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Posts Tagged: Novella

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mini Review: The Glowing Knight by Jodi Meadows

Posted by Irish in 3.5 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Mini Review: The Glowing Knight by Jodi MeadowsThe Glowing Knight by Jodi Meadows
Series: The Orphan Queen,
Also in this series: The Orphan Queen, The Hidden Prince, The Mirror King
Published by Epic Reads on 01 September 2015
Genres: Abduction, Action & Adventure, Assassins, Death & Dying, Emotions & Feelings, Epic Fantasy, Espionage, Friendship, Mystery & Detective, Royalty, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 58
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars
Also by this author: The Orphan Queen, The Hidden Prince, The Mirror King

Place(s) Traveled To: Skyvale, The Indigo Kingdom

First Line(s): James was down there fighting. I was not. And this was what jealousy felt like.

THE GLOWING KNIGHT is the second prequel novella in Jodi Meadow’s Orphan Queen universe. It is the continuring adventures of Tobiah and James as Tobiah becomes the Black Knife. I loved this early look at James and Tobiah and I totally ship the bromance that is between them. I also love how James and Meredith interact and I would love to see a romance between them but alas fates and kings have different plans for those two. In THE GLOWING KNIGHT we also get a little glimpse at the start of the glowmen and of Wil and her Ospreys. It was a fun look at how things were before the paths of all these characters started to cross years later.

THE GLOWING KNIGHT is a fast read and includes some more preview chapters of THE MIRROR KING (Goodreads), which are totally killer! Its a great little snippet to help tide one over after the crazy ending of THE ORPHAN QUEEN (my review) although its still not enough. It is never enough. I love this world that Meadows has created and I hate it each and every time when I have to say goodbye. This world is so rich and detailed that it almost leaps off the page. I also love these characters and I like these little glimpses into their lives. I love to see the world through Tobiah’s eyes and reading these makes me wish that the main books were dual POV stories as I’d love to know more about his thinking.

 

irishdarkblue

Glowing Knight Quote
three-half-stars
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Sunday, May 31, 2015

Mini Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney Summers

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Review, Young Adult0 Comments

Mini Review: Please Remain Calm by Courtney SummersPlease Remain Calm by Courtney Summers
Series: This is Not a Test, Book 2
Published by St Martin's Press on 20 January 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Contemporary (No Romance Focus), Death & Dying, Dystopian, Emotions & Feelings, Ghosts & the Undead, Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 96
Format: eBook
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Some Girls Are, All the Rage, Violent Ends

Place(s) Traveled To: Cortege, unknown // Fairfield

First Line(s): The little girl limps to our car.

Please Remain Calm is a followup novella to Courtney Summer’s 2012 zombie novel, This is Not a Test (my review.) It picks up immediately where This is Not a Test leaves us and gives us all a hint on what happens to Sloane and Rhys. Unlike This is Not a TestPlease Remain Calm is told from the point of view of Rhys and I think I liked the story a bit better as a result. I liked being in Rhys’s head and seeing things through his eyes. He’s a little more hopeful than Sloane and even though the world around them is falling apart he still holds out hope for humanity and for life.

The journey that Sloane and Rhys take in this novella isn’t an easy one. Life outside the school is rough and fraught with dangers similar to those that you see if you watch The Walking Dead. And like with the tv show its more other people that you have to worry about than the brainless zombies that infest the world. There is danger around ever corner and Courtney Summers excels at keeping the reader on the edge of ones seat. Nowhere is safe and the uninfected are far and few between and there is no telling who you can trust.

For a short novella, Please Remain Calm, feels longer and while I wished that there were more pages I was satisfied with how things played out. Even if I didn’t always agree with the choices that Summers made. But that’s what I like about a Courtney Summers book. You never know what she is going to do and she does often take the unexpected path. She could give everyone a happily ever after and tie everything up in a neat little bow but that isn’t real life and that isn’t what I expect from a book by Summers. I like that her books are raw and emotional. I like how they always make you feel something. If you liked This is Not a Test then you will have to read this book. Its not enough, its never enough, but its something more than what we had before.

