cover image One Mad Night

One Mad Night

Julia London. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $5.99 mass market (320p) ISBN 978-1-4926-0

The prolific London (Highland Scandal) pairs the previously published novella “The Bridesmaid” (not seen by PW) with the title story, a playful but uninspired contemporary. Advertising firm colleagues Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty, competitors for control of a plum account, are trapped in their New York City office during an urban snowpocalypse. Chelsea and Ian get past their trash-talking antagonism toward one another while sharing stolen Lean Cuisines and company alcohol. Soon they discover mutual respect and attraction, together with a mutual distaste for their disingenuous bosses. London’s execution of the office romance is weak in all dimensions: all the type-A drive that makes for charged hate-sex leaks out of the characters before their first kiss, and there’s little power dynamic beyond the gender issues of working in a misogynistic firm. Even the snowstorm feels watered down, as they are only stuck in the office for a few hours, without even a cozy fireplace. Readers who pick this up for the RITA-nominated “The Bridesmaid” will find “One Mad Night” easy to put down. Agent: Jenny Bent, Bent Agency. (Jan.)