Note: An advanced reader copy (ARC) of the full-length novel was provided by the author via InkSlinger PR. The prequel novella is a personally owned copy.
You know how there are prequel novellas that you can choose to skip and it wouldn't really or affect your overall reading experience series-wise? Well, One Cruel Night isn't one of those novellas. Besides the fact that it's got the history of the main couple featured in the first full-length novel and will explain why there's animosity coming from one end, K.A. Linde's enticing writing demands that you pick the prequel up. Plus it's free! Then there's the full-length book, Cruel Money, which should be read after the novella, and boy, oh boy, but has Linde weaved a tale of lust and love and lies and showcases just how cruel all of it can be.
Eighteen-year-old Natalie is spending her last night in Paris with her best friend by her side. Then she meets fellow American, twenty-three-year-old Penn. He invites her to experience Paris for a final time before she has to fly home. There was no way Natalie could say no to taking Penn up on his offer. He helps her experience things she hasn't in her time in France--and then he helps her experience what it's like to fully share her body with someone. When she awakens, Penn is nowhere to be seen, and it isn't until six years later that their paths cross again, and this time, Natalie Bishop refuses to fall victim to Penn Kensington's brand of cruelty. But Penn's never forgotten his one night with Natalie; now, he wants more.
The prequel novella hooked me and the full-length novel reeled me in, and now, I desperately need to find out what happens next with Penn and Natalie. Yes, this does end in a cliffhanger, but as frustrated as I am that I'm going to have to wait about three months to get my hands on book two, I'm way too invested in these two to do anything more than wait. Penn and Natalie are from two very different worlds, and as much as they may share this really undeniable connection between them, one--or both?--of them are pawns in a game that could leave neither of them as winners. The supporting players in this story are worth noting, especially because they do help push the story forward without necessarily stealing the spotlight. Consider me officially addicted to all things Cruel! One Cruel Night and Cruel Money both receive five stars. ♥
Date Read: 22 January 2019
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