What Happened to Larry Allan?

Title: What Happened to Larry Allan?
Author: Dawn Kimberly Johnson
Cover artist: Cat Ford
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Amazon: Buy Link What Happened to Larry Alan?
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance/Sci-fi-lite
Length: Novella/78 pages
Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars

A guest review by Sirius

Summary: This twisty story surprised me several times while I was reading it and I ended up enjoying it very much

Blurb:

Judson Heart, like all of us, has some regrets. Not his job: he writes for a daily newspaper. Maybe his introspection: he eats lunch alone. Definitely his timing: he hasn’t had much luck in the love department. With his ten-year reunion approaching, those regrets intensify as he begins to recall a turbulent final year of high school. But with the help of three elderly, mystical strangers and a surprising assignment to interview a prison inmate, Jud may get the chance to make some changes. All he needs to do is find out what happened to Larry Alan.

Review:

I picked up this story because the blurb sounded intriguing and because I remembered liking Broken by this writer. I think that I made a very good choice with this one.

First of all, this novella managed to surprised me several times along the way; it is not a thriller or action/adventure, however the question” What happened to Larry Allan?” just kept me guessing. I absolutely could not figure out where the author was taking the story. Another surprise was in store for me when the author revealed the love interest of the main character. Maybe I am easy to surprise, but I just did not expect that revelation at all. It is not easy to explain without spoilers but there was a suspense level in the story where I just did not expect suspense to be present at all.

And I really enjoyed the main character, a decent, sweet guy who, as the blurb tells us, did not have much luck in the love department and who is given the chance to right the wrongs in his past. I also enjoyed how she sketched the love interest in so few pages and gave him just enough depth for the shorter story in my opinion.

The story has a sci/fi plot element, which is very well known to many of us from several movies and books, but while that element is not innovative at all, I really enjoyed how the author brought the plot to the place where that element starts.

I did have some issues. One is with the ending of the story, which again as I suspect has to do with the page space — not enough of it. I understand that it is part of Dreamspinner’s “First time for everything” 2011 stories collection, but the abrupt ending left me somewhat dissatisfied. While this abruptness is also related to a plot twist, I wish the author would have told us more about the actual romance between the couple. Basically I am not sure if I can even call this story a romance, although love story definitely has a happy ending. I am sure opinions will differ on the definitions. I also feel that for all the suspense around his fate, Larry Allan could have been developed just a little bit better

Recommended.

10 comments

  • I actually have this, but I have yet to read it (the TBR list just keeps growing and growing). I was intrigued by the blurb and now even more so by your review. The novellas are difficult to write and satisfy all the readers, but I can see the good things outweighed the flaws. I’m moving it up my list. Thanks!

    Reply
  • I read this, and I agree with you in regards to the ending. Yeah the MCs end up together but the little blurb about how they did that opened up more questions.

    Reply
    • Hi Luci, I watched enough movies with this trick and/or read books, so I have not had questions about how they ended up together, I just wanted more romance actually happening if that makes sense.

      Reply
  • Hmmmm, I don’t know about this one. I want to read this book based on the author’s name alone (I really loved Broken)and also because it has an intriguing title. However, I’m hesitant because it’s a novella and it’s sci-fi (which I’m not a fan of). Novellas tend to frustrate me because either plot or character development is sacrificed due to limited space. And if the ending didn’t satisfy you, it makes me even more reluctant to pick it up.

    What to do? What to do? 😕

    Reply
    • Hi Daanquai, see my response to Raine, I do not think scifi will bother you that much, because it is only one element of the plot. If you want to know what it is, let me know and I will email you privately. I definitely agree with you that sometimes in novellas plot and/or character development is sacrificied, but I thought this one did ok overall. Yes, ending was abrupt, I did not feel that it was terrible, I just wanted to see more if that makes sense.

      Reply
    • Hi Raine, I liked the story overall, but just be aware that there is ONE scifi element in it, which is important to the plot, but otherwise it is a contemporary story. I recommend it, but I do not know if I would recommend it for “sci/fi kick” 🙂

      Reply

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