Last Light: The Night Owl Trilogy

Last Light: The Night Owl Trilogy

by M. Pierce


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Tensions rise, secrets grow bigger, and passions run deeper—and hotter—in Last Light, the second novel of the Night Owl Trilogy from bestselling author M. Pierce.

Matt Sky is missing. After a solo ascent of Longs Peak that left only a large blood stain, tatters of climbing clothing, and the tracks of an animal in the snow, he is presumed dead.

Hannah Catalano is guarding a secret: she knows Matt is alive. After Matt's memorial service, she lingers on the East Coast with his family, but it soon becomes clear that his brothers' motives are less than gracious. Nate Sky is bent on tracking down the author of Night Owl, a book that charts the last days of Matt's life with uncanny and scandalous accuracy, and which appeared only after his death. Seth Sky is bent on getting Hannah into his bed.

Hidden away in the woods, Matt and Hannah strive desperately to maintain their ruse and their relationship—but their web of lies only tightens as Matt struggles with the consequences of his decision, and Hannah tries to escape Nate's libel suit and fend off Seth's advances...until Hannah is put in danger, and Matt must make a life or death choice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250058362
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/28/2014
Series: Night Owl Trilogy Series , #2
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

M. Pierce is the pen name of a bestselling author living in Colorado.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1


I remember the book signing—I always will—when so much else is forgotten.

I helped convince Matt to do it, along with Pam and his editor.

People know who you are, we told him. The secret is out; you have nothing to lose. Do this, at least, for your local fans. Think about how they’ve supported you.

And Matt agreed, after weeks of resistance. One signing. A stand-alone event, lightly publicized, to be held at his favorite independent bookstore—Flight of Ideas.

That Saturday afternoon in December, the crowd filled the store and a line formed down the street. Readers drove in from surrounding states. An Arizona local, unprepared for the Denver cold, collapsed in line and brought a screaming ambulance to the chaos. News stations deployed their vans. Reporters and photographers clamored for a word with Matt, flashing their press passes as if they meant anything.

A modest stock of Matt’s books sold out within an hour.

The store manager and employees moved through the mob, wringing their hands.

And I stood beside Matt, watching the madness. What had we done?

Matt sat at a small table with Pam to his left and me to his right. We brought water, coffee, tea, cookies—but he touched nothing. Empty displays loomed around us. A printout dangled from the table, half torn: M. PIERCE EXCLUSIVE BOOK SIGNING.

Readers came bearing multiple copies of his books, hardcover and paperback, various editions. They chattered at Matt as he dashed off his signature. Their stories were variations on a theme of adoration. I read Ten Thousand Nights in high school. I’ve read all your books. I’ve reread this book so many times. I can’t wait for your next book.

Matt met each fan with a stomach-level stare. He looked grim and determined.

When his pen died, he slid it across the table to Pam.

“The pen,” he whispered.

About twenty minutes into the signing, Matt rose and disappeared into the crowd.

I found him in a storage room.

He stood facing a shelf of boxes, a hand covering his face.

“Matt?” I touched his back. He didn’t move. I slid my fingers up his spine and kissed his shoulder blade. “Hey, that’s a lot of people out there, huh?”

Matt’s silence frightened me—always. We’d been living together for just a month and a half. Matt spent most of his time writing. My job at the agency absorbed me. In so many ways, we were still strangers, circling the mystery of one another. And when I was alone with Matt, as I was in the storage room that afternoon, I sensed I was alone with something volatile.

Finally he said, “Do you think my editor did this?”

“Did what?” I moved to get a look at his face.

Another long silence.

I waited it out.

“You don’t know what it meant to me,” he said.

Matt pulled me in for a quick hug and walked out of the storage room.

The signing ran for another half hour, during which Matt sat with his hand half covering his face. Pam gave me a few puzzled looks. I shrugged.

Matt said I didn’t know what it meant to him. He was right. I didn’t know what it meant. I didn’t know what the hell it was.

But now I know. It was his privacy. And now I know how he valued his privacy. Above me, above his family, above everything.

