Blog Archives

What Happened At Midnight (Courtney Milan)

1 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
What a waste! Though there are potentially interesting characters and plot sequences throughout, this book and its characters just never came together. Everything was resolved far too easily, and there are not just one, but two (maybe three depending on how you count it) plot twists that just feel contrived and artificial. I don’t know if it’s just because this was part of a three novella collection (the other two are by Sherry Thomas and Carolyn Jewel), and Milan was forcing in details to stay within that setting or certain expectations, but really, this is one to avoid… I found myself not caring about either of the main characters by the end, and was relieved when it finally ended.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Romance

A Kiss for Midwinter (Courtney Milan)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
I enjoyed this as much as I’ve ever enjoyed a historical romance novella. You’ve got a strong female protagonist with a rough past: she was deceived by a married man, lost a baby, and, (surprisingly) with the support of her family, has fought through it all and come out with a still-happy, almost-by-sheer-force-optimistic viewpoint. As her foil, you’ve got an overly sarcastic, kind of awkward doctor who makes jokes about gonorrhea instead of talking about poetry and roses (because that’s just what he knows about). He’s always been in love with her, and you can really see how they’re both made for each other, and also why they would naturally struggle learning to deal with one another.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Romance

The Lady Always Wins (Courtney Milan)

2.5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
I will start by saying that it’s possible my rating here is unfair. I don’t usually like novellas, and I thought that this was quite well-written… but because it’s a novella (and a very, very short one at that), I felt almost as though I blinked and it was over. You’ve got an interesting set of childhood friends who have always been in love with one another: Ginny, who refused to marry someone who was destitute, and Simon, whose parents had threatened to disown him if he married her. So… Ginny marries someone else; the story starts seven years later, after Ginny’s husband has passed away and Simon has come back for her.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Romance

The Governess Affair (Courtney Milan, The Brothers Sinister Prequel Novella)

4 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
I’m not normally a fan of novellas (especially historical romance novellas). This one is… good. It’s not as good as her longer works, certainly, and the plot isn’t nearly as thoroughly developed… but then it’s not meant to be. It’s a cheaper, shorter version of some excellent Milan works, and serves as a workable introduction to her newest series.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Romance

A Betty Neels Christmas: A Christmas Proposal and Winter Wedding (Betty Neels)

5 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
I love the first novella in this collection. Though I don’t normally even like novellas, A Christmas Proposal is probably the best modern-day Cinderella rewriting I’ve read. It’s not overly exciting or even particularly innovative, it’s just… nice, in a very lingering way. And Winter Wedding, though not my favorite, is still… good. These are two heroines that you really relate to and root for — they’re more mousy than pretty, and more gentle than spirited. They’re the true underdog wallflowers that you want to have a happy ending.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Romance

Unlocked (Courtney Milan, Turner Novella)

2 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
Milan is a talented writer… but the main problem here is twofold. One, because it’s a novella, the characters and plotlines all feel really underdeveloped. You have glimpses of characters that could be really interesting, and the start of a plot that could be good… but no more. Two, because it’s one of those they’ve-known-each-other-for-years pairings, the action of “falling in love” (at least for the hero) happens outside of (specifically before) the book, which means that we’re seeing more the aftermath of things than the core action in many ways. I’d skip this one and go straight to Milan’s full-length work Unclaimed, which was fantastic.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Romance

Lessons in Love (Patti Shenberger)

2 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
I’m a little torn because I really don’t read enough short novella romances to know what to compare this to, but at a little under 5,000 words total for three different stories, each of these felt more like a really promising idea laid out in an interesting scene than an actual romance. The characters and set-ups are all interesting; I just wish this had been say, three books, as opposed to three fairly quick scenes.
Read more ›

Tagged with: ,
Posted in Romance

Flavorful Seductions (Patti Shenberger)

2 out of 5 stars

Cut to the Chase:
While I get that novellas are going to be short by nature, it wasn’t just the plot and pacing that felt rushed in this novella (yes, because it’s shorter, it has to progress more rapidly).  The writing seemed to trip along itself, and other than the fact that these two characters are very, very attracted to one another, you never quite get anything to hold onto in order to believe that they will be together, or make it, in the long haul.  Though the sex is sensual, I would have almost preferred a little less sex (gasp!) and a little more interaction to let me believe that these two characters are meant to be together.  Otherwise, I’m left with interesting, funny characters who get together, but in a way that makes it more believable they’ll have a passionate affair that burns out than a longer lasting happily-ever-after.
Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Romance