Review: Big Vamp on Campus by Molly Harper


Big Vamp on Campus
Author: Molly Harper
Published: 2016
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Half-Moon Hollow #5.5
Rating: B

Ancient vampire Ophelia is trapped in a waking nightmare. Bad enough that she’s been banished from the council, but her replacement has given her a truly heinous punishment; having to live in a college dorm. Her life has become horrifically filled with communal bathrooms and a goth wannabe roommate. To make matters worse, her longtime boyfriend has taken to campus life like a fish to water and spends most of his time hanging with his bros. Left to her own devices, Ophelia spends her time terrorizing her roommate and trying to figure out how to navigate college life. Continue reading

Review: Fangs for the Memories by Molly Harper

Fangs for the Memories

Fangs for the Memories
Author: Molly Harper
Published: 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Half-Moon Hollow #4.5
Rating: B+

Fangs for the Memories is a short story that takes place within the same time period as Molly Harper’s second Jane Jameson book, Nice Girls Don’t Date Dead Men.

The story focuses on Andrea and Dick Cheney’s (not that Dick Cheney) budding relationship, which we’ve seen slowly evolving on the sidelines in the Jane books. Live blood donor, Andrea, has been trying to ignore her attraction to Dick for quite a while. She’s had enough of smooth talking vampires to last her a lifetime. When one of her clients puts her in a bad situation, Andrea is surprised to find that it’s Dick who steps up to the plate and helps her out.

This is a very cute short story with Andrea and Dick. I loved getting a closer look at both of these characters and seeing that Andrea is just as mischievous as Dick. These two are just so enjoyable to watch interact. It left me hoping (in vain, I think) for a full length book featuring them.

While this is a great treat for fans of Harper’s books, I don’t think I would recommend it to someone who hasn’t read at least the first two Jane books. Since Harper is working within the parameters of what we saw happening on the sidelines in those stories, things jump around a little and there’s not much character development. If you’re looking to test the water with a shorter story before diving into one of Harper’s full length books, I would recommend checking-out the novella Driving Mr. Dead instead.

Pia Saves the Day

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pia saves the day

Pia Saves the Day
Author: Thea Harrison
Published: 2014
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Series: Elder Races #6.6
Rating: B

Pia Saves the Day is a novella in Thea Harrison’s Elder Races, series, which takes place between Kinked and Night’s Honor. It features Pia and Dragos from Dragon Bound as they deal with the effects of an accident.

Essentially, this is your basic amnesia plot. Dragos is left without his memories after a construction site collapses on him. Without any knowledge of who he is, Dragos is dangerous and highly volatile. So, Pia takes it upon herself to help her husband regain his memories (or at least come down from the mountain where he’s taken refuge).

Harrison has featured Pia and Dragos a lot in the series, with several novellas and 2 full length novels dedicated to them. They’re not my favorite Elder Races couple, but I enjoyed them here. Pia has enough angst around the situation to keep the story interesting and I liked that the resolution wasn’t entirely cut and dry.

All in all, This would be a good read for fans of the series looking for a quick fix. However, I wouldn’t recommend it as a standalone novella. It’s very short (clocking in around 100-ish pages) and a lot of the emotional impact relied on references/knowledge of past events in the series. However, if you read and enjoyed Dragon Bound you’ll probably find something to like here.

Gilded Ashes


Gilded Ashes
Author: Rosamund Hodge
Published: 2014
Genre: Young Adult
Series: Cruel Beauty #1.5
Rating: A

Gilded Ashes is a novella in Rosamund Hodge’s Cruel Beauty series and one of the most interesting Cinderella retellings I’ve read in a while. Since there’s no references made to the first book in the series (Cruel Beauty), Gilded Ashes works nicely as an introduction to Hodge’s writing and her world.

Maia is haunted by her mother’s ghost who exacts vengeance on anyone that upsets her daughter. After witnessing the cruelty her mother can exact from the grave, Maia has learned to smile and pretend nothing bothers her. She has spent years feigning happiness in order to protect her step mother and sisters. So, when one of the step-sisters asks her to start delivering love letters to Anax, the heir of the Duke of Sardis, she agrees. It’s an opportunity that Maia can’t pass-up since a marriage would get her family away from her mother’s watchful presence.

I was blown away by this novella. I wasn’t expecting to be so drawn into the world, characters, or Hodge’s beautiful writing. I bought it on a whim yesterday expecting a cute Cinderella retelling and got a wonderful, kind of dark, story instead. Maia is cynical about love because it is what motivated her mother to ensure she could still protect Maia after her death. She’s seen love do nothing but harm her entire life, so I completely understood her mind-set. It was an interesting flip on the typical Cinderella story since Maia didn’t crave love and had power. She could’ve destroyed her family for their ill treatment but chose to protect them instead. It was refreshing to see the main character in this sort of retelling not cast as a complete victim.

