Through The Night
by Janelle Denison
(St. Martin’s, $7.99, R) ISBN 978-0-312-37231-6
****
Valerie Downing and Chase Pierson make a super hot couple, but some parts of their journey are only lukewarm in Through The Night.

Valerie works as an Executive Casino Hostess for the Onyx hotel and club in Las Vegas, and as such she offers casino perks to the big shots on winning streaks in an attempt to keep them spending money in the Onyx. Valerie’s boss messages her to catch a big winner at the craps table, but she’s already spotted him, a gorgeous blond with a big grin, about to cash out.

Valerie introduces herself and offers the winner a free room, dinner or a show and he immediately asks her to go with him, as a date. Chase Pierson’s already a VIP while visiting the Onyx. He’s immediately attracted to the buttoned up Valerie when he meets her on the casino floor, and they’re both surprised when they find themselves teamed up by their mutual boss on a secret psychic mission for the Reliance Group.

Valerie’s a psychic who can read peoples’ intentions by touching them. Chase has the ability to read the history of an object by touching it. Reliance Group’s top guy, Caleb, has decided that they’ll be the perfect team to fly to San Francisco to try to retrieve an important historical artifact with a link to the mafia.

Valerie’s usually a very reserved, professional type of woman; she likes her own space and maintains a careful distance between herself and any of the Onyx’s clientele. When she and Chase are forced into close quarters while traveling, she tries to enforce a small amount of privacy for herself by shutting him away from her thoughts, and her emotions. It doesn’t work very well as the sexual attraction that Chase presents is way too tempting, causing Valerie to throw off her typical caution and be more aggressive than usual. Their passion flares so brightly that they nearly ignore their case, but their talents and intellects complement enough that they do get it together.

While Valerie and Chase’s relationship is definitely front and center in this tale, Through The Night provides an interesting psychic backstory to enjoy on a spring evening.

Chase is our hero, super hot, super alpha male, competent, charming, smart and leaving a trail of broken hearts in his path. From the redhead kissing him at the casino to the psycho ex-girlfriend, he just oozes appeal that it seems women can’t resist. When we uncover a little bit of Chase, he gets deeper and appealing in a real way. Chase is a loner on the inside, he has a bit of a sad history and his nomadic, shallow lifestyle is his way of coping with his sorrows.

Valerie is an easy to relate to woman in a lot of ways, dedicated to her work, her friends, and hoping for a man who makes her heart beat faster. She isn’t expecting anyone like Chase, and it jolts her. She’s modern enough to eventually go after what she wants, and her relationship with Chase takes a sharp turn once she does. While I liked Valerie, my issue with her came once she did the 360 degree turn from a prude into a sexually empowered woman. It just seemed very sudden, there was no inkling of what she was leading up to, and then all of the sudden it was like she was a different person and that bugged me to some extent, even though I liked her better after the change.

Through The Night is a fast, sexy read, and I bet you’ll burn through it in a weekend, or less.

--Amy Wroblewsky


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