Book Review

The Consequences of That Night by Jennie Lucas


Title: The Consequences of That Night
Author: Jennie Lucas
Publication Info: Harlequin October 2013
ISBN: 0373131933
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Book Consequences of That Night As you may remember, I was recently in the mood for the angsty, over-the-top crazy that Harlequin Presents provides. Alas Million Dollar Christmas Proposal was a little too sweet to satisfy my craving.

Luckily, The Consequences of That Night by Jennie Lucas was just what I needed.

Emma Hayes is the housekeeper to Cesare Falconeri, a self-made, hotel magnate billionaire. Cesare depends on Emma—she’s Pepper Potts to his Tony Stark. Only Emma can get everything right. She’s even the only person who irons his sheets correctly.

(I am not making this up, FYI).

Cesare is used to one night stands with models and actresses, all of whom are portrayed as being too thin and vapid. All of them immediately want more than just sex from him; the boning is just that good. Only Emma is emotionless and rational in Cesare’s world of sobbing, clingy females.

If you’re getting vibes of ‘offensive’ and ‘sexist’ here just roll with it. I make some allowances for Presents. The heroes all have peens made out of catnip for models and socialites. They can’t help it, man.

Part of Emma’s daily tasks, aside from ironing the bedding, is escorting Cesare’s latest conquest out the door and presenting her with a parting gift.

As his housekeeper, she was the one responsible for arranging morning-after gifts for his one night stands. Usually Cartier watches. Bought in bulk.

You stay classy, Cesare!

So anyway, because she doesn’t act like a “typical woman,” Cesare starts to view Emma as a friend. At least, they are friends in his emotionally fucked-up world. Emma is still acutely aware that she’s just his employee—even if she’s been in love with him from afar for years.

When Cesare finds Emma sobbing over the death of her stepmother one night, he comforts her the only way a Presents hero knows how—with his penis.

Emma says they can skip the condom because she’s a virgin and she’s infertile (despite the fact that she knows that Cesare has slept through half of London. OMG. My skin crawled reading that). Of course, after their one night of deflowering and passion, Emma becomes pregnant.

You see, Emma once had ovarian cancer and was told she would never be able to have a baby.

But as we know, Presents’ heroes have magic sperm that can undo any sort of infertility. I’m convinced that a Presents heroine could have a full hysterectomy, and her Italian Tycoon Amnesiac Boss would still get her pregnant.

And even when they do use condoms? Fuhgeddaboudit. A Presents’ hero’s little swimmers shoot through latex like laser beams. It’s all part of the magic.

So anyway, Emma knows that she has to move on because Cesare can never be the father her baby needs. He’s made it clear that his “heart is buried with his wife.” His late wife, Angélique, was French and really a horrible person (but Emma doesn’t know this). So she tells Cesare that she’s quitting and he has a fit because she was the one woman he didn’t expect to get all emotional and ridiculous after sex.

Emma moves to Paris, taking another job with another billionaire. Then, almost a year later, Cesare runs into her in France and realizes her baby is his and ooh la la.

Most of the book is Cesare railing against the fact that he might have a real emotion buried deep inside him. He offers to marry Emma, but he believes that it will be a marriage in name only because sex will only complicate things (this from the man who earlier denied that sex and love were in any way related). Emma, being awesome, holds fast that Cesare is going to be a real husband and father or he can go to hell.

It was all the angst, the crazy alpha-hero melodrama, and secret baby joy that I was looking for. Sadly, it did not have ocicats. My new standard for a Presents hero is that he has some kind of exotic pet or a pool-room-sex-jungle.

It did, however, have:

1.      Emma and Cesare having sex on a bed covered in money (which in reality is squicky because money is really dirty).

2.      Cesare buying out the restaurant in the Eiffel Tower at a moment’s notice.

3.      Angélique’s brother showing up unexpectedly to save the day—at one point in a speed boat.

The Consequences of that Night is the kind of goofy fun that I relish from Harlequin Presents, but would drive me nuts from any other genre.

I am admittedly a sucker for housekeeper/nanny/secretary turned mistress stories, though. It’s a great read for a Presents fan looking for some crazysauce fun.

This book is available from Goodreads | Amazon | BN | Sony | Kobo | iBooks | All Romance eBooks.

