants to see his daughter. Cassidy, of course, could never say no to her dad and rushes to New York to see what he really wants from her, knowing that a bit of illness wouldn’t be enough for him to ask her to join him in New York.

When Cassidy arrives to the front door of the building, her father and step mom are just about to go to the doctor, and they urge her to go to the apartment so she can rest until they come back. To her shock, she learns first hand that Richard Tiernan is right there, in the apartment, and her dad hasn’t warned her about him. Now she’s alone with him – a convicted murderer, with his main specialty: women.

From here starts a dark story of twisted love, steamy and hot sex, betrayal and redemption, fear and desire, all packaged in Anne Stuart’s usual well crafted writing. The author knows just how to keep us on the edge of our seat, how to set in motions all those women’s hormones, how to make us long and lust for a love that seems so impossible to reach.

It is no surprise that I’ve read the book in just a  few short hours.

This is not to say that the book didn’t have its faults. Now that I’ve finished reading the novel, I can’t help but think that so many things could have been avoided if Richard had told Cassidy the truth earlier on. While he deeply loved her, he was also cruel and mean to him. And what really hurt me most is the main reason why he chose her for his secret plan in the first place – from a mere picture of her that her dad had in his room. He made a deal with Sean and Cassidy was part of it.

Richard was set on emotional blackmail so she could totally devote herself to him, mind, body and soul, which would make it impossible for her to say no to what he would ask her to do once he was executed. Of course, as the story goes, the sword always has a double edge and Richard got caught up in his own web, falling deeply in love with Cassidy, despite his seemingly empty heart that died at the same time his wife, Diana, did.

Now that I’ve read the story, many things seem kind of improbable and definitely not the way things are in the real life. However then I remember that it is a book, not real life, a book that kept all my attention until 1 am last night, just to pick it up again this morning with the coffee during breakfast. Even if my rational mind revolts against many things in it, my other side of the brain can’t get enough of it.

And when all is said and done, what more can one expect from a fictional novel than the promise and delivery of a few hours of emotional roller-coaster that leaves you breathless wanting for more. And Nightfall indeed it delivered just that!

To read more about Nightfall or get the book, visit Amazon


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