Review & Giveaway: One Night to Remember by Kristin Miller

Tuesday, March 20

Title:  One Night to Remember*
Author:  Kristin Miller
Series: N/A
Genre:  Recent Historical Romance
Publisher: Self published
Format: E-book
Date/Year:  N/A
Reviewed by: Booklover1335

*This book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary from the publisher:

First class clothing designer Elizabeth Scott isn’t all that she appears. She may be elegant and poised on the outside, dining with the richest on the ship, but she’s hiding a dark secret within.

Thieves boarded the Titanic, too…

Officer Thomas McGuire is as honest as they come. Working to make a decent living on the ship of dreams, he can’t believe his eyes when the most striking lady he’s ever seen steals from another first class passenger. As the night goes on, Thomas must decide whether he plans to arrest or seduce Elizabeth and she’s not making it easy on him—the heat sparking between them is unlike anything they’ve ever known.

Time is running out…

The Titanic is sinking fast. Elizabeth has finally met a true gentleman—one who gazes upon her with total adoration yet fulfills her deepest fantasies. But being a gentleman means more than playing the stuffy part. Thomas insists on helping other passengers until the very end, even if that means going down with the ship.

In the fight for their lives, they just might find a love worth dying for.

Excerpt:

From the moment Thomas met with the Master at Arms and heard that the Titanic would sink, he knew that he would not, under any circumstances, take the seat in a lifeboat that a woman or child could occupy.

Considering how many women and children were still on board, Thomas buried the idea that he’d ever see Elizabeth again. He tried not to think about how much the thought hurt. How much it burned him up inside knowing he’d met the woman of his dreams only to spend one night with her before fate ripped her away.

He supposed one night was better than none…

Tugging on his life vest, Thomas left his cabin and made his way up to the boat deck.

The scene had deteriorated quicker than Thomas could’ve imagined. Even though he was in the thick of it—the bustle and noise and fear—he felt like he was on the outside looking in. Watching the disaster unfold from miles away.

Somewhere in the last hour, the hissing of steam from the smokestacks had stopped, leaving an eerie stillness filled only by the incompatible sound of dance music. The boats against the rail had all been lowered. Men were sliding collapsible lifeboats from the top of Officer’s Quarters and having a hard go of it.

First and second class passengers had mixed together, filling the boat deck to the brim. Third class passengers were few and far between, wearing looks of confusion and shock, with hardly a life vest among them. Thomas had the fleeting thought to head back below deck to assist other passengers when a distress flare catapulted through the sky, hissing and spinning toward the stars. Passengers gasped as it popped, raining down specks of brilliant white light. For a split, soul-deadening second, the flare lit up the vastness of the sea and the horror of their circumstance.


My Musings:

This is the first book that I’ve read by author Kristin Miller, who has written a couple of books for Harlequin, but is also self publishing some of her own works.

The story begins with bold, independent, and self made successful business woman Elizabeth Scott dining first class aboard the Titanic next to Lady Isabelle. Our first impression of her is as a thief as she steals the silverware from the table, and then the clutch purse of her dining companion after befriending her. When an officer of the ship, our hero Thomas, notices what she has done he pursues her in order to arrest her for theft.

Thomas eventually catches her and then takes her to his cabin for questioning. Which is not at all what a by the books honest officer should do. Yet he does, and they quickly succumb to their mutual attraction and have intimate relations after knowing each other no more than a few hours (and that is being generous) even though she they are on opposite sides of the law.  Keep in mind that this is 1912, not 2012.

This is where the first of my problems started. I had an extremely hard time understanding these characters and their motives, and why after so short an acquaintance we are to believe that their connection is one that is "worth dying for". The reader unfortunately learns very little about either Thomas or Elizabeth. We don’t know why each of them are on the ship for instance. Of course they are passengers, but what other reasons do they have?  We are told that Elizabeth grew up poor which is supposedly the only reason why she steals from the rich and gives to the poor;  a la Robin Hood. On the one hand, I can understand her desire to give back and help those less fortunate since she has become somewhat wealthy and successful (I’m guessing at that), but what I could never comprehend is why she felt that need to steal from others to accomplish that. Was there some experience in her past that compelled her to act so recklessly and carelessly towards both herself and others? Why didn’t she just give back from her own earnings if she felt that passionately about equality between classes. By not giving her own money (basically keeping and building her own wealth) isn’t that a bit contradictory?

