Review: Two novellas by Carina Press

In the past week, I’ve read a couple of great novellas from Carina Press. I love novellas when I’m super busy or have lots of things piling up because they take only a few hours of commitment – just enough to help me unwind. They’re also a great way to try out new authors without having to buy a full-length book.

Here are the novellas I enjoyed this week.

Improper Relations by Juliana Ross

From the back cover

Dorset, 1858

Improper RelationsWhen Hannah’s caught watching her late husband’s cousin debauch the maid in the library, she’s mortified-but also intrigued. An unpaid companion to his aunt, she’s used to being ignored.

The black sheep of the family, Leo has nothing but his good looks and noble birth to recommend him. Hannah ought to be appalled at what she’s witnessed, but there’s something about Leo that draws her to him.

When Leo claims he can prove that women can feel desire as passionately as men, Hannah is incredulous. Her own experiences have been uninspiring. Yet she can’t bring herself to refuse his audacious proposal when he offers to tutor her in the art of lovemaking. As the tantalizing, wicked lessons continue, she begins to fear she’s losing not just her inhibitions, but her heart as well. The poorest of relations, she has nothing to offer Leo but herself. Will it be enough when their erotic education ends?

22,000 words

Read an excerpt of Improper Relations
Buy Improper Relations

My two cents

As I’ve said before, I don’t read a lot of erotic romance. Some of the erotic novels and novellas I’ve picked up in the past had a real air of “did somebody call a plumber?” about them. So if I’m going to try a new erotic romance author, I rely heavily on reviews or stick to a novella in order to figure out if I like their style.

I would definitely pick up another Juliana Ross book. I loved how curiously innocent Hannah was and Leo’s eagerness to show her how much pleasure she could experience. He was masculine and alpha without being an asswipe, which is another problem I often have with erotic romance. And – since this story is narrated by Hannah – it was really important that I loved her voice.

4 out of 5 stars

Heat: Erotic

Slow Summer Kisses by Shannon Stacey

From the back cover

Slow Summer KissesAnna Frazier is used to living life at 100 mph, but being downsized out of a job in the financial industry has her permanently stalled. With nowhere to go, go, go, Anna hails a cab to her grandparents’ neglected New Hampshire camp to plan her next move. It seems like a good idea–until she realizes there’s no takeout to be had and the boy next door has grown into a sexy but surly recluse.

Cameron Mayfield knows he can kiss his peace and quiet goodbye when Hurricane Anna blows in. She was loud and bossy as a ten-year-old–and besides developing some attractive curves, she hasn’t changed. Cam’s not looking for a relationship, especially not with a woman like Anna. He nearly broke down on that road once before. So why can’t he stop thinking about her?

It’s not long before their sizzling attraction leads to smoking-hot kisses. But as the days get shorter, Anna must decide if she’s found a new road to happiness, or just taken a detour.

25,000 words

Read an excerpt of Slow Summer Kisses
Buy Slow Summer Kisses

My two cents

I love Shannon Stacey, so is it any wonder I pre-ordered this and read it the day it was released? Shannon’s novels feature characters who cause enough friction with each other to worry Smokey Bear.

Cameron’s a man who saw his father work himself to death and figured out he was on the same track. He figured out a way to step off the career conveyor belt and can now make chillaxing an Olympic sport. Anna feels a constant terrible need to succeed and she can’t survived without dozens of to-do lists. When the two of them meet after years apart, it’s hard to see how they can find happiness with each other without sacrificing an essential part of themselves.

Funny, tender and sexy, Slow Summer Kisses is a wonderful way to help yourself unwind from life’s constant pressure.

4 out of 5 stars

Heat: Hot

Have you read either of these novellas? Have you read any other novellas recently that you can recommend?

By Kat

Kat Latham writes sexy contemporary romance, including the London Legends rugby series. With degrees in English lit and human rights, she loves stories that reflect the depth, humor and emotion of real life. She's a California girl living in the Netherlands with her baby girl and British husband.


  1. I have read “Improper Relations” and loved it! I am now stalking Juliana Ross so I know exactly when any new stories become available. I have “Slow Summer Kisses” on my reader and it’s definitely up soon. As far as recommendations, I just finished “A Little More Scandal” by Carrie Lofty. Very good — and very hot!

    1. I haven’t read any Carrie Lofty books (*hangs head in shame*) so thanks for the recommendation, Suz! A novella’s the perfect way for me to check out a new author.

  2. Agree on Carina Press — I’ve read 3 novellas from them and all of them were very good. (Then I checked out their website for upcoming releases and there are a few more that are interesting. ^_^)

    I’ve been considering Juliana Ross’s work — and have read good things about it. Your review has convinced me that it’s time to go pick up a copy.

    Also, I also haven’t read Carrie Lofty but I love the cover of her latest book.

  3. This is a short novella that goes right to the point.
    I loved the written skills of the author who has exhilarated me in some hot scenes but has also piqued my interest when Hannah left the house of the Marchioness of Dorchester.

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