Tag Archives: Novellas and Stories

Novellas and Stories by Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Novellas and Stories
Author: Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Short story collections, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 25th April – 20th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: The horn rang out again, and the dogs began to fall back.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

For the first time in print, six wild and steamy tales from three of today’s hottest paranormal and steampunk romance authors.

The Blushing Bounder by Meljean Brook – While the search for a killer puts Constable Newberry’s life in danger, he faces a danger of another kind: to his heart, by the woman forced to marry him. What will it take for this prudish bounder to convince his wife to stay?

Vixen by Jessica Sims – Miko’s denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn’t want to choose between both men… it wants them both.

Kitten-Tiger & the Monk by Carolyn Crane – Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption… but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.

These lovers create their own heat, even when surrounded by ice…

Speed Mating by Jessica Sims – Estrella may be going into heat, but she’s determined to remain in control. Just because she’s ovulating doesn’t mean she has to settle for just any man (or his beast). Her sexy alpha’s determined to find her a tiger to take care of her heat and father her child… but no one seems to look quite as good as the man in charge. Will giving in to her need for her alpha ruin her tenuous relationship with her clan or be a match made in heaven?

Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane – The witches of the world ridiculed nerdy Veronica for trying to use newfangled computers to enhance old world spellcasting. Well, it’s 1984 now, and she’s perfected her spellcasting computer program. Hey, who needs friends when you can conjure virtually anything… or anybody? So when Veronica makes powerful new enemies, she conjures Max, a pitbull of a cop, to deal with the pesky hitmen who keep coming around. But tough-guy Max is in no mood to play lapdog to a gorgeous witch.

Wrecked by Meljean Brook – Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear – and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go.

Thoughts

This was one of those great collections that had a really wide array of stories under the heading of paranormal romance. From incredibly erotic shapeshifter stories to tales of steampunk piracy across the worlds. Every moment of these six novellas are steamy, warm and full of passion. And of course, a little intrigue to make it impossible to put down.

Although I already knew Meljean Brook’s works, I loved being introduced to her new (to me) Iron Seas series. Which has kind of given me a new obsession – steampunk romance. But, there is another three new series that are featured in these novellas, which have now all been happily added to my wishlist in the hopes for a future time when I have some more cash.

This was one of those fun and easy reads which I will be picking up again and again. The stories are just fun and easy. Kind of cute. And a pleasure to read.

 <- Wrecked ReviewThe Blushing Bounder Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Wrecked by Meljean Brook

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Wrecked
Author: Meljean Brook
Series: The Iron Seas #3.4
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Pirates, Steampunk romance
Dates read: 20th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: “Of course,” she said, as if she would have made exactly the same decision.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Elizabeth has spent the past five years running from her father; her father’s huntsman, Caius, has spent the past five years pursuing her. But when he finally catches up to her on an airship flying above Europe’s zombie-infested cities, Elizabeth discovers that Caius isn’t the only danger she has to fear – and now that he’s found her, Caius doesn’t intend to let her go.

Thoughts

I really loved the moral questions that this novella posed. What do you do when you have the power of cloning? And, to begin with that question is just asked in a purely conservational role. And then it takes a darker, twistier turn that was distinctly uncomfortable. But it also worked into a really sweet romance (in the end, when all the twisty bits were sorted).

Wrecked bought an entirely different part of the Iron Seas world to life for me. I loved the mentions of Australia, the whirlwind flight across the skies and the discussion about just how important it was to conserve the remaining animals. Actually, it highlighted a end-of-the-world scenario that I really hadn’t imagined before. What happens to all of the animals when a plague of zombies is unleashed on the world?

My biggest complaint about this novella is that although they ride off into the sunset together, I want to know more about the happy little family that they create. Or at least the one that I’m imagining and picturing in my mind’s eye as I turn the final page.

 <- Conjuring Max ReviewNovellas and Stories Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Conjuring Max
Author: Carolyn Crane
Series: Code of Shadows #0.5
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: MagicParanormal romance, Technology, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 9th – 10th June 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: “It’s okay, Veronica -“

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

The witches of the world ridiculed nerdy Veronica for trying to use newfangled computers to enhance old world spellcasting. Well, it’s 1984 now, and she’s perfected her spellcasting computer program. Hey, who needs friends when you can conjure virtually anything… or anybody? So when Veronica makes powerful new enemies, she conjures Max, a pitbull of a cop, to deal with the pesky hitmen who keep coming around. But tough-guy Max is in no mood to play lapdog to a gorgeous witch.

Thoughts

I really liked the technopagan spin to this storyline. Over the years I’ve read a lot of spins on witchwork and magic. But surprisingly none that use computers as the linchpin of the magic. Especially not coding which can bring the dead back to life…and I ate it all up. Which means that I have to exercise self-control (yet again) to not buy the following novels.

Veronica is a nerdy, pushy, secluded woman. She’s also a geek. Which of course meant that I immediately loved her. Although I did find some of her onion-like, tough layers a little tedious. After all, love is something that I believe in full heartedly, and she took a fair amount of time to actually succumb to the passion that was so obviously there. It’s a trope that I always find kind of frustrating when I’m reading a romance – the inability to see what is so obviously there! Although, I suppose it is also the reason that I like to keep reading these stories, even when I can roughly guess at the ending.