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Sarita says:

    1.    Emma and Cesare having sex on a bed covered in money (which in reality is squicky because money is really dirty).

    Wow. That blows straight past unsubtle and nearly achieves iconic.

  2. 2
    Persnickety says:

    Oh, I think I actually picked this up in the supermarket the other day ( they cleaned up the mills & boon shelf).  I looked at the end and remember the brother’s appearance. 

    But am very glad I didn’t buy. Amazing miracle pregnancies are not my catnip ( 3 rounds of IVF does that to you) although I have a hefty amount of sympathy for people who can’t track their cycles well enough to know when they might fall pregnant.

    I’m off to read my vintage ( written in the 70s) category sheik romance instead.

  3. 3
    Lammie says:

    My late mother-in-law used to iron sheets. I have never understood this!

  4. 4
    LenoreJ says:

    You had me at shoot through latex like laser beams. I snort- breathed my cappuccino! Awesome review.

  5. 5
    Vicki says:

    When I was a child, sheets were cotton and not the nice, high count Egyptian stuff. After going through the washer with hot water and coarse soap, then the mangle, then hanging on the line in the sun and/or a stiff breeze, they were stiff and any wrinkles were hard ridges. If you ironed them, they were smooth and much more comfortable. The invention of the dryer took care of many of the wrinkles so that, currently, ironing sheets is usually unnecessary. Unless you are a billionaire playboy.  I remember my mom getting one of the very early dryers when I was 4. It really freed up a lot of her time. I also, having seen pictures of frat boys in dryers, tried putting my 2 year old brother in it. Turns out brothers do better being dried with a towel.

  6. 6
    JB says:

    In the spirit of ruining everything light-hearted and fun, let me say that Stalinist era NKVD chief Lavrentiy Beria also gave his conquests parting gifts. May I also say that Beria was neither sexy nor a billionaire. Actually he was a voracious, sadistic sexual predator, but, you know, details. Still, if your Presents hero has such charming habits in common with a man who allegedly buried people in his wife’s rose garden, he must be a TRUE ALPHA. Only TRUE ALPHAS utilize strategically bulk purchased Cartier watches to ensure a maiden’s silence and cooperation by threatening her family with life sentences in the gulags—sorry, what? Oh, I’m getting those two mixed up? Gee. It’s so hard to tell sometimes…

  7. 7
    KB Spangler says:

    I will never stop laughing over this review. Thank you.

  8. 8
    CK says:

    …he comforts her the only way a Presents hero knows how—with his penis.

    Bawahahahahhahahahahahahaha. Thank you. I’m just glad I wasn’t drinking my coffee while reading, otherwise….SPLAT! :)

  9. 9
    DonnaMarie says:

    Back in the day, one of my college friends would receive a box from home every few weeks stuffed with Harlequin Presents… The actual early 80’s kick me, beat me, make me write bad checks heroines and the alphole hero who somewhere in the last 10 pages utters the immortal words “How could you not know I love you.” No pleasure quite like them. Thanks for the review Sarah.

  10. 10
    Kelly says:

    Am a big fan of Presents too…and have this one…I thought A Touch of Temptation by Tara Pammi was interesting…a little bit of gender reversal, which was unique in itself in a Presents…although I wished the Hero and Heroine would stop fighting for a little while…

  11. 11
    kelly says:

    Harlequin Presents is my secret love and I’m so happy it’s not just me.  I also loved this book, but you are correct that ocicats should be the new standard.

  12. 12
    ohhellsyeah says:

    Hilarious review, but I would not touch this book with a ten foot pole.  Presents really won’t ever drag itself out of 1950, will it

  13. 13
    Sophonisba says:

    They couldn’t even manage an:

    “Oh, [expletive fitting characterization]. The condom tore.”

    “Well, I’m infertile, and I highly doubt there’s any way I could have contracted… “

    [pats shoulder tentatively, this clearly being a case where additional application of penis wouldn’t help] “Move up my next round of tests as soon as possible. Oh, and tell Housekeeping not to buy that brand of condom any more.”

    Same end result (especially if one changes “ovarian cancer side effects” to “I lucked into the minimal fail rate of the birth control I was taking for ITS side effects”), half or less the WTFery.

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