Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Novella Reviews: Resolutions and Krampus Hates Christmas


I'm back with a couple more novella reviews from the Bah Humbug Advent Calendar, courtesy of Dreamspinner Press.

Resolutions by Emma Keene

Review by Lauren

source: copy from publisher; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryAs an advertising executive, it’s Logan’s job to sell people holiday cheer, and he’s good at what he does. But deep down, Logan hates everything about Christmas, so he worries that his crush on the hot baker who loves the holidays is a recipe for disaster.

Last year, Logan saw Ryan at a holiday party Ryan was catering, and the attraction was instant. In a drunken moment, Logan made it his New Year’s Resolution to ask the pastry chef out. But another year has slipped away, time is running out, and Logan’s assistant demands he collect on his resolution. Can Logan find the confidence that usually comes so easily to him? And if he does, will Ryan have any interest in spending the holidays with a man who doesn’t share his enthusiasm for the season?

Review: While I enjoyed this one, it definitely wasn't my favorite. The basic idea is that Logan makes a drunken New Year's Resolution to ask out caterer Ryan, when he meets him at a holiday party. The book starts almost a full year later and Logan still hasn't done it. His office secretary pushes him to do it, telling him that he needs to at least try, even if Ryan says no. I understand the reluctance to ask out a near-stranger. Logan doesn't want to be let down. However, there is an aspect of this story that just didn't ring true to me. I can't see it happening in real life - but then again, maybe it could? Like I said, it 's a good read, but more of the short and sweet variety than anything truly amazing.

Want to read Resolutions? Get it from Amazon for $1.99

Krampus Hates Christmas by Andi Van

Review by Lauren

source: copy from publisher; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryKarl Kringle hates the modern-day Christmas. He was born to be Krampus, but the Holiday Council refuses to let him help his brother Nick—aka Santa Claus—with the Naughty List until he finds his holiday spirit. To meet that challenge, he’s turned human and dumped in a strange apartment.

Lewis Weatherby loves the holidays and always has. Not only do his parents own a pumpkin patch and tree farm, he’s also inherited a Christmas-themed shop. All he wants from Santa is the man of his dreams, and the Big Guy might’ve just delivered. Lewis’s new neighbor Karl is gorgeous, sweet, and has a fantastic sense of humor—if his jokes about being Krampus are any indication.

Soon getting home is less important to Karl than what will happen when Lewis inevitably realizes the truth behind his jokes. He’s finally starting to understand the real joy of the season—now he just has to figure out how to hold on to it.

Review: This is one of the longer novellas and for that, I was really happy, because it benefits from a slightly fuller story and it's definitely one of my favorites in the collection. I highly recommend it!

Karl Kringle looks a bit like an animal, fur and hooves to match. He's Nick Kringle's twin brother - Santa Claus to most people - and he's supposed to help Nick every Christmas by taking care of the naughty children. The council won't let him though. So Nick's husband sends Karl to live in the apartment building he owns until Krampus Day, disguising him as a human, in hopes that he will find his Christmas spirit.

It's here that Karl meets his neighbor, Lewis, and they soon start a friendship that leads to more. It's easy to feel concerned about this relationship though, since Lewis doesn't know Karl's full story and Karl is unsure if Lewis will stay with him when he once again takes on his "animal-esque" appearance. 

I loved these two together though! Lewis loves Christmas and it's nice to see Karl slowly develop more of a love for it, helping out with Lewis' shop and decorating a Christmas tree. Family plays a big part in this novella and I thought it was done really well. I'd love to read more about Karl and Lewis in the future! It was a fun, imaginative story!

Want to read Krampus Hates Christmas? Get it from Amazon for $3.99


Lisa Mandina said...

Okay, the fact that they put krampus into a story makes me laugh! I love it! Both stories sound like good quick reads. Great reviews!

Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity said...

I know what you mean about some of these novellas seeming unrealistic. But because I'm mainly reading them to help me feel like its Christmas, and because they always have a happily ever after at the end I don't really mind!

I'm glad you liked the Krampus one! I do feel like the slightly longer Christmas stories do have a bit more to them. I like to feel like I know the characters enough to feel invested in their story. I hope the author writers a sequel - maybe next year!