Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Double Review: Two NetGalley Novellas

Quite awhile ago, I joined Netgalley, but then lost sight of what it was all about and let it go.  Sadly, I think that I found it too tricky with my Kindle to figure out how or if I could download books and what my responsibilities really were.  Now that I have my iPad, I have no problems accessing just about any ebook out there, so that issue has been resolved.  As for responsibility, so to say, I think I have that figured out as well and started off slow with a couple of novellas that I thought I'd try out while I was on vacation.  Really what can be better than a short novella to give you that escape factor in a short amount of time, so for me, this was a nice way to start out.

Both novellas that I chose were short romance reads, which it seems dominates this format.  Am I right?  Both were actually pretty different from one another, but both were easy to get into quickly and to finish in a short amount of time.

When Harriet Came Home by Coleen Kwan is essentially about Harriet Brown's return to her small hometown in Australia.  As a grown woman who overcame her shy, nerdy-girl teen years, Harriet just couldn't overcome the anxiety she felt around her high school crush Adam.  That wasn't all that had her stumped though, as she was also responsible for exposing that same crush's mayor father for his infidelities and corruption.  In essence, she blew apart Adam's life and now had to face all of that in returning to help her own ailing father.

This was a classic romance tale where said girl changes for the better and catches the eye of yesteryear's hottie.  There is a nice amount of tension, with a fast moving story, sometimes believable and sometimes not.  Either way, it was a fairly clean read with plenty of romantic tension to keep you turning pages.  Adam seemed like a character I couldn't quite figure out, but I liked that he was so into Harriet, regardless of their past.  In a lot of ways, he is that man that women hope exists, in that he's sexy and aloof, but completely able to commit and be vulnerable at the same time.  (Could we call that a true oxymoron in male terms?)

Three Days, Two Nights by M.J. Frederick was way more graphic where the first novella was subtle.  What I found to be shy or tense in the first novella was completely different in the second.  In this novella, Nathan is trying to reconnect with his ex-wife Tess.  With a long, complicated back story in the military that led Nathan to put his wife on the back burner as he dealt with difficulties of his career, Tess had moved on to become a powerful career woman in her own right.  Nathan found an opportunity to conveniently step in to pilot her jet to a work retreat, wherein he hoped to renew his love for Tess and to make up for past hurts.  Like the perfect storm that it was, the plane hit bad weather and ended up stranded in paradise.  During that time, if Nathan couldn't win Tess back, then he had much more to worry about than a plane that had gone down and food shortage.

First off, I have to say that this was a pretty steamy, graphic read.  The characters are guarded and unsettled enough to create an instant tension and chemistry that it doesn't take more than a chapter or two to get where the story is going.  Tess is pretty wounded though, so in this short amount of space, Nathan had to prove that he had not only changed, but that he wanted her back.  The mode of getting those points across were pretty physical, so I'm thinking that the healing was more of a sexual kind than an actual working through of the core issues.  The tension in the story was well established, and what little we knew about the back story between these two was frame worked, but I will admit to wishing we had more emotional details worked out between the two characters in this short amount of time and space.

Both novellas were an interesting dive into using Netgalley and super vacation friendly with their length in page numbers.  To their credit, I think that Netgalley's site is extremely easy to use and has a great variety of books to choose from.  For me, this was just a start and I hope to read a lot more from them in the future.


  1. Yay, you're reviewing romances!!!

  2. I always get carried away with picking out netgalley reads and get too many! Most of them are short, but some of them are full length books.

    The second one reviewed is steamy and graphic? That sounds right up my alley, lol. Must add this to the want to read list.