Posts Tagged ‘novella’

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Here’s one that needs attention. It’s only got a handful of reviews (which I haven’t read yet. I swear!), and we all know that books need reviews. Yes, even negative ones.

It’s a novella, so know that up front. It says so right there in the description. Right there. In that first line a lot of people skip over ’cause they think it’s all marketing hype.

Oh. That’s only me? Really?

Here’s the book description:

Max Rock, an erotic rock star novella.

Art conservator Catherine isn’t interested in casual sex, not until she meets a sexy stranger in a bar. Sneaking away from their one-night stand, she has no idea what his name is, only that she found him completely irresistible.

Max Craze is the lead singer for Australia’s hottest new rock band, Punch Sound. Women fall into his bed almost every night, but he never stays interested once he’s tasted their delights. Then he hooks up with a beautiful blonde and can’t get her out of his mind.

When their paths cross again, their mutual attraction is undeniable and things begin to get really hot.

Punch Sound. Four sexy rockers, as hot off the stage as they are on it.

Ooh, an Aussie! That’s a fun twist… is he an exotic, or just proof that it doesn’t matter where you come from ’cause we’re all the same underneath? Only one way to tell!

This is also the first in a series. I’ll see what more I can dig up, but if you know something, let’s hear it! I’m always glad to share space.

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Color me surprised when Susan sent me the e-mail. Seems Nia Farrell saw my coveting post about her novella, Something Different, and went above and beyond, not just offering a copy for me to read, but she sent it along. In the right format.

Nia, girl, I like you already.

And boy, did I like this story. Novella. Whichever it is; it’s a quick read, and it’s a good read and my biggest complaint is the same as everyone else’s: it’s not long enough. Although, in a sense, this is a fully contained story. Beginning, middle, end. Character growth. All those things Susan tells me to look for. The problem is that it’s really well done and I want more.

So I had all these questions coming into the read, and while the issues of Anna’s success as a songwriter are answered really well, her family issues aren’t resolved. But then again, they’re mentioned and Anna’s pretty clear that this isn’t an easy road ahead for her. But it’s going to happen, she’s absolute about that. And right now, it doesn’t matter: the book ends with the promise of a new day for Anna and her two men, twins Jackson and Jacob.

Another thing that had bugged me, the lack of professionalism and distance between Anna and her men, didn’t come up while I was reading. From the first word, Anna’s smoldering with sexuality and sensuality. Her first exchange with the boys drips with sex. It’s inevitable, and that’s why it works. There aren’t a lot of other books I’ve read with this much sexuality in the way the narrator talks and hoo boy, this is what makes this so good, so readable, and so hard to put down.

And me, the not-fan of male-male romances, liked that these guys aren’t interested in each other (okay, put like that? I just grossed myself out. I mean, they’re twins!). It’s all about Anna, being with her, dominating her, and taking care of her.

I like that aftercare’s starting to show up more often in BDSM books. Saw it first in Cecilia Tan’s latest, and here it is again. There’s more of it here, more care at almost every stage along the way. I like.

Two complaints: because the book’s so short, it’s hard to tell the twins apart, although Anna gets it down pretty fast. A longer book would mean more and better time to get to know the guys and what—other than Anna—they’re into.

The other complaint is that despite the scenes of music making, there’s not enough here to set them all apart as musicians. The music doesn’t breathe, but then again, I’m glad we didn’t have the usual clichéd scene of Anna and the boys stopping their sex play or waking up to find one or the other busy writing a new song inspired by their love. I like that they have a scheduled songwriting time. I just wanted more of it, but then again, I wanted more of everything in this one.

Huge thanks to Nia for sending this on. I’m a fangirl.

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When Jessica Topper asked if I wanted a review copy of the next installment in Adrian and Kat’s story, begun in the most-excellent Louder Than Love, I am quite sure she could hear me scream in frustration that she hadn’t just gone ahead and sent it. Like she even needed to ask?

(Jessica has class. What can I say?)

This little novella is more like a dreamlike fairy tale than anything else. It takes place over 24 hours, maybe not even that long, and it brings the cast from Louder than Love back while introducing new characters, as well.

There’s not a huge amount of conflict here, and it’s almost entirely Kat’s internal struggle that fuels the story, even as it’s Adrian who fuels the action. He creates an amazing, dream-like fairy tale for Kat, and there’s no doubt that this man can make things happen.