 

irishdarkblue

Please Remain Calm Quote

three-stars
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Review: Hard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Hard to Hold on To by Laura KayeHard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye
Series: Hard Ink,
Also in this series: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel
Published by Avon on 19 August 2014
Genres: Abduction, Adult, Contemporary Romance, Dating & Sex, Emotions & Feelings, Family, Friendship, Girls & Women, Illnesses & Injuries, Love & Romance, People of Color, Short Story / Novella, Social Issues, War & Military
Pages: 208
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon|Buy on Audible|Buy on Barnes & Noble|Buy on Book Depository
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Hard As It Gets, Hard As You Can, Hard to Come By, Hard to be Good, Hard to Let Go, Hard as Steel

Place(s) Traveled To: Baltimore, Maryland

First Line(s): As the black F150 truck shot through the night-darkened streets of one of Baltimore’s grittiest neighborhoods, Edward Cantrell cradled the unconscious woman in his arms like she was the only thing tethering him to life.

Hard to Hold on To by Laura Kaye is the most recent book in her Hard Ink series which involves a group of 5 ex-military team members who are working to clear their name after a betrayal of their commander. Each book in the series needs to be read in order as each book builds upon events that happened previously. We are first introduced to Edward Cantrell, Easy, in the first book and I was looking forward to his story. However, I was very disappointed to learn that rather than get a full book like all the other team members, his story was only going to be a novella and I am left to wonder why. Granted to have so many books that happen in only a few days with two characters falling madly in love does stretch credibility so I might have had issue with that. Though as this is a novella where characters fall in love even faster that too stretches the realm of probability so if we’re going to deal with unrealistic timelines then I would have rather had this one exist as a full length book.

The other books in the series founded themselves on being more than just a love story and had this crazy, over the top storyline that they were dealing with and Hard to Hold on To didn’t do anything to add to the overall storyline. This book does deal with a little bit of post-traumatic stress of Jenna as she recovers from her kidnapping in book 2 but it doesn’t really go very deep into the potential ramifications of that. Though I did like the connection and bonding that this incident brought between Jenna and Easy. And I did enjoy the little cameos from the rest of the team as well. Since Hard to Hold on To is a novella its a very quick read and there isn’t a lot of substance to it since it is just Jenna and Easy’s trip to a HEA.

While this one doesn’t add to the overall story ARC I don’t think that it can be skipped entirely though if a reader does skip it they won’t be missing much at all. Which is part of why I think that Jenna and Easy got the shaft and its a shame that their story was almost an after thought to the series as a whole. I just feel that there was so much potential wasted here and some psychological issues for both Easy and Jenna that could have been explored/addressed that could have taken up a longer book even without making an addition to the Church storyline. So while I enjoyed this novella I was also very disappointed by it.

irishdarkblue

Hard to hold on to quote

three-stars
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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Review: Until We Burn by Courtney Cole

Posted by Irish in 2 Stars, New Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Until We Burn by Courtney ColeUntil We Burn by Courtney Cole
Series: ,
Published by Self-Published on 21 November 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance, Short Story / Novella
Pages: 84
Format: eBook
Source: Wattpad
Goodreads
two-stars
Also by this author: If You Leave, Until We Fly

Place(s): Traveled To: Los Angeles, California // London, England // Amsterdam, The Netherlands

First Line(s): “Harder,” the girl whispers.

Until We Burn by Courtney Cole is a prequel story to introduce the anti-hero of the third book in her Beautifully Broken series, Dominic Kincade. Dominic is one of the biggest Hollywood stars and as such has most anything he wants handed to him on a silver platter. But instead of enjoying his fame his is mean tempered and jaded and all at the ripe old age of 24. He’s an asshole of the highest order and there is very little that is redeemable to him in this novella.

Until We Burn is almost a series of little short stories all trying to act as one novella. Each chapter is the blink of a new story and there isn’t much cohesion between them. Just when things start to get interesting the chapter ends and the next chapter will start after a gap in time has elapsed. And only occasionally do we get a dry recap of what happened in that gap. All the characters that we are introduced to are unlikable and horrible flawed and Dominic seems to take joy in being disappointed in those around him. Even as he condemns them for their flaws or takes them for all he can.

Another thing that really bothered me about Until We Burn is this mysterious past of Dominic’s which involves the only girl he’s every loved and then somehow lost. The event that caused him to shut his heart to all feelings when he was just 18. *insert eye roll here* Until We Burn was supposed to get me excited for Before We Fall but after reading this story I’m not sure if I want to read an entire book with Dominic Kincade as the main character. He’s just that unlikable.

irishdarkblue

two-stars
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Friday, December 6, 2013

Review: Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review0 Comments

Review: Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon StaceySnowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press on 04 November 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 66
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: All He Ever Needed, Heat Exchange

Place(s) Traveled To: Unknown, New Hampshire // Boston, Massachusetts

First Line(s): If someone were to ask him while he was drunk enough to forget his PR bullet points what the secret to his success was, Adrian Blackstone would say he was a chameleon.

