Tag Archives: novella

Overheard by Maya Banks

Overheard by Maya Banks

Banks, Maya. Overheard. (Unbroken, #2). AudioGO, 2013. 3 hours. ISBN 978-1620648896 $19.95


I love Maya Banks, truly, but this was not one of her better books. Gracie dumps her boyfriend because the sex is terrible, and then one of her best (male) friends, Luke, overhears her telling another (female) friend about her interest in exploring sex that’s not so vanilla, and decides her and their other best friend Wes should introduce Gracie to threesomes and light bondage. Luke starts with taking her out on a date, and then invites her to go away Valentine’s Day weekend, where they have amazing sex in a little cabin in the woods and his take charge attitude and Wes showing up make her cream. But when Gracie overhears Luke confessing he eavesdropped on her fantasies, she flips out, cuts and runs, mostly because she thinks their behavior was okay if they all love each other, but if Luke isn’t in love with her, her desires, and the sex, is… humiliating? shame-worthy? embarrassing? This seems like bad messaging to me.

I love the idea–very hot!–but the deceit, not so much. I recognize this is the second book in a series, but had trouble discerning setting of the story and occupations for the characters, but I guess it didn’t really matter… except in the Sweet series, the characters relationships are clearly defined, and consent is important, and the sex scenes are super hot, with delicious descriptive writing (although, I’m pretty sure one of those books also had a woman whose lover makes her come publically on a club’s dance floor). Also, it does have a HEA, but it’s unclear what the relationship will be, going forward: was the threesome a one-time thing? So it did not feel completely wrapped up.

The brevity of the book made for a frustrating read, with little character development, a misunderstanding that results in immature behavior, and fast processing and forgiveness. Gracie’s ex crosses boundaries and shows up uninvited twice, and tries to slut shame her because she has gotten nipple rings and wants to experiment in bed. The so-called best friends NEVER discuss consent, hard lines, safer sex or previous sexual histories. I get there is a fantastical element, but it could have been addressed in a forward or author’s note, like in responsible porn where there’s a disclaimer that all actors are of age, and the scenes depict scenes that meant to be fantasy and not do as we do here.

Cover image is for the ebook, but I listened to this in audio format, and found the Southern lilt of the characters distracting. Coupled (ha!) with their immature behavior, they read as not too bright, which was a turnoff.

I listened through OverDrive via my public library.

Love and Other Flight Delays by Denise Williams

Love and Other Flight Delays by Denise Williams

Williams, Denise. Love and Other Flight Delays. Berkley, 2023. 432 pp. ISBN 9780593441077 $18.99


This group of three interconnected stories set at an airport had good intentions, but I had trouble keeping the characters and their timelines straight. Chapters alternate male/female points of view.

In “The Love Connection,” risk assessor and romance novelist Bennett falls for the business manager of a pet grooming business near the gate he always flies into in Atlanta. She’s unsure she wants to have a long distance relationship and they have witty banter and a series of compelling dates on his layovers.

In “The Missed Connection,” a weather delay sends Ben’s best friend Gia, chemist, to the airport bar on New Year’s Eve where she asks a cute stranger to pose as her husband to gain herself a seat. By midnight, they’re dancing and kissing. Fast forward three months, and Felix turns out to be A.F. Ennings, the new colleague joining her work team–the one she dislikes through their correspondence. When they get sent as ambassadors together to tour multiple universities, the forced proximity brings some grudging respect and rekindles their mutual admiration.

In “The Sweetest Connection,” best friends Silas and Teagan both work at the airport; he in and she at an upscale chocolate boutique. They’ve been in love with one another for years but haven’t taken the leap. Silas hasn’t told Teagan yet that he’s broken up with his long term girlfriend. Teagan’s about to leave for a semester abroad in France, and has discovered a traveler’s pro/con list on whether to make feelings known and make the leap from friends to lovers. It never occurs to her it might be Silas’s–but she engages his help in trying to solve the mystery, convinced it must belong to a friend, co-worker, or regular traveler. This was my favorite story. Their story moves back and forth in time, and then crosses paths with the other stories.

Elements of the story reminded me of Love, Actually. I did have to pay close attention to how everyone was interconnected. The plotting and pacing are excellent, and if anything, I wanted longer stories about each set of characters, and could see peripheral characters getting their own spinoff.

I received a free advance reader’s review copy of #LoveAndOtherFlightDelays from #NetGalley.