Need a Quickie? Read These Romance Novellas
There's no joy like losing yourself in a lush romance—but sometimes, you don't have that luxury. Maybe you've found that "springing forward" for Daylight Savings Time has you all discombobulated, or you're suffering through an awkwardly-timed layover. We've got you covered with six novellas (contemporary, Regency, New Adult, NASCAR, and straight-up erotica) that pack the punch of your favorite romances in half the time. Consider it the book equivalent of a quickie.
Remember picking up Cosmopolitan magazine and groaning your way through the cheesy Red Hot Reads? The mag has rebooted its saucy snippets series, with romance powerhouse Sylvia Day leading the charge with two new novellas. In Afterburn, Gia comes face-to-face with her former lover, Jax: She's completing a mentorship under one of the savviest women in the restaurant business, but he's gotten involved in a business deal that could jeopardize her mentorship. Once you hit the cliffhanger at the end of the first novella, you'll be desperate to pick up Aftershock.
You know what makes for a fast, entertaining read? Pirates. Better yet, father-and-son swashbucklers. These two novellas are classic Eloisa James: Seduced by a Pirate is the rather self-explanatory tale of a lord-turned-accidental-pirate who returns to reclaim his wife 17 years later; then, in With This Kiss, their son draws inspiration from his father's rakish ways to ensnare the woman of his dreams. Expect lots of high seas innuendos and playful romance that nonetheless smolders. Plus, it won the 2013 RITA Award for Best Novella!
While Beautiful Disaster fans were delighted when Travis and Abby eloped, our guess was that they were a little sore at it being as big of a surprise to them as to the other characters. In this novella, Jamie McGuire reveals all the details of their elopement: why Abby popped the question, what secrets came out before the ceremony, and, of course, how they spent their wedding night.
Another RITA winner (in 2007), Roxanne St. Claire's 'Tis the Silly Season really lives up to its name. Waitress and single mom Lisa Mahoney and NASCAR driver Clay Slater know just how to use each other: He needs a fake family to impress a potential sponsor, and she wants to give her boys a storybook Christmas. Add the high stakes of Clay trying to keep his sponsorships and an all-too-real kiss under the mistletoe, and this novella will get you in the holiday spirit no matter what time of year you read it.
Whether you're new to Jennifer Weiner's novels or you've been a diehard reader since Good in Bed, this novella acts as a great amuse-bouche to her body of work. In such a short piece, protagonist Ruth juggles problems of all sizes: Struggling to make ends meet by helping students write college applications and unlucky singles punch up their dating profiles, she also carries the darker weight of her parents' deaths in a car crash that left her scarred. Swim achieves the tricky task of both having a complete narrative arc and—if you want to spend more time with Ruth—leading in to Weiner's novel The Next Best Thing.
Technically this is a collection of novellas: Julia Quinn follows up the happily-ever-afters in each of her eight Bridgerton novels with these "second epilogues." Want to know if Simon ever read his father's letters, or who would win in a fight? All of the loose threads get tied up in these stories, though the real question is… Can you read just one?
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