Snowbound with the CEO by Shannon Stacey is a short little Christmas novella that will really warm the heart. Its a friends to lovers story with the added complication that Adrian Blackstone is also Rachel Carter’s boss. Snowbound with the CEO is also a standalone book and so its a departure from Shannon Stacey’s Kowalski series which is how I know her best. And, if I am honest, I kept hoping that somewhere, somehow a member of that loud and boisterous family would make some sort of appearance in this novella.

Snowbound with the CEO is a classic friends to lovers type story, Adrian and Rachel are co-workers but they have also forged a friendship. Both harbor an attraction for the other but don’t want to act on it for fear of destroying their working relationship as well as their friendship. When they get snowed in they decide to through caution to the wind and spend some time making reality out of all those what ifs they’ve thought about.

This was a quick read and one that I enjoyed. I loved the chemistry of Rachel and Adrian and really believed their story. The thing I didn’t like about Snowbound with the CEO is that it falls into the age old cliche of not communicating and letting thoughts fester with out proof of any misconduct. Oy with the poodles already!! I am never a fan when the climax of a plot hinges on the simple fact that if the characters just talked then there would be no issue. And while I get that people do this in real life all the time I get bothered when its the only thing in a book keeping people apart.

And then there is the other issue I have with novellas…the fact that they are just too darn short. Sometimes you get a complete and satisfactory story in a novella but all too often you get a story that feels rushed or incomplete. In Snowbound with the CEO, it suffers from being too short and the ending felt rushed. There just seemed like that a chunk was just ripped out of the story and things were missing.  I did like the story and enjoyed the overall story but I just wished it had been a little bit longer so that there could be just a little bit more. Despite my little quibbles though I don’t think that readers will be disappointed with this one. Even if there were no Kowalski’s.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review: Plus One by Brighton Walsh

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

Review: Plus One by Brighton WalshPlus One by Brighton Walsh
Published by Carina Press on 06 May 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Novella
Pages: 68
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Minneapolis, Minnesota // Rochester, Minnesota

First Line(s): “So, interesting fact,” the guy sitting across from her said.

Plus One by Brighton Walsh is a short novella that like all those that I’ve read before is over before it really begins. Where Plus One succeeds over some others is that it does manage to contain a full story in its pages. As a reader you believe in the long time friendship of Olivia and Ben and you all believe in their romance. But as with all other novellas there are certain events that just feel so rushed.

Olivia and Ben reconnect over her need to have a date to several weddings that she has been invited to. Olivia is BFFs with Ben’s sister and so there is a long time of knowing between them. And while Ben has always had a thing for Olivia she never really noticed him in a romantic way before. But all that changes as they start to go on these dates that aren’t dates. There is genuine chemistry between the two and Plus One is a book that will make your heart happy.

This is a short read and so is a great pallet cleanser when you want something quick and easy after a long and difficult read. Its a book that doesn’t take a lot of focus and as a novella its a fast read. For me, this was a good introduction to Brighton Walsh’s writing and I think that I will seek out some of her other stories. I just hope that one day she’ll move away from the novella and move on to a full length book.

irishdarkblue

three-stars
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Friday, November 15, 2013

Review: No Strings Attached by Nicolette Day

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: No Strings Attached by Nicolette DayNo Strings Attached by Nicolette Day
Series: Falling for You,
Published by Flirt on 10 June 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Novella
Pages: 77
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
four-stars

First Line(s): “It’s a sign.”

Place(s) Traveled To: Charlotte, North Carolina

No Strings Attached by Nicolette Day is a very short novella from Entangled: Flirt and as with all novellas that I read I really wish that this one had been longer. This is your typical friends to lovers story and while I loved the interaction between Hayden and Jace it all just felt so rushed. What Nicolette Day does well in her novella though is to give the feel of a full length book with depth and emotion. All too often, novellas feel like shadows of a book and everything remains on the surface. But No Strings Attached does have layers and dimension which is saying a lot for a story that is only 77 pages long.

