One Perfect Night by Rachael Johns

By | 7 March 2012 | 3 Responses
Rachael Johns

Reviewed by:
3 Stars
On March 7, 2012
Last modified:March 31, 2012


Gets off to a great start but plateaus when the conflicts are piled on to sustain the tension. It doesn't always work, but there's enough here for a quick, enjoyable read.

One Perfect Night by Rachael Johns

One Perfect Night by Rachael Johns

Gets off to a great start but plateaus when the conflicts are piled on to sustain the tension. It doesn’t always work, but there’s enough here for a quick, enjoyable read.

This review is part of the AWW2012 Reading and Reviewing Challenge. Click here for a list of books I’ve read so far.

As many of you know, I’m always a little wary of romances featuring Australian characters because, well, they can be done so, so badly.  Rachael Johns’s debut novel, One Perfect Night, is set in Sydney and features heroine Peppa Grant, who has a one-night stand with the company CEO, Cameron McCormac, after she dings his car and has to pay him back by pretending to be his date.

Oh, it’s a short-length romance. You know how it is.

Despite the far-fetched premise, One Perfect Night starts off at a good pace, with, I was relieved to discover, an unobtrusive Aussie voice. Yes, it’s difficult to imagine a Lamborghini zipping around in the city—not that it doesn’t occur, but culturally, it seems to me that driving such an upmarket car would generally be considered a little…wankerish—and most people give up their bomby VW Beetle obsession by the time they graduate from uni, but whatever. I suppose they’re supposed to symbolise his wealth and her free spirit. Or something. At least Peppa didn’t walk around in peasant skirts all day. And anyone from Sydney knows that it’s not the Lamborghini that matters—it’s the underground parking space in the city.

Unfortunately, the plot plateaus halfway through the book. The employee/boss relationship between the main characters is touched on but doesn’t provide enough tension, so the conflicts between the characters are largely external. Peppa is mourning her recent discovery that she is unlikely to ever conceive children; Cameron is still mourning the loss of his wife.  It all becomes too melodramatic and predictable.

While it’s great to see a hero who’s had a healthy relationship and, more importantly, acts like he knows how to be in one, Cameron’s internal struggle to let go of his dead wife doesn’t always inspire sympathy. By the same token, the too-happy resolution to Peppa’s conflict, while not unexpected, certainly doesn’t feel realistic.

Yay or nay?

Gets off to a great start but plateaus when the conflicts are piled on to sustain the tension. It doesn’t always work, but there’s enough here for a quick, enjoyable read.

Who might enjoy it: Drivers of bomby cars they can’t bear to part with

Who might not enjoy it: Readers who want realistic portrayals of infertility

Title: One Perfect Night (excerpt)
Author: Rachael Johns
Publisher: Carina Press
Ebook: 9781426892912 (19/12/2011)

AUSTRALIA: Carina Press (publisher) | Fishpond | Other
EBOOKS: All RomanceBooks On Board | | Kindle UK | Kindle US
WORLDWIDE: Amazon UK | Amazon US | Book Depository | Library


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Killer of Fairies
Kat Mayo is a freelance writer, Twitter tragic and compulsive reader. She is editor of Booktopia's Romance Buzz, and hosts the Heart to Heart podcast for Destiny Romance. Her reviews have appeared in Books+Publishing, and in 2014 she was awarded RWA's Romance Media Award. Kat co-founded Trousseau, a zine for people who love reading romance books. She believes in happy endings, and kills fairies with glee.


  1. shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

    Thank you for sharing your review for the AWW challenge

    Shelleyrae @ Book’d Out

  2. Jenny Schwartz

    Your underground car park comment made me smile … and wince. As a West Aussie I’ve only driven and parked once in central Sydney … in an underground carpark and loudly hitting something in a work car (fortunately no damage to anything but my heart rate). I enjoyed Rachael’s book and its unashamed indulgence of the Cinderella fairytale.

  3. Kat (author)

    Parking in the city is not for the faint-hearted, that’s for sure. I really did appreciate the Aussie voice that doesn’t try too hard to be an Aussie voice, if that makes sense. It still feels novel for me to read M&Bs set in Australia (in this case done very well indeed)—a result of decades worth of reading category romances set in small town USA.

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