I wanted to read a few Novellas in November, especially since I recently discovered The Getaway Series on Blue Moon Cafe, when Jonetta reviewed Belle Mer by Luanne Rice. Although many of these stories I read are technically short stories and not novellas, I am including them anyway. I found a few others on Audible Originals which are free with my membership
Getaway: Secrets Follow You Everywhere
Perfect vacations or last resorts? In this collection of short psychological thrillers, bestselling authors bring trouble to paradise. Today’s itinerary: surfing, sailing, hiking, facing your worst fears . . . Most dream vacations never live up to expectations—but few cause this many nightmares.
This series of short stories is available through Kindle Unlimited with the read/listen option. On the last day home from my daughter’s place, I listened to 3 out of 6 of the short stories. Here is my short review of each. I hope to listen to the other 3 next week.
Published August 31st 2022 by Amazon Original Stories, Available as Audible Originals
Uncharted Waters (Getaway #1) by Sally Hepworth, Candace Moll (Narrator)
3 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐
Ella and her husband Mac are booked on a luxury yacht, for a wellness retreat, but Mac is stuck at work, so Ella goes alone. Ella is nervous, not good in groups, leaving that to her vivacious husband. Luckily, she connects with fellow passenger, Chloe, also traveling alone. Chloe is trying to heal from a broken heart after being dumped by her married lover. The more Ella gets to know about Chloe and the man she had an affair with, the more worried she becomes. Then their relationship takes a turn. This was an interesting story, that took a turn I was not expecting. I am not a fan of infidelity stories, so I didn’t connect with this one as much as some of the others in this series. I felt for Ella as she had some realizations, but then she made some decisions that led her down a road that could have destroyed her life. The writing had me gripping my steering wheel tighter at points, but I was disappointed with where this story went. Candace Moll did a good job with the narration of this story.
Stockholm (Getaway #3) by Catherine Steadman, Samara Naeymi (Narrator)
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Psychiatrist Olivia Cole met and fell in love with Sebastian. Shortly after their marriage, things began to change, and he has her declared incompetent and is her legal guardian. On their two-year anniversary, Sebastian whisks her away on a surprise trip, one that she hopes will end their relationship, and allow her an escape. What will this trip mean to both of them? This is a short story, but I was immediately pulled in and could feel Olivia’s terror. Listening to the audiobook, allowed me to feel Olivia’s pain and become part of her planning to escape. It was tense and I was surprised that such a short story could be this gripping. I know I am pulled in when I start yelling at the characters. I loved Samara Naeymi’s narration and will definitely listen to other books she narrates.
Belle Mer (Getaway #4) by Luanne Rice, Jennifer Jill Araya (Narrator)
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Clea McAllister returns to the Newport haven of her childhood, a gilded mansion by the sea once owned by her beloved grandmother. This time, she is a paying guest. A guest of the crooked lawyer, who stole her inheritance. Can she confront him and get Belle Mer back? This was a suspenseful story with a gothic feel to it. The setting of the mansion and the sea gave me a chill as I read about it. Where was the man she came to confront? I got a creepy feeling from the caretaker and his sister, who were originally employed by Clea’s grandmother, but they helped her to locate the missing lawyer, or did they? The twist was perfect and I loved how this one turned out. Once again, a short story that quickly grabbed me and kept me gripped right until the unexpected ending. The narration by Jennifer Jill Araya was wonderful. Her tone and expression ratcheted up the suspense for me.
Signal Moon by Kate Quinn, Narrated by Saskia Maarleveld & Andrew Gibson
Published August 1st 2022 by Amazon Original Stories
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I love Kate Quinn’s historical fiction stories, always based upon people or events that I learn about. This story is a bit of that, as well as adding a timeslip element that gave a different twist to this story. In this short story, I learned about Y stations, signal intelligence hot spots that gathered information and forwarded it on to Bletchley Park. Lily Baines is a young petty officer in the Women’s Royal Naval Service posted to a Y station in Yorkshire. She intercepts a message from an American ship that is taking heavy fire in the North Atlantic. No one else hears the message, nor has there been a report of an attack. Asking questions, Lily finds out that the message is coming from a young US officer, Matt Jackson, who says it’s 2023. This was an interesting story, one that shared the possibility of time rifts, where people are able to communicate years apart. The tenseness develops with Matt Jackson trying to listen to the radio and find the ship or submarine that will fire upon them in the future. I enjoyed this story and was rooting for the characters to meet again, in person someday. A short story, but one I definitely enjoyed. The narration by both Saskia Maarleveld and Andrew Gibson was well executed and added to my enjoyment of the story.
Tell Her Story by Margot Hunt, Narrated by Dakota Fanning and a full cast
Published May 5th 2022 by Audible Originals
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Tell Her Story is an audible original book about a young podcaster, who is investigating an unsolved death of a local teacher, Jessica Cady. Paige Barrett is a disgraced journalist, who is working as a waitress at a restaurant managed by her brother-in-law. She wants to revive her journalist career so begins a podcast looking into a twenty year old case. She is encouraged by Jessica’s now grown children, who want closure. She finds out that the teacher was having an affair, and was pregnant at the time of her death. She continues to investigate and her podcast is one of the most listened to out there. When she finds one fact that has been hidden all these years, she puts herself in danger. I enjoyed this novella and found it to be just the right length for this story. The mystery was interesting and I enjoyed Paige’s and Ben’s investigation. The story is told with both a narrative and insertions from the podcast. It was a bit unreal, in the sense that the police were pretty open about the case and the sharing of information, but I just went with it. The narration was excellent. Paige was voiced by Dakota Fanning and there was a whole cast of performers voicing the other characters. A well down audiobook and story that I recommend.