And I ended up reading three novella’s by Shawn Lane before we had to leave the house around six for a birthday dinner.
I had never before read any books from this author and I have to say that I enjoyed these three a lot! She's a real find for me.
I’ve read them all in a row and all three were different and very enjoyable reads. I like her variety in characters, situations and settings. And although the stories were short (all three 55 pages or less) they have well developed characters and plots. The strength of her stories is probably situated in the fact that her protags share a history with each other, so she doesn’t have to deal with the trap of insta-love. But I suspect that even without that shared history Shawn Lane can make the romance believable within that limited amount of pages.
Here are my thoughts on the three that I've read.
This historical story is short but almost feels like a full length read. It's amazing how much information and character and plot development Shawn Lane can put into 30 pages. The characters, Aubrey and Daniel, feel like real people, we learn a little bit about their past lives and shared history, and their feelings are made very tangible. There's some hot attraction, angst, hurt and happiness - all very well dosed. Another Chance is a fast-paced story that doesn't allow you to put it down for a minute (good thing it's not that long ;)) and when you finish it all there's left is to heave a happy sigh.
One little niggle I had: Aubrey has sex with a woman right before he meets Daniel again and he and Daniel have oral sex. When it's mentioned how Daniel likes Aubrey's taste all I could think was 'yikes', since there was no use of condoms, this being a historical romance. But maybe that's just me. 4.5 stars
Ten years ago, Aubrey St. Clair, Viscount Rothton, watched the man of his dreams, Daniel Blake, the Earl of Graystone, walk out of his life after a brief sexual encounter. Now Graystone returns to London after the death of his wife and Aubrey is given another chance with his dream man. But Daniel is determined he will have only one night of sexual bliss with Aubrey and then they must once more go their separate ways.
This novella is not a light, quick read although it’s not long. It’s altogether an emotional story with incredible character depth that I really enjoyed.
Nothing is what it seems, that’s what Alex is about to experience when he meets his old school friend Craig again, who happened to be the guy who gave him a hard time for coming out of the closet back then. Now he’s his blind date and Alex has trouble believing that Craig is gay. Despite his initial scepticism Alex falls for Craig all over again and they start a relationship. Their chemistry is very good and the love scenes are hot. And when they move in together all seems picture perfect. But there’s more to it than this and – without giving away too much – it turns out that Craig isn’t the perfect man he seems to be. The author gave little hints (like ‘the lie slipped out so easily’) from the beginning of the story, building some suspense that way. It makes this a captivating and gripping story that I read in one breath. 4 stars
Alex Nichols’ sister sets him up on a blind date with the perfect man, a man who has haunted his dreams for ten years. Craig Fontaine was his fantasy as far back as high school, but Craig did his best to humiliate him then over coming out. Now ten years later they both have successful careers and Craig claims to be gay. At first Alex is certain this is Craig’s version of a joke, but it soon becomes clear things have changed in ten years. Craig really is gay and hotter than ever. But Craig has a dark past that threatens their future and Alex may lose his perfect man before they have their chance at happily ever after.
This is the third story that I read. And like in the other two, the shared history is present in ‘Trust’. Brad and Justin were an item in college, 13 years ago. Their relationship ended badly when Justin caught Brad cheating. Fast forward 13 years and the guys meet again, coincidentally, when Justin gets in a car accident and Brad is one of the paramedics who are coming to his rescue. I loved how these guys, who appeared to be all wrong for each other, couldn’t help themselves and felt indisputably drawn to the other man again. They have to deal with a murderous stalker which makes it necessary for them to spend time together and that leads to a lot of hot smexing. And in the end they have to deal with their feelings, which all boils down to trust and distrust. The author has some heart ache in store for them and an eye opening, thrilling disclosure. She effectively forced me as a reader to make the emotional and stirring ride with them. And it was fabulous. I really loved spending my time with Brad and Justin and I would instantly purchase a sequel if she wrote one (she didn’t, did she?). 4.5 stars
Brad Callahan has lived with regret for thirteen years. In college, he broke Justin Lowe’s heart by cheating. Justin hasn’t spoken to him since, but his love for Brad never died even if some wounds never heal. When Brad’s paramedic unit is called to an accident, he finds Justin in the wrecked car. Still in love with Justin, Brad visits his former lover and well-known mystery writer in the hospital. When Justin reveals he believes he was forced off the road and has been receiving ominous letters, Brad takes Justin home. Passion long held back ignites and they cannot resist being in each other’s arms. With someone wanting to tear them apart and Justin’s inability to trust Brad again, will love be enough to unite them forever?
I hope you had great weather or good reads this weekend too!