The conflict lies in Kat, who worries about the future. What’s the status of Adrian and his band, whose first concert ended at the end of Louder Than Love, the echoes of which haven’t quite died as Deeper than Dreams opens? Can Adrian handle the rock and roll lifestyle again—and does he even want to? What about Kat? Is this a world she can fit into? Is she tough enough to fit in, or will the hard edges of rock and roll send her running back to her quiet life in her quiet little town? Does she even want to fit in?

What does the future hold for Kat and Adrian?

These are big questions, and they are dealt with in a very short space. Maybe too short; this novella feels more like a stolen moment in Adrian and Kat’s life than a complete work. The problem with this short length is that there’s a lot that Kat needs to uncover and come to terms with before we are convinced that the fairy tale ending’s promises will come true.

I’m not convinced, myself. Not yet. I need to see more growth in these two, more of them together handling the adversity that’s going to be thrown in their paths. There’s not a lot of character growth in a work this short; as I say to my editing clients, in a novella, something’s always gotta give. And yet, it is quite easy to write this off as a typical second installment in a trilogy—a bridge between the action-laden first and third volumes.

For the best reading experience, you’ll need to have read Louder first. Again, pretty typical for a second volume. The question is if there’s a third or not…

While we wait, you want to go back and read Louder Than Love. Otherwise, you’ll be lost as to who these people are, what their backstory is, and what’s going on.

Besides, Louder is one of my favorite books of the past few years. And now Deeper is one of my favorite novellas.

Because despite it all, we all want fairy tale days and experiences like Adrian gives Kat. We really do.

I can’t wait to read the third entry into this world. It’s not Adrian and Kat’s story, though! Stronger than Steel, it’s called, and it’s the story of one of Adrian’s bandmates. I can hardly wait; this guy’s intrigued me from the moment he stepped onto the page. And that impatience describes my need to read it. Riff, where are you, man?

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I am not the heel here. Susan is.

This morning, she sent me the file containing Louisa Bacio’s The Big One. She’d had it since last Rocktober; it had gotten buried in her inbox. She’d even blogged about getting it, so we’ve all been waiting all this time. Especially me.

Let me tell you, this one was worth the wait. I wish I could do another post or three about it ’cause it’s that good and you all should go out and pick it up and read it. You really should.

If you remember, this is the one with the bomb shelter. The one with the marketing assistant ordered to show her dirty secret—the bomb shelter—to a potential client, the rocker. He may or may not be willing to shoot his next music video in there.

But disaster strikes, and believe me when I say it’s a lot less obvious on the page than it is in this review. And Kayla and Sebastian are trapped because she’s installed a lock that can’t be opened. It’s a way to keep looters out.

Or two people inside, she realizes.

This is a novella, which was the major downer of the whole experience. It took like an hour to read (Again, Susan! WHAT were you thinking???) and I got to the last page and wanted to reach out to Louise and shake her a good one. I wanted her to have Shaken Baby Syndrome ’cause I wanted more. More Kayla. More Sebastian.

But especially, more of what happened to them once they left the insulated bunker. That sucker is insulated in a lot of ways: from what is happening outside, and from what’s going on inside. The bunker becomes their safe place, where they can reveal parts of themselves that they’ve kept hidden from others. Maybe it’s the dark, maybe it’s knowing they are trapped, maybe it’s their attraction to each other… who knows? I don’t. And I don’t really want to. This isn’t one of those novellas that you want to think too much about. You want to sit back and go along for the ride even though these people are complex and real. None of that phone it in stereotype here. Well, okay, a little bit, and only where Sebastian is involved. He’s larger than life, of course. He’s a rock star! His charisma oozes out of him, even when he’s at his most vulnerable. But he’s also more than your normal stereotyped rocker, and that’s the best part of him.

This is a fun ride. It’s a sexy ride, with some great whoo boy hot love scenes. And I loved the way Sebastian talked about his man parts. Totally cracked me up. I’d kill for a man with that kind of sense of humor about himself.

My only complaint is that I wanted to be with Kayla and Sebastian longer. A lot longer. I want to know if they can make it once they’re together in the daylight.

Oh, okay, I’ve got another complaint. There’s talk of a periscope that Kayla has put in so she can see what’s going on outside. She peeks through it once. But then the whole idea of how bad it was, what’s going on, the idea of this secret tool to peek at the world from a hidden safe spot… none of that gets used. It’s dropped, and that’s too bad.

But, this was a novella, after all, and by definition, they gotta be short. Something always has to go in a novella, and here it wasn’t so major. I mean, it could have been the development of the characters.

I’m really glad character development didn’t suffer. It’s what makes this story so earth-shaking good. Get it? Earth shaking?

I’ll be here all night. Or so I’m told.