Novella Quick Reviews

Last Request: A Victorian Novel by Jeff Chapman

Genres: Gothic, Horror

"For the love of God, cut off my head." The last
request in Uncle Silas's will shocks everyone
speechless, everyone except his favorite niece, Anna. More than death itself, the claustrophobic Silas fears a premature burial. Will Anna's elders carry out Silas's request? Anna is certain they will not. It's up to her to do the right thing, even if it is a bit grisly. Armed with butcher knife and candle, Anna heads for the crypt underneath the church in the dead of night. All does not go according to Anna's careful planning.
Step inside a dark story in the tradition of the penny dreadful, at times humorous and horrifying, but don't close the door behind you. Someone might lock you in.
  Jeff Chapman, I am in awe of you. Last Request: A Victorian Gothic was such a satisfying read. The descriptions were much appreciated. Chapman is prolific at building suspense through surroundings, and I was easily able to lose myself in the world he so masterfully crafted in this short story. I flew through the pages because I could not go without knowing what the conclusion would be.

  Gothic, Victorian and Southern, are a soft spot for me. I feel like the author was able to capture the essence of the genre with this story. It worked so well for me as a fan. I cannot praise Jess Chapman enough. Without a doubt, I'll be seeking out more of his work.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Jeff Chapman.

The Breakup Artist by Nichole Severn

Genres: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Demi Shepherd breaks hearts for a living—and she learned long ago that love just isn’t worth the pain. But when one of her clients ends up dead, Demi is going to have to put her heart on the line to save her own life.

A professional breakup artist, Demi is hired to end other people’s romances. When one of her clients is murdered—with Demi’s fingerprints on the murder weapon—her only hope for clearing her name and finding out who framed her is Jack Austin, a world-weary hunk who’d just as soon let her rot in jail.

Jack is a hard-bitten undercover agent, driven to expose and bring down a money-laundering organization, and he’s not willing to risk his life or career for Demi. Until Demi proves she’s innocent of the crime—but far from innocent in the bedroom.

With cops and killers on their trail and a smoldering romance ready to ignite, Jack and Demi have to fight together to save their lives, as well as their damaged hearts.
  I really struggled to read this one. Even though it was very short, it was hard to keep on track. The story was very choppy. It seemed to bounce back and forth and never felt like it established a fluid flow. The Breakup Artist never felt like it could happen, either. I had a hard time believing the story that the author was building. It was all over the place.

  Holy insta-lust and insta-love. I am very much a character reader. I enjoy stories more based on the characters in them and how well I relate to them. The characters in this story never got my interest. Their actions were so unbelievable that I could never develop any connection to them or the story.

  If you're looking for a quick read set in Las Vegas, you may enjoy this. There was a lot of stuff I had to look past just to finish The Breakup Artist.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Nichole Severn and NetGalley.
Cavern of Light: The Becoming 
by Larissa Ladd

Genres: Paranormal Romance

[Goodreads | Amazon]
You know it's true, Abby. You are just afraid to face
the facts, and probably a little confused. But this is
who you are. Every word is true. Abby's life is just beginning. It is the time of her college graduation, and she has become an accomplished chef and a lovely young woman. Little does she know, she is about to face a whole new phase of her life-and an entirely different "becoming." When tragedy strikes, Abby is driven to return to her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts, despite her avoiding the area due to a childhood accident that has left her scarred. Rising up from the tragedy, Abby finds herself faced with compelling reasons to settle down permanently in Salem. As if this decision weren't overwhelming enough, Abby finds herself having memory lapses, fighting off the strange mayor of the town, and continuing a confusing romance with Jake, a love she had left behind when she went off to college. As the pieces begin to come together, things only become more confusing and challenging for Abby. She discovers a supernatural side of herself she didn't even believe in, and she must learn to adapt quickly when a great evil threatens Salem. Can Abby harness her newly-found abilities while navigating the extreme tides of change and mysterious forces that are overrunning her life? Run wild with the pack and join Abby as she embraces her mystical side in the continuations of Larissa Ladd's captivating Cavern of Light series. Satisfy your hunger for more magical mayhem with Ladd's Eye of the Coven series and experience the supernatural like never before. The gripping tales will have you howling with anticipation to see what mysteries wait ahead.
   This book is a very fast read. It felt like it was over right after I got started reading it. But it packs quite a lot into that small space. It was an intriguing introduction to a series that promises all of the paranormal elements that I love. The characters felt well developed, which I was surprised at given the shortness of this book.

  There are a few editing flaws, but nothing that takes away from the story as a whole. I was easily able to overlook them and get lost in this story. This isn't the first book that I've read by Larissa Ladd, and I hope it isn't the last. I've grown to really enjoy her writing style and characters.

**I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. My thanks to Larissa Ladd.


  1. Thanks for the review, Kristen. Glad to see you enjoyed Last Request.

    1. Thanks for allowing me to review it, Jeff! It was definitely my pleasure.


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