November 18, 2013

Braine Reviews: Night Owl by M. Pierce

Series: Night Owl Trilogy 1
Format: Mobi
Release Date: September 6, 2013
Publisher: Self
Source: Author
Genre: Erotic Contemporary Romance
Love is unstoppable...

At twenty-eight, Matt Sky has the perfect life. He has a beautiful girlfriend, a massive inheritance, and four national bestsellers -- all penned under his airtight alias, M. Pierce.

At twenty-seven, Hannah Catalano has a train wreck. Her boyfriend is a deadbeat and her job is abysmal.

Matt and Hannah meet online as writing partners. Their relationship is safe, anonymous, and innocent...

Until Matt sees a picture of Hannah.

Hannah's picture sparks an attraction Matt is powerless to ignore. When circumstance brings Matt and Hannah together, the strangers begin a love story that's passionate, poignant, unforgettable, and unstoppable.

I know I've read something special and real good when I'm at a loss for words. It's so overwhelmingly good and fantastically written I feel I have no words to do right by it. So I apologize for this mediocre review in advance, if you find this unsatisfactory I strongly encourage you to get the flucking book and read it yourself so you can understand what I'm trying to say here. 

If you're still reading this review at this point, thank you. 

The plot. The first half of NIGHT OWL is pretty trashy. NOT the writing but just the circumstances surrounding Hannah and Matt and how they came (pun intended) together as a couple. As mentioned, they met online and their chemistry is so strong it spilled over to real life. I wouldn't necessary call their affair romantic, it is however exciting, adventurous, sweeping and so addictive, one can't help but get drunk in their passion. There was a LOT of sex between these two and it ranges from sweet to scandalous; discreet to exhibitionism; vanilla to kink. So I guess in that way, it is erotic not just because of its explicitness but because of the extreme emotions being demonstrated by this two.

The heroine. Starting NIGHT OWL I thought I won't like Hannah. She gave me the impression of being a young, slutty, gullible and weak heroine. And I find "heroines" like that (Anastasia what?) so unattractive. I've never been so happy to be proven wrong because Hannah managed to win me over and she isn't anything like what I thought her to be. Naive, maybe, but definitely not gullible and certainly not weak. If anything, I found Hannah such a strong character in her soft, beautiful and loving femininity. She's the type who'll grow on you as opposed to a forceful first impression.

The hero. Matt Skye. I have major bones to pick with this dude! Ugh! First of all, I'm over self-entitled, rich a-holes and if you're into Alpha males like that, Matt will definitely make your panties melt. I, on the other hand, found it hard to like Matt. He's a manipulative jerk who could use a lesson on treating women like ladies and not some random piece of ass he can sexually assault in the crack of dawn in public. Next, he could definitely ease up on his smirks (all 42 of them, and yes, I counted). This dude does nothing but smirk and at some point, I wished he was in front of me just so I could slap his infamous smirk off his pretty, arrogant face. That said, I wouldn't necessarily call Matt a "tortured hero" but there's something about him that I find hard to resist. Part of me is a sucker for karmic stories and Matt's is Grade A. Matt is flawed, too proud and self-important and when Life leveled him, it was nothing short of humbling and moving to witness him take it. Not trying to sound like a sadist but the wrenching conflict is my favorite part of NIGHT OWL. I felt the hurt, dilemma and every jab that was thrown Matt's way. The best part is, Matt can dish it and he most definitely can take it and for that, my hat goes off to him for embracing Life's little test. 

The writing. Here's where I'm stumped because there are no words to explain my love for MPierce's voice. It's so rich and decadent it demands to be savored. He whipped up a beautiful story that is both emotional and intellectual it hits on you different levels (Anne Rice would be proud, Turtle!). Outside the sexual eroticism, MPierce simply gave us a story that has a lot of depth you have to nitpick to find anything wrong with it. For the purpose of comparisons, MPierce's genius is, IMO, the same level as Tiffany Reisz's and if you're still unconvinced, then let me say this: M. Pierce is The Author to watch and I suggest you get yourself a copy of NIGHT OWL and drink his Kool-Aid because I promise you, NIGHT OWL will make it to your Best of 2013 list.