Thomas is also a mysterious character. We are told basically nothing about him except that he is a police officer with a heart of gold, who’s honest and hardworking, and seems to be taken in by the beauty and the charm of a thief. Yet, he is able to quickly overcome his moral scruples to seduce the thief in his cabin? The only question he seemed to contemplate was, should he take the handcuffs off or not? He doesn’t, but does decide to let her go free of punishment. This just didn’t seem true to the even minimal portrayal of his character we are given. Is there a reason why he sympathizes with what she is trying to do? He is a man of the law and takes his duties seriously, but put a seductive woman in a tantalizing red dress in front of him and all is forgiven? It made Thomas seem manipulated by the seductress, especially when he pays back the money that Elizabeth stole from the noblewoman from his own pocket, rather than turn her in, even though it represented more than a month’s salary and most of all of the money he had been saving. I thought he was more foolish than gallant at that moment. If she could afford a first class ticket than why not force her to pay back the sum from her own monies, otherwise face criminal charges? I doubt she would have risked that no matter how devil may care she may be. Why?Why? Why do they do some of the things they do?

I think the author had an interesting premise and conflict between the two characters, but then squandered it by having Thomas, who at times comes off as a weak hero, and other times supremely heroic, let her go. Why not have Thomas really debate the decision of choosing a woman when the only thing he really knows about her is that she steals and is passionate and apparently not very selective in her sexual partners, vs his own moral code? The only answer I could come up with is that the ship is about to sink so there really isn’t time to explore the more interesting aspects of their relationship (if you can even really call it that).  Elizabeth just comes off as selfish, despite her "altruistic" activities as a thief.

I felt that this story was more a vehicle for the author to write about her passion, the Titanic, than it was a love story that just so happened to have taken place on the Titanic. You learn very little about the characters, their motivations, or what could possibly have them acting on their attraction to each other considering the circumstances, let alone consider the “L” word (love). There were just too many contradictions and questions that are left more than just unanswered...more like unexplored, which was very disappointing.

When I first read about this book I was pretty excited to read it, after all who didn’t love the movie Titanic especially if this time you could have the happily ever after romance story too! But in the end, I think the author’s scope of a love story and the sinking of the Titanic, told in less than 20,000 words, was the demise of her own ship/short story “One Night to Remember”.  After all, it took James Cameron over 3 hours to tell his story (longer than it took me to read this e-book)...and his didn’t even have a happy ending :(


Ratings:


Overall: 2.75 stars (Just too much missing from the story for me to get attached to the characters.  I was more enthralled and emotionally attached to the sinking of the ship and the nameless passengers, than I was Elizabeth and Thomas...not a good thing.  To top it all off, the formatting of the PDF I had was horrible, but I didn’t factor that into my overall rating)

Sensuality level:  3.25 (Two loves scenes which is surprising considering how short the book is, but then again the loves scenes are also brief with very little emotion...)

For a complete understanding and definition of the ratings at Seductive Musings, click here

Other Reviews:
 

During the blog tour for her book, One Night to Remember, author Kristin Miller is going to giveaway a $20 Amazon gift card to one random commenter during the tour!  Here's how you can enter to win:

Ways to earn entries:
  • Mandatory:  Ask Kristin a question, comment about the excerpt, or on the review. (good for 1 entry)
How to enter:
  • Leave a comment at each stop on the blog tour to earn additional entries for the $20 GC. 
Rules and disclaimers:
  • The winner(s) for the $20 GC will be selected randomly from among all of the comments of the blog tour by either the author or by Goddess Fish Promotions who will also be responsible for contacting the winner(s).
  • Seductive Musings is not responsible for prizes that are not honored, distributed in a timely manner, lost, stolen, or damaged during transit 
  • All giveaways are subject to change/cancellation without prior written notice
Good Luck!

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*Seductive Musings is an Amazon affiliate and receives a very small referral fee for purchases made via the links on the blog and through the Seductive Musings Amazon Store. Read the full disclosure here.

 

8 Comments:

marybelle March 20, 2012 at 4:52 AM  

Thank you for your honest review. It is appreciated. I have to say I hear Titanic & I automatically want to read it.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

Goddess Fish Promotions March 20, 2012 at 5:55 AM  

Thank you for hosting Kristin today.

MomJane March 20, 2012 at 6:58 AM  

I still want to read the story. I can imagine anything that is not actually in the story. I don't have to have it spelled out.

Kristin Miller March 20, 2012 at 11:17 AM  

I'm sorry you didn't enjoy the read, but thank you for the honest review. Perhaps some of my longer novels (where there is plenty of time to delve into backstory and emotional baggage) would suit you better.

Thanks again, and thanks Marybelle and MomJane for stopping by!

Tore March 20, 2012 at 9:10 PM  

Thanks for the giveaway. I really want to read this book. I love reading books about the Titanic. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

Kristin Miller March 20, 2012 at 11:34 PM  

Thanks for stopping by Tore! Good luck!

WalkerReader March 21, 2012 at 3:39 PM  

Wow, I think that when you buy a 20,000 word novella there are going to be somethings that have to be givin up. Like in depth character backgrounds and childhood histories.

Karen H in NC March 23, 2012 at 2:21 PM  

Just popping in to say HI and sorry I missed visiting with you on party day!

kareninnc at gmail dot com

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