This weekend my husband had an unfortunate allergic reaction which landed us in the ER for a few hours. In the time that we were there, I read five novellas.
Let me set the scene for you – cushy reclining chairs (our ER has really come up in the world), a Sharon Stone/Robert DeNiro movie playing on the big screen featuring multiple baseball bat inflicted deaths, 3 and 5 year old blond boys sitting with their parents and a woman who is trying to propel her lungs out of her mouth in coughing fits. Could I lose myself in a good book? Let’s find out.
Book1: Physical Attraction (Romance Short Story) by Leighann Dobbs.
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Olivia is a single mom who hasn’t had a date in a while. She’s hesitant when Jordon, a hot new trainer at the gym, approaches her for a date but can’t resist accepting.
Despite the title, this novella was a straight up, sweet, romance. Jordon also turns out to be a single dad and SURPRISE they have kids the same age. There’s a little sub-plot of jealousy but mostly it’s kind of a true to life rendering of a romance. Would I have bought this novella? No. If you like romance novels and you see it free, it’s a quick read and fun. I’d take the time.
Hurricane-A Short Story by R. Narvaez
Publication Date: March 26, 2012
Papo is in Puerto Rico for his cousins wedding. He’s asked, after the wedding, to take one of the guests back to San Juan with him and she turns out to not be so honest.
Papo is a criminal jerk but he’s one for whom the reader can feel because he gets more than his fair share of the bad. There is deep symbolism in this book that never comes off as pretentious and I enjoyed the flow and the way the characters stayed true to who they were. There were no redeeming moments in this read and that’s what makes it great.
In Waiting by Kathryn Jones
Publication Date: June 6, 2012
Tabitha has just left a long term relationship and doesn’t think she’s ready for anything new but one of her customers at the coffee shop knows better and suddenly someone she never looked at in that way is looking pretty good.
If I said that I didn’t like this story, that wouldn’t be honest. I did think it was cute but there were a lot of “huh” moments that kind of stopped this reader in her tracks. The ex showing up was a little self serving and what was Meg’s motivation for bringing him back. I hear in the storyline that she married her high school sweetheart and thinks that everyone should be married but, really, is someone going to make that rationalization about a cheating partner? Is this perhaps another stereotype that we see a lot of places where perhaps women who are committed think you should stick through anything? I don’t buy it. I did like the relationship between the main character and the new man and the date they went on….very unconventional.
The Golden Ketch by Michael C. Lee and William Hesselbacher
Publication Date: October 4, 2011
This is the story of John Weldon, his wife Mia and the Japanese Commander looking to do them harm. More importantly, this is the story of the Golden Ketch.
This novella is set during WWII and is so raw and violent. The Japanese Commander is killing everyone he sees and raping every girl he comes across. He enslaves people to find gold that had been dumped at the bottom of a harbor and then lines his boat with it. He intends to leave all of his slaves dead but the American, John, lashes out, nearly killing him. The Commander finds himself in the hospital being treated by John’s wife, Mia, and threatens to kill her family if she doesn’t have sex with him. She sends her family away from the city and endures the commander’s repeated rapes until John finally finds her and they flee the city. The Commander wants his gold and he wants John’s life so he chases them in his boat committing atrocities everywhere he steps. This was brutal and I could not look away. I cheered for John and Mia and I hoped that the commander would be killed. This was a great read and so well written. I highly recommend it if you’re not squeamish about violence.
The Darkness Inside by CR Myers.
Publication Date: March 19, 2012
Two young children, caught trying to kill their grandfather, accuse their parents of terrible crimes.
This was the winner. This novella kept me entranced the entire time I read it. An officer taking the statements of the young children brings the parents in for questioning and the next day they’re found dead. What really happened? This is such a short story that I don’t want to give too much away. The tension and horror of the plotline is just stunningly vivid. This was rough subject matter but I thoroughly enjoyed this read and suggest that it’s well worth the 99 cents so pick it up if you like noir! When I closed my Kindle, my heart was racing and I was filled with the sense that this novella was just one really good read.
I wouldn’t want to go to the ER too often but it’s sure good for getting some reading done!