Purchase Night Owl

BRAINE: Hi M. Pierce! What does M stand for anyway? Should I call you Matt like your lead? It's so weird to call you M. Pierce, very hiphop and an odd combo with erotica (in my mind anyways). 

M. PIERCE: You can call me Matt if you like. The M stands for Matt in the context of NIGHT OWL. For me, it's just part of a pen name.

One of my readers calls me "mmm" and it's sort of alluring.

Also, I like hiphop. Maybe I can work the hiphop-erotica angle. I'm suddenly seeing connections. Money, women, money, women, expensive cars, women.

BRAINE: Typical! Anyway, let's talk about NIGHT OWL the series, I know the first book has the same name but let's start with the series first. What is the premise of NIGHT OWL and how did you come up with the title? 

M. PIERCE: In NIGHT OWL, the main character's Skype name is night.owl – and he's a bit of a night owl, so there's that. 

The premise: Two strangers meet online via a writers' forum; what begins as an anonymous collaborative writing project quickly evolves into a real life romance, complicated by one too many secrets.

Without giving too much away, I can tell you that book 2 delves into the history of Matt's family and embroils Hannah in a whole new round of secrets – which are decidedly darker and more dangerous than the secrets in NIGHT OWL

BRAINE: Exciting! You mentioned in your pitch that NIGHT OWL is metafiction. Explain briefly what metafiction is, it sounds so fancy and hifalutin. 

M. PIERCE: Metafiction is fiction that's self-conscious and self-referential. In other words, the book itself is part of the story. The best example I can think of is Interview with the Vampire. We know that Anne Rice wrote Interview, but she suggests that Louis dictated it. Interview becomes her character's memoir; later books in the Chronicles are attributed to Lestat, and so forth. Rice literally weaves the books as artifacts (and the vampires as authors) into her stories. I intend to do the same with NIGHT OWL, which is why I used M. Pierce for my pen name as well as the main character's pen name.

BRAINE: NIGHT OWL is erotica, correct? Just curious, why write erotica? Not to be disrespectful but this genre is very female dominated from the writers down to its readers. Women know what other women want, so to speak, we know what clicks and men are... men? 

M. PIERCE: I label NIGHT OWL "contemporary erotic romance." I think it's erotica by virtue of the amount of sex it contains (and the detail of the sex scenes); I think it's soundly within the contemporary romance genre, too.

As to my gender, one of my readers told me she wouldn't care if I was "a man, a woman, or a turtle." I have to hope all my readers will give me the same latitude.

BRAINE: And they have, congratulations on all those 4 & 5 Amazon stars! As a man writing swoony and sexy scenes for mostly female readers, what do you think are your wins and challenges? 

M. PIERCE: First off, I haven't actually divulged my gender. Man, woman, or turtle – I'd rather remain anonymous in that regard. However, rolling with the assumption that I am male – the sex scenes in NIGHT OWL don't seem to disappoint. I want to challenge the cultural concept that the male and female psyches are so radically different – even when it comes to eroticism. I don't perceive any particular "wins and challenges" in writing sex scenes, just (maybe) a different perspective.

BRAINE: Fair enough, Turtle. So, NIGHT OWL the novel, can you tell us more about the first book aside from what the blurb offers? 

M. PIERCE: In writing NIGHT OWL, I wanted to weave in my fascination with the internet as our century's main means of connection. The internet is at once fucking awesome and sort of sinister. It conceals as much as it reveals. My main character, a product of this generation, is a heap of secrets and lies. In some ways, NIGHT OWL charts the breakdown of his unreal identity – and it offers a romance that's real and intimate as a counterpoint to that phoniness.

I can also tell you that NIGHT OWL is sex-ridden. I feel the need to emphasize that because I have perused other "erotic" titles that are way undersexed compared to NIGHT OWL, and I want my readers to be prepared. So please be prepared, there is a fair amount of sex.

That said, there is also a carefully plotted story to NIGHT OWL and it touches on some perpetually relevant topics—addiction, family, forgiveness. In other words, there are some "real life issues" in this otherwise unabashed fantasy.

