In the final novel of the Night Owl Trilogy from bestselling author M. Pierce, can a passion that has withstood many ordeals become a love strong enough to last a lifetime?
Matt Sky is trying to return to normal, having faked his death and come back to life. He and Hannah move back in together, and Matt attempts to put his demons to rest as they strive to grow their relationship into something durable and honest. But as the two become more and more entangled, and the heat between them intensifies in all the best possible ways, Matt's desire for Hannah ignites cravings he has kept at bay for a long, long time…
Hannah finally has the life she's always wanted: she's pursuing her career as a literary agent at Granite Wing Agency, she is writing her first novel, and she is living with her hot, passionate lover. But as Matt and Hannah explore a new intimacy, Hannah finds that there are parts of Mattdark, wild, uncontrollable partsthat he has yet to show her…that he has yet to show anyone…
Under the surface of Matt and Hannah's domestic bliss, deeply buried secrets burn, and all of a sudden, the least foreseen obstacle threatens to shatter everything they've worked so hard for.
About the Author
M. PIERCE is the pen name of a bestselling author living in Colorado.
Read an Excerpt
By M. Pierce
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2015 M. Pierce
All rights reserved.
This is my favorite part. The beginning.
The crowd continues to clap and Gail Weider beams at us.
I pull Matt several feet onto the stage and he stops. He stands there woodenly, his expression blank, and then darts a look backstage. "I was contemplating running," he told me later.
Gail's smile falters.
My boyfriend and I are live on Denver Buzz, the biggest morning talk show in the city, and this is our chance to spin his fake death in our favor. A reclusive artist driven into hiding. A sensitive personality reacting to harmful circumstances. Stuff like that.
"Welcome," says Gail. She gestures to the couch. I know where we are supposed to sit, and I have been coached on good posture, eye contact, and affirmative answers. So has Matt.
But Matt is gone. The camera focuses on his stunned face. The applause dwindles.
"Come on," I whisper, coaxing him forward.
Abruptly, Gail crosses the stage and we flank Matt. The scene becomes comical. She grips his shoulder, I hold his hand, and we maneuver him toward the couch.
"Don't be shy, Mr. Sky. We're so excited to have you." Gail plows off-script like a pro, her confidence undiminished. She exudes authority, and Matt and I look like children on her stage. At last, we get Matt seated. His hand is glued to mine.
This awkwardness is all my fault.
"Marry me," I'd whispered to Matt just moments before we stepped onstage. Had I sabotaged our TV appearance? The possibility never crossed my mind. In fact, the proposal didn't cross my mind until it rolled off my tongue. Oops ...
"Matthew, Hannah." Gail nods at us.
"We're so happy to be here," I say. I pat Matt's knee. He remains comatose, and Gail launches into a spiel about how glad she is to see Matt safe, and yet how stunned she and the nation felt after the news of his death in December. She recounts the story. Her eyes sweep from the teleprompters to the crowd and back to us.
A silence follows, during which Matt is supposed to speak.
Even I know his lines.
I'm glad you brought this up, Gail. I've been looking forward to this opportunity to explain what happened, and why. First, I need to say that ...
Matt glowers at the camera.
"We're getting married," he announces.
Dear God, he looks adorable. His bewilderment turns to anger. He glares a challenge at everyone, as if we are already at the altar and someone might object to our union.
The audience gives a collective gasp.
"Wow!" says Gail. A blissful smile breaks out on my face and Matt and I hug. Everyone claps. People get on their feet.
It's soap opera season finale meets touchdown in the studio. And the crowd goes wild ...
* * *
I paused the video—Denver Buzz, May 14, 2014—and closed my laptop. The bedroom was dark. I padded to the window and watched a thick white cord of lightning reach down from the sky. Thunder followed in a long bass rumble.
I opened the window and tropically warm wind rushed over me. Our curtains streamed through the room. Finally—a storm to break the dry heat of June.
As I waited for the rain, my mind traveled back to that day, almost a month ago, when Matt and I appeared on TV and he announced to the nation that we were getting married.