*   *   *

Two months after the book signing, I stood in a phone booth in New Jersey, just outside my motel.

I listened to the ringtone on the line. I listened to the rain, a steady frigid patter.

What I am doing, I thought, is wicked. How can I?

And then I pictured Matt.

The scenes of our last days together were surreal.

Matt moving money into the wall safe in our condo.

Matt pacing, talking excitedly about freedom and his writing.

Matt vanishing onto a snow-choked trail in the mountains.

Watching him go—watching him smile back at me. Real fear in my heart. Confusion. And now this: a facsimile of grief that I would present to Matt’s family. Who had I become?


The voice sounded far off. I crushed the phone against my ear.

“Matt … hi.”

“Hannah. Are you okay? I miss you. Fuck, I miss you.”

My eyes began to sting.

“No, I’m not okay. How can I be? How can I be okay?”

“Listen, Hannah. This is as hard as it gets. Everything will get easier after this.”

“No.” I clenched my teeth. “I don’t think so.”

“It will. Baby bird, trust me. I don’t even want you there. Why are you going? Tell Nate you can’t go. Call him now and tell him.”

“No. I’m going. I deserve this.”


I swallowed thickly and closed my eyes. A car passed, crunching over old ice and snow.

“It doesn’t matter,” I whispered. “If I seem guilty or sad, if I can’t look your family in the eye … however it goes. Maybe that’s what grief looks like. I don’t even fucking know. I don’t know anything. I don’t know why I agreed to this.”

“Is that how it is?” Matt’s voice chilled. “Then tell them I’m alive.”

“Matt, no. I—”

“No, go on. Tell everyone the truth. I won’t do this. I won’t be made to feel like I’ve conned you into this, like I’m manipulating you. Mm, I know … it was all well and good when we were together, but you get away from me for a few weeks and suddenly you can’t remember why you did this? I thought you wanted this for me.”

“I did. I do. Stop it. You can’t get—”

“What can’t I get? Angry? I’m not angry, Hannah. Do whatever you want. I told you not to go out there. I told you to stay away from it all.”

I stayed quiet then and so did Matt. He was right. He told me not to get involved with his family. He knew how it would hurt and how guilty I would feel. And I, a self-saboteur of the first degree, did it anyway.

I helped my lover fake his death.

I lied to my family, Pam, the police.

Now I would lie to Matt’s family. I would show them my phony grief. I would watch their sincere suffering. I would go to Matt Sky’s memorial.

“This is crazy,” I whispered. “I feel sick every day. I’m lonely. I have a z-zillion questions. Are you okay? Do you have enough food? The book … I mean, did anyone—”

“Hannah, I miss you so fucking much. Please…”

Simple longing filled Matt’s voice, and just like that, the tension between us faded.

“I have to see you,” he said. “Soon. I’m fine. Food’s fine. No word on Night Owl. I put out some feelers, posted questions on forums. No replies.”

“When I’m back, I’ll drive out.”

“Yeah, when you’re back. Soon as you can. It’s been so fucking long. I’m going crazy, bird.” Matt’s breath quickened. He hesitated, and then went on in a rush. “I want to be with you. I want to be inside you. For hours. Here, by the fire. I need you like that…”

The cold of the phone booth disappeared. I pictured Matt in nothing but his skin, and I could practically feel his breath on my lips.

“I need you, too.” I lowered my voice. “Like that. In … inside me.”

“God, you’re so good. So good to me. Hannah…”

Matt was probably touching himself. I heated at the thought. How unfair, his unimpeded access to that beautiful body. And how strange that our romance reverted to this: furtive phone calls, lonely nights, waiting, touching ourselves.

Were we moving backward, or was this new and exciting?

“How…” he said. “This thing with us—how is it still so—”

“Intense,” I murmured.

A car door slammed.

I lingered a moment over my vision of Matt—his body draped across the couch, his back arching and hips seeking mine as he played with himself—and then I opened my eyes. The morning light stung.

“Shit,” I hissed.