My only complaint about the novella was that the ending felt a little rushed concerning her relationship with Anax. After the drama that had transpired between them (prior to the climax) I had a hard time believing their relationship was immediately set right. However, it was only a small complaint and taken in context with the rest of the story, very minor.

If you’ve been considering reading Cruel Beauty but would like a small sample of Hodge’s writing before committing to a full length novel, I would highly recommend checking out Gilded Ashes.

Best Novellas Of 2014

Top Ten of 2014: A Week of Looking Back is a year-end meme hosted by Jamie @ Two Chicks On Books, Rachel @ Fiktshun, Mindy @ Magical Urban Fantasy Reads, and Nancy @ Tales of a Ravenous Reader.

I’m a little late to this party since they’re already on day three. Today’s theme is fill in the blank for Best …. of 2014. For this one, I chose Novellas since I tend to read a lot of them.


Amityville Horrible by Kelley Armstrong

My absolute favorite novella read in 2014 was Amityville Horrible. I love Jeremy and Jamie from Armstrong’s Women of the Otherworld series, so I was thrilled to revisit them in a fun story where Jamie is conned into doing another reality TV show that doesn’t go well.


Tethered by Meljean Brook

Tethered was a great novella featuring Archimedes Fox and Yasmeen as they deal with an old acquaintance blackmailing them into a dangerous rescue mission. I haven’t read the book that features Archimedes and Yasmeen yet so I was surprised at how well this story stood on it’s own. Definitely recommended to people who might be looking for a short introduction to the series.


Counterfeit Magic by Kelley Armstrong

Another great novella from Armstrong that makes the top of my best list is Counterfeit Magic. This one features Paige and Lucas as they try to unravel a mystery involving a supernatural fight club. What made this story so engrossing was seeing the issues Lucas’ acceptance of heir to the Cortez cabal is placing on his and Paige’s lives. If you’ve read at least Dime Store Magic, this one is well worth a quick read.


Frozen by Meljean Brook

Frozen was a great stand-alone novella from Brook. It’s not connected to any of her series, which makes it a great read for people who want to check out something by her without investing in a full length book. I loved the Norse mythology that this short focuses on. Brook also plays with the idea of fated mates and issues it could cause around consent.


Angels’ Dance by Nalini Singh

Technically a re-read, but since I had purchased it this year to re-read I’m going to count it. Jessamy is the teacher at Refuge who has been grounded all her life because of a birth defect with one of her wings. While she’s not exactly happy with her life, she’s learned to be content. That is until Galen, Raphael’s new weapons master, appears at Refuge. A great novella set in Singh’s Guild Hunter world.


Kisses, She Wrote by Katharine Ashe

Kisses, She Wrote is the first of my holiday themed novellas on this list. It was also my introduction to Katharine Ashe’s writing. Cam Westfall is shocked when he discovers that the steamy diary full of fantasies starring him belongs to shy Jacqueline of Sensaire. What I really love about this is that it didn’t go the typical “other person finds diary” plot route where the diary is read aloud or passed around to everyone.  All in all, it’s a cute Christmas story to get you into the holiday spirit.


The Damsel and the Daggerman by Delilah S. Dawson

I’ve only read one full length book centered in Dawson’s Blud universe, but I’ve read all her short stories. I love the atmosphere of the supernatural circus that they all take place in. The Damsel and the Daggerman was no exception to this. Jacinda Harville is determined to snag an interview with the circus’s daggerman, Marco Taresque. What follows is a cat and mouse game that was fun to watch play out.


How to Marry a Highlander by Katharine Ashe

How to Marry a Highlander oddly reminded me of Pride and Prejudice in some places. Teresa Finch-Freeworth is determined to marry Duncan, the Earl of Eads… so she proposes. His terms for accepting her offer is that she first find husbands for his seven sisters. Teresa was fun to watch as she spun tall tales and traipsed about town trying to contrive marriages for the seven oddball sisters. If you’re looking for a light historical romance, I would recommend you pick this one up.


Tarnished Knight by Bec McMaster

Tarnished Knight is another novella that takes place around Chrismas time. Esme is devastated when she discovers long time friend and newly turned vampire, John “Rip” Doolan, has no intention of claiming her. I loved the emotionally drama going on in this one and John’s struggle to understand the reason Esme is suddenly pulling back from their friendship. I haven’t read any of the other books in McMaster’s London Steampunk series, but after reading this they’re on my radar.


The Viscount’s Christmas Temptation by Erica Ridley

Yet another Christmas themed novella and the best part? It’s currently free on Amazon. Lady Amelia Pembroke is determined to see that the annual Sheffield Christmas ball continues as usual, despite the Sheffield’s ballroom having been destroyed. To do this, she wedges herself into Lord Benedict Sheffield’s life for the holiday season to help him orchestrate the affair at a new location. A bit of Christmas fluff that was fun to breeze through.

What were some of your favorite novellas from 2014?