The remainder of the show had focused on our whirlwind romance, our tumultuous relationship, and Night Owl, Matt's tell-all novel about us. Somehow, the news of our engagement eclipsed even Matt's phony death. We excused everything with love. Women in the audience dabbed their eyes—and the cameras ate it up—as Matt described his loneliness at the cabin. He was animated, gorgeous, and powerfully persuasive. "I realized that no amount of freedom was worth a life without Hannah," he told Gail, and a sigh rippled through the studio.
As Matt wove a tale for our rapt spectators, even I envisioned him storming off the mountain and back into my arms—all for love! We laughed and shared longing glances. I lowered my head when the story darkened. My hand played on his thigh.
After the last segment, Matt had dragged me off the set. My heart kicked into doubletime as we navigated the corridors backstage, stepping over wires and around video equipment. He hauled me into a dressing room. My phone began to ring.
I remembered thinking it was probably my boss and Matt's agent, Pamela Wing, and she was probably having an aneurysm. Or maybe she was cracking open a bottle of champagne. Impossible to say. Pam had arranged the talk show appearance and prepped Matt and me exhaustively, and we had proceeded to stray from every line in the script.
Matt's phone had started ringing, too. He ignored it. He slammed the dressing room door shut and pressed me against it. In the dark, I couldn't make out his expression.
"Hannah, what the hell was that?" His chest touched mine and I felt his wild pulse. "God, you're going to drive me to an early grave."
"I'm sorry. Are you angry? I—"
"Angry?" His breath fanned through my hair. His hands roamed down my body.
The scene is engraved on my memory: the way our cell phones rang relentlessly, the ringtone for my sister and then my mom sounding loudly, the way Matt kissed me and started to laugh, and the high fluttering happiness I felt because we had just announced our spontaneous engagement to the entire nation.
And then the way Matt had said, "You're a genius, Hannah. You're brilliant."
In the days following our TV appearance, Matt managed to put off everyone who asked about the engagement. He said it wasn't "a sure thing." He said that we planned to "continue living together" and were "keeping our options open." To Pam, he passed off the stunt as "Hannah's last-minute stroke of genius."
And with one another ... we maintained a stilted silence on the matter.
I moved back into the condo with Matt. We returned to our routines. Three weeks passed, and I began to wonder if I had even asked. Marry me. Did I say those words? We're getting married. Did he believe those words?
The sweet smell of rain brought me back to the present moment. I perched on the windowsill and listened as Denver's dry pavement sighed beneath the downpour. The wind carried a spray of moisture that misted my face and legs.
You're a genius, Hannah.
I shut the window and walked to the office.
The door stood open, which meant Matt wasn't writing. I leaned against the frame and watched him. Something on the computer screen captivated him. He sat hunched forward, frowning and rubbing his jaw.
I giggled and his eyes shot up.
God ... I loved to watch that smile dawning on his face.
"Little bird," he said. He pushed away from the keyboard and patted his thigh.
"I'm invited into the inner sanctum?" I moved around the desk and sat on his lap, and his arms tightened about me. He grinned at me. His hair was growing in blond, light roots clashing with black dye on the fringes. I ran my fingers through it and he nuzzled my chest. "Baby, we gotta do something about your hair."
"Mm." With his face between my boobs, Matt might agree to anything.
I rubbed his shoulders and he planted idle kisses along the neckline of my nightie. I stole a glance at the computer.
"Are you ... on Twitter?"
"Mm." He got a handful of my rump and squeezed. "Interacting."
"Interacting?" I smiled. "That's kind of cute."
"With my readers. I'm on Facebook, too." His mouth drifted across my chest. "It was my editor's idea."
My eyes flickered to the Firefox browser. I rarely got a look at Matt's computer. The browser tabs read Gmail, Twitter, and ... Colo Real Estate?
"Hey ... Matt." Something in my voice stopped his wandering hands and lips. "Are you looking at houses?"
"What?" His head came up. "No."
"Uh, yes." I reached for the mouse and clicked on the Colo Real Estate tab. A page of Colorado homes loaded.
He glared at the screen.
"Whatever. Just looking."
At least he didn't lie and call it research.
A smile quirked my mouth—until I started to study the houses.
"You can't be serious," I said.
Matt eased out from under me and plopped me onto the office chair. He stalked to the wall, where he pretended a frame needed straightening.