A silver Cadillac sedan was parked across the street, and striding toward my phone booth was Nathaniel Sky.

Copyright © 2014 by M. Pierce

Customer Reviews

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Last Light: The Night Owl Trilogy 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read this now! M does not disappoint! This is the continuation of Matt and Hannah's story that began in Night Owl (book 1 of the trilogy). This book is beautiful, poignant, emotional, and thought provoking.
JCasey31 More than 1 year ago
Love this story!! Devoured it in no time!!! My favorite series of the year!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well worth the wait! Masterfully written and keeps you wanting more. Bravo M.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Terribly disappointing. The main character, Matt, is not a good person. This book feels more like porn with a forced story woven in. The authors main focus next to being a liar is sex with Hannah, nothing deep or loving. The same positive reviews on here  match Amazon's. Night Owl was good. The author should have left well enough alone. Calling his last book Meta fiction, I hope the real M is nothing like Matt. The story lack connection, humanness and good character development. The author is too focused on sex but doesn't have the character writing to pull off the eroticism and love that books like E.L James or Sylvia Day can do. The secondary characters are pointless and are also poorly developed. I really wanted to like this series. 
Emily-SBDR More than 1 year ago
I've come to the conclusion I have no earthly idea how I truly feel about this series. I love. I don't want to love. I have a strange and strong dislike for some aspects of it. And I'm always left feeling like I got hit by a semi. The fact that this book was yet again one of those books that was hard for me to put down should indicate my love for it. Unless you're inside my head experiencing the very tumultuous feelings. Then you're probably as utterly perplexed as I still am. A month after reading this book and I still can't pinpoint how I feel.  I will say this, I think I've nailed down part of my problem. I definitely do not like Matt. There is one of his many personalities that I love to pieces, but he doesn't show that character enough for me to give him the benefit of the doubt anymore. So why did I continue reading once I found that I have a strange disdain for the lead character? Simple. The other lead, Hannah. I love her story. I know their stories are intertwined, yet I can oddly separate them in my mind. I am enthralled in her story. As for Matt, I though he was just crazy going into this book, and then, well, he straight towards Bonkersville. He can't just dedicate himself to Hannah. If it's not his writing taking priority, it's another woman, or his brother. He can't let anything be just theirs. Which may be why I don't care for him too much. He doesn't give me any confidence that this series will end well with a happy ending. Yes, I'm a must-hate happy ending person. I don't read books to have it end in devastation. I do like hard journeys though. That's what I'm hoping for the third book in this series to put forth. A journey well worth the work and effort for the bliss waiting at the end. But I have a sinking feeling it's not going that way.  It's almost like the movie The Lake House. They're trying to get to one another, but Hannah is firmly planted in reality whereas Matt is treading the deep ocean in fantasy land where everything revolves around him. I will say his obsession with Hannah is endearing. And when they can just be together, I like those times best. Yet, at every turn Matt has another secrets, or ludicrous idea that ruins everything. I can't even blame Hannah for some of her actions in this book. She was trying to escape her one-way ticket to Bonkersville and made some very choice mistakes. However, Matt, oh the unending list of choice mistakes, or just intentional screwing with everyone. So my end result for this book, I love it as a book, but not as a romance. It is erotic. There's sexy, steamy, hotter than hell scenes. However, the love and relationship just isn't there. Matt's version of a relationship is two high speed trains driving head on into one another. While Hannah is just trying to stay afloat int he crazy world she's willingly chased him into. This book did command my attention and I did devour it, which is why I do recommend it if you're in the mood for an extremely well-written, yet peculiar book. But if you're a lovey-dovey person, wanting a sweet romance this is not it. I'll absolutely be waiting to read the conclusion to see how this crazy train ends. I'm sure it will capture my attention just like it's predecessors. I just hope it surprises me as to the fate of these two individuals that I want to find a true HEA so badly.  Happy Reading! *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the 3rd and final book! Lots of fun! You won't be disapointed!
SingitBaby More than 1 year ago
