Ever since I was gifted an eReader, I’ve been a little enamored with novellas. They’re cheap and you often can’t get them in paper form. Once I conquered my ridiculous and irrational apprehension of buying an eBook, I dove straight into novellas.
What I love about novellas is the fact that they do not take up as much of my time as a full-length book; this is important when I finish work at night and staying up till 4 AM reading would make for an unpleasant early morning. I also like novellas because they tend to bring us back to a favourite series or set of characters; this is also important when you are getting impatient for the next release by an author.
Over time, I’ve become (at least in my own mind) quite the connoisseur of the novella format; at least as it pertains to the romance genre. At this point, I have some favourites. So without further ado, here are my top 10 novellas, in no particular order:
Unlocked by Courtney Milan (Historical Romance)
Perpetual wallflower, Elaine Warren has been shunned from society since the object of her affections, Lord Evan Carlton, made her the laughingstock of their generation. Evan has returned to the ton ready to right some wrongs, but it will take more than a kind word to get back into Elaine’s good graces.
Milan is a rockstar at the novella! If you’ve already enjoyed her emotional full-length novels, you will enjoy this novella, which despite its length, still kicks an emotional punch.
Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook (Steampunk Romance)
This one is part of Brook’s Iron Seas trilogy, which if you haven’t read, means you need to go out and get a copy ASAP. Blacksmith, Ivy, has to pay the piper after backing from a deal with the notorious Mad Machen. While Machen initially appears the villain, we quickly learn that he’s got a softer side when it comes to Ivy. A perfect introduction to Brook’s steampunk world.
Saving the Rifleman by Julie Rowe (Historical Romance)
Romance set in turbulent WWI. British Nurse, Maria Hunt, comes to the rescue of Lieutenant John Bennet, a wounded British soldier. Drawn together by circumstances, the real challenge will be when Maria discovered that John is part of the peerage. I was surprised to enjoy this one so much since it’s one where the hero and heroine do not have a past together; something I think is a challenge in romantic novellas. Rowe doesn’t let the insta-attraction trappings get in the way of a fantastic romance, and readers will be happy to know this is part of an ongoing series, War Girls.
Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry (Contemporary Romance)
I don’t read a lot of contemporary romances, but when I heard about this one on several blogs I follow, I decided to check it out. Violet and her best friend’s former fiance, Martin, have never gotten along, but it seems all that animosity has been masking a strong attraction. But will Violet come clean to her best friend and risk losing her friendship? This one was an emotional roller coaster and ultimately, a rather sweet romance.
Cards & Caravans by Cindy Spencer Paper (Steampunk Romance)
This one is part of a steampunk series that combines full-length novels with novellas. Cards & Caravans is the fifth in the series and has to be my favourite novella out of the series. Belinda has been branded a witch and a hasty marriage with Connor McKay saves her from persecution. Who doesn’t love the good old marriage of convenience trope? Luckily Pape makes it work in this novella. I also highly recommend the series.
Tarnished Knight by Bec McMaster (Steampunk Romance)
Another one that’s part of a fantastic steampunk series. This one bridges the gap between the first and second novels, but you don’t need to have read the first to enjoy this one. John and Esme have been dancing around each other and finally are forced to come clean about their feelings for one another when disaster hits. A great introduction to McMaster’s steampunk London inhabited by vampires and werewolves.
The Earl in my Bed by Sophie Jordon (Historical Romance)
Paget has always known she was destined to marry her childhood friend, Owen; however, since he has gone to war she has questioned her real feelings for him. When Owen’s older brother, Jaime returns from war to take up the mantle of Earl, Paget is shocked at her regard towards her old childhood nemesis. This one was rather adorable and I loved how all their complications were resolved.
With This Kiss by Eloisa James (Historical Romance)
I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of Eloisa James (I know, I’m terrible) and I find her novels hit or miss. I was lucky enough to get an advance copy of this one and LOVED this novella of childhood friends, Grace and Colin. When Colin returns injured from war he feels that he stands no chance with Grace, and has realized he’s taken her for granted for years. Fantastic for fans of unrequited love finally being returned.
Beauty and the Blacksmith by Tess Dare (Historical Romance)
I’m a hugh fan of Tessa Dare’s Spindle Cove series so I was pretty excited to find a recent novella returning us to the series. This one features the highborn Diana Highwood and blacksmith Aaron Dawes. A seemingly mismatched pair if there ever was one. But in the world of Spindle Cove, class divisions are always overcome.
Embattled Minds by J.M. Madden (Contemporary Romance)
Another rare contemporary romance read for me and also part of a series, Lost and Found. Zeke Foster was physically scarred in Afghanistan and now works for an investigative company that employs veterans. Each week Zeke and his friends go to the same bar & grill and Zeke watches out for waitress, Ember. Zeke is finally motivated to talk to Ember and what we have is a lovely romance. There’s not much suspense in this one like the first in the series, but the romance between Zeke and Ember is fantastic.