"I am serious." He spoke to the painting. "Why can't I be serious? This place is tiny. You have no real room of your own. It's like a—"
"'Six built-in fireplaces,'" I read from the Web page. "'Experience the grandeur of two-story ceilings, the wine room, wet bar, and—'"
"What's wrong with—"
"Eight baths!" I shouted over him.
"Better than one."
"Oh my God. Six bedrooms? Oh here, look at this. There's a fountain in the driveway. That's perfectly normal."
"Looks nice." His voice tightened.
"Marble floors, gourmet kitchen—ha! A Romeo and Juliet balcony? Is that a thing?"
"What's wrong with a balcony?"
"These homes are in the millions."
"The rock and stucco—"
"Right, that one is just a million and a half." I swiveled to face him. "Look at me."
He continued adjusting the painting, right a little, left a little. Ignoring me. Like a child. At last, he turned and folded his arms, and he stared at a spot in my vicinity.
"You like Nate's house," he said.
"You are still jealous of the way I looked at Nate's home?"
"His home is nice. These homes are nice." He jabbed a finger toward the computer. "I don't see why we can't even consider living somewhere nice and spacious."
Weeks' worth of frustration and confusion boiled over. I hurtled out of the chair and headed for the door. "And I'm not even sure I want to buy a home with someone who practically proposed to me on national television and hasn't breathed a word about it since!" I stormed to the bedroom and threw myself on the quilt. Like a child.
I lay in the dark, listening for Matt.
Rain spattered against the window. I heard the low thump-thump of his feet pacing the floor. Lightning shimmered on the wall and thunder reverberated over the Denver skyline.
At last, I heard him coming down the hall.
The mattress shifted.
"Are you awake?" he whispered.
"I didn't propose," he said. "You did."
I rolled over. Matt sat on the edge of the bed, hands on knees, elbows locked. I crawled to him and slipped my arms around his shoulders. He relaxed in my hold.
"I guess ... I did, yeah." I laid my ear against his back. Relief relaxed me, too. It felt good, and right, finally to be talking about this. "But you went along with it."
"Of course I did." He chuckled. "Why would I pass up such a perfect play?"
"Love, I knew you weren't serious. Not completely." He twisted around and cupped my face. His eyes glimmered with amusement. "I knew it was for the show. I mean, we've known each other for a year. Not even. And think about that year ..."
Matt trailed off and I thought about that year.
It was a year next month, in fact, if we counted our meeting online. Less than a year if we didn't count the Internet. Much less than a year if we didn't count Matt's meltdown in New York and our separation after his faked death.
So ... we'd known one another for much less than a year.
A tight, painful feeling expanded in my chest.
"So w-why were you"—I cleared my throat—"looking at houses?"
"Because we need a bigger place."
I shook my head out of his grasp. "Do we? I don't see why we need a house if we're not—" My voice cracked. If we're not getting married. No, I wouldn't be the idiot who said that. The idiot who'd spent the past month hoping and dreaming.
"What is this?" A flash of lightning whitened Matt's eyes, which were somber now. "Hey, look at me." Again, he took my face between his hands. "Little bird, you barely know me. We barely know one another, if you think about it."
His words put a hairline crack in my heart. We did know one another. We'd been through so much. What was he saying?
"And marriage is about more than me," he continued. "More than us. It's about family. There's a lot to consider, starting all that."
I pinched my tongue between my teeth. Holy shit. Matt wanted kids? We'd never had this discussion, and my desire to carry a child could be described as less than zero.
His voice gained confidence as he spoke.
"Of course we'll talk about marriage ... someday. When we're ready, you know? When we're sure this is what we want. Marriage is very finalizing, or it ought to be." He released my face and stripped off his T-shirt, and for a second his gorgeous body distracted me. Those toned arms, that golden trail below his navel ...
"I know," I snapped. "I know marriage is finalizing. I'm not an idiot."
"Come here. Don't be upset; we're talking." He tried to kiss my neck. I ducked.
"It was real for me," I said. "I was ready."
"What? Hannah ..."
Matt wanted closeness—probably to confirm that we weren't having a serious fight. I knew how he worked. He drew comfort from intimacy. See, Matt? I do know you. He pulled on my shoulder. I stiffened and fought my instinct to melt against him.