I went into reading Last Light with a good amount of anxiety because I absolutely adore everything about Night Owl and M. Pierce's writing. I worried the sequel might not capture the same level of intensity and beauty. Fortunately, Just reading the epigraph reassured me immensely. It's been said repeatedly, and in a better fashion, by others, but no one out there writes a romance novel quite like M does. The characterizations are so authentic, sometimes a bit disturbing, that the reader will feel more a voyeur of some docudrama than a reader of a romance novel. I'm not writing about the erotic scenes alone; Pierce's talent allows that feeling of watching another's life unfold to carry us from its beginning to its end. As usual, the technical writing is flawless, which means a great deal to my reading enjoyment. I love the way M slips in comments about the overuse of the semi-colon, etc. as Matt thinks about conversations with Pam. So, if good writing or getting glimpses of a writer's process interests you, you'll definitely enjoy NO and LL. Pierce gives us two new characters in this installment: Mel and Seth. The two help create tense moments that may have you filled with feelings of suspense and unease, but that's what makes a great story.  I really enjoy the continued depiction of Matt's family life with his brothers, the way he gets the middle-child resentful sentiments just right in Seth's character. Hope to see more of this complicated character in After Dark.  I still think Hannah is one of the most interesting contemporary romantic heroines I've ever read. She continues to stand her ground with Matt, even while being thoroughly selfless. She does exhibit a moment of weakness during this novel, one that I congratulate M for having the bravery to insert into the storyline. It'll rankle a few readers, no doubt, but I think it serves to show Hannah's just as human and fallible, when confused, as the rest of us are. Anyway, I whole-heartedly recommend this read. You'll get your sizzle, some terrific quotable M'isms, and a really cute Christmas tree. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Night Owl was my favorite book this past year—one of the best books I’ve ever read. I’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for book #2 since the day I finished NO in January. As Last Light’s release grew nearer, I found myself feeling a mixture of excitement and nervousness. Surely at this point I had built it up so high that no matter how well-written it was, it could never live up to my unreasonable expectations. Well…I am happy to report that I was wrong. Last Light was amazing! It gives us more of what we all loved about Night Owl—love, Laurence, angst, hot sex, and Matthew Sky (in no particular order). The epic love story between Matt and Hannah continues, with a few complications along the way.  In Last Light, Matthew Sky has faked his own death in order to escape from the public eye, and Hannah has been left to deal with the aftermath. Last Light introduces us to the third Sky brother, Seth, who has his sights set on Hannah and doesn’t want to take no for an answer. It is an unpredictable page-turner, and I didn’t want to put it down. There are several aspects to the Night Owl series that make it stand out from other books in the romance/erotica genre. The original and unique storyline, with its twists and turns, make it a fun, addictive read. The metafiction component presents an aura of mystery that I haven’t experienced with other books. But the thing about these books that makes them truly special is the quality of writing. M Pierce uses such beautiful words to tell the story that I find myself wanting to highlight lines on every page. Long after the book is finished, the poetic language stays with you. I loved Last Light and I’m ready to preorder After Dark!
Sandy-thereadingcafe More than 1 year ago
:  4.25 stars--LAST LIGHT is the second installment in M. Pierce’s Night Owl Trilogy focusing on reclusive author Matt Sky and publishing assistant Hannah Catalano. At the end of book one-Night Owl-Matt appeared to have plummeted to his death leaving the reader wondering how Hannah would survive without the man that she loves. The series must be read in order for cohesion, history and understanding the personalities and background of each of the characters. Matt Sky is an enigma; a reclusive and solitary writer (almost paranoid in thought) whose personal and private life had been secreted from the public until the day his publicist Pam and girlfriend Hannah convinced him to acknowledge his fans. But Matt’s psyche is fragile and his emotional health is unstable. Unable to handle the public pressure, Matt disappears and demands that Hannah promise to keep secret what she knows.  What Matt never suspected was that Hannah was not willing to go into hiding with him, leaving Matt on the verge of another emotional breakdown. As the storyline unfolds Hannah is in the unenviable position of having to face Matt’s family and friends knowing that the man that they mourn is in seclusion waiting for her return.  