It’s that time of year again! I absolutely adore novellas, short stories, and anthologies! They are fun and fast reads, and some are very easy on the pocketbook if not FREE. Some are essential to the series, some are great for catch-up between novels, and some… well, some will have you scratching your head wondering, “What’s the point in this?” as well as questioning the hefty price! This month, I’m going to be bringing you some novella and short story deals and steals as well as highlighting my favorites and letting you know which ones to grab up and which ones you might want to pass up. I’ll have spotlights, reviews, guest reviews, and giveaways.
“Her breath caught. No one had ever looked at her like that before.
His eyes spoke words his mouth could never so poignantly convey.”
I absolutely adore Samantha Young and her New Adult contemporaries On Dublin Street and Down London Road so I didn’t hesitate to pick up this free novella when I was perusing Amazon for some short stories. This is a much different read from the aforementioned books; and while it took me a little bit to get into it, I ended up enjoying this paranormal romance quite a bit. Avery was involved in a tragic accident that took the lives of her parents when she was only ten years old. She was raised by a wonderful and loving aunt who Avery saw as her own personal hero. So when her beloved Aunt Caroline was diagnosed with cancer and all treatment was exhausted, Avery was devastated. When she began catching glimpses of the mysterious and scarred stranger Brennus, it startled her to realize they had some sort of a connection; and even more dumbfounding was the realization that he was Death.
“Death. As in Angel of. Grim Reaper. Black hooded cloak. Big scythe.”
He's an Ankou, to be exact – a once-mortal man who was granted the choice to become immortal in exchange for helping the dead transition into their afterlife, meaning he has the power to save Avery’s Aunt Caroline in exchange for something he wants very badly. And that something… just happens to be Avery.
I may not have been completely absorbed in this novella at the start – let’s face it, Joss and Braden are a power couple, and it’s hard to find characters that can compare to that level of greatness – but this story had a Beauty and the Beast quality to it that I couldn’t help but enjoy.
“Shouldn’t I want to run in the opposite direction?
Shouldn’t I be terrified of him? Because I’m not. I’ve never felt safer.”
I’m a sucker for a character who falls in love with someone’s heart – someone who values the inside more than the outside – especially when whatever shallowness kept them from appreciating the outside fades away and blossoms into something truly beautiful.
“He was the most beautifully sad thing she had ever seen.”
And it may seem like Avery’s choice would be a clear one, but she didn’t count on Brennus’s angry Ankou ex-lover. Avery experiences a good bit of character growth over these 166 pages, and that’s a good thing because she certainly had some growing to do. This won’t be my favorite Samantha Young book, but I really enjoyed this take on Death and the fast-paced full story she gives us.
“By the look in his eyes, she knew he was going to kiss her again.
And she was going to let him.”
Bottom Line: It may not be On Dublin Street, but this novella is still a fun read; and at 166 pages and FREE, it’s a clear steal.
My Rating: ★★★