"Stop." I pressed both hands to his chest. This wasn't play and he knew it. He frowned and stilled.
"What's the matter?" His voice grated with frustration.
"I was ready," I repeated. Tears rimmed my eyelids. "I was fucking ready, Matt. I was serious when I said, "marry me." The perfect play? Is everything a game for you?" I scrambled back on the sheets. "I can't believe you just said, 'when we're sure this is what we want.'" I sniffled and a tear fell. My cheeks burned. "I am ... was sure. I'd been sure."
Matt watched me impassively. Oh, he could go so cold, even in the face of my emotion.
"What are you talking about?" he said. "Of course it was a game. It was a story, a simple narrative for simple people. Something they'd understand. Do you think I would seriously parade my engagement out for the public like that? God, it's like I said. You don't know me at all."
"No, I do know you." My fingers dug into the sheets. Nothing makes me indignant like humiliation. "You're manipulative, just like Seth said. Your own fucking brother said you're a master manipulator, and that's what you are, letting me and all those people think we were seriously getting married. I feel like such an idiot."
"Don't." Matt leaned in swiftly. He didn't touch me, but his breath touched my face and I froze. "Don't bring him into this. Do you think I'm lying when I say I love you?" He sneered. "Do you think I'm lying when I say you don't really know me? Hannah, I want things that ..." He lowered his head so that he could look directly at me. I shrank beneath his frigid stare.
He wanted things that ... what?
As suddenly as he'd leaned in, he withdrew. He stalked out of the room and left me shivering on our bed.CHAPTER 2
Mike kept a framed picture of his family on his desk. Blonde, wife, two cherubic-looking children, and a goddamn golden retriever.
I pointed at the picture with my unlit cigarette.
No smoking allowed in my psychiatrist's office, of course.
"The dog," I said. "The dog is what makes this too much."
I sat in an overstuffed armchair and Mike sat on a couch beside me, his body angled toward mine. Everything about his posture said: I am attentive to you.
Mike's golden retriever grinned at me.
"It's like you're mocking me," I said. "Mocking the poor messed-up people who must sit in this chair. With your dog. With your golden family. Do you get that?"
"You're avoiding," Mike said.
"Right." I chewed my cigarette's filter. "God, I gotta quit smoking again."
"I could prescribe something to help with that."
"Thanks, but no thanks. I'm down to one or two a day anyway." I rose and walked to the broad window of Mike's high-rise office and I looked out at a sunny Denver morning. It was Monday. Hannah was at work and I was meeting with my psychiatrist for the first time in months because Hannah demanded it.
If I didn't get regular therapy, she wouldn't live with me.
That stipulation seemed fair enough, considering the last year.
Excerpted from After Dark by M. Pierce. Copyright © 2015 M. Pierce. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I don't even know how to write this review to do this book justice. To put it simply, this trilogy has touched me like non other. The lost soul that is Matthew Sky has forever changed me. No other author can put into words any better than M. Pierce how love can be so important to someone. Matt not only lusted after Hannah he desperately needed her to save him. And that is exactly what she did. Hannah may have been stubborn too but she never gave up on Matt. She loved him unconditionally despite all the darkness he carried. But Matt also saved Hannah. In the end he trusted that she could be the mother she never even knew she wanted to be. This trilogy is the absolute best I have ever read. It's so full of emotion, love, hurt, pain, dirty talking hot sex, and passion. I think what touched me the most was Matt's unrelenting desire for Hannah. M. Pierce was able to make me feel that desire through his descriptive writing. You feel like your living this journey right along with them throughout the whole series. My heart is broken now that this story has come to an end. But I will come back time and time again to relive this amazing journey with them. Thank you M for the amazing ride! I highly recommend this series to everyone. I hope it will touch others as much as it has touched me. Truly the best series ever
Read the whole series and it was a real page turner. When's the next book coming out ? ??!!
