novella

More from Nalini Singh in “Wild Embrace”

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Wild Embrace by Nalini Singh
Berkley: August 23, 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

I’d go there again!
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After reading the fantastic Allegiance of Honor, I was ecstatic to get my hands on Singh’s new novella collection. Don’t get me wrong, I was happy to revisit some of my favourite characters from the Psy-Changeling series in Allegiance, but I did miss the emphasis on romance. Happily, Wild Embrace addressed exactly what I was missing from the novel. Each novella included in this collection offers readers a peak into the world, as well as answers to some questions that have been plaguing fans throughout the series. While all of the novellas are great, my favouite ended up being Flirtation of Fate. (more…)

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Non-Traditional Romances in “Gambled Away”

29726166Gambled Away by Joanna Bourne, Isabel Cooper, Rose Lerner, Jeannie Lin, & Molly O’Keefe
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Author

The view was nice, but the food was bad
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Gambled Away is a novella collection that I find difficult to review. Objectively, this collection is well written and I enjoyed how all of the authors played with the historical romance genre, offering readers something different in a genre that is often slammed for its sameness. While intellectually I appreciate how unique all of the novellas were, I confess to feeling that none were to my personal taste. Perhaps it was the constraints of the novella format, perhaps it was just me, but I will admit to feeling that none of the novellas were particularly romantic. Now, I’m not saying that everything must be hearts and flowers, but I did personally feel that there was a lack of emotional depth to the majority of the novellas in this collection, at least for this reader. (more…)

Marriage & Mystery in “A Pressing Engagement”

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A Pressing Engagement by Anna Lee Huber
InterMix: May 17, 2016
Genre: Historical Mystery
Source: Free From Publisher

Beach Vacation
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I’ve been a fan of Anna Lee Huber since the first Lady Darby mystery. A Pressing Engagement is a short novella that whets readers appetites for the fifth book’s release this July.

A Pressing Engagement takes place just days before Kiera’s marriage to inquiry agent, Sebastian Gage. For those that have been following the series, you will recognize the fact that these days are fraught with anxieties for Kiera due to the ghosts of her horrible first marriage. Happily, Kiera has a mystery to distract herself from the impending special day and of course Gage tags along for the adventure.  (more…)

A Novel in Three Parts? “The Bride Behind the Curtain”

25783121The Bride Behind the Curtain by Darcie Wilde
InterMix: March 15, 2016
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Free From Publisher

The view was nice, but the food was bad
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The Bride Behind the Curtain is the first in what appears to be a three-part series. After reading the first part, I believe that each part is novella length and features a different romantic couple. Considering the open ending to Bride Behind the Curtain, I think it’s safe to assume that all three novellas are going to be strongly tied to one another.

Bride Behind the Curtain started out really strong. Awkward wallflower meets devilishly handsome Frenchman and an unexpected romance ensues. Adele Edmundson is that wallflower and James Beauclaire the French expatriate. After a happenstance meeting, the pair can’t stop thinking about each other. For Adele’s part, she doesn’t believe that such a dashing and handsome man could be attracted to her. And for James’ part, he should be on the lookout for a malleable heiress to support his impoverished family. Of course, neither gets what they bargained for. (more…)

The Quirky “Magenta Mine”

24819880Magenta Mine by Janet Elizabeth Henderson
Createspace: December 31, 2014
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Review Source: Personal purchase.

I’d go there again!
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I discovered this little gem a series on Goodreads and promptly went out and purchased a number of the books in the series. This is what happens when you do online shopping. I regret nothing.

I decided that I’d start with Magenta Mine rather than one of the first two books in the Invertary series since it was a novella and I was pressed for time. This was such a great introduction to a hilarious cast of characters in a small town in Scotland. (more…)

The Builders: Short, Violent, and Featuring Animals

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The Builders by Daniel Polansky
Tor.com: November 3, 2015
Review source: Free from publisher

Beach vacation
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The Builders opens with a scene in a dive bar. The owner, a rat who has lost limbs and more in a previous war, welcomes a mysterious mouse called the Captain. The Captain has come to recruit his former soldiers to fight the war again. After the rat, he goes on to recruit a boastful stoat, a reluctant badger, an enigmatic salamander, a scheming mole, and a crazy owl (and possibly others I can’t remember) all having fought previously under his command The resultant war band fights gory, gruesome battles as they win in their quest to overthrow the usurper. As a warning: It’s all about fighting, battles, and war. There’s not much else to the plot.

The characterization in this short novel is well done, and I found getting to know the different warriors more interesting than witnessing the battle scenes. Many of the characters are taciturn, all of them are natural killers, and there are different relationship dynamics within the group.

