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REVIEW: Comfort and Joy by Karin Kallmaker

“Home from Afghanistan to surprise her mother, Milla doesn’t expect more than the best apple pie in the world and the bliss of unrationed hot showers. She’s not counting on futures – or meeting a woman like Tyna.”

Dear Ms. Kallmaker,

Our readers at Dear Author have bemoaned the fact that we haven’t reviewed a great deal of LBT fiction to go along with our G reviews and so I’m going to try and remedy that this year. Maybe during our next DABWAHA tournament we’ll have some entries other than m/m. Since I’m still easing my way into the genre, I ruminated over offerings at a few LGBT presses and decided to try the holiday story “Comfort and Joy” for a few shallow reasons. One it’s a novella which gives me a chance to try out your writing without spending too much and two the cover is lovely. Yes, I’m shallow that way.

Comfort-and-Joy_lgThe subject matter caught my eye – promising a heroine who truly seems to be a military woman. Milla is no nonsense, working class enlisted. She seems like the type of person you can depend on and a person who appreciates the simple pleasures of being home. Tyna is in many ways very similar to Milla. She also has job that requires her to answer to the needs of others and work long hours without complaining. Their initial discussions about religion and the military quickly show both women they can spend time enjoyably talking and that both would be happy to spend hours doing just that. But the spark of sexual interest is clearly there and only requires the opportunity and time for Milla and Tyna to act on their desire and need for the other. I liked that neither woman appears to simply be scratching an itch or merely taking advantage of the chance for intimacy. Care is plainly there and the desire to give instead of just taking pleasure.

Since it’s a short novella that takes place over a brief period of time, the “HFN with a possibility of more later” works for me. I can see these two fleshing out a deeper relationship since they’ve already laid the groundwork of compatibility, interest and sexual generosity. I enjoyed the spare writing style that clearly showed me who these women are inside, conveyed the their motivations, their backgrounds and the setting in the length of the story without feeling I was missing out on anything. The growing attraction and feelings the women experience are delicately delineated with a fine touch that makes me look forward to trying more of your work. B


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Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Cathy Pegau
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 09:48:10

    Excellent! I’ll be adding this one to my TBB list. Thanks for expanding the DA experience :)

  2. Jill Sorenson
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 10:59:39

    Thanks Jayne. I’ve read a couple of Kallmaker’s books and have more in the TBR. Stepping Stone was very good.

  3. Angela
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 11:16:05

    I definitely WANT to add this to my TBB list – however I can’t find it anywhere. Not even Goodreads….

  4. Jan
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 11:17:38

    The novella sounds good, but when I went to Amazon and several other sites I couldn’t find it. Has anyone else had this problem?

  5. Jayne
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 12:20:10

    @Angela: @Jan: I bought my copy from the Bella Books website. I could’t find it at Amazon either.

  6. Brian
    Mar 26, 2013 @ 13:27:43

    Here’s a link to the book on the publishers site in case folks have trouble finding it…

    Bella appears to only sell a limited number of their titles anywhere but their own site, for ebooks anyway.

  7. Karin Kallmaker
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 15:58:26

    First of all, thank you for the many kind words, Jayne. I glad that you took a chance – and aren’t shorter, less expensive reads a great way to try out a new author? The idea of the story came to me all at once and it was also great from a creative standpoint to be able to write it and see it released within a few months.

    Thank you also to Brian for sharing the link to the novella’s page at my publisher’s site. It will be in the future available more widely, but it’s exclusively at my publisher for now. (The file format choices are compatible with almost every device and all the reading apps.) Full length works (for all authors with Bella) are available at Amazon, B&N, etc., except for new releases which will appear after a short delay. So with the exception of my new novel released mid-March, all of my backlist titles that have been converted to ebook formats are available at Amazon, B&N, my publisher, etc.

    Thanks again for the review. I’m sharing far and wide!

  8. "A Fine Touch" – Comfort and Joy Reviewed at Dear Author | Romance and Chocolate
    May 19, 2013 @ 01:54:38

    […] was super pleased to learn that the romance review site Dear Author wrote me a love letter about my holiday novella “Comfort and Joy!” The review ends with “…the growing attraction and feelings the women experience […]

  9. REVIEW: Love by the Numbers by Karin Kallmaker
    Oct 21, 2013 @ 08:02:05

    […] reading your novella “Comfort and Joy,” I wanted to see more of what you had published. The blurb for “Love by the Numbers” […]

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