It appears the great reviews here are the exact same as Amazon's and the same people. People always state they don't like giving a poor review. This is true. I also don't find it fair to other reader's to leave a review merely for the sake of liking the author personally. This book was pure rubbish. The author did such a remarkable job with Night Owl and then proceeded to kill the series. I will assume the author is male by the blatant, debasing and constant need for detailed sex. It felt like the author was hoping to be the next Fifty Shades. M. writes well but this last book had to be a disappointment even to the author. It goes in circles, Hannah keeps loving an abusive sex starved and very deranged man.Then her sister gets pregnant by his brother, Matt then tries to control her and they end up with the baby. It is like bad fan fiction. I have read better fan fiction. I have lost all faith in the author. It actually ruined Night Owl. It is typical, nothing sets it apart from an other erotica from beginning to end. The talent is there but just night in the last two books.
A great ending to a great story! Love book three! Didn't want it to end! Wsh it were a bit longer! Glad it had a HEA though! A must read series! You won't be dissapointed!
The perfect ending to a rollercoaster trilogy. After Dark was a great ending to an intriguing and ever-changing story. It tied up the loose ends in a perfect way. This book helped me come to the conclusion that I will never completely understand these characters or agree with their decisions, and that’s okay. Sometimes the beautiful thing about books is that the characters are flawed, imperfect, and make mistakes. Although many times the things they did made me extremely angry, I still felt content by the end of it. In fact, for 75% of the book, I fell back in love with Hannah and Matt, even when they did ridiculous things. Matt especially seemed to have a lot of personal growth. That is until everything hit the fan again. I felt like I understood the characters a bit more and the story flowed a lot better than in the other books for me. It was also refreshing to finish a book in this trilogy that didn’t have a notorious M. Pierce-style ending that leaves you with far more questions than answers. This trilogy is definitely not like anything else that’s out right now. It has that added twisted element of being written like it’s a true story, with the author as the main character. It’s such a unique and interesting twist and such a smart move on the author’s part. This series has a bit of a soft spot for me. Night Owl was the book that was the final straw for me; the book that finally gave me the courage to start a blog. I had no book friends, and was desperate for a place to discuss that book’s crazy ending. So I created a place. I will be forever grateful to it for what I have now. I have made incredible lifelong friends. I read this entire series for that reason. I felt I owed this author a little something. My fear is that people may decide to give up and not finish it because of some of the infuriating things that the characters do but I’m telling you – finish it. It’s a crazy ride that I think will have you feeling the same sort of contentment that I did by the end. Even if only to read something different. Read it.
I'm an avid reader of romance stories but this series really stands out in my opinion. The author writes in a clear, unique voice and has created one of the most complicated, tortured heroes I've ever come across. One minute, you despise him; the next, you ache for him; then you fall for him. His muse, Hannah, is almost too good to be true sometimes but she has her dark moments as well. The dialogue sounds real and flows naturally. While you know they'll eventually reach their hard earned HEA, it's their highly emotional and obstacle strewn path that keeps you reading. Hope this author keeps writing.
This review is from: After Dark (The Night Owl Trilogy Book 3) (Kindle Edition) How do you begin to write a review for the last book in one of the most amazing erotic series you have ever read? It is damn hard, I tell you. I read After Dark two weeks ago and I have been stewing over it. Going over my notes again and again. The truth is, is that this book is the best in the series which freaks me out. I want to do this book justice. On top of that, I am sad. So so sad. It is over. It is time to hop off of the Matt and Hannah train but I am not ready. It feels like their relationship just began. It feels like a million things have happened. It feels like the beginning and the end. After Dark picks up pretty much where Last Light ended. A huge proposal and even bigger misunderstanding between Matt and Hannah. Also Matt is hiding things again. EXHIBITIONISM I want to f*&^ her with an audience. It does seem to be his method of operation and one of very we reasons we love his character so much. He is so incredibly flawed and somehow that draws me to his dark personality all the more. "HUMILIATION I want to see her at the end of a leash." But really. Doesn't he realize that at this point in the game there is pretty much nothing that he could do or feel that would shock sweet Hannah? She knows him through and through, even if he doesn't think she does. "PUNISHMENT When she's bad, I want to tell her so. I want to take out my anger on her gorgeous body. I am constantly aching." She accepts Matt and all his idiosyncrasies. Even his most wicked wants and thoughts couldn't possible chase his Little Bird away. Matt's secrets are not really the meat of this story, though. The real story is about coming together honestly, the future and what it holds. Hate. Grief. Love. I have to admit M. Pierce really through me for a loop with this one. After Dark is ridiculously surprising is so many wonderful ways. "My heart can barely hold you." But it was in so many ways completely heart wrenching and took a turn that I totally didn't expect. It was crushing and I found myself laying in bed surrounded by tissues wanting to cuddle Matt and pat Hannah on the back. "Didn't Matt and I play with death once? We did. I lied and pretended; he wore it like a cheap Halloween mask. Now it came to collect. " And the sex. God, it was so sexy. The eroticism this time around took this book to a whole new level. As always every scene was beautifully written; put there to inspire the deepest and darkest of emotions within us. "Fear kept my eyes closed, but I longed to look at him: shirtless, aroused, wielding that black whip. In my mind's eye, he looked...beautiful." M. Pierce writes a dramatic erotic romance like no other. I am so incredibly sad that this beautiful story with two of my most favorite characters ever is over. But the ending might have just been worth it. It was just gorgeous. And kinda perfect. "It's a good story, Matt. It's an even better life."
