Practice Makes Perfect: A Southern Comfort Novella by Sarah Title

Practice Makes Perfect: A Southern Comfort Novella by Sarah Title

Warm and cozy, like a hug, Sarah Title returns with a novella installment in her Southern Comfort series. Please read on for my review and excerpt from this lovely contemporary romance title.

Practice Makes Perfect

When a novella leaves you satisfied and smiling, even as you wish there was more to the story, you’ve found a story from Sarah Title.  This warm and clever story is full of charm with a touch of the warmth of the south, and is sure to leave readers smiling.

Helen Lee has only ever wanted to live with and in books, and her position as a librarian allows her that. But with a secret desire to write her own romance novel, she’s hit a stumbling block. The publishers wants more spice in her sex scenes, and the relationship-less Helen isn’t sure where to turn.

Henry Beckham is a history professor, and Helen’s best friend. He’s determined that a grand house in the center of town used to be operating as a brothel, and he’s sure that this discovery will not only make his career but save the house from demolition.

Only Henry is privy to Helen’s secret, and he’s stepping up to help. Acting out scenes with GI Joe and Barbie is laugh-out-loud funny, to ‘in person’ demonstrations quickly move these friends into lovers, with both actually denying the chemistry and attraction until it jumps up and demands notice. With the ongoing story of Henry’s research into the house’s origins and history as well as the development of the relationship between the two, there is plenty going on….

A wonderful novella peek into the lives in this small town, and the taste of a relationship between Henry and Helen is wonderful and supportive.  Adding a bit of interest into the story are Helen’s elderly Basset Hounds, always popping in for a moment of lightness.  A wonderful afternoon read, sure to have you looking for more from Sarah Title.

Practice Makes Perfect: A Southern Comfort Novella by Sarah Title

Title: Practice Makes Perfect
Author: Sarah Title
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Southern
Published by: Lyrical Shine
ISBN: 1601836856
Published on: 30 August, 2016
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 96
Rated: four-stars
Heat: One Flame

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Sometimes the best surprises come wrapped in a bow-tie…

Helen Lee has a top-secret dream: to publish a romance novel. There’s just one problem, and her most recent rejection letter doesn’t mince words: Helen can’t write a love scene to save her life. As Head of Reference at Willow Springs, Kentucky’s Pembroke College, Helen is hoping her library research skills will do the trick. But she may have to resort to a far more “hands-on” course of study. Luckily, there’s someone who’s more than happy to instruct her…

History professor Henry Beckham has noticed that his friend, Helen, is behaving strangely. Known for her laser sharp focus—not to mention her snorting laugh—she’s been oddly distracted. He misses that laugh. But it all makes sense when he catches Helen researching erotic writing and discovers her ambition. She seems to think her only option is to die of embarrassment or give up and surrender to spinsterhood in the company of her three cats and two basset hounds. Good thing Henry has a much more real-life approach in mind. And his tutorial just might teach them both a thing or two…

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A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Read an Excerpt


Helen read the first paragraph of the email, recognized it for the rejection letter that it was, and was about to file it with the others in the folder she’d succinctly labeled “Nope.” It was getting to be her most popular folder, almost the size of the “Dumb Questions from Students” folder. Almost manuscript-sized. She could probably craft some kind of meta-novel from all of her electronic rejection letters. Maybe she’d be more successful in the world of literary fiction, anyway. Apparently her love scenes were bad enough. Maybe she could get on a book tour with Franzen.


This letter, though, was different. It was more than two sentences long. It actually referenced the content of her submitted manuscript. It was not just a generic “thanks but no thanks.” It was specific with changes, and included an invitation to resubmit. And it implied she knew nothing about writing sex.


Great. Just what she wanted to hear. A single librarian who spends more time with her elderly basset hounds than she does with human males definitely wants to hear that her ability to portray a steamy love scene on the page is an accurate reflection of her actual recent sex life. But she knew about sex! She had it all the time! Just not terribly recently. In fairness, the only reason she wasn’t dating at the moment was that she was focusing on her writing.


Oh, the irony.


But when she did have sex, it was great! She was super into it! Dammit, she knew about sex!


She just couldn’t write about it.


That was a small but significant difference. She thought back to the last time she got down and dirty. When was it? Definitely before she adopted George and Tammy, and that had been, what? A year?


A year!


Not great. But not terrible, right? In fact, it was the breakup with that visiting professor that had propelled her to the dog pound. Get a dog, everybody said. You’ll meet tons of guys if you have a dog. And she had! Really cute, nice guys with dogs, who also had really cute, nice wives. Or husbands. Either way, George and Tammy were clearly not pulling their romantic weight.


“Good thing you’re cute,” she told their floppy, mooshy faces as they followed her up to bed.


Oh, the irony.


About Sarah Title

By day, Sarah Title is a (sort of) mild-mannered librarian in West Virginia, and by night, she writes funny, steamy, comfort reads. Sarah holds a B.A. in English from Vassar College and an M.L.S. from Indiana University. Her first book, Kentucky Home, was released by eKensington in April 2013. The follow-up novella, “Kentucky Christmas,” came out, surprisingly, the following December. She also contributed to the anthology, Delicious, with Lori Foster and Lucy Monroe.