It has been far too long since I’ve done a roundup of my favorite stories. I actually haven’t posted book reviews here since January. (Yikes!) To make up for lost time, I’ve broken up the books I’ve read since January into categories/themes, and will be posting the highlights – my most favorite books I’ve read this year – in bunches.
Today’s category is… Romance Shorts!
All of these books are romance, and all of them probably qualify as novellas or even longish short stories rather than novels. I absolutely loved them, and hope you will, too.
It revolves around two longtime best friends in boarding school whose relationship starts changing as one of the pair gets new friends and the two start drifting apart. This book really captures the jealousy and panic when you feel someone slipping away from you, and how anything you try to do to fix it can end up just driving the other person away from you.
It’s a f/f romance, and when the pair finally realize, admit their feelings, and are together, it is so sweet and perfect and AAAAAH!! This is such a short little book and it’s just very well done.
Hotspot and Cold Press by Lia Cooper
Two m/m shorts from one of my favorite m/m authors. Hotspot is a soulmates story involving con artists, mutual pining, and a tough guy who’s sweet on the inside. I am kind of a sucker for (soul)mates of any kind, though I usually read them in the context of shifters, so this was a really nice take on it.
Cold Press will make you want coffee, okay. It’s very sensual in that way and revolves around a snowed-in coffee shop. A great read with winter coming, and it’s really short and sweet. (And for those of my friends who are sex-repulsed, there are no on-screen sex scenes in this story, but plenty of romance.)
(Actually if you go to Lia Cooper’s website and sign up for her newsletter, you can get Hotspot for free!)
“How to tell her, without scaring her, that she was his universe?”
Soulmates, again! I told you – I’m weak for soulmates. This time it’s between a djinn and a witch, both of whom are POC. I really liked this one largely because the male love interest – Tig – is so far from an alpha male. We see inside his head as he is nervous and unsure of himself, and while he definitely has his badass moments, his charms (and magic) are not found in physical strength, aggression, or physical force. He’s silly and charming, and I really appreciated the break from surly, muscle-bound alpha males.
Another thing I loved about this story is how the female character was given so much agency. There are two “action” sequences/events that happen where villains must be fought off / people must be rescued, and the woman is the hero who saves the day *both times.*
I just really, really enjoyed this story. My only complaint is it wasn’t long enough! I wanted more of these characters and this world, and will definitely be checking out the author’s other works.
This is the 2nd in a series, but I read it as a standalone novel and was really surprised how much I liked it. It’s a m/m romance between two artists, and their relationship largely revolves around what huge fanboys they are of each other’s work. The characters discuss racial micro-aggressions and how they are sexually objectified and etc. with candor, and I really enjoyed that element of it as well. There is a sex scene, and one of the characters is a castrato. If you don’t know what that means – he is a singer who has been castrated in order to maintain a high-pitched voice. It’s a practice that has been discontinued in modern times for obvious reasons, but which still exists in this book’s fantasy universe. I really liked how that was handled, and just… this book was really well-done. I need to read the rest of the series. 🙂
Does anyone else like romance shorts? I seem to get a lot of them on my kindle, maybe because they’re cheaper than a full novel, or because I get them in bundle packs, but clearly I like them. 😉 Has anyone else read any good shorts / novellas recently?