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ScarlettReader's Review of One Night More (U.S. Marshals #1) by Mandy Baxter

One More Night is Mandy Baxter’s debut novel and the beginning of her new US Marshals series. While it was a good read, it wasn’t totally believable. Ms. Baxter did a nice job of combining romance, suspense, and sass but Galen, who is part of an elite US Marshals group, was dumbed down too much for my taste and Harper, an investigative journalist, wasn’t nosy enough.

This story begins with journalist Harper Allen meeting US Marshal Galen Kelly in a bar after he saves her from a bad situation. Sparks fly between them and they decide to spend an anonymous night together – no names, no job titles. Afterwards Galen is so moved by his time with her that he wants to spend more time with her, but his thoughts are interrupted when he intercepts text messages on her phone from “Chris”. He jumps to the conclusion that she cheated on her boyfriend with him and he doesn’t abide with liars or cheats so he’s out the door so fast I’m sure it hit him in the butt as he ran. Being in law enforcement, you’d think he would look around her apartment for any evidence of a boyfriend, which he would not have found. Disappointing!

Fast forward one year later and Galen and Harper are reunited when she witnesses a murder and the US Marshal Service is tasked with keeping her safe. Galen and Harper are thrown together and, over time, become friends. He finally realizes she isn’t the type of girl to cheat, but more than that, he wants her so bad he doesn’t care if she cheated. They do eventually clear the air and realize they lost a year together because he jumped to conclusions.

As an investigative journalist who witnessed a high-profile murder, I found it unrealistic that Harper would sit on potential clues for so long. I felt her time in protection was drawn out way too long. She found the murder victim’s flash drive a couple of weeks after the murder, but she didn’t jump right into solving the mystery for a few more days. All other reporters I’ve read about or have known would have jumped on that flash drive and not let up on the clues until the mystery was solved. Ms. Baxter set up a good plot with the potential for even more suspense, but I felt she let down her readers by not having Harper dive in to the mystery right away.

Overall, this was a good debut work. I will definitely read Mandy Baxter’s books in the future to see how she has grown as a story-teller.

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