Sun of a Beach by Mia Sosa
April 8, 2021, by Audible
This is another audible original, which seems to be more and more of a trend with romance authors. Donovan and Naomi are given an assignment for the swimsuit edition of the magazine they work on and things are interesting since they dislike each other. Naomi began the novella in an ‘I would never date a co-worker’ frame of mind and changed to ‘I am in love’ mindset in the length of 24 hours basically. Donovan changes from loving being free to do whatever with whoever to exclusivity is the best. What did work for me in the plot was the actual work they were doing – the magazine shoot and discussion felt true to life and I was sold on all of that!
My main issue with this is the length of the audio – it was 2 hours and I think 14 minutes. I understand these originals are short – so basically a novella – but that is extremely short to feel any connection to characters or plot. It takes a very specific skill to build these things in a stand alone book and with this one I didn’t feel much connection to it. Other Audible originals I’ve listened to have been more like 4 or 5 hours so I think this would have benefitted from being twice as long at least. The narration was fantastic and I’d listen to anything Valentina Ortiz narrates. It was sexy as well.
Abel by Katee Robert
January 5, 2021, Self Published
A book inspired by 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, my all time favorite, albeit problematic AF, musical? YES, please! This book is wild and wonderful and I both loved it and found it confusing in parts. Our main characters are Abel, Eli, and Harlow. The basics to understand is that Eli and Abel were BFFs their whole lives until 8 years ago when Eli betrayed Abel. Eli and Harlow are married but Eli treats Harlow as a precious thing to be protected and she is planning to leave him because she is one extremely capable woman who wants control of her life. Abel comes to take over the faction Eli has control of that also has control of basically everything…are you following? This was the easiest part of the book for me to understand lol.
Each brother in the book also had multiple partners – which I LOVE – but there were so many people introduced I have no idea who is who. On top of that the world building with the different factions and the rules they follow left me feeling super confused. I wish there was a prequel I could have read with some setup – maybe the situation that happened 8 years previously that led to the brothers being banished would have been good, but just something that would have established the world better.
But what I loved was the relationship, so much! Robert developed each aspect of the relationship beautifully and I could just feel the bitterness Abel felt towards Eli and the jealousy Eli had watching Abel and Harlow interact. And I adored Harlow, her development through the book and how she was both conflicted about her feelings but also embraces her new role really was the star of the whole book for me. I’m hoping book 2 is an easier read for me since the world-building is more clear now but I’m reading it for sure.
CW: past murder, past arson, dubious consent, gunshot