The relationship between Hannah and Matt is sexually erotic and intense yet somewhat controversial as Matt’s need for Hannah is obsessive, bizarre and traumatic. Matt has a bit of a dominant personality, one born out of a need for control. Their weekend rendezvous become a necessity to Matt’s sanity but there is pressure from all sides when Matt brings in an assistant and Hannah becomes the object of another man’s affections. Hannah will be pulled from all sides as the truth about what happened to Matt is slowly revealed. LAST LIGHT is an erotic and passionate storyline told from alternating first person points of view-Hannah and Matt. We are pulled into the mindset of a man whose emotional stability is questionable; whose need for privacy borders on obsession; and whose preoccupation with Hannah is manic and uncontrolled.  There are heartbreaking moments as you realize that Matt’s emotional balance and his impassioned personality are fallible and frail.  Sometimes there is only so much one person can do. I did enjoy LAST LIGHT much more than NIGHT OWL. I questioned the strength of the relationship between Hannah and Matt, one built upon lies and deceit, and although the lies and deceit continue, the focus of the betrayal is in another direction.
Marianna-ALustForReading More than 1 year ago
When I read Night Owl way back in January, like most readers I was completely captivated by the story and Matt. It was original and different and dirty and I couldn't pull myself away. So I have been anxiously awaiting Last Light and nearly jumped up and down when I got a chance to review it. Warning: This series MUST be read in order. If you have not read Night Owl yet then do not read this review. Last Light picks up right after the final events of Night Owl. You remember that ending, don't you? The cliff hanger to end all cliff hangers. Well thankfully we immediately get the answer to one of the biggest book ending questions of the year - is Matt Sky still alive? Well obviously since here we are in book 2, but it was a relief to finally know what the heck happened. I have to say that I was a bit conflicted here. I mean I am glad that Matt is alive and all, but I was also pissed at what he did. The story that unfolds is both enthralling and frustrating. Matt and Hanna are almost toxic . When they are good, they are so damn good. Delicious in fact. But the bad is torture. During their separation they both make mistake after mistake. Matt is absolutely neurotic and his web of lies is bound to get him in trouble. The fact that there are all of these lies and secrets between the two of them made me want to scream. It took me 3 days to read this book, which is long for me, because I had to walk away every now and then to save my own sanity. No use really, it totally made me neurotic too. But this isn't a bad thing at all. This book made me feel and think and the story is just so well written. The fact that I was in such turmoil over these characters and their actions is a testament to M. Pierce's excellent writing. It was an exhausting ride for sure, but i wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Of course we end on another cliffy, though thankfully it is mild compared to the last one. I am looking forward to the conclusion of Matt and Hannah's story.
JenPH More than 1 year ago
Whoa. I thought Night Owl was a roller coaster read but Last Light, the second book in the Night Owl trilogy by bestselling author M. Pierce, left me grasping for a coherent thought after I was done reading it. Just like with the first book, I read this in one sitting because there was no way I was going to let life get in the way of my time with Matt Sky and Hannah Catalano. And, sadly, I can't really go into much detail about what happens in this sequel because I refuse to spoil the ride for those of you who have been waiting for it for over a year or however long it's been since you finished book one. ^.^ Last Light explains the evil (I say this with affection) epilogue that readers and fans were left with from the first book. The reasons behind the actions of both Matt and Hannah is a study in how different these two are. Yes, they're both very much in love with each other but while Hannah is more selfless and puts Matt's needs first, Matt is narcissistic, allowing his selfishness to often override what we would consider common sense, but then Matt is anything but common. The thing is, while his motivations may come off as self-serving at times, the best way to better understand why Matt is the way he is and why he does what he does is to unearth his dark past, something that even Hannah hasn't successfully gotten him to do. While we met the oldest Sky brother, Nate, previously, here we meet the middle brother, Seth, and are also introduced to Melanie vanden Dries, who plays a rather pivotal role. Nate has always come off as a loyal and supportive brother to Matt and there's no doubt that he continues being that here. Seth is more mysterious and there are moments that I found myself either disliking