Saturday, March 21, 2015

REVIEW: After Dark by M. Pierce (Night Owl Trilogy Finale)

Title: After Dark (Night Owl Trilogy Book #3)
Author: M. Pierce
Release Date: March 24, 2015
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance


In the final novel of the Night Owl Trilogy from bestselling author M. Pierce, can a passion that has withstood many ordeals become a love strong enough to last a lifetime?

Matt Sky is trying to return to normal, having faked his death and come back to life. He and Hannah move back in together, and Matt attempts to put his demons to rest as they strive to grow their relationship into something durable and honest. But as the two become more and more entangled, and the heat between them intensifies in all the best possible ways, Matt's desire for Hannah ignites cravings he has kept at bay for a long, long time…

Hannah finally has the life she's always wanted: she's pursuing her career as a literary agent at Granite Wing Agency, she is writing her first novel, and she is living with her hot, passionate lover. But as Matt and Hannah explore a new intimacy, Hannah finds that there are parts of Matt--dark, wild, uncontrollable parts--that he has yet to show her…that he has yet to show anyone…Under the surface of Matt and Hannah's domestic bliss, deeply buried secrets burn, and all of a sudden, the least foreseen obstacle threatens to shatter everything they've worked so hard for.

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Notice: Minor spoiler alerts herein...

Shel: I'm sure many fans of M. Pierce's Night Owl series will have the same conflicted feelings I did when I picked up this book. On the one hand, I was very eager to see what would see what theories (based on a certain Pinterest board) were proven and which ones were ridiculous. On the other hand, I knew that once I finished reading this book, it would be the end of the crazy Matt + Hannah journey and I knew that it would be a bittersweet feeling. So, with these conflicted feelings, I sat down and proceeded to devour this novel in the course of one afternoon. Court: Yes. I was conflicted too. I was excited to read it. Sad to read it. Sad to end it. Excited to reignite all of the wonderful feelings of love I have for the series. The ending is just as exciting as the other two installments, as the two main characters have many demons to overcome, and quirks to iron out when you're planning a life with someone. The writing is flawless, and I smiled at references that bring the metafiction and literary genius of M. Pierce back into focus. 

Shel: With each book in this series, I've found myself completely absorbed by the words on the much so that the world could ignite in flames in front of me and I don't know if I'd realize it. After reacquainting myself with the story of Hannah and Matt, I found that the pages were flying and the world around me faded to black. Though, if I'm honest, it took me a few chapters to find my rhythm with these characters. It had been a while since I'd read Last Light and even though After Dark starts immediately where Last Light left off, I found that I felt there were some gaps in my memory as to what was going on.  This was a small hiccup and not the fault of M. Pierce...just something I noticed as I was reading.  Court: Hhmmm. That is quite an observation. I think that I oddly had forgotten where we ended up too. Then, was thinking "OH yeahhhh...that's what they were doing." I didn't take long to get back up to speed either, and how things turn out with the end of that conversation filled me with dread over how much angst Matt's games this time around might 

Shel: As noted, the story of Matt and Hannah picks up right where Last Light left off--on the stage of the talk show (and THE PROPOSAL) and from there we follow them as they struggle with secrets and lies --yes, STILL. BOTH OF THEM. gahhhhhh. Whether they withheld information because it was painful to talk about or because the information had the potential to make someone angry or withdraw or hurt, both Matt and Hannah spent many pages of this novel trying to figure out how to communicate to the other. It was so seemed like so many of their problems could've been avoided had they just freaking talked and listened to each other. Court: Their frustrations and miscommunications are what we know from them, but I was also excited to see how it would go. Are they in love enough to be able to form a normal relationship. What does that even mean for them? How can two people who met as online friends, and have only ever played these wild and crazy schemes and games that end up hurting one another get to their happily ever after? Lots of questions, that I hope you are dying for the answer to...and guess what! We get some answers...finally! 