Another roller coaster ride from M. Pierce. I just finished reading After Dark and it gave me the perfect ending. The Night Owl Trilogy delivers on the promise of a love that burns really bright with lust and adventure. **this review contains spoilers for the first and second book in the Night Owl series** In Night Owl we meet Hannah and Matt. Matt is a famous author and Hannah is his muse. Matt is a liar and out of control. Hannah is every woman when she loves something fiercely. In Last Light we get to know the depths of Matt’s mental illness as he faked his own death and published the erotic story of him and Hannah. He is later found alive and in a mess that he and Hannah must live with. In After Dark we see Hannah and Matt absorbing the aftershocks and public outcry when they see they were deceived. They also deal with major family drama as they try to move forward in their relationship. I was very, very excited to get this book for review. I am a big fan of this series and it’s no wonder really. The Night Owl series is full of crazy, sexy, love with an emphasis on crazy. Matt may be the only author I want to meet, and stalk. Hannah is perfect. This story is told in both Hannah and Matt’s first person, so we get to really see how they are deceiving themselves and each other. A crazy ex pops up in this tale, and we get a lot of Seth (the brother) and Crissy (the sister) in this story. Matt is actually seeing a therapist in this story and him and Hannah make great progress as a couple. Hannah has proposed to Matt in the beginning of this tale and Matt is left to either accept or reject her offer. In therapy Matt realizes he still has some deep, dark fantasies to fulfill. Maybe it is too much for her? Hannah is really torn in this story as she wants to be everything to Matt, so she steps out of her comfort zone. There is a bit of back and forth. I really wanted to smack them both and get them to be honest, but that is not the way they do things. There were a few places where I knew sex was inserted to keep the characters from facing reality, but that is also exactly how they do things. The steamy sex scenes really add so much to the reading of this tale. Yes, the protagonists are both twisted, but it makes for an excellent story. That is really all I should tell about the story itself. Without giving too much away I have to say that these characters grow so much in this story. Lines are drawn and people step up to the plate. Who, where, and what for are all for you to discover. I feel really fulfilled by the ending. It was everything I hoped and even more then I expected.
