Book Review: First Night

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Have you ever noticed that the perfect book just finds you at the perfect time? That’s what happened with this book. I was just scrolling through Twitter and BOOM! This book stared me in the soul and said buy me. So, I did.

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First Night Kindle Edition

by Carol Sabik-Jaffe

First Night Kindle Edition
by Carol Sabik-Jaffe 

A New Year’s Eve meet cute, a wild twenty-four hours, and a potential “happily ever after.” She’s got a family tradition to save. He’s all-in to help the charming woman he’s just met.

A contemporary Cinderella, Maria’s a young professional in NYC, dealing with her boss, demanding clients, a nonexistent dating life, and a mother who expects her home in Philadelphia for the family’s annual New Year’s Day performance in the Mummer’s Parade. Trying to make her way home on New Year’s Eve, she dashes through the train station and slams into an elegantly dressed man, Hunter, who’s in town for a reunion with friends.

At home, Maria is convinced by her life-of-the-party cousins to attend the First Night Ball. Mishap after mishap delay the women’s arrival at the elegant event. Once there, Maria and Hunter awkwardly cross paths again.

An untimely accident and a frantic message from her mother send Maria running. In the hospital she promises her father that she’ll do her best to guide the group’s performance in the parade. At the team’s clubhouse she finds chaos and missing performers. Maria’s devastated when she realizes that for the first time in their long history the team can’t compete. Hunter and his friends, a group that’s never been known to turn down a challenge, chivalrously offer to fill in for missing performers. Together this band of misfits improvise and save the day.

Over the course of twenty-four hours, Maria and Hunter fall hard for each other. A heartfelt story, First Night reminds that sometimes paths are meant to cross. And, everything can change in a day…

About Carol Sabik-Jaffe

Carol Sabik-Jaffe is a Writer-Artist. She has been known to draw, paint, and as an Art Director, design things. Now, she designs with words and pictures as a writer, screenwriter, and an occasional Blogger. Several of her screenplays have won awards and she is ever hopeful that her work will get produced one day!

Her formative years were spent in Colts Neck, NJ. She now lives in the Philadelphia suburbs with her husband and a crazy rescue dog named, Enzo. She is a proud Mom of two creative and successful adults.

She is fond of characters that are a little less than perfect. She is usually at work on numerous projects in various stages of development or tossing a ball for Enzo (but, that’s another story).

Find her at or on social media: Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

Do you love missed connection romance stories? Do you love when the main characters can’t catch a break? Do you love a good happily ever after? Then this book is for you.

Maria works and lives in New York and has no time for herself let alone a relationship. Hunter works and lives in Washington D.C. and also has no time for himself let alone a relationship. Both are called back to Philadelphia for New Year’s Eve. Thus triggering a set of missed connections, mishaps, and missteps while both figure out that sometimes you need to slow down and take the time to march to a different beat.

There is a second book on the way and I will let you all know when that is released.

This is your standard operating clean happily ever after romantic comedy. And I’m here for all of it. I can honestly say, I would love to see this as a Hallmark movie. Ooh, who do I talk to about that? If you know, please let me know.

I’m not usually a reader of the rom-coms but all I needed to see to know I wanted to read this was Philly and Mummers. Everything else was extraneous to me until I started reading it. I am totally going to recommend this book in my book clubs for February. It absolutely lives up to expectations for the genre.

The characters. Let me tell you about these characters. I grew up around 16th and Bigler in South Philly. These characters reminded me of family and friends and family of friends. It was like going back home. And my homesick self needed it. I will not lie to you on this. I grew up knowing people like Maria and her cousins. And God save the queen, I have had cops called on me because I went AWOL no communication for 24 hours. This is before cell phones. So, yeah. These characters felt like home. And that’s about the best thing this time of year.

I guess maybe I was reading this for the wrong reasons. I really didn’t read it for the romance. I wanted a quick trip home. And that’s what I got. Rom-coms tend to be a little formulaic and predictable but the same can be said of cozy mysteries. Any genre really if you go by the beats method. That all being said, once I sat down and made a time to read, I cleared this book in two hours. It is a page turner. There is always something happening. There was never a boring or dull moment. Fast paced, funny, and a little sweet romance. You had me at Mummers, though.

I am interested to see how they’re going to resolve the distance gap. And I know Antonetta is never going to stop talking about marriage and babies and where they will live. I do want to eventually see Hunter’s father and mother. And who won? Was it Quaker City or Fralinger? Who came after a newbie never marched not even actually a Mummer? And can I get that recipe for sausage and pepper?

I literally read some of Antonetta’s dialogue out to my husband. He was concerned. Who recorded my father? Who recorded me? Am I doing the audiobook? The only problem I had is that they went to Pat’s for cheesesteaks. You can tell those boys aren’t from there. No self respecting Philly boy would leave South Street and Jim’s to go to Pat’s. I will forgive this though because apparently it was five in the morning. But still. Ew.

I would absolutely and will recommend this book. If you like a good Hallmark Christmas movie. If you like a goofy rom-com. If you’re tired of all these movies taking place in a small town. Here you go. Read this.

Will you read it? Let me know what you think of it?

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, I may earn an affiliate commission. Again, if you like what I post, please like, comment, share, and subscribe. Please consider donating to help keep this going. $1 and I’ll ask you what your favorite book is so we can talk about it. $5 and I’ll write a review of a book you suggest. $10 and I’ll write a blog suggested by you. That’s all I’ve got for today, train wrecks. All aboard.


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