Title: Night Games
Author: Nina Bangs
Published in May 2002 by Leisure/Lovespell
Brian Byrne is tired. He has played hard and his team has won. He won MVP! His manager Jupe is ecstatic, and has so very many plans for Brian: promotions, a bit of rest, then back into training! But Brian? Even with the praises of his teammates and the Universe singing in his ears, Brian has had enough. He needs to get away. In a future where sex is a team sport, a nice no-sex vacation is what he deserves -- after all, he was MVP and that should earn him something...right? Not according to Jupe. Cereal box pictures, appearances, and other things he would rather avoid have been scheduled, and on this point Jupe is adamant. No isn't a word he wants to hear, but Brian says it anyway, and now he is off for a vacation.
Something happened around the year 2002 that ruined an old Irish Keep that was the seat of his ancestors. A perfect place for a vacation -- maybe raise the walls again, really relax and enjoy some real peace. To step back 500 years to an isolated, ruined keep holds the promise of anonymity, restful seclusion spiced with a bit of the manual labor he enjoys. No fans, no reporters, no manager, no stress! Yep, that's the ticket, just what he needs...peace and quiet. He doesn't count on anyone tagging along; he also doesn't count on meeting his greatest challenge. He has his hands full now!
Ally O'Neil doesn't need this...traipsing all over Ireland. It might not be so very bad, but Great Aunt Katy got a hold of the most horrendous, made by seemingly crazed gypsies, caravan wagon and a horse that is so laid back that he looks forever asleep. Katy wants to find pookas, ghosts, faeries, and whatever other mystical creatures she can find for a book she is writing. Now she's running around in the rain like a 70 year-old Buffy the Vampire slayer looking for a vampire. Said vampire, Black Liam, is reputed to haunt the castle where this stupid wagon is parked. When Aunt Katy proposed this adventure, Ally thought it was a good idea. She has a book to write too, a deadline to meet, and a bad marriage to get over.
The marriage over thing really wasn't good, not after her "Perfect Wife" series. Now a book about "Coping With The Single Life" sounds so much more appropriate. She is not looking for sex, love, or a companion of any sort. She is definitely not looking for Brian Byrne, and his odd contingent of followers. She just wants to write her book and get on with her life as a single woman. Now her editor has thrown her a curve...passion? Her? One night stand? She has to be kidding!
Nina has once again thrown a curve into the 'best laid plans" and provided us with a story of humor and intrigue. From a superstar in the sex-games of the future, we get someone who is plagued by an uncertain past, and who is ready for love but doesn't know or acknowledge it. He only knows that there is something missing in his life, and he thinks it is a real vacation. From the present-day author, we get a woman whose ideas are not all bad, but may be a bit controlling. She just had the unfortunate experience of picking a man who did not appreciate her efforts, and who wasn't strong enough to handle her.
Putting these two together could be like mixing oil and water, but the result is a jumble of intrigue and humor that leads to a wonderful romp through the mind of Nina Bangs. The twists and turns that she gives her stories add to the puzzlement of her characters, and with Aunt Katy, sexy senior citizen extraordinaire, acting as match maker and a contingent from Brian's time, boss, manager, and trainer trying to keep them apart...not to mention the fact that someone seems to be trying to kill Ally...well, I strongly suggest that you put Night Games on your list. I think it is one of the best books to come out among the May releases. Enjoy! It is a winner.
Yours in good reading,