BRAINE: Fair amount of sex is an understatement, btw... Since Christian Grey, the genre has been flooded with rich men falling in love with regular womenfolk. I see that NIGHT OWL follows that mold but how is it different from the cliche? 

M. PIERCE: Mm… how is NIGHT OWL different from the "50 Shades" cliché? For starters, I can write, spell, and vary my sentence structure and diction.

BRAINE: That's flucking snarky, Turtle! LMFAO

M. PIERCE: That alone puts NIGHT OWL in another class. I have no problem with the huge success of the 50 Shades books and others in that vein (although they're not for me), but I like to think NIGHT OWL is slightly more intelligent. Maybe I'm wrong, but I've got to live with myself somehow.

BRAINE: SNARKY! Not I'm a little convinced you're female. Shiz, Turtle! LOL

M. PIERCE: In terms of the plot: Yeah, Matt is well off, and yeah, Hannah is more average financially speaking, but I don't make much of that dichotomy within the story. Matt's wealth is just there – something of a convenient non-factor.

As it turns out, I think Matt needs Hannah more than Hannah needs Matt, and so their romance isn't predicated on money or status – and it's definitely not predicated on control and dominance versus submission and pliancy.

BRAINE: Damn sorry for the interjections but thanks for the laugh. Going back, erotica appeals to women because of the swoon worthy men who always meets or exceeds expectations. They may disappoint us but they do make up for it in so many ways. Why are we going to fall in love with Matt Sky? 

M. PIERCE: Matt is lovable because he's very flawed – very human. He's impulsive, antisocial, snobby, and neurotic… and totally in love with Hannah. It was a pleasure to write the story of such a cynical man falling for someone, and I think that dynamic makes for a good read. By the end of NIGHT OWL, there is no questioning the depth of Matt's devotion to Hannah. I hope readers will like him for precisely that reason – his capacity to love – even if he is a bit of an asshole.

BRAINE: I agree about the last part, he was/is an a-hole. Are Matt and Hannah the leads for the trilogy or does it change with every book? 

M. PIERCE: Matt and Hannah are the leads for the trilogy. Other couples might appear tangentially, but the focus remains on Matt and Hannah (and they remain the narrators).

BRAINE: In Tumblr/Pinterest style, tell us why we should read NIGHT OWL.



  1. If I'm honest I'm bit tired of erotica, but your review made curious about this book, and after reading the interview I'm even more curious. I'm adding Night Owl to my TBR.

  2. You know me and erotica... I know I should really tried it to decide but I don't know why it's difficult for me to be attracted. But I've read a book, a PNR one with some erotica aspects and I loved it. So maybe I need a whole book. I'm glad this book was so good it let you speechless, it's always a really good thing.

  3. Matt as the hero and the wonderful writing sounds like a win to me.

  4. Oh good! I added this to my shopping the other day. It. Sounds. Excellent! And your ::snort:: *mediocre* review was great! ;)

  5. I love the sound of Hannah and while I like strong alphas, they need to cherish their woman. I am glad you felt he got the lessons he deserved!

  6. Well, this is far from a mediocre review, but I think you've convinced me to get my own flucking copy of Night Owl! ;) And thanks for that interview! OMG - it was hilarious and fascinating! I still have tears from laughing. :)

  7. 1...the interview was fucking awesome! 2...this is on my wishlist
    thank you Braine & Turtel :D

  8. What a great review and damn good interview! You really blew me away on both fronts, Braine. I have a copy of Night Owl and have heard great things. The fact the author and MC share a name is a bit weird for me, and I'm not sure about some of the psychological aspects of the story. But I do love a great author voice.

  9. It's always a good sign when you are speechless after reading a book. So happy this one was good. And, OMG, that interview. haha.

  10. You know what, I've heard not so great things about this. lol I think you're the first reviewer that didn't hate it or something. i am over the whole self-entitled, rich assholes (which is why i stay away from billionaire reads) but it sounds intriguing when a grade a ass gets humbled. i'm in! ;)

  11. This sounds really good! I want it!


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