23 Feb 2024

Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays: NIGHT FOR DAY by Roselle Lim (Review + Excerpt)


Science Fiction and Fantasy Fridays introduces readers who are unfamiliar with the Adult SF/F genre to books, authors, and discussions all about the vast expanse of the world of Adult SF/F!

NIGHT FOR DAY

Author: Roselle Lim
Series: N/A
Source: eARC via publisher
Publisher: Ace
Publication Date: February 20, 2024
Representation: Asian-American

Summary:
Two people destined to be together, but to never see each other again, fight against the greatest odds in this powerful and moving fantasy novel by critically acclaimed author Roselle Lim.

Exes Ward Dunbar and Camille Buhay thought they would never see each other again. They had broken up to pursue their dream jobs on opposite sides of the country—her to New York City, and him to Los Angeles. But years later, they unexpectedly reconnect in London, where they are interviewing for similar jobs. The spark they feel when they meet again—the attraction comes back like muscle memory, and they are reminded of what they had lost. When Ward and Camille discover they both got the job working opposing shifts, they vow to give their relationship another try.

Ward starts the day shift and finds the immortal clientele unusual and dazzling. When he clocks out at the end of the day, he finds the door locked and himself trapped in the building. After a horrific first night shift contending with restless spirits and ghosts, Camille is also unable to escape. In their respective prisons, they discover that they’re able to talk to each other a few minutes before dawn. This fleeting encounter incites longing for each other, but their promise to be together feels impossible. Because they are caught in the middle of a war of the gods—and their choices will determine the outcome.

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Mistakes were meant to be in the rearview mirror-not walking, breathing, and able to cup your cheek to stoke every single smoldering memory long buried for self-preservation.

He shouldn't whisper my name as if he never stopped doing so for the past two years.

Even now, my fingers itched to reacquaint myself with the beauty of his face, then to trace the slight cleft in his chin down his smooth throat, and ever farther down, to where our once shared intimacy implied permission and invitation.

"Camille, I never thought I'd see you again, let alone in London." The way my name rolled off his tongue and slid through his lips always elicited the same response-it felt like a hot kiss at the nape of my neck.

Ward Dunbar. The mistake I'd commit again and again even knowing that the result would always be heartbreak.

"Job interview. If I get it, I'll be moving here." I adjusted the neckline of my buttoned dress shirt, expanding the view of bronzed skin below my collarbones. My traitorous body always reacted to him when he was in physical proximity. Easier to shut down my hormones through the sterility of a black glass screen.

He brushed an errant dark blond strand off his forehead. "I'm here for the same. Though I've passed the interview part."

The skies overhead darkened-clusters of gray clouds huddling together in conference. It had been sunny five minutes ago. Late spring weather in London changed on a whim with wicked fickleness, and we were sliding into the heat of summer. I packed an umbrella and a cardigan in my lavender vegan leather tote, but I didn't account for him. My purse didn't contain what I'd need to cope with the nuclear fallout of a failed relationship.

Avoidance therapy was the only method that worked. Putting thousands of miles between us and preventing myself from checking his social media accounts fueled a comfortable sense of forgetfulness-the kind that allowed me to function on a daily basis, but didn't prevent an occasional damaging slipup. It didn't hurt that he hadn't had any long-term relationships since then. Moving to Manhattan helped, and London should have cured me completely.

I was wrong.

Two days ago, I slipped and checked his Instagram. The selfie at an outdoor bookstall on the South Bank caused me to stop breathing for a few seconds. He was here and in the same city. I wasn't thinking when I sent him a direct message asking to meet at this bookshop. It was pure instinct-I turned off my brain and my heart took over, grabbing the wheel and changing the direction of my life.

"I never thought you'd leave LA." I resisted the urge to straighten the bent corner of his collar. No tie. I'd been the one responsible for those. His long, elegant fingers had other talents.

"I needed a change. This opportunity was as good a time as any." He tipped his head toward the bookshop. "It's going to rain. Can we duck in and chat?"