The romantic suspense throughout this novella might be fun, but what I kind of loved most was the creation of the dragon-dog that ate the enemies and decided to hang around. It kind of made me think of my adorable, kind of useless dog. Alright, he might not be a dragon-dog who is going to eat my enemies. But the companionship and loyalty that he shows throughout made me smile. And think of a happily-ever-after couple riding off into the sunset with their weirdly unique pet.

 <- Speed Mating ReviewWrecked Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Speed Mating by Jessica Sims

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Speed Mating
Author: Jessica Sims
Series: Midnight Liasons #2.3
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 1st June 2019
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: “Or horrified,” Estrella said quietly, sipping her own iced coffee.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Estrella may be going into heat, but she’s determined to remain in control. Just because she’s ovulating doesn’t mean she has to settle for just any man (or his beast). Her sexy alpha’s determined to find her a tiger to take care of her heat and father her child… but no one seems to look quite as good as the man in charge. Will giving in to her need for her alpha ruin her tenuous relationship with her clan or be a match made in heaven?

Thoughts

I was a bit thrown by the first novella I’ve read in this series. But, after reading Speed Mating, I’ve decided that this is going to be a fun, sexual and slightly cute series to sink my teeth into. Actually, it was kind of funny in moments. Especially through the use of a speed dating event in which it is so obvious who the main couple is going to be. But a little fun in the construction of their relationship.

I haven’t read a shapeshifter romance for a little while. I just seem to have moved onto other stories and tropes. But, reading this story about dating services and wanting children, and a liger shapeshifter (which is an awesome first for me) made me itch to pick up one of the many shapeshifter paranormal romances on my shelves… there is just something so much more animalistic and intriguing about these stories. Something more primal than many other romances. Which you kind of need every now and again.

The smut level of this story was quite intense, but not overdone like in Vixen. For me, it was just the right level of happy, fun smutty storyline to get my pulse racing. But not enough that I would feel completely uncomfortable reading this in public.

 <- Kitten Tiger and the Monk ReviewConjuring Max Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Kitten Tiger and the Monk by Carolyn Crane

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Kitten Tiger and the Monk
Author: Carolyn Crane
Series: The Disillusionists #2.5
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Urban fantasy
Dates read: 7th May 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2011
5th sentence, 74th page: And as a man.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Sophia Sidway, Midcity’s most dangerous memory revisionist, seeks out the mysterious Monk in the wasteland beneath the Tangle turnpike, hoping for redemption… but it turns out that the Monk is not all that pious, and the turnpike is no turnpike at all.

Thoughts

I love when you read a novella with absolutely no expectations what-so-ever. And then find that you just can’t put it down. That it is impossible to forget. And introduces you to a world you didn’t know you wanted to be a part of. For me, this was that kind of novella. It made me want to go straight out and buy the rest of this series. But I didn’t, because I need to learn some form of self-control… not something I’m admittedly enjoying at this point.

The symbolism of the Tangle was something that drew me in from the beginning. Not only was it a great and intriguing mystery, but the suffering and confusion of the people was reflected in its dark, twisty interior. This dark setting and overwhelming city almost acted like a third character in the story, and one that I would love to meet again and again throughout this series.

The many moral and ethical questions raised by Kitten-Tiger’s power linger long after you turn the final page. I understand why she decides to stop utilising it. But what if there were ways that it could be turned for good? Should you still use it? Who gets to decide what is right and good?

 <- Vixen ReviewSpeed Mating Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Vixen by Jessica Sims

Overview
Image result for novellas and stories meljean brook book cover

Title: Vixen
Author: Jessica Sims
Series: Midnight Liasons #2.1
In: Novellas and Stories (Meljean Brook, Carolyn Crane & Jessica Sims)
Rating Out of 5: 2.5 (Readable, but not worth reading again)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 2nd May 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Year: 2013
5th sentence, 74th page: Her hips lifted at the same time, and his finger penetrated the lips of her sex, sliding to the hot valley below, and both of them sucked in a breath.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

Miko’s denied her were-fox nature for far too long and turned her back on her vixen heritage. But when she meets two very sexy cat-shifters, she has to decide if she truly wants to give up on her frisky side, or embrace it. Because the were-fox in her doesn’t want to choose between both men… it wants them both.

Thoughts

I’m a little vanilla in some of my tastes when it comes to sexuality. Mostly in the fact that I like it to be two people, not three involved in a relationship. So this story made me really quite uncomfortable… it was a love triangle that, well, stayed a triangle. Which was disappointing, because up until that point, I was actually really enjoying this novella.

I’ve had kitsune appear a few times in my books lately. I don’t know why, but they’re a mythos that I definitely want to read more about. Tricksters and sometimes demons, they’re women who highlight a lot of what femininity is for people. Which is possibly why they’ve been designated demons in the past. Which meant that I really enjoyed the use of a Vixen (kitsune) in this story. Rather than a cat or wolf shapeshifter, like I’m used to, she was a fox. With attitude and a willingness to stand on her own two feet.

I may not have thoroughly enjoyed much of the sexual aspect of this story, but I still liked the entire premise. Enough that I’m curious to read another novella in this series, but not quite buy the first book… yet.

 <- The Blushing Bounder ReviewKitten Tiger and the Monk Review ->
Image source: Fantastic Fiction