It only takes one night to change a life. Or even six of them. In this trio of short stories, three couples find their happily ever after over the course of a single night fraught with injury, drama, and romance.
James and Nicholas by Shelly Greene – James Thorne has arranged the betrothal of his younger brother, Robert, and spared no expense to make the ball a success. James knows marriage is the best way to restore the family finances and if Robert isn’t happy about it, too bad. He still has a duty to perform. James did his duty too by marrying and, when his wife died, he was left with two small children, a desperate heartache, and his brother-in-law, Nicholas. Now, Nicholas is part of the family and James can’t imagine being without him. When the betrothal ball descends into chaos, Nicholas is hurt attempting to mitigate the disaster and James finds the courage to tell Nicholas how he really feels.
Dalton and Edward by K.S. Murphy – Dalton isn’t looking forward to the ball where his betrothal to Robert Thorne will be formally announced. And when Robert makes it loud and clear he has no desire to wed Dalton, the shy young man flees to the library in shame and hurt. He doesn’t expect to find is the notoriously aloof Edward, Duke of Wellingham there as well. Or that the love he’s desperately been seeking might be in the most unexpected of places.
Robert and Anthony by K.L. Noone – Robert never meant to hurt Dalton Irving, but his intemperate nature has made a mess of their betrothal and once again Anthony Price, his stalwart secretary, must find a way to fix the situation. Robert knows he has shamed the family name, but he wants to marry for love. And while it seems the world is falling apart, Anthony offers a solution that might offer a perfectly ever after for both of them.
One Night in London offers readers a trio of charming, if somewhat fanciful, short stories involving six men and a betrothal ball that goes awry. The romances aren’t the most believable and I had to suspend a significant amount of disbelief to enjoy these stories, but enjoy them I did. The authors do an excellent job of combining the events of the evening, but allowing each couple their moment to shine. The stories are available to purchase individually, but personally, I think they work better as a combined set.
I think all the couples are rather sweet, but James and Nicholas were the strongest in my opinion. Their romance felt the most believable and in James we see a man who is struggling to bear the weight of the world on his shoulders. He loves his brother, Robert, but is at a loss how to handle his antics or to manage the family finances, which have been failing since before their parents died. His relationship with Nicholas is complicated, but his need to be loved is something we can all relate to. The affair between Edward and Dalton is definitely the weakest of the trio and the least enjoyable only because it was a somewhat preposterous set up, moving far too quickly for belief. Robert is as sympathetic character as his brother James, though for different reasons. But his pairing with Anthony was somewhat uneven and a layer of very light BDSM was introduced that felt out of step with the overall flow of the other stories.
One Night in London was, on the whole, fairly enjoyable. The stories aren’t particularly original in their plots, but the sweetness and charm of the characters balances that out rather well. There is a Regency-esque quality to the stories, but they also exist in an alternate reality where gay and lesbian relationships were accepted in Society. That said, I think anyone who enjoys sweet and short romances with a unifying theme will enjoy reading One Night in London.