Sarah A’s Review ~ Unfinished Night Duet by Violet Duke

BEFORE THAT NIGHT:

Before that night, Addison Milan had been just a college dropout secretly raising her two young siblings in a beat-up minivan she’d bought with her first semester’s tuition refund–the only money her addict mother hadn’t taken off with when she’d abandoned them nearly two years ago.

Before that night, Caine Spencer had been just a rough, gruff cop sent to check out the phoned-in claims of suspected child neglect involving the same woman he’d met just months prior when she’d first served him the city’s worst diner coffee…which he’d been drinking daily ever since.

Before that night, Addison would never have thought the man she’d been fighting hard not to fall for–her only friend in her new shadow of a life–would be in a position to rip her family apart.

Before that night, Caine would never have believed any woman could make him fall head over heels, let alone make him feel so damn compelled to look the other way when it came to his job.

 

Then that one perfect night changed everything.

EVERY NIGHT WITHOUT YOU:

Seven years.

Seven damn years of wondering whether the woman was still alive…whether she’d spent the last two thousand five hundred fifty-five days wondering if he was still alive.

Wondering whether that night was as burned into her memory as it was his.

Seven years having his heart tethered to Addison―and now she’s back. With even more reasons to run than she’d had then.

Only this time, Caine isn’t letting the gorgeous little flight risk out of his sight.

Regardless of how noble her reasons may be.

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Before that Night

After reading the synopsis of Before that Night I knew Addison’s story was going to be heartbreaking.  I did, however, underestimate just how awful her life before her mother had abandoned her and her siblings.  That Addison didn’t let the pain of her past damage her brightness was lovely, the way she protected her siblings from feeling that same type of hurt to the best of her abilities, was miraculous.

Caine was such a great contrast to Addison.  While he’d had an idyllic childhood, he’d let the things he’d experienced in his adulthood start to harden him.  The juxtaposition of the two was a fabulous illustration of how your attitude can profoundly affect the way things out of your own control shapes you.  Even in the darkest moments of her life, Addison found the light so she could provide a better life for her brother and sister, while Caine brought the darkness he’d encountered with him and let it temper every thought he had.

Before that Night dealt with incredibly heavy issues but never felt weighty in the way other books that cover the same topics often do.  The inherent brightness that Addison colored her world with allowed the book a levity that was refreshing when encountering such awful situations.  Her love and hope gave such an innocent feeling to the book it was hard to imagine that she’d lived the life she had, until the moments her fear crept in and gave us a glimpse of the horrors she’d survived.

Violet Duke was a new to me author when I started Before this Night and I found myself greatly enjoying every moment I spent with the characters she created.

Every Night without You

I wanted to love this book as much as I did Before that Night but, for me, it just didn’t quite live up to my expectations.  While I did find myself clamoring to find out what was going to happen to Addison, Caine, and the kids, I didn’t feel the same type of commitment to their happiness in this book.

The chemistry that I felt between Caine and Addison in Before this Night seemed to be tempered in Every Night, like the years that had passed had cooled their connection.  While I didn’t doubt they loved each other deeply, I wasn’t as consumed by the moments they were together.  There was also some unnecessary tension caused by decisions that made little sense to me, I honestly couldn’t understand why they’d done some of the things they had in relation to not being together.  I did very much enjoy watching them begin to rebuild their family, especially when Caine was unwaveringly supportive of the kids he had no familial ties to.

I loved the push and pull of the new relationships that were developed in this book, particularly the ones involving Alec.  He was one of the brightest parts of this book, he was equal parts humor and intensity and I found myself wondering more about him than just about anyone else in the book.  I hope to see more of him in future works in this series, I can only begin to imagine his history and the type of person who would be his match.

Much like the bizarre decisions Addison and Caine made in the beginning of this book concerning the relationship, I felt the climax of this book held some of the same strange decisions.  By the time I’d finished the epilogue I was very confused as to why the book had ended like it had.  I feel like I missed chunks of the story and was not completely satisfied with the end of Caine and Addison’s story.

While Every Night without You was not the best book I’ve read recently, I will continue with this series.  I have too many questions, too much interest in the other characters – particularly Alec – to leave them now.  And perhaps that is why Every Night ended like it did, to give me something to wonder about, some reason to come back and read the other books so I can satiate my curiosity about why Caine and Addison’s story ended the way it did.

Caine stopped with his hand on the doorknob and studied her for a bit, with those deep, stormy eyes of his that always saw too much, read her too well. Then, he quietly pushed open the door to the darkened room and walked in.

But he made no move to flick on the light switch.

Instead, he simply stood there, just inside the doorway, holding the door open for her silently, waiting for her to decide if she wanted to go into the pitch-blackness with him.

Addison knew the choice to step over that threshold, into the unknown, was symbolic of so much more than what he was asking in that moment…a fact she was certain hadn’t escaped him.

He didn’t back down. But he didn’t push, either.

“Alec thinks there’s no way you and I can be friends,” she whispered, in a feeble attempt to keep them away from a ledge they’d be tempted to jump off of, where there would be no coming back from. “This is sort of an experiment he’s conducting to prove his hypothesis.”

“Did I mention I hated that ‘just friends’ idea from the start?”

Yeah. Her too.

“You want to know what I was thinking about when you suggested it?” he continued, reaching up to put his forearm against the door jamb, crowding the opening with his broad, six-foot frame.

She shouldn’t. No good could possibly come from being allowed inside Caine Spencer’s head. “Yes.”

The gravelly rumble of his voice turned hypnotic. “I was remembering how those soft, sexy sounds you’d make when I’d kiss you on your neck—right where that new tattoo is—would test me, nearly break me of my control every time.”

When his eyes began tracing intently over the lines of her tattoo, the air in her lungs thinned, and slipped past her lips before she could stop it.

His jaw tightened, and his forearms flexed. Once. Twice. Before his voice dropped a full octave lower. “A test. Every. Single. Time.”

Oh God, she wasn’t going to make it.

He took a step back.

She followed him in.

Download BEFORE THAT NIGHT now!

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NEW YORK TIMES & USA TODAY bestselling author Violet Duke is a former professor of English Education ecstatic to be on the other side of the page now writing emotion-rich stories with fun, everyday characters, and sweet, sexy match-ups. Since her debut series in 2013, over a million readers have put all four of Violet’s laugh & cry contemporary romance series on bestseller lists and Top 10 charts across the major e-retailers, both in the U.S. and internationally.

When she isn’t feeding her book-a-day addiction, Violet enjoys doing far too many things without checking the directions first (often with outrageous power tools she has no business operating), and cooking impossible-to-replicate ‘special edition’ dishes that laugh in the face of recipes. She lives in Hawai’i with her kids (Violet & Duke) and Mr. Violet Duke (their ringleader), with a PJs-and-rubber-slippers work dress code she takes very seriously.

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