Tag Archives: novella

Book Review: Grumpy Jake by Melissa Blue

November 8th 2019
104 Pages

Bailey Thorne doesn’t hate Jake the Rake, just despises him. She blames the rumor mill at her school…and, okay, him. His adorable son has only been in preschool, but Jake has already made an impressive dent in dating the unmarried faculty. She’s had to hear of his every exploit from the broken hearts he’s left behind. She was fine to loathe him from afar, but now his son has entered kindergarten–and she’s the teacher. It’s going to be a very long school year.

Jake Polaski was more than fine to avoid Ms. Thorne after it became clear she was not amused by his very existence. But then they get stuck in an elevator for an evening. He finds out that underneath that baleful glare she always gives him, lies a warm, funny and sexy as hell woman. He does his best to not be smitten after every exchange afterward. His son needs him rational, steadfast…and love is the most uncertain thing.

It was the elevator’s fault. Had it worked like it should, Bailey would have gone on with her life without seeing why so many of her co-workers had fallen for the grumpy single dad. (It’s his dry wit, his playful teasing and the drool-worthy cut of his jawline.) And now she’s caught in the way he doles out smiles and the dark depths of his secrets. If nothing else, she knows from rumor there’s a clock ticking on their affair before it implodes because things always do with Jake the Rake, but she can’t seem to walk away first. – Goodreads

I love everything about this cover. It is so fitting once you read the book. It is breath-taking in a way that you never see covers like this. And who ever the illustrator is fantastic job.

Now to the book. Its a novella and it is a well written novella that when I was finished I didn’t feel that I need more or questions needed to be answered. It flowed well, consistently and most importantly it was engaging.

Bailey was everything. I loved her the moment she started speaking. She was unapologetically her. She wasn’t bitter, she was energetic, smart and pure. I liked Jake too but not as much as I loved Bailey.

The novella moves fast but not so fast that you feel that the author is rushing or adding a lot of fillers. The romance is believable and at some points comical. Bailey and and Jake give their all into each other, unknowingly and for Jake, sometimes unwillingly. The lust was there and they sure as heck made sure that each other knew it was there but from the beginning there was something more. There was a caring that was unspoken but definitely felt.

It was written clearly with a beginning, middle, end in a form of consistency that is hard to find in novellas (not rolling off on a tangent).

I loved this novella. It was cute, genuine and packed a lot of punch. There was nothing more or less, I wanted. And even though it is a novella, I would say that this is a filler read i.e. books you read in-between larger books, because this book stayed on my mind for days. I cannot wait to read more from this author.


4 Pickles

Short Review for a Short Story: Harlem by Eric Jerome Dickey

Published Nov. 15, 2018

When Harlem gets off on a murder charge due to insanity, the asylum he’s sent to feels worse than death, with one exception: the beautiful nurse Daphane. As their relationship grows, so do the stakes: she has the ability to help him escape, and he has the ability to set her free from her abusive relationship.

Yet Harlem has one big secret: he was perfectly sane when he committed his crime. But in the end, Daphane’s own secret may be the deadliest of all. . . .- Goodreads

It has been a very long time since I have read a Eric Jerome Dickey book. My top is Friends and Lovers and I am thinking about doing a re-read for it but that is another story.

I came across Harlem during the December crunch trying to find short stories and mangas to meet my Goodreads goal. Since I have a previous love for Dickey, I decided to pick it up even though I was side eyeing the summary.

Harlem is not likable by any means but he is real; a lot more real than I expected. His bluntness took me by surprised but so did his past trauma. I was fully expecting this to be a I did what I did because of my past but I really am a good man. Completely ready to completely trash this book because of that.

However, that was not the case. Harlem is unapologetic, from beginning to end but he wants this woman Daphane and she wants him despite his flaws. My problem with this book was simply I couldn’t take listening to Harlem speak. Even as I write this, his voice is in my head and I am just like dude, shut up.

His interactions with Daphane came off really strange to me that is until the end of the novella. At that point everything made sense, even though I couldn’t deal with Harlem. The ending to this novella is what saved it from being rated a 1 Pickle out of 5 Pickles.

Was the pace good? Yes, steady with the promise of something big about the happen. Was the conclusion satisfying? Yes, nothing in me wants to read more about Harlem or Daphane. Was it well written? I can say that it was for what it was. This novella is the definition of short story, so you walk in wanting a quick read and leave feeling that is exactly what happened.

Will I recommend this book? Ehhh that I do not know.  Because not only are there are a lot of trigger warnings i.e. abuse, child abuse, murder but I also didn’t like the book.


2 Pickles. 

Book Review: The Murders of Molly Southbourne by Tade Thompson

Published Oct. 3, 2017
128 Pages

The rule is simple: don’t bleed.

For as long as Molly Southbourne can remember, she’s been watching herself die. Whenever she bleeds, another molly is born, identical to her in every way and intent on her destruction.

