Strengths: Fun, light and very well structured in a compact format.
Weaknesses: Too short, I want more!
Why I read it: Sent to me by Random House Australia – thank you!
Pages: 102 (ebook ARC)
Publisher: Random Romance / Random House
Setting: Sydney, Australia
Rating: 9 out of 10
One Little White Lie is one of the launch titles for Random House Australia’s new digital imprint, Random Romance. If this novella is anything to go by, it’s going to be full of excellent titles – full of fun, humour, witty repartee and romance.
I recently reviewed Loretta Hill’s The Girl in the Hard Hat and really enjoyed it. I was really interested to see how Hill would tackle a romance novel, given that her previous book focused on a great, underused setting (Western Australia’s Pilbara region). I am pleased to say that this lady is GOOD – her characters absolutely sparkle off the page and into my heart. It’s been a long time since I had a book character crush, but Henry fits the bill. Not only is he handsome, genuinely nice but he’s an incredibly famous (but publicity shy) author. Kate is our heroine and she’s no slouch either – she’s currently writing her PhD thesis. I love that we have two intelligent characters as the protagonists – gives hope to us geeks!
Kate is sick of being hassled by her best friend over her continual single relationship status after a bad breakup with an evil surgeon. Frustrated, she tells Lisa that she does have a boyfriend – she’s just waiting until the right moment to show him off. So it’s a shock when her imaginary boyfriend greets her in person at a party! Henry insists that Kate give him a go, but he’s hiding his megastar author status. Add in a bit of fisticuffs, a lot of missed opportunities and ‘nearly!’ moments. This is the perfect romantic comedy – in book form.
I would say that this is the best novella I’ve read. Usually, I feel somewhat cheated that we don’t get to know the characters in depth and plot lines are left unexplored. Hill achieves this all brilliantly in such a concise way – I felt connected to the characters to the point where I think I’d know Kate if I ran into her on the street. Granted, there are not too many threads woven through this book (it is only 100 pages after all) but I felt that everything was tied up to my satisfaction.
I can confidently say that I’ll read anything Loretta Hill writes from now on. Her ability to bring a smile to my face through her witty prose and character’s adventures means she is an author to watch out for.