Romance Book Review: Unlocked
By: Courtney Milan
Historical Romance Novella - 28,000 words/approx 111 pages
Self-Published (Buy Links Available Here)
5 Heart Review
A perpetual wallflower destined for spinsterhood, Lady Elaine Warren is resigned to her position in society. So when Evan Carlton, the powerful, popular Earl of Westfeld, singles her out upon his return to England, she knows what it means. Her former tormentor is up to his old tricks, and she’s his intended victim. This time, though, the earl is going to discover that wallflowers can fight back.
Evan has come to regret his cruel, callow past. At first, he only wants to make up for past wrongs. But when Elaine throws his initial apology in his face, he finds himself wanting more. And this time, what torments him might be love…
It's taken me a bit of time since reading this novella to do this review but this story has stayed with me. There's so much depth and emotion packed into just over 100 pages that you forget it's shorter in length. You won't miss anything from this novella. It's all in there and it's all good.
Having enjoyed Mrs. Milan's full length Proof By Seduction, I knew already I was a fan of her writing, but I was very happy with how well she does in the shorter novella length as well.
As many have said, this is the ultimate emotional look at a woman's insecurities and the man who causes her so much pain that she hides herself away from the entire world, including her own mother. You feel every bit of Lady Elaine Warren's pain and make it your own. It might not be your laugh, but everyone has something they are sensitive about and there's usually a person who is behind making you feel sensitive about it in the first place. Elaine is a character that all women can relate to and Mrs. Milan has described Elaine's feelings so exactly that you'll see yourself in them.
This little novella is also jam-packed with Evan's story and emotional journey as well and it's an interesting take to see inside the soul of a bully. It's even more interesting to see him redeemed in Elaine's eyes, but I love how this takes time and multiple levels of trust must be met first.
It's that layering of emotional depth and timeline of forgiveness and trust that Mrs. Milan creates that makes this novella such a stand out. It really does stand up to all the hype and it's made Mrs. Milan an auto-buy for me from now on. I hope she continues to write in the novella length because she excels at it! You also cannot beat the $.99 price on this one - it's a steal for an amazing story!
Do you like to read novellas or shorter length stories? Do you love that length or do you wish for more? Is there an author you think does novellas exceptionally well? Did you read Unlocked and if so what did you think of it?