Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Review: Unlocked Valentine's Novellas

I recently won a Twitter competition in which @UnlockedBooks were giving away their three special Valentine's Day-themed e-novellas. I was quite excited as I'd read several of the Christmas-themed novellas and really enjoyed them, in particular the story from Esme Taylor (Keris Stainton), All I Want For Christmas.  So with those high expectations, I waited until Valentine's Day in order to start these cute, romantic, sexy short reads. 

Despite the pink covers and the publication of these novellas around Valentine's Day, these both could easily be read and enjoyed at any time of the year.  Both Baby, One More Time by Esme Taylor and In Too Deep by Bea Longworth mention Valentine's Day but only in an off-hand sort of way. There is nothing overtly Valentine's-y at all and I would encourage you to read either of these if you are a fan of contemporary romance. 

Baby, One More Time by Esme Taylor 

 I started off the Valentine's Day e-novellas with Baby, One More Time by Esme Taylor. It's only 66 pages or so and I absolutely flew through the pages.  I was hooked from the very first chapter in which our main character, Cass, is browsing in a book store at the airport and she looks up to see her her ex-boyfriend, Nick. 

Cass and Nick decide to get some coffee together and catch up and what follows is this wonderful, tense exchange between two people with a messy, complicated history but who also seem to still to be deeply attracted to each other.  I loved Cass and Nick right from the start.  It was fun to see them try to navigate this weekend away in New York in which they experiment with being together again despite the reasons in which they broke up.  It was also quite hot without being overly explicit. 

I also really loved the setting of New York.  As the reader, you can tell how much the author loves New York based on the way she has written Cass and Nick exploring the city with such joy and enthusiasm. I'm definitely looking forward to reading more stories from Esme Taylor!

In Too Deep by Bea Longworth

Next up in my journey through the Valentine's-themed novellas from Unlocked Books, I picked up In Too Deep by Bea Longworth.  I wasn't familiar with the author beforehand but decided to dive right in anyway. 

In Too Deep tells the story of a girl, Daisy, who is feeling all kinds of conflict. First, she's nervous about her rowing try-outs at university, but also, she keeps seeing photos online of her ex-boyfriend which makes Daisy remember the things her ex told her about it being at fault for that unsatisfactory sex life.  While she is out rowing, she crashes into Ben, another rower who blows a bit hot and cold. Sometimes he's sexy and flirty with her and other times very arrogant. 

While there is less sexy times in this book than I expected, the thing that I really enjoyed about this book is how much of it is focused on providing Daisy with more confidence.  There's an extended make-over scene in the middle which really made me happy and I really loved the changes in Daisy after her encounters with Ben! 

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