I know many of you are not very fond of novellas, but I confess my passion for them. They allow me to disconnect from the real world for a short while and leave me breathless with a great cliffhanger. Provocative. Just what I fancy ;o)
First of all, I'm going to tell you about the third part of a serial I absolutely crave with a passion. If you want to have a look at the previous two parts, visit my gushing reviews because you must read these novellas. They're gorgeous!
1,001 EROTIC NIGHTS serial
And now to SIREN OF GAUL!
I’m impressed with this amazing serial. It’s always packed full of surprises, drama and hot sensuality. This is the third part and it already starts at the peak of tension. The way the second part finished left me fearing for Nimia. She had been so close to happiness after a terrible ordeal had almost crushed her, but fate tossed her again on the wrong side of its path.
I can’t tell you what I’m dying to spill because you may not have read the previous two parts, but Nimia is paying the price of her last nightmare. And Clovis, her barbarian lord, is as hard and unrelenting as ever. That man, oh, he makes it so difficult for my brave heroine. She doesn’t deserve all her sufferings. However, the plot is what makes the reading so intense and that includes all the bloody burdens on Nimia’s shoulders.
One of the assets of these stories is the author’s elegant and powerful narrative. It enhances the qualities of the story. And it wonderfully reminds me of another author’s work and style that I so loved some years ago, Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series.
Nimia wavers between bursts of power and episodes of being completely at the mercy of men. This time, an old enemy is beyond her reach. So the Frank leader devises a daring plan to get to him. Of course, the plan includes his seer-lover to cross the ocean to put into dangerous practice.
In a perilous journey from one coast of Gaul to another, Nimia will face all sorts of challenges at Alaric’s court, king of the Visigoths. I really liked all the new developments in Nimia’s pursuit of her origins, they seem all the more mysterious and awe-inspiring. When she’s not enduring men’s violence, she’s a smart lady, free-thinking and full of wit. I admire her as a woman, and she makes a wonderful character.
As soon as she meets Alaric, all the scenes that follow are compelling, sensual and dripping with foreboding. I especially fell in love with Terix, her faithful friend, all over again. Oh, how I wish for things to go deeper between those two. Some tantalizing things do happen in this installment. Wow. Loved it.
The confrontation with an old enemy is absolutely stunning, both in action and meaning. It left me breathless. Personally, I dislike Clovis. He’s a good character, mind you. He drives a lot of the plot, but as a man he’s so unlikable. Ironically, Nimia pushes away and betrays everyone who would have put the world at her feet, all in the name of this barbarian king. It’s a sad choice that’s going to brin her endless pain. I just wish in the end she’ll be rewarded with what she truly deserves: love and freedom. With a bittersweet ending, it promises the unknown of a dark but interesting future. I’m so curious about what will come now!
Siren of Gaul is beautifully written and it enriches the ongoing plot in masterful ways.
I highly recommend this serial to anyone who is inspired by sensuality, plotting and mysticism in a historical setting.
There is such a thing as being too free of sin.
If the price I paid was to lose his friendship, I wanted the wound back.
The next novella I'd like to tell you about is THE STARK AFFAIR, in this case, the second part. My opinion of the first part is here.
FLAME: THE STARK AFFAIR II
I remember part one was hot, edgy, and had an unconventional female protagonist. She swears a lot, she kicks ass and she's a cop. Not to mention she has a girlfriend. On a mission to catch a billionaire criminal, she slides into Heat, his night club, to pretend to be easy bait for the playboy.
Both she and Colton, the hottest man in town, are in for a surprise. They couldn't be ready for the shock of meeting each other. I liked that situation a lot. I was as mesmerized by their sparks as they were.
This second part starts with Colton's view of what happened at the end of part one. It allowed me to awaken those memories and reconnect with him. Colton and Sofia are strong-headed and have an agenda, but the challenge between them is fiery. There is a particular scene that was hilarious and lava-hot, when Sofia and Colton are sparring at the gym with their fists and verbal darts with double meaning. You have to read that! It's followed by the dirtiest, most foul-mouthed steamy scene ever.
Besides that, the plot is quite engaging. I like Colton because he's like a 007-world character. He's working backstage to put a hidden plan into motion to regain his freedom and punish a rich bad guy in the process. And he's so secretive and spy-like about it that the fun is guaranteed.
Things are getting darker too in this installment. There's a shocking revelation about Stark Industries that is dark, illegal, and sickens Colton to the core.
The ending is quite sudden, so I'm really looking forward to seeing how the story is going to develop.
The last novella I've read is SWEPT AWAY, a 4-part serial that combines mystery and steamy romance. Just my cup of tea ;o)
What a fantastic first chapter! This girl is braving the streets for the first time in three months because of an unknown tragedy. With the worst luck in the world, she has another traumatic experience that sets her back again. Nevertheless, she won't give up to despair.
Fifteen months later, Tara is on board a catamaran sailing for Hawai.
Written in the present tense, this novel has a fearful but courageous voice all at once. The world and its many tragedies weigh heavily on Tara's shoulders although she's slowly and unrelentingly facing her fears.
I really liked the first chapter. It's a great way to start the plot that entails action, drama and gives an insight to the main character.
After that we get to see Tara as part of a five-member crew. Limping and unsure, she feels free from everything that was a prison to her mind. There, too, she meets Ethan. Handsome, intense, secretive Ethan. And the mystery begins.
The time the crew spends on the boat is quite thrilling. It's actually most of the novella. Lots of things take place. There's an undeniable chemistry between Tara and Ethan which he's trying to fight for unfathomable reasons that puzzle her. Ethan is a mystery, he can go from a gentleman to aloof professional to ardent kisser in one day.
I liked his intensity, the tug-o-war of feelings between them. Also, something suspicious is going on the boat. The isolation and an accident start to meddle with Tara's peace of mind.
Inserted in the main story, there are a few diary entries from a girl back in 2002 that add to the mystery.
I'm always keen on characters having a painful past because when they share it with each other, it makes them more real in my eyes, and the connection between them feels also more poignant.
To my joy, Tara and Ethan finally give in to their burning passion, and slowly but oh so sensually, the intimate moments take place under the stars. Regretfully, their bliss is not to last!
I enjoyed myself very much with this first part. It's got a suspenseful plot, a mysterious and hot male character, a strong and well-developed female character, and an original setting out in the sea.
Without a doubt, I'm looking forward to reading what happens next after that hot cliffhanger!
That's all for today, book buddies. I hope you like my recommendations. If you have any of your own, feel free to drop me a comment :o)
Before I go, I'd like to thank the kindness of these three authors who let me have an ARC of their works for my reading and reviewing pleasure. Thank you so much, ladies!