4.5 Stars to a great ending in this Trilogy Wow...I can't believe this trilogy is over. Honestly the first book in this series captivated me with the interesting story and I loved how After Dark was written as this book. It takes off right after the end of Last Light.. Matt and Hannah have had quite the interesting relationship and their struggles are not over in this last book. Matt seems to continue to have the most issues though Hannah is a little confusing herself. There is not an over abundance of drama in this book and though Matt still has a naughty mouth, there is less of it this time around. What he lacks verbally he puts to word which added an interesting dimension to the book. Both Hannah and Matt still have some old hurts to deal with in regards to their families. I found this to add a new dimension to the story and I enjoyed this part. Nate is redeemed in my eyes and Seth...not gonna say much about him, but I love the drama his story line adds because as I said before there hadn't been much drama and some angst is needed. The chemistry between Matt and Hannah remains though it is not front and center at all times. We see a definite improvement in the emotional aspect of their relationship which enhances some of the intimate scenes. There are some moments in the story that did have me scratching my head and I can sum that up in one word...Bethany. Back to cause trouble but then I never really understood what happened to her or if there was resolution. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and the series. I loved the Epilogue and the way it comes to an end. After a brilliant series like this, I cannot wait to see what Pierce comes up with next. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Dolorous, sharp, witty, enticing, controlled, meticulous, erotic, irresistible. M. Pierce doesn’t fail to deliver with my favorite book of the trilogy, After Dark. Beautifully crafted metafiction, After Dark, skillfully explores the lines between fiction and nonfiction, creating an authenticity that can often be elusive in fiction. Once again the persuasive characters leave such a lingering sense of presence, as if I'd actually spent time with a living, breathing person. I felt so lost in the solemnity, that comprises Pierce’s prose. Always enthralled by M.Pierce’s genius & talent, M is a gem and true gift to literature, once again proving that there is no need to choose between romance and literature. Requiring more from the reader, expecting more. After Dark and Pierce’s prose is a much need breath of fresh air, something I will never tire of—pure, clean, refreshing. "Genius gives birth, talent delivers." -- Kerouac (my note the second I finished) This.... I'm crying, happy tears, biggest smile on my face. This ... is happiness...
M. Pierce is no amateur and this final installment in the Night Owl Trilogy proves it. There just aren’t many books on the market that evoke so many emotions in a reader at one time. The quality of writing is so fine that you may find yourself wondering if you’ve been tricked somehow. You come to it wanting, perhaps, a simple flight of romantic fantasy; however, you leave with profound stars in your heart and mind. The storyline is uncommon, heightening the reading experience almost as much as the pleasing inclusion of Woolf and a white horse. There is loss and sadness in this final novel, but it feels correct and aids in the wholly satisfying resolution. Each book in this trilogy has its own loveliness…re: epigraphs, but Pierce infuses such a mix of humor, eroticism, and pathos in After Dark that it absolutely completes the trilogy.
3.75 stars AFTER DARK is the third and final installment in M. Pierce’s adult, contemporary NIGHT OWL erotic romance trilogy focusing on reclusive and troubled author Matt Sky, and literary agent Hannah Catalano. Their continuing story finds our couple at odds about marriage, children, writing and the future. To complicate matters Matt’s brother Seth is spiraling out of control and his actions begin to affect Hannah’s life with Matt. AFTER DARK should not be read as a stand alone; there is too much backstory and history revealed in the previous two novels. Told from alternating first person points of view (Hannah and Matt) the storyline commences immediately after the events of LAST LIGHT (book 2) where Hannah had proposed marriage to Matt. Seemingly shocked but happy, Matt announces to the world that the couple are getting married whereupon everything begins to collapse and degrade. Matt’s ‘fake death’ has alienated him from his family and his need for Hannah becomes all encompassing. Matt believes he and Hannah know nothing about one another and in this he goes about proving everything is wrong. Marriage is currently not in his plans Matt is a troubled soul with issues of abandonment, anger management, manic depressive tendencies, masochistic tendencies…..and, well you get the picture that our hero or ‘anti hero’ is a psychiatric nightmare. He is prone to anger; he is more childlike in maturity and behavior with bouts of depression, jealousy, doubt and fear; he is a man who is unable to control his reactions to the woman with whom he has fallen in love. Everyday problems are amplified when the heart is unable to understand what the mind sees. Matt struggles with the outside world; his need for privacy; and his anger towards his brother Seth. AFTER DARK is an emotional, heartbreaking and oft times frustrating storyline where the hero’s bipolar intensity is disturbing, frightening and graphic. There is an almost co-dependency between Hannah and Matt-a dysfunctional relationship-one where Hannah refuses to give up on the man with whom she has fallen in love regardless of the number of situations and issues that continue to arise. Matt is a man possessed by his need for control; his actions are intense; his obsession with Hannah an addiction and dramatic. M. Pierce will captivate your imagination and pull you into a storyline that is discerning, complex and complicated. I have many concerns about the building of a romance hero with so many emotional and psychological issues-but it is a fictional story where almost everyone will get their happily ever after; and in the end, a happily ever after is what ever romance reader is looking for but reality is another matter –all together.