I just feel as though there was more story to be told. That with more pages, even just 30 or so, that this could have been a much better story with more depth and character development. Perhaps those final moments of the story wouldn’t have felt like there were moments missing. I would have liked to see more of the friendship between Hayden and Jace as well as more of Jace’s brother Nate. I like it when my stories are filled with people and real moments as it just makes them all the more believable.

No Strings Attached is short and as a result its a really quick read. Its a fun story and ones that is filled with lots of heart. While I do want more pages there is a complete story contained within the few pages we did get. I don’t feel as anything important was missing. I just wanted more. Which is something that I might be saying even if No Strings Attached were 300 pages long. Sometimes a reader is just not satisfied. I think that if you are looking for a quick, fun read then you might want to check this one out. It could also be a good introduction to contemporary romance. For if you like this short little gem then there is a good chance you like longer versions of the same.

irishdarkblue

four-stars
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Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: Crossing the Line by Katie McGarry

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review, Young Adult2 Comments

Review: Crossing the Line by Katie McGarryCrossing the Line by Katie McGarry
Series: Pushing the Limits,
Also in this series: Crash Into You
Published by Harlequin Teen on 01 April 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Young Adult
Pages: 67
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Goodreads
three-stars
Also by this author: Crash Into You, Red at Night

 

Place(s) Traveled to: Louisville, Kentucky

First Line: Dear Lincoln, I saw this card today and thought of you.

Pushing the Limits Series Order – Companion Book
Book 1: Pushing the Limits
Book 1.5: Crossing the Line
Book 2: Dare You To
Book 3: Crash Into You (26 Nov 2013)

Internet,

If you recall when I finished Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry I was head over heels in love with it and just wanted more. But the wait until Dare You To seemed forever and I needed a fix and Harlequin Teen responded by publishing a novella from Katie McGarry featuring Echo’s best friend Lila. At first I was ecstatic and I rushed to a mega internet book retailer to DL my copy….only to stop and gasp at the prince. At the time I think it was $2.99 and currently its $1.99 both of which I think are too much for a story that is only 67 pages. Especially since I know that at least 10 of them will be dedicated to a preview of either Pushing the Limits or Dare You To or both. So I backed away from the internet store checking back every so often to see if it went on sale.

Then I had an epiphany one day when I was looking through the ebook selection of Boston Public Library. They have an amazing catalog of ebooks and audios available for borrowing and if you are in Massachusetts you should have an e-library card to the BPL. (Just click this handy dandy link to sign up.) Anywho, while looking randomly through the catalog I checked to see if they had Crossing the Line, not really expecting it, but was so very happy when they did.

Crossing the Line is a very short novella, maybe clocking in at 30-40 pages as the end of the book did have preview chapters to both Pushing the Limits and Dare You To. Just as I thought it might. It was a cute story and I really loved Lila and Lincoln’s romance. While how they met was really sad I liked how they decided to remain in touch through letter writing. Like real letters, hand-written with a stamp. It added a certain old fashioned charm to their getting to know one another and made me want to write a few letters to friends myself. Its so easy and sometimes impersonal to dash off an email. Letters take a little more thought and tend to be longer.

As a novella, the story progresses really quickly and there are times when I think it felt a but rushed. I really think that there was enough material for Crossing the Line to be a full length book and I, for one, would have loved to spend more time with Lila and Lincoln. They were just so sweet and genuine. I also liked how this is was just a straight romance. There were no really big issues that Lila or Lincoln were dealing with. Unlike Echo and Noah or Beth were dealing with in their books. This isn’t to say that Lila and Lincoln didn’t have problems. Because they did. Lila is battling with insecurities and is a bit scared of going to an out of state school where she knows no one while all her friends are staying local. And Lincoln, well, you’ll just have to read the novella to see what he is dealing with.

As with Pushing the Limits and Dare You To, Crossing the Line was a real story. I believed during my read that Lila and Lincoln were real people and I was a voyeur into their lives. This novella never felt like I was reading a book and I got swept up in the world. But, as I said above, I do wish that it was longer. It just seemed to be over before it really began. And that in a nutshell is my main problem with pretty much every novella I’ve ever read. I just want more from them and there is only one that I can think of where I was completely satisfied with its length.