I followed him into one of the most beautiful little shops in Westminster. These buildings reminded me of an eclectic bookshelf-the windows and architectural details were charming, decorated spines of antique leather. Weathered stone, traditional painted wooden signs mixed with flashy modern ones and clean-line aesthetics. The mix of old and new fitting together in seamless coexistence.

To me, the past and present were constantly at war when I thought about Ward.

As if on cue, the curtain of rain began as he stepped into the shop. I caught a bit of it at the ends of my long hair and the back of my shirt. Again, I was reminded of what I'd be getting into if I decided to have another round in his bed-because that was where it always began.

He headed for the science fiction and fantasy section. He plucked the newest N. K. Jemisin novel from the shelf, tucked it under his arm, and continued to browse the titles, tracing his finger downward on the ones that perked his interest.

"So how does this affect your job in LA?" I took a step forward but maintained a safe distance. The scent of his subtle cologne along with the aroma of Irish cream coffee would undo my crumbling defenses. "Are you on sabbatical?"

Ward's cushy position at a very exclusive and trendy art gallery in LA was everything he ever wished for-flexible hours, the heavy array of movie stars and wealthy client meetings, and the perfect conduit to maximize his appeal. No one was impervious. He disarmed you with his good looks and gentle tone, then went in for the kill with the way he could make you feel. Empathy combined with charm was lethal.

"I quit."

I almost fell against a nearby bookcase. "You did what?"

"It's . . . I needed a change." He reached for my elbow to help me regain my balance. The heat of his touch distracted me. "I accepted a job yesterday and I start tomorrow. Now knowing that you're here, I'd say it's a great move."

Ward didn't let go yet. The worst part was that I didn't want him to.

Excerpted from Night for Day by Roselle Lim Copyright © 2024 by Roselle Lim. Excerpted by permission of Ace. All rights reserved
Disclaimer : I received a free copy of this book and chose to review it. This in no way impacts my opinion.

Content Warning: death, grief, nosebleeds, blood, discussions of war

I really liked this one but felt like there were some key missing pieces to make it a perfect read. I thought the premise was interesting with good execution but some of it ended up falling flat and feeling repetitive as time went on. I wanted to know more about the war, what the factions wanted, and the roles that everyone played in it rather than focusing so heavily on Ward and Camille.

I think it also would have been interesting to give us more time in the world rather than cramming it all into a couple weeks. We weren’t given enough time to explore, learn about the consequences, or to understand what has been happening. Because of that, the story felt really rushed. I thought there would be more of an emphasis on not caring how much time was spent during this because of the immortal aspects, which when juxtaposed with the mortal side just didn’t quite hit for me.

But I did really like Camille and Ward’s relationship. The coming together and realizing what it meant to trust and love one another was the best part of this novel. I liked the way their relationship was described and learning about their past as they moved forward into the future. I liked their complimentary aspects and how they learned to work together to overcome their differences.

This is different than Roselle Lim’s typical novels, but it was a good departure! I’d be so interested in reading more of this style of work in the future.

Have you read this book? What was your favourite part?

9 comments:

  1. I also think it would have been interesting to give us more time in the world instead of cramming it all into a few weeks. We weren't given enough time to explore, learn about the consequences, or to understand what has been happening. Por lo tanto, la historia parecía muy apresurada. I thought there would be more of an emphasis on not caring how much time was spent during this because of the immortal aspects, which when juxtaposed with the mortal side just didn't quite hit for me. I read your post and it was very nice and informative; thank you for sharing it! Feel free to visit my website.

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  2. I am a huge fan of second-chance romances. Night For Day sounds like a book I would enjoy, and the author is brand new to me. I loved the excerpt you shared, as well :)

    Megan | The Booknerd Lifestyle

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  3. By Roselle Lim blends intricate world-building with captivating characters, offering a mesmerizing dive into a realm where reality bends. Lim's masterful storytelling seamlessly intertwines science fiction and fantasy elements, creating an immersive experience that keeps readers spellbound from start to finish. A must-read for genre enthusiasts!

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