Blog Tour~ One Night: Denied (One Night, #2) by Jodi Ellen Malpas, Stacy's Review, Excerpt & Giveaway
One Night: Denied is only the second book in this series and already I can tell that it is my favorite. I know that’s saying a lot, considering book three isn’t out yet, but there were so many things happening in this book that brought the characters full circle for me. So much is revealed and realized and understood. There’s also tons of angst which I’m always a fan of. This one has some crazt twist and turns and I couldn’t put it down.
One Night: Promised, the first book in the series leaves you with a huge bombshell of a surprise at the ending resulting in a pretty big cliffhanger. So to say I’ve been looking forward to this book is a huge understatement.
Olivia is still living with her Nan, and I just love that lady. She really brings a great dynamic to the story. And of course Olivia’s best friend Gregory is still in the picture, and some interesting things happen involving him as well. Like I said, this book has so many dimensions working through it that it was very easy to become engrossed in the story.
There are still so many questions surrounding Olivia’s mother and her past. Olivia still feels abandoned by her mom, and she is just trying to make sense of everything regarding her relationship to William. And at first I wasn’t sure if I liked William, but he has this father figure quality which I think Olivia definitely needed. A lot of questions are answered but there are still some things left to secret. William also has a weird connection to Miller, which just adds to the confusion! But I’m telling you, it kept me turning the pages!
Ahhhh Miller…sweet, tortured, crazy-tempered, sex-god MILLER. This poor guy. I swear I felt everything he felt while reading his struggles. This man is more complex than you’d think. His problems go way beyond his big secret that came out in book one. WAY deeper. He desperately wants Olivia back, because he can hardly breath without her. But, he’s torn between doing what’s right and doing what he feels he wants and needs. I just love the way Miller cared for Olivia, yes it was somewhat possessive and reckless but that just added to his crazy charm. Everything about Miller Hart screams unconventional. But he is so very entertaining to read.
These two characters go through the ringer together and I found myself pulling for them so hard. My heart was aching right along with theirs, it was very dramatic and emotional for them to just even try to be a regular couple. THAT struggle alone you’d think wouldn’t even be a struggle, but you add in some not-so-good people trying to tear you apart, and some person following/stalking Olivia and it makes for some very bumpy relationship roads.
And I’m still in the dark on a bunch of stuff that I NEED to know about! Ultimately I enjoyed the crap out of this book! There was even a little underlying crime kind of feel to parts of the story. I’m not sure if I’m imagining that or not because I don’t remember any crime happening, other than some minor assault stuff. But there is definitely a vibe there that needs to be explored. Obviously there are still a bunch of things we don’t know, so book three is for sure going to bring some major drama. Especially with the way this book ended. My mouth fell open, I’ll tell you that much. This was a great read, and if you are a fan of Jodi Ellen Malpas then you definitely need to pick up this series.
I know I look out of place as I stand near the gym entrance, clearly hesitant, and looking a little overwhelmed. All the machines look like spaceships, hundreds of buttons or levers on each one, and I haven’t the first idea how to operate them. My one-hour induction last week did a great job of distracting me, but the information and instructions fell straight from my memory the second I left the exclusive fitness center. I scan the area, fiddling with my ring, seeing masses of men and women pounding the treadmills, going hell for leather on the bikes and pumping weights on huge lifting devices. They all look like they know exactly what they’re doing.
In an attempt to blend in, I make my way over to the water machine and gulp down a cup of ice water. I’m wasting time being hesitant when I could be releasing some stress and anger. I spot a punching bag hanging in the far corner with no one within ten meters of it, so I decide to give it a try. There are no buttons or levers on that.
I help myself to the boxing gloves hanging on the wall nearby. After securing the Velcro, I give the bag a little poke. I’m surprised at how heavy it is. I inject some power into my weak arm and throw some effort into my next hit. I grunt too, and the bag shifts significantly this time, moving away from me and seeming to pause in midair before it’s on its way back toward me. Fast. I panic and quickly pull back my fist, then extend my arm to prevent being knocked to the ground. Shockwaves fly up my arm when my glove connects with the bag, but it’s moving away from me again. I smile and spread my legs a little, bracing myself for its return, then smack it hard again, sending it sailing away from me.
My arm is aching already and I suddenly realize I have two gloved hands so I pummel it with my left this time, smiling wider, the impact of the bag on my fists feeling good. I’m breaking out in a sweat, my feet are beginning to shift and my arms getting into a rhythm. My shouts of satisfaction spur me on and the bag morphs into more than a bag. I’m beating the shit out of it and loving every moment.
I don’t know how long I’m there, but when I finally let up and take a moment to think, I’m drenched, my knuckles are sore and my breathing erratic. I catch the bag and let it settle, then take a cautious glance around the gym. No one is staring. I’ve gone totally unnoticed, everyone focused on their own workout. I smile to myself and collect a cup of water and a towel from the nearby shelf, wiping my brow as I make my way from the huge room. For the first time in weeks, I feel prepared to take the day on.
I head toward the changing rooms, feeling like a lifetime of stress and woes have just been knocked out of me. The urge to go back in and pound for another hour is hard to resist, but I’m already at risk of being late for work so I push on, thinking this could get addictive. I’ll be back tomorrow morning, maybe even after work today, and I’ll thrash that bag until there are no more traces of Miller Hart and the pain he’s caused me.
I pass door after door, all with glass panes, and peek into each class that’s in session—yoga, spinning, kickboxing. I might try one or two. Or I could give them all a go.
As I’m passing the final door before the women’s changing rooms, something catches my eye. It’s a punching bag swinging from the ceiling hook, but no one’s in sight. I step closer to the door, then gasp and jump back as someone comes into view, bare chested and barefoot. I feel dizzy.
He has those shorts on, the ones he wore when he was trying to make me comfortable. I’m shaking, but my shock doesn’t stop me from peering back through the glass, just to check I wasn’t hallucinating. I wasn’t. He’s here, his ripped physique mesmerizing. He looks violent as he attacks the hanging bag like it’s a threat to his life, punishing it with powerful punches and even more powerful kicks. His body weaves and dodges the bag when it comes back at him. He looks like a pro. He looks like a fighter.
I’m frozen on the spot as I watch Miller move around the hanging bag with ease, his fists wrapped in some kind of bandages, his limbs delivering controlled, punishing blows time and time again. Who does he see before him?
My mind spins, questions mounting, as I quietly observe the refined, well-mannered, part-time gentleman become a man possessed, that temper he has warned me about clear and present. But then I retreat a pace when he suddenly grabs the bag with both hands and rests his forehead on the leather, his body falling into the now subtle sway of the punching bag. His back is dripping and heaving, and I see his solid shoulders rise suddenly. Then he begins to turn toward the door. It happens in slow motion. I’m rooted in place as his chest, slicked with a sheen of sweat, comes into view and my eyes slowly crawl up his torso until I see his side profile. He knows he’s being watched.