Let’s talk about e-novellas. Often they are used to get a reader engaged in a series. Several publishing companies use them to either introduce a series or to help drive anticipation for the next book in the series. And they are pretty successful in some cases. Honestly, though I usually roll my eyes at them and find them to be a cheap marketing device, though I often do end up succumbing to them….
As in the case of Bitter Sweet Love. To be fair to the novella, I don’t think I would’ve liked it had it been a full blown book. Take the plot, it involves a gargoyle (cool use of mythology, Armentrout) whose is told that she has seven days to decide whether or not to be bounded to a guy for the rest of her life. The culture and the bonding thing are two no, nos for me. However, Armentrout made the story work, though I still slightly felt icky.
I also liked the way the series was set up in Bitter Sweet Kiss. It’s obvious that you won’t have to read this book to understand White Hot Kiss, but it does give some interesting nuggets of information for what readers can expect and I think that future fans of the Dark Elements will probably want to read it, sort of like how I wanted to read Shadows after reading the rest of the Lux books.
And as a novella it was better than Shadows. Shadows, to me, more or less felt like a big regurgitation of what is told to us in the other Lux books it’s nothing new. True, we get Dawson and Beth’s story, but I didn’t really feel like I learned any thing else about the characters-the third person really didn’t help. Without even reading White Kiss, I was able to tell that Bitter Sweet Love really was its own separate entity and that was nice.
That being said, this novella wasn’t perfect. In fact, if it was a full blown novel than I would’ve hated it. Armentrout over does it with the fluff again. However, because it’s short it’s not too painful. And it’s not that I hate her fluff scenes. I’m a softie. Occasionally, characters oggling over each other makes me smile, but if it was a full blown novel I’d definitely want more. The whole gargoyle idea really does intrigue me and if it was fleshed out more-which I’m sure it will be in White Hot Kiss– it could be really, really interesting.
Probably doesn’t help matters that I was a huge Gargoyles fan back in the day.
Though, Jasmine really isn’t Demona. Which is a shame because Demona really was an interesting character even though she could be a bit of a bitch. As for Jasmine, she’s nice…but…yeah..a bit boring. And once again, maybe that goes in the novella territory. These characters really aren’t meant to be the stars of the show, this is an extra.
And I really found the cameos of the main cast of White Hot Kiss interesting. If we’re talking about making a reader intrigued to read a series, I think Bitter Sweet Love did that. However, that aside the story and the cast were just sort of meh.
So, is it worth two bucks?
For me, it was. And I’m saying that because I am in desperate want of White Hot Kiss. The whole concept of gargoyles is intriguing and when Armentrout is on, she’s on. However, if you look at this as a separate entity its just sort of meh. The fluff scenes are really nothing new and the whole concept is an annoying one (to me at least). Overall, I’m going to give this short story seven out of ten (or a B), but if it was it’s own story it probably would’ve got a five. It did it’s purpose, I want to read White Hot Kiss. Then again, I wanted to read White Hot Kiss before I read Bitter Sweet Love.