Here at Reflections of a Book Addict we don’t get too many novellas. A novella is a shorter version of a novel, generally with a word count that doesn’t exceed 50 thousand words. They are a fun and different way to examine a story, and have a different feel to them that is unique.
The third son of a King of a small country on the border of Switzerland, Liam Fitzwilliam Gasquet hopes that he can remain as inconspicuous as possible. With the country in turmoil due to insurgents that are attempting to usurp the throne, Liam finds himself under attack from those same insurgents. Although he had tried to remain safe, his safety is now uncertain. What he doesn’t know is that his wife of six months, Melanie, is actually also the head of his security detail. Additionally, Liam thinks that she doesn’t know he’s a Prince, but now that is all out the window as Liam and Melanie are under attack. Paradoxically as all these revelations come to light, things go dark between Liam and Melanie. What will become of Melanie and Liam? Will he be able to accept that she has known more about him than he ever knew? Will she be able to accept that Liam is far more important and layered than she originally thought?
This novel gave me conflicting emotions. I definitely see the potential in it, I just felt as if I was reading an unfinished work. I’ll begin with some of the areas that I feel need improvement, and then end on the positives. To start, the way in which the characters are presented to the reader felt very abrupt and slightly confusing. The time the novel takes place in is unspecified, which does work sometimes, but with this novel it just added to the uncertainty I felt. It felt at times like a contemporary romance and historical fiction at others. It was almost like reading a sequel, where it is assumed that the reader already knows certain plot points. I did some research to see if Gloag had written about these characters before, but I unfortunately couldn’t find anything. The back story is presented in pieces as well, which contributed to the fact that the plot took a while to get going. Additionally, the ending of the work seemed sudden as well. I do understand that this is a novella, and perhaps there wasn’t enough space to add more back story (for the introduction of the characters) or more to the ending, but I believe that more time should have been spent on character development in order to better integrate the reader in to the story.
With that being said, there is still a ton of potential in this story. Gloag’s ideas and general plot are quite well constructed, and the work has a good base. If parts were restructured and expanded upon to improve the flow of the novella it would become much more intriguing. Both Liam and Melanie are very likable characters who are quite interesting in their own right. I especially like Gloag’s creation of having Melanie be in charge of Liam’s security, putting an interesting gender twist on a role that is normally filled by a man who would protect the woman. All in all, with some editing work this novella could very well be a wonderful addition to anyone’s library.
3 out of 5 Stars
From Now Until Forever by Sherry Gloag
Astraea Press (2011)
eBook: 77 pages
Special thanks to Astraea Press for sending me my review copy!