Review: Before Daylight – Andie J. Christopher
by Andie J. Christopher
Series: One Night in South Beach #4
Also in this series: Night and Day
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
I received an advance review copy of this book from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My rating:
Ballerina Laura Delgado is just one solo away from a dream job with the New York City Ballet. Then a drunken pas de deux at her cousin’s wedding results in the one thing she never wanted—a husband. TV producer Charlie Laughlin may be deliciously kissable, but she needs him offstage now, and out of her life.
Charlie’s ready for marriage and kids, and on the lookout for just the right woman. Laura doesn’t fit the bill at all—but Charlie can’t stop thinking about the sultry way they moved together. And he can’t help but wonder if he can change the gorgeous dancer’s mind about leaving Miami with heated kisses that promise as much as they demand . . .
Annulling their sham marriage is all Laura wants—until she gets to New York and realizes that leaving Charlie behind is easier said than done. Can a relationship that began as a hot mistake become the kind of love that will last forever?
The “oops we got married!” trope can go either way with me, but the blurb sounded so amazing I had to pick up this book. And I am so glad I did! This is a steamy, feels-filled roller coaster, and is so much fun – just make sure you have tissues! While this is part of a series, this is my first book by the author, and I think it worked fine as a standalone.
“She could not fall in love with her husband.”
I absolutely loved Laura. Yes, sometimes I wanted to smack her upside the head, but even then, it was because I wanted to hurry her up to the HEA she deserved. As a 34-year-old prima ballerina in Miami, she’s feeling her age and injuries, but ballet has been everything to her since she was a child. She’s mostly estranged from her parents and older brothers – her dad is an abusive jerk and her miserable mom copes by popping valium. Her grandma, whom her grandfather left behind when he left Cuba with the rest of the family, is now living with her. She copes with all this upheaval as she always has – by being disciplined and controlled and channeling all her emotions into ballet. Before her inevitable retirement, she wants to work with the New York Ballet corps, so staying in Miami is not in her plans. So the last thing she needs is to find out that she got married at her cousin’s wedding in Bali.
“Her entire life up until that point had been about discipline, training, dieting, and taking in criticism. She’d been a changeling at the behest of everyone in her life, and she knew that she could never let anyone know what was underneath her exterior. But there was something about the way he’d looked at her that had penetrated the wall she’d built around herself to avoid the pain of feeling she was never quite good enough, never quite the best. The feeling of his gaze on her skin—the feeling of him really looking at her—lingered along with the imprint of his mouth.”
Charlie is in reality TV, producing a travel show for the just-married cousin. He and Laura met at the wedding, got drunk, and… apparently got married? It’s as much a surprise to him as it was to Laura, though not necessarily an unwanted one. They’ve got a crazy chemistry together, and Charlie isn’t ready to just sign an annulment and say goodbye. Laura just wants it all to go away – the hint of being married could be the death knell to her career – but can Charlie convince her to give their “marriage” a chance?
“’Do you need me to tell you how gorgeous you are?’
She didn’t need that and just raised her eyebrows in response.
‘You don’t need me to tell you that. People tell you how beautiful you are all the time. The issue is that you’re more than beautiful. You’re compelling and a little bit mean. It makes my dick hard when you lift that aristocratic nose at me.’”
The chemistry between Laura and Charlie is off the charts. From their disastrous first date to the big confrontation in Laura’s dressing room, it’s STEAMY. Like, fanning-myself-with-my-Kindle sort of steamy. Laura’s desperate not to acknowledge that she feels anything for Charlie, so she’s an absolute jerk to him, and Charlie loves it. That was surprising to me, but it’s a core dynamic of first building blocks in their relationship, and it worked so freaking well. The push/pull in the relationship was beautiful, and watching them fumbling to figure out how to make it work made me cry several times.
Overall, this was a steamy, feels-laden roller coaster, and I loved every minute. I will definitely be looking up the rest of the books in this series!