Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Favorite Novellas of 2009

For those people following my year end favorites, novellas are next. Last year, they were heavily weighted for Samhain, a testimony to the quality I often find over there. This year, the balance is more even, with four e-publishers represented as well as both het and m/m. There' s even a repeat of an author from last year's list, which goes to show how much a fan I'm turning out to be.

4th Runner Up
NEG UB2 by Rick R. Reed

This is one of those cases where the sequel is better than the original. While I enjoyed VGL Male Seeks Same, the emotion in this was so much more palpable that there's really no comparison. They engulfed me, even when I had slight issues with the protagonist's melodramatic ways.

3rd Runner Up
Bound by Blood by Evie Byrne

Evie Byrne is my repeat author on this list, with the second of her vampire series. While the first book was certainly solid, this one outshone it. Both her hero and heroine were strong individuals, the sex was hot, and it epitomizes what I consider her best strength - the sheer energy that flows through her work.

2nd Runner Up
Unrequited by Abigail Roux

For anybody who read my recent review of this novella, its presence on this list should not come as a surprise. Its dialogue is some of the best I've read all year, its relationships some of the most real. I loved that these men felt like they should have been sitting in my living room, and I adored that the author made simple kissing more erotic than a lot of the far more explicit work out there. An absolutely lovely little gem.

1st Runner Up
Selkie Island by Jorrie Spencer

There are a few things that almost always stop me from finishing a blurb. The fae. Mate talk. Weird shifters. Paranormal water elements. But because I like this author, and because I loved this cover so much - enough for it to be one of my favorites from the year - I gave this one a go when I might not have normally. What I discovered was one of the most tender stories I read all year. It's evocative and atmospheric, with a truly wonderful love story.

And my favorite novella of 2009 is...
Losing It by Kate Willoughby

Finding an author whose humor meshes with your own is always a joy. When they can actually write, too? Even better. I discovered this author with this wonderfully funny, cheerfully romantic story, and as much as I love her, I still consider it my favorite of her work. Just like the last story, it proves that in the hands of a talented author, it's possible for me to look past personal peccadillos and fall in love harder than I would have imagined possible.


Kate Willoughby said...

Wow, I'm so honored to have my story be chosen as your favorite. It's so satisfying to please such a discerning critic. Are you going to list books you're looking forward to this year?

Joely Skye said...

Thank you very much for your kind words.

And I love Kate's idea, in that it's fun to see what people are looking forward to reading in 2010.

Jorrie Spencer/Joely Skye

Evie Byrne said...

Thank you! I'm honored to appear on your lists twice--and I'm doubly honored to be in such good company.

BTW, did you know Kate is just as funny in person???

Kate Willoughby said...

Pffft. Evie, what planet are you living on?

Book Utopia Mom said...

Yep, my goal is to do that on the 30th. I have to admit, I'm a tad nervous about it, because I did it last year, and...I still hadn't read one of those books though I've bought it. I don't tend to pay much attention to coming soon lists, I'll admit. But that's because I check new releases for 26 e-publishers, FW, and ARe, every week (well, I check every day, though just the ones I know are releasing that day like LSB on Monday, Samhain on Tuesday/Friday, etc.). Then I record the information on a spreadsheet so I can keep track of what I've already purchased.

Wow, I sound obsessive, don't I? lol

Reading you is a pleasure, ladies. Thank you for everything you do.

Caitlin said...

You introduced me to the wonderful Frank Tuttle, and ever since then, I've listened to your recommendations. I just finished Losing It last night and it was hilarious. Thank you for the reviews!

Book Utopia Mom said...

Hey Caitlin,

I'm so glad you enjoyed it! If I can find new readers for authors I love, I know I've done what I set out to do. :)

Rick R. Reed said...

Thanks so much for including NEG UB2. I'm thrilled and honored. It's a story that means a lot to me because it shows that even HIV+ characters can have a happily-ever-after...I'm glad you "got" that.

Book Utopia Mom said...

Rick - It's a fantastic story. Thank you so much for sharing your talent!

Clare London said...

I just wanted to say thanks for your summaries for the year, in all of your categories - I've found new treats from them, as well as feeling I've shared those I've read and loved. I'm looking forward to reading more in 2010! :)