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Lots of Women of the Otherworld in ‘Otherworld Nights’

otherworldnightsOtherworld Nights by Kelley Armstrong
Published by Orbit: October 7th, 2014 (Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance/Novellas)*

My (overall) rating: The view was nice, but the food was bad (meh) vintagesuitcase3vintagesuitcase3

Otherworld Nights collects several (eight) stories in the Women of the Otherworld series by Kelley Armstrong. The sum of all my knowledge about the series comes from the TV show, Bitten. While I enjoy the TV show, I’m not sure that I’ll read the books. For one, the love triangle in Bitten, which features Elena, Clay, and Elena’s human boyfriend (for the uninitiated, Elena is the only female werewolf in this world, Clay is her former lover/fiancé, who turned Elena into a werewolf without her knowledge or permission) is too much a love triangle for me, and even though the result is obvious, I liked both men in the love triangle enough – well, I almost liked her human boyfriend better. The other reason is that I can’t get on board with only one female werewolf. There are plenty of stories, the Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega series by Patricia Briggs among them, where women survive the change less often than men (because they’re inherently weaker, or less… survivalist – and let’s not even touch that one for the moment), but to just have one female werewolf makes no sense to me. If one was turned, surely there have been other women strong enough to survive. It feels like an obviously convenient plot device that only serves to make the heroine Special.

All that said. It’s probably no surprise that I didn’t enjoy the short stories about Elena and Clay.

Now, for my review.

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Getting into the Holiday Spirit with “Once Upon a Christmas Kiss”

22495917Once Upon a Christmas Kiss by Manda Collins
St. Martin’s, October 14, 2014 (Historical Romance)*

My rating: I’d go there again! (4/5)

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of holiday themed novels, especially romances. They’re just all kinds of adorable. So when I came across this holiday themed novella, I thought to myself “Why yes, I am ready for Christmas.” It’s October after all, I’m sure Costco will breaking out the Christmas decorations soon, if not already.

When Sir Lucien Blakemore decides to accept his cousin’s invitation to celebrate Christmas he does so mainly because his neighbour’s governess will be elsewhere for the holidays. Lucien has no idea that the very governess who’s company he’s missing will also be at his cousin’s house party.

While visiting her sister, Winnie attends a house party to even out the numbers. Winnie and her sister aren’t high society but apparently they’ll do in a pinch even if some guests are put out by their presence. Like Lucien, Winnie does not expect to see her friend at this house party; however, it soon becomes evident that he might be only person she can turn to when she begins to receive threats from one of the other guests. (more…)

A Short and ‘Illicit Engagement’

13183322An Illicit Engagement by Cecilia Gray (The Gentlemen Next Door #2)
November 30, 2011 (Historical Romance)*

My rating: The view was nice, but the food was bad (2/5)

This is going to be a quick and short review today, because this book was also quick and short.  An Illicit Engagement is Cecilia Gray’s second novella in The Gentlemen Next Door series. This is an entire series of novellas and finishing this one, I have now read the entire series.

I picked up book 1, A Delightful Arrangement as a freebie and quite enjoyed the quick, romantic tale. I tend to enjoy novellas, especially when I’m strapped for time. A Delightful Arrangement proved to be quite a lot of fun, as did the other novellas in the series; however, I do feel that Delightful Arrangement was the best of the bunch and the one that I felt told the most complete romantic story. (more…)

Talk Sweetly to Me: An Unusual Romance (In the Best Way)

20325481Talk Sweetly to Me by Courtney Milan (Brothers Sinister 4.5)
August 19, 2014 (Historical Romance)*

My Rating: I’d go there again! (4/5)

Talk Sweetly to Me is the last Brothers Sinister addition, and this little novella was a lovely finale to the collection. Readers were introduced to Stephen Shaughnessy in The Suffragette Scandal, as the “Actual Man” that offers advice in Frederica Marshall’s newspaper. In Talk Sweetly to Me, Stephen has met his match with Miss Rose Sweetly, an extraordinary mathematical genius, who is quite opposite to Stephen’s carefree attitude.

Rose, like the all of the women featured in the Brothers Sinister series has a hard lot because of her sex. Rose is smart, but there are limitations imposed on her because she is a woman. Unlike the other heroines of the series, Rose has the added complication of also being black, which is more than difficult in 1882. Rose may be smart and reserved, but by virtue of the colour of her skin, Rose is immediately considered less. And no one explains the way society works more succinctly than Rose’s sister, Patricia: (more…)