or liking him, but the curiosity to learn more about him, as well as Nate, is definitely there. Melanie was, well, let's just say I wasn't really a fan of hers and there was a point in the book that had me wondering how she knew about Cal, the male lead character in the writing project Matt and Hannah were working on together. I definitely don't trust her but I do wonder if she'll still be around for the third book. Okay, I know that this review and that of the first book didn't really give too many details BUT you should really read the books themselves in order to see what all the fuss is about and not just read reviews. If you're worried that this one ends in yet another evil (again, I'm being affectionate here) cliffhanger, worry not because there isn't one. However, the ending will pique your interest enough to endure the months-long wait until the release of After Dark, the third and final book in the trilogy, next year. I loved the perfect imperfectness that are Matt and Hannah and how this story just keeps you coming back for more. I. AM. ADDICTED. And yes, that means Last Light gets five stars because it so deserves it and is on my list for Favorite Reads for 2014. ♥♥♥
bluekaren More than 1 year ago
This book consumed me for two days. Last Light was all I could think about. I obsessed over it. I felt bad for these characters. The scenes were intense, sexy, raw, and sick. This book left me like…what? Again, I have no idea how to rate this. How to explain what I think about it to you. I am so torn on this story. This book is something of a head trip. Last Light carries us into Matt’s disappearance. Matt’s utter despair and loneliness. Hannah’s grief and humiliation. Matt fakes his death. The details are a bit vague on how he dies but all the details after are carefuly planned. Only Hannah is in on it. She alone carries the weight of the truth into her life. Then a book shows up on the internet that lays out the intimate details of Hannah and Matt’s world-wind obsession with each other. Hannah is at the funeral, dealing with his grieving family, putting on a face for his devastated publisher, and then dashing off to see Matt as he hides out in a cabin in the woods. Matt is no less crazy than before and Hannah is still completely wrapped up in his game. I wanted to hate Matt for doing all of it to Hannah. The book when it comes out divulges the steamy sex in great details between Matt and Hannah. What kind of person writes a book like that about someone without getting consent first? He used her real name people! It is one thing to be open about your sex life, it is quite another to tell the world that your girlfriend enjoys being called “my little slut!” The humiliation she must of felt at the funeral. They all knew it was Matt’s book and they all knew it was probably true. How embarrassing? Matt’s brothers, Nate and Seth, play key roles in this story. Hannah and the brothers have a bit of drama. Matt finds a friend in the girl who agree to make his last book an internet sensation. There is still a lot of lying, and again I felt so bad for Hannah. She hides him, she lies for him. She has it so bad for him. The sex laid out in this book is just as steamy as the first story, Night Owl. Matt’s mouth is just as dirty and they even have some fantasy role play in this book. Just like in the first book, the sex is not the whole story. The obsession with each other is. Hannah and Matt do things to and for each other. They are both a bit mental. My rating of this story is due to my addiction to their story and its readability. The writing is no less brilliant than the first book. I can’t deny that this book made me feel, and it made me worry. It made me forget about everything else going on in my life. It takes so much guts to write a story with characters like this. Hannah and her stupid girlfriend role. Matt and his crazy narcissism. Do I root for them? Do I just hope they don’t procreate? What the absolute f***? I admit to being that stupid girl at some point in my life. The one who was so wrapped up, I couldn’t see how bad the guy was for me. I have been with guys like Matt that blow things out of proportion and threaten crazy on me. I don’t know how it could ever be a happily ever after with these two. I can’t see the author making this end that way. How can this series end in the next book without these characters ending up dead in each others arms or running from the law? I think most readers of this trilogy will find it just as hard to put down. Although, at times for me it felt like watching an accident scene unfold. I just couldn’t look away. I have to find out how this series ends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Since despite the four plus she says you have to read the others first or get lost. I really think time has come to limit length to a page abd keep the last four reviews then delete and none from year before as in shop . long reviews act as put downs they show what one doesnt want in a book and annoy the eager reader by too much info on plot as a spoiler