As a whole though, if you are a fan of Katie McGarry’s books then you should check out Crossing the Line. If you don’t want to pay the $1.99 for roughly 40 pages or so then be sure to check out the digital catalog of your local library. Most can be accessed through the Overdrive App on your phone or tablet and with your regular library card. This was a quick read and a fun story and makes me hunger a bit for more Katie McGarry books.

three-stars
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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Review: His Roommate’s Pleasure by Lana McGregor

Posted by Irish in 3 Stars, New Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: His Roommate’s Pleasure by Lana McGregorHis Roommate's Pleasure by Lana McGregor
Published by Carina Press on 01 Jul 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Pages: 84
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
three-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Unnamed, USA

First Line(s): “Damn.” Adam glared at his battered, mostly broken laptop.

The publishing of novellas seems to be a growing trend these days and is almost as popular as the wave of new adult books coming out. His Roommate’s Pleasure by Lana McGregor can fill both of these categories. This little novella can also be described as BDSM-light as the two main characters each begin to experiment with kink. It all starts with a plausible scene where Adam is having issues with his computer and so borrows his roommate’s. Then through magic, as that’s the only explanation I can come up with, a folder on Josh’s computer accidentally opens and Adam learns a secret of his jock roommate. He likes gay porn.

Not just that but pictures and such involving bondage and submission. Adam is caught by his roommate and together they admit things that not many people know to each other. Adam is openly gay but Josh is not. So they start a secret relationship that is plausible and the pace of the books progresses at a steady pace. Where this one falters is towards the end when confessions are made and events just seem rushed. I think that His Roommate’s Pleasure could have been fleshed out a bit more with just a few more pages to make the ending a little more realistic.

This story also felt a bit vague to me as there was no mention of where it took place. Just a random college campus somewhere in the US. And the lack of secondary characters didn’t help this vagueness either. Yes, you see a few mentions of Adam’s friends but they never felt real. Just as it was hard to pin point Josh as this story was told entirely from Adam’s POV. Its not a bad story and definitely one that I think will be enjoyed by those who might want to dip their toes into BDSM stories. For me though this one was just so-so and while I might check out McGregor’s next story I am not going to rush out for it.

three-stars
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Monday, July 29, 2013

Review: Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King

Posted by Irish in 4 Stars, Adult, Review1 Comment

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
Review: Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann KingWaiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King
Series: Lovers and Friends, Book 2
Published by Carina Press on 29 July 2013
Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, GLBT
Pages: 170
Format: eARC
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads
four-stars

Place(s) Traveled to: Austin, Texas // Houston, Texas // Stonemont, Texas

First Line(s): I don’t do men. Standing outside Landon’s second-floor apartment, Ty silently chanted the phrase.

I’ve been trying to branch out in my reading this year and so when I saw Waiting for Ty by Samantha Ann King on Netgalley I decided to take a chance on this GLBT romance. Waiting for Ty is a short book but it packs a whole lot of story within its few pages. This was a quick and well paced story about friends becoming lovers and lately I have been a real sucker for that kind of story. There is a different vibe to a story when there is a long history between the two main characters. While the reader may not be fully aware of their full history you do get that sense of a long term friendship and it helps to create a bond that is sometimes missing from stranger to lover stories.

I found Waiting for Ty to be a realistic journey and really enjoyed the interaction and doubts faced by both Langdon and Ty. I like how they both struggled with what they wanted. And in a sad state of our world how they each questioned, in their own ways, how their relationship might be viewed to others. These two main characters both live in Texas, which recent news has shown us isn’t the most liberal of states. While I can’t claim to be an expert on Texas but Ty’s ultra conservative family came across as very realistic and I felt for Ty in his dealings with them. Although I did think that the reaction of one of the secondary characters was a bit over the top and unrealistic. Especially considering the highly unconventional relationship that his sister was in.

Waiting for Ty is a quick read and once I started I stayed with it until the end. Its one of those stories that while I wish it was longer managed to complete a well thought out and heart achy story into a limited number of pages. Its amazing to me how some authors can do in such a short time. I’ve read several novella length stories that just feel incomplete but with Waiting for Ty I feel as though I received a full length book as there was so much depth to it. Its not a perfect book but for the life of me I can’t remember some of the issues that I had with the book from when I read it not long ago. I enjoyed this story and think that it will appeal to anyone who enjoys a good friends to lovers story. I know I did.

Lovers and Friends Series Order
Book 1: Sharing Hailey
Book 2: Waiting for Ty

four-stars
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