Since this last week's theme was "Fun Beach Reads," here are some short reads you can't go wrong with:
Beach House Beginnings (Beach House No.9, #5) by Christie Ridgway(HQN - Kindle Ed. $1.59) is a short novella that is just that, the introductory novella to Christie Ridgway's Beach House No. 9 contemporary romance series. It is quick, hot and just a bit angsty, with a too quick romance and a lusty couple who find a "happily ever after" years after they meet on the same island beach. She was in love with his cousin and has spent years agonizing over his death and drowning of his cousin and leading a stale life, while he spent those same years going forward and becoming a success just as his much admired cousin would have wanted him to. Coincidences abound, but they're attributed to the love woo woo that come from Beach House No. 9 where this couple meets again. This is cute, short, and a great beach read, even as everything happens too quickly. I like the premise, however, and am thinking of giving the first book of the series a try. Grade: C
Then we have Conjuring Max by Carolyn Crane, a story set in the world of her Mr. Real series. This story works as a bit of a prequel and gives the reader an idea of how it all begins. I liked both characters, Max and Veronica, and the way magic and technology is integrated in a not-too-distant past. I really like how it ended.
Set in her Iron Seas world, my favorite piece in this three piece collection is Wrecked by Meljean Brook. Brook manages to add to her world-building by introducing new intriguing characters and interesting usage of the machines developed by the Horde, and also satisfactorily develops a believable romance with a happily ever after. Grade: B-
This is a couple who fell in love when Phillipa was only 16 and Julian a young, good for nothing, rakehell. Two years later she's of age and her family is actively trying to find her a husband. Julian is ready to make his move, but her parents have another man in mind. How will Julian and Phillipa find their happily ever after? The best I can say is that this is a too short, average read that provides an hour and a half of reading pleasure, but where all falls into place easily enough. As prequels go, we'll have to wait and see how Darleigh is affected by the events that take place in this novella. Recommended for those reading Balogh's new series or as a quick standalone historical romance treat without much of a conflict. Grade: C