BLOG REVIEW: Keeping Her Up All Night by Anna Cleary

26 y.o. ballerina-turned-florist is stressed from keeping her recently-deceased mother’s flower shop afloat and dances in her apartment to help her get some needed sleep.
However, the loud band practice next door is keeping her awake and she holds flirtatious songwriter Hero responsible. 
Her protests lead to reciprocated flirting, which quickly turns into mutual passion. 
Hero’s standoffish behavior after their intimacy causes her to retreat from him as well. His charming seduction and help in saving her flower shop softens her up. 
However, his negative reaction to weddings and his reticence about his past makes her wonder about their future together. How long will she be content with their current relationship?

I found Cleary’s writing similar to Bridget Jones’ Diary but with 3rd-person POV(point of view), with meandering descriptions of thoughts, people, and the like. It didn’t work for me and I found the first few pages hard to engage with. I actually was going to DNF(did not finish) it but gave it another try a few weeks later. I made it past the first chapter and, after Hero and heroine met again the 2nd time, the book became more engaging. It’s probably because the writing became focused on Hero and heroine’s romance. It zeroed in their sexual chemistry and the sex scenes occurring very soon helped spark the pace of the book.

Hero’s fluctuating behaviors towards heroine conveyed his lack of interest towards her. He seemed much more affected by thought of his ex-fiance than heroine. Unless it was about sex. I understood his allergic reaction to all things to do with weddings. Being stood up at the altar by the love of your life in front of all your family, friends, and employees would be highly humiliating. But he was so concerned about how others remembered his humiliation that he was a jerk to heroine and wouldn’t tell her why he was behaving that way. He didn’t want her to know he was a loser yet displaced his anger about it on to her. His jerk behavior reached it’s zenith when he was confronted with his ex-fiance.

           ---SPOILERS: Don't read below if you don't want to know the book's details-------------------

Hero was happily dancing with heroine at the club he took her to and which he used to frequent with his ex-fiance. As soon as he spotted his ex-fiance there, he completely forgot about heroine and immediately abandoned her on the dance floor to go to his ex. Heroine was clueless for a few minutes that he was gone so she was dancing all by herself before she finally realized her dance partner left her without notice. She found him talking to another woman whom she surmised was his ex. And she watched them argue, kiss, and leave to go outside.  As far as the kiss, his ex initiated it but Hero stayed with it, looking like he was enjoying it from heroine’s viewpoint. He enjoyed the kiss a bit before he pushed his ex away. This was all public. In the club. With heroine around. And he either forgot about her or didn’t care.

        ----------------------------------------------------- END SPOILERS-----------------------------------------------

Hero was a jerk at times but heroine was his matching doormat. He only needed to soften her with his charm, some help with her business, and seduce her a bit before she’d drop her defenses from being hurt by him and give him another chance. When Hero shooed her from his place after having sex the first time, I was so proud of her for confronting him over his jerk behavior and literally shutting the door on his face with some terse words. But 1 day later, she took him back in. She was a sensual woman but, come on!. Was having more orgasms more valuable than her self-respect?  In her case, yes. She became his booty call, if you will. Their ‘accidental’ meetings in the apartment building and excuses for helping her with her business would invariably lead to sex. She couldn’t even consider herself his girlfriend until he mentioned it in passing, when they were on their way to the club where he saw his ex again. She wanted to be his girlfriend but wouldn’t discuss it for fear of making him shutdown again.  She’s already had a history of being a doormat with an ex-boyfriend and she was behaving the same way with Hero.

She didn’t confront him about his rude behaviors at the club, after he saw his ex-fiance. She instead pitied him for being jilted at the altar by her. She placed the blame even for his rude behaviors at the club on his ex-fiance. It was her fault for making Hero immediately approach her at the club. It was her fault for making Hero kiss her back.

I was unconvinced of Hero’s love for heroine. He was definitely more in love with his ex-fiance than heroine, based on the behaviors he exhibited between the two. Heroine’s only saving grace is that Hero loved his ego more. His pride wouldn’t let him take his ex-fiance back. It would be too humiliating to do so, after she jilted him at the altar 2 years ago. Heroine served his ego well since she pandered to his needs and desires and easily softened up to his charm and excuses. So, it’s possible that they could have a HEA(happily ever after) but of the dysfunctional kind, if they continued on with their harmonizing dysfunctions. But if heroine wised up later and no longer swayed by his ego and charm, I foresee some romance trouble. 

I minimally recommend this book.

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