Hunter Jones is enjoying his time as the summer night auditor for The Burlington Inn. The quaint little hotel is full of character and charm and offers Hunter much needed stability. He tries not to think about it, but after a vicious attack outside a club, Hunter isn’t doing well and with his family pressuring him to join the family law business, Hunter feels like the walls are closing in. But at least at the Burlington, he can find a measure of peace. Until Cole Sawyer walks into the lobby.
Cole has been angry as hell most of his life, but for the last three years, he’s had a great partner on the force and things have been OK. Yeah, Cole’s still in the closet and the weight of that is wearing him down, but he can manage it. And then his partner is shot in the line of duty and Cole decides to break the shooter’s jaw. Now, he’s suspended and his partner is in a coma. When Cole stumbles into the Burlington Inn looking for a room near the hospital, he doesn’t expect his entire world to change. Now, two broken men will find moments of healing during the quiet hours of the morning. But each will have to deal with and survive their demons if they want to find a way to move forward.
Night Watch is a sweet story about two men who are trying to outrun an impossible amount of pain. The plot is well paced and flies along quickly and, with an engaging cast of secondary characters, I found Night Watch to be a wonderful read.
Hunter and Cole have a somewhat predictable romance, but it’s such a natural and engaging pairing, I found it impossible not to enjoy. Both Hunter and Cole read as fully dimensional and very real. Their pain is believable and relatable and so too is their connection to one another. It never read as forced or artificial to me and I found myself championing their relationship. They are surrounded by an equally engaging cast of secondary characters, each given purpose and their own moments to shine. They didn’t feel like fillers or stand ins, but rather each of them, from Hunter’s best friend Sky, to Cole’s partner Larry, have a part to play. The only secondary characters who don’t shine are Hunter’s family, who do seem half formed in both action and intent.
The ending to Night Watch felt a bit abrupt, with everything wrapping up in something of a rush. It was the only point I felt the pacing was a tad uneven. Ultimately, it doesn’t derail the story, but it just seemed slightly jarring given the rest of the book.
I throughly enjoyed Night Watch and luckily it appears to be the start of a series, so perhaps we’ll have a sequel or a continuation of Sky’s story. Aside from some slightly uneven pacing towards the end and a predictable but still thoroughly compelling romance, Night Watch ticked off all the boxes I want a good story to have. There’s a nice blend of angst, warmth, action, and coziness, which make for a great read. Consider this one recommended!