Saturday, December 16, 2017
Christmas Novellas - Short Reviews
I do love a good Christmas read but I very rarely plan well enough to get a lot books in before Christmas Eve. That's why novellas are perfect! Here's 3 I've read lately and my thoughts on them.
The Inn at Blue Hollow Falls by Donna Kauffman - This has a lot of things that I can't resist. THere's a big greenhouse being restored, an old inn, and a woman a bit out of her comfort zone reconnecting with old friends and herself. I've read several books by Kauffman in the past and enjoyed them though she's never made my "Must Read" list. The main characters - Stevie and Noah were both very nice and I loved that they were staying under the same roof in Noah's historic inn. I loved the descriptions of the greenhouse that Stevie and her friend are working on restoring. But somehow I could never make myself care. There was never anything that really made me connect with the story and so on day 3 of reading only a few pages I decided to call it done. There's nothing bad here but there's nothing that really hooked me either. Rating: DNF at 44%.
Once Upon a Christmas Eve by Elizabeth Hoyt - I love a house party in a historical romance and throw in a hero who loves his grandmother and I was pretty much already smitten. When Adam, Viscount d'Arque's carriage gets stuck in the snow right before Christmas leaving himself and his elderly grandmother stranded in the snow he has no choice but to head to the nearest house and ask for help which means that he, hater of Christmas, ends up stuck at a very Christmas-y house party along with the host's sister, the very attractive, Sarah St. John. Sarah had a run in with a rake years ago and has no interest in repeating the experience but she still can't help but be attracted to Adam. I really loved both characters. Adam is rather notorious but when it comes down to it is lonely and actually a very good man underneath the cynical charm. Sarah is smart but very guarded. I loved these two together and I really loved the St. John family. However, this was a very very short novella and I came out of it feeling kind of cheated. These were great characters in a great setting and I would have loved for them to have a book of their own. Despite this it is still a fun and festive read! Rating: Good
One Snowy Night by Jill Shalvis - This was so fun! I'm a huge fan of Jill Shalvis but I've sadly neglected the Heartbraker Bay series. In fact, this novella is only the 2nd book I've read. And now I'm kicking myself for not reading more! Shalvis used one of my favorite things in a novella - a couple that already has a history. Now Max and Rory don't have a romantic history. It's way more complicated than that but it does mean there is already a connection when the book starts out. I loved the road trip as a way to get to know the characters and for them to really get to know each other and I adored Max's dog Carl. He adds a great touch of humor to the story. The ending was sweet and left me wanting to go binge read the rest of the series so I can spend more time with Max and Rory (and hopefully Carl!) Rating: Very Good
I listened to the audio and enjoyed Karen White's narration. I wouldn't say this is a book better listened too than read but it does well as an audio.