Molly knows every way to kill herself, but she also knows that as long as she survives she’ll be hunted. No matter how well she follows the rules, eventually the mollys will find her. Can Molly find a way to stop the tide of blood, or will she meet her end at the hand of a girl who looks just like her?

Short review for this one.

What can I say about this book? Its intriguing and the vagueness of it catches your attention a lot more than I am willing to admit. It is also slow and a bit of a let down.

The premise that Molly can reproduce other Mollys by bleeding is interesting. At first glance, I thought… well how is that actually going to work. But the author was able to make it make sense. As reading it, the light bulb went off and I was like alright I can dig this.

I didn’t jump into this knowing that this was a novella so a lot of how the story played out made sense. My biggest issue was it did feel like the author was trying to make this novella last longer than it should. There is a lot of Molly did this, Molly did that or Molly simply talking in her head. I wanted more interaction between people and more emotion. Everything was really monotone. Molly didn’t have a whole lot of emotions, which is understandable but I wanted some growth from her towards the end… some humanity that I didn’t really get.

Despite that I did enjoy this read and I want a continuation because this definitely feels like a backstory and also the continuation can be really really good if done right.

2.5 Pickles

Late Night Reads: Corliss (The Girls of Spindrift #1) by V.C. Andrews

Pocket Star
Published June 12th 2017
80 Pages

Corliss is not like other girls at her Los Angeles high school. Incredibly intelligent, shy, and a loner, she has difficultly in fitting in. What’s worse, a clique of girls is out to get her after she refuses to take drugs with them, leading to a violent confrontation.

When Corliss is unknowingly drugged, her entire life is turned upside down and no one—not even the handsome valedictorian who had agreed to go out with her—looks at her the same way. Will she be able to return to her high school or is there another path she can take? And where will it take her? – Goodreads

This book is a novella. Therefore, it is fairly quick to read (and this will be a short review) but it provides some form of fulfillment when you need a book to read in between your next big read.

Corliss is a genius, who is constantly being bullied and feeling isolated because of her smarts. Despite what happens to her, she still remains diligent on her studies but now with a purpose to right the wrong against her.

My biggest issue with this book is VC Andrews makes an assumption that because A happened Corliss is now prone to do B. I actually was fairly annoyed by that because it didn’t make sense to me for it to happen. If it was something she wanted to do before being drugged then I would be okay with it but it doesn’t appear to be that way.

As it is a quick read,  I enjoyed this book but it left a lot of questions as to what next and as to the purpose of the story. What do I get from it?

Overall, I am curious about this series and how everything connects.

2.5 Pickles

Book Review: Waylaid by Kim Harrison

Pocket Star To Be Published April 4, 2016
Pocket Star
To Be Published April 4, 2016

This is a novella featuring two characters from the Hollows and the Peri Reed Chronicles.

The magic of the Hollows runs full force into the technological sophistication of The Drafter when a device capable of carrying a city’s data stream pulls Rachel, the bounty hunter witch of the Hollows, between realities, marooning her in a world where the supernatural holds no sway. To get Rachel and Jenks home, Peri, the dangerous renegade of 2030, must decide what will chart her future: her blind trust in those who grant her power, or her intuition telling her to believe. -Goodreads

*Short Review

I picked this book up because it was a short read and I don’t recall ever reading anything by Kim Harrison. So this was an introduction and to say the least I wasn’t impress. To put it bluntly, I didn’t like this book.

There could be several reasons why I didn’t like this book and the biggest one is probably because I do not know anything about the stories: Hollows and the Peri Reed Chronicles.  So I am guessing there is some strong disconnect there. But I don’t feel that it is my problem. Why? Because it is the author’s job to make me feel familiar with the plot and the characters.

I couldn’t grasp the story; not only because I felt displaced but also because it felt like a rush job. Do not get me wrong, I thought in the short amount of pages, the author was able to develop a story but it felt slightly all over the place and it felt like the author was trying too hard. Also to be perfectly honest I just didn’t like it.

Will I let this be a deciding factor as to will I read any of Kim Harrison’s books? Probably not. But I know I won’t be in a rush to read them.


1 Pickle



Book Review: A Reaper of Stone (A Reaper of Stone #1) by Mark Gelineau and Joe King

Gelineau and King  Published Sept. 8, 2015 90 Pages
Gelineau and King
Published Sept. 8, 2015
90 Pages

As a Reaper, Elinor’s job is to help the King reclaim land no longer owned and destroy all of the past work and bring the land and its people up to date with the new. 

But Elinor is struggling to find her place in this world and with a lady dead and her noble line ended, Elinor’s sense of duty is overpowered by her dreams of being a hero.

*Short Review*

I know this summary doesn’t give much away and that is because the story itself isn’t much but a tiny and I mean tiny snippet of who or what Elinor is and what she has to endure.

This is a novella, which explains why it is short. However, just because it is short doesn’t mean it gets a pass. There should have been more backstory in order for to actually feel something for Elinor. I felt that there was things missing in order for me to completely to believe that Elinor made the decision that she made simply because she believes in doing right.