Shel: When I think about this novel, what stands out most to me are the moments. There are the moments of Matt being completely over the top and ridiculous and all I can do is shake my head. Then within a breath, he can be completely tender or sensitive or insecure and throw Hannah (and me) for a loop. If any character can be considered mercurial, it has to be Matt Sky. There are also moments with Hannah that are sweet, protective, provocative, shy, or strong --or insanely stubborn and almost verging on stereotypical in how she handles her anger with Matt. But more than their individual reactions, it's the moments M. Pierce creates that put them in these interesting scenarios that stick with me...the trips to various places and the conversations they have (or don't). Court: I love your observations, friend. I compound on that, and would like to mention how much I wanted to bang my head on the desk and just shake my book and hopefully shake some sense into the scene. The lack of conversations really hurt them sometimes...but when they finally find that they already had a niche that worked for them to communicate...pure beauty. 

Shel: There are so many things I feel like I'm ignoring. The writing--the pacing is swift, the dialogue natural and snappy, the sentences spare, and there's this constant thrum of melancholy and ache that seemed to accompany me as I read--an undercurrent, and the tension of wondering where all of this was going. The metafiction aspect--I found myself fixated on this a lot. How much of this was a blend of M's experiences, observations, and imagination?  And I cannot forget to mention the plot twists and resolutions. and the walk down memory lane when Matt and Hannah mention anniversaries. There was also the tidying up the stories of secondary characters. And... Court: The writing as I said was flawless. The characters have developed so much from what they were, and the bar set with Night Owl was already high. Could this ending live up to their huge beginning...was always in our minds...we all know it...and it did. I wouldn't per se think that it surpassed it, because the surprise of the introduction cannot be topped for me, but After Dark definitely knocked on the bar damn hard. I love this entire series, and love how each book is embedded in the story so tightly that it is still a mindfuck, and still brings this series to a intriguing, makes me obsessed, place! 

Shel: The ending. The ending was probably my favorite part. Isn't that just nuts? I didn't really want it to end but the way that M Pierce has Hannah swoop in at the end is really perfect. I loved it. I loved how strong he makes her. I was very pleased with the ending of this novel and the ending of the series and while I know this means the end of a very special series, I know that M will come back with something for us to read in the near future. 

Court: I am melancholic that it has ended, and that I can't re-read all three books all over again for the first time...and it is special. It was special. I remember reading every single page. And...I love it too. I love how these two find a way, and the story that shape them is a true original. I will miss it, but thankfully we can pick them back up again anytime we want, and that makes me happy! 

Other Books in the Trilogy:

Title: Night Owl (Night Owl Trilogy Book #1)
Author: M. Pierce
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance


"Tautly written, complex, and vibrating with a dark sensuality that will have you at once blushing and anxious. You'll think you have this book pegged . . . but you'll be wrong."—Christina Lauren, New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling authors of The Beautiful Bastard series

From bestselling ebook author M. Pierce comes the first novel in a provocative erotic trilogy where an anonymous online writing partnership turns into an uncontrollable, passionate obsession

At twenty-eight, Matt Sky has the perfect life. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a massive inheritance, and four national bestsellers -- all penned under his airtight alias, M. Pierce.

At twenty-seven, Hannah Catalano is a train wreck. Her boyfriend is a deadbeat and her job is abysmal.

Matt and Hannah meet online as writing partners. Their relationship is safe, anonymous, and innocent...

Until Matt sees a picture of Hannah. Hannah's picture sparks an attraction Matt is powerless to ignore. When circumstance brings Matt and Hannah together, the strangers begin a love story that's passionate, poignant, unforgettable, and unstoppable.

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Title: Last Light (Night Owl Trilogy Book #2)
Author: M. Pierce
Release Date: October 28, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance

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.

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About the Author: 

M. Pierce is the bestselling author of Night Owl, book one in the erotic Night Owl Trilogy. The author lives in Colorado and owns a rabbit named Laurence.









  1. Great review! I love the dialogue and your discussion of how you feel about the book. I recently read/reviewed this book. I am now feeling a sense of loss at the fact that it is over. Like you said, I can't go back and read it for the first time. The ending really made this whole series one of my favorite things. It was perfect.

    1. Thanks! We loved it too. Did you post your review online anywhere? I would love to read it! :-)

      I love feeling so satisfied with the series as a whole, and now that everything is published (well, almost technically!) I am so excited to see where M. goes from here with his/her writing!


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