Novelly Upon a Time
by Sarah Monzon
Published by Radiant Publications
Publication Date January 3, 2019
Genres: Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Washington Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Author Harper Jones prides herself on the impeccable research she does for her novels, so when early reviews come pouring in claiming her romance reeks of inauthenticity, her editor suggests getting her nose out of books and get some real-life smooching experience. But her plans to do just that are thwarted by her archnemesis from high school who has recently returned to town. Now she’s left with an impossible decision—kiss her worst enemy or kiss her three-book contract goodbye.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
Once again, author Sarah Monzon has packed a whole lot of story into a short novella, combining wit and wisdom in a way that simply works.
Harper has carried around pain related to the death of her mother, her father’s leaving, and the loss of a scholarship that would have allowed her to get out of Seattle. Immersing herself into her writing and avoiding relationships has worked well for her up until now. But some things just can’t be researched effectively on the internet.
Several things that Harper did for research were pretty funny. The TSA incident was quite clever! Having an uncle who was the chief of police may have gotten her out of legal trouble but it didn’t keep her from being put on a form of torture . . . um probation . . . with her arch-nemesis.
Something else that I thought was cute in the story was a reference to the types of books that Harper had written. Being familiar with this author’s works, I noticed Harper’s list included a summary of books that she had written: treasure hunting, having a friend arrange a marriage. . .
The story was quite believable. I really loved Kyo’s grandparents and the way a visit with them changed so many things. Learning the motives behind the behavior of several people who had hurt Harper in the past changed her perspective and helped to bring healing where it was needed. It also helped her to realize that she had been so focused on her own problems, she hadn’t seen others around her that were also hurting.
While the end result was expected, the route taken was not. The author made the choice to have the story told solely from Harper’s perspective which kept it more interesting due to the unknown thoughts and motives of the others in the story.