Miss Lillian Kane, Lady Janus, has been under the protection of her best friend Dillon Beaumont for a while, under the guise of being his mistress. Her stepfather, Lord Cornelius Kane, physically and emotionally abused both her and her mother. Once Lillian’s mother passed away, she was at his mercy...until Dillon took her in. The “arrangement” is convenient for more than one reason, though. Dillon’s sexual preferences are dubious and Lillian will get her inheritance when she turns twenty four, so they both are given some respite from certain social pressures at least until Lillian gets the inheritance that rightfully belongs to her.
One night, as Lillian and Dillon attend a party, she steps out seeking some fresh air. She meets Mr. Nicholas Redford, a Police Officer on duty at the property grounds of the party's hostess. Lillian can’t help but feel attracted to the intriguing man. Thirteen months later, and to Lillian’s delight although she never saw him again after that night, Nicholas opens his own investigation agency. Shortly after, Dillon is accused of a murder he didn’t commit and Lillian tries to engage Nicholas’ services. To her dismay, he denies her request and she is then forced to take extreme measures to “compel” him to help her out.
Sari Robins’ One Wicked Night is a quick-paced regency set historical romance. I found the plot of this book quite original, as it does not follow the formulas that we are used to see from other romances set on the same time period. Both main characters are attractive and appealing. Nicholas is the perfect alpha. He is a man whose social station is far below that of Lillian. It is for this reason that Nicholas initially is reluctant to accept any emotional involvement and much less work on the case she presents to him. Lillian, on the other hand, doesn’t want to be tied and dependent on any man, especially after seeing how her mother ended up being destroyed in her own marriage. As to the secondary characters, the villain is of the sort we all love to hate. If you would like to try a different sort of regency-set historical, One Wicked Night is an excellent option.