But despite this I did like the story and am really interested in what happens next because there was a decent story here. It showed promise of Elinor becoming a badass with an extremely complicated future as well as past. The pace was smooth but I assume as much because the story itself is not really difficult or hard to follow. I was hoping for more fantasy and stronger passion within the characters and words.

Again, I completely understand this is a novella and I may be asking too much of it but still *shrugs*

Overall, this book has done its job and caught my attention and I want to read book two.

3 Pickles

NetGalley Review: Nagasaki by Éric Faye

Gallic Books  Published 2010 112 Pages
Gallic Books
Published 2010
112 Pages

Meteorologist Shimura Kobo lives alone and has for years. Everything has its place and order. Kobo doesn’t want it any way.

But when he notices that food is going missing, he sets up a webcam in his home to find the thief. But by doing this what will happen to his life once he discovers the truth? Kobo soon learns you can’t go back after certain decisions in life. 

*Short Review*

When I read the summary to this book I was expecting some huge turn of events that dramatically changes Kobo’s life. Finding out the truth about the intruder in his home was life changing for Kobo but not as spectacular as the summary appeared it to be.

Kobo’s life is as simple as it can get: work, grocery store and the home. He lives alone, doesn’t have any friends, rarely interacts with his coworkers and doesn’t really care to change the situation he is in. When he notices that someone has been in his house, he becomes obsessed with finding out who the person is and when he finds out who the person is, he becomes obsessed with how he has been living his life.

This isn’t an issue with this book. My issue with this book was the lack of passion, the lack of conversation and the lack of some kind of solution. I am aware that this book is based on true events and I am also aware that some people live their lives like this but I wanted more emotion and there was none to be found other than pity for Kobo.

Overall, as quick of a read this was, reading it has done nothing to shape my life in anyway. I loved the idea of the story but I was hoping for more after the thief was found.

2 Pickles

NetGalley Review: On Her Father’s Grave (Rogue River #1) by Kendra Elliot

Montlake Romance Published Oct. 7, 2014 Kindle
Montlake Romance
Published Oct. 7, 2014

Stevie Taylor left her small town life for the fast life of LAPD cop. When her father dies, she returns home for some closure and peace. But when a teenager suddenly dies after taking a new drug, the peace Stevie was looking for is halted as she is thrown into small town secrets and gossip in order to find the truth about this mysterious death. 

This book was hard for me to get into. I did finish it completely but it didn’t stop it from being a hard read.

What made it hard for me was Stevie. She was a unbelievable character. Her focus seemed to be on the love interest, even when the sudden death of the teenager happened, she was still not focused on her job. For the most part she wasn’t even focus on her father’s death either.

Don’t get me wrong the emotions was there but not enough for me to sympathize with her in anyway. I also felt that she was a flat note character. There wasn’t much dept to her other than the fact she saw some horrible things in LA. But even then the book doesn’t really zone in on it. It doesn’t shape her.

What I did like as the pace of the book. It wasn’t overly rushed nor was it too slow with details that do nothing for the book.  This was why I was disappointed in the book, the setting was perfect for was an amazing mystery and a complicated past. I understand that this is a novella but it didn’t lead me on to the actual novel.

Overall, I think this was a decent effort but it lacked in personality.

2 Pickles.

Book Review: Poison Dance: A Novella (Midnight Thief 0.5) by Livia Blackburne

       Lion's Quill Press  Published Sept 24, 2013             86 Pages
Lion’s Quill Press
Published Sept 24, 2013
86 Pages

* Received this Arc from the author, Livia Blackburne, in exchange for an honest review*

James is a deadly assassin working for the Assassin’s Guild and has been since he was 14. He is the best at what he does and that s why Thalia seeks him out. Thalia is a dancer seeking a way to avenge her sister’s death. Agreeing to help Thalia only if she helps him find a way out of the Assassin’s Guild, James is on the thin line of life and death.

The story was a simple and uncomplicated. This is not a bad thing it actually made the story so much more interesting because it wasn’t filtered with over complicated characters or romance. James is an assassin nothing hidden about that. When Thalia finds him he shows that he is not the typical brute but he also shows that he has common sense. Although he is attracted to Thalia he doesn’t let that over cloud his thoughts.

Thalia wasn’t a bad character either. Sensible, determined and realistic. She knows she doesn’t know how to kill to man and she knows the man that she wants to kill is a politically important man but she isn’t doing anything stupid or rushed.

I really loved the fact that the book was realistic and it wasn’t done with a lot of cheesy quotes or cliches. There is a romance between James and Thalia but it doesn’t over power the book at all and it makes me sad that the book Midnight Thief has nothing to do with the two.

However, what I didn’t like about the book was it felt a bit rushed. It is understood that there are limits to a novella but I wanted so much more! I wanted to know more about James and why he went with Thalia a lot easier than I thought. I wanted to know more about Thalia’s childhood.  But this isn’t such a bad thing because as an author you want your readers to want more. *sigh* I wish it was longer though.

Overall score: 5 Pickles