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(Bay Area Blues #1)

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  215 ratings  ·  73 reviews
Lena Ward is an unhappy travel blogger with a less than 24 hour layover in her hometown. She spends the day with Tony Dembélé, a podcaster she's been flirting with for a few months online. In their brief time together Lena confronts some hard truths about her life and her past and the two test the waters of their connection.

This is a short story with a sweet and satisfyi
Kindle Edition, 124 pages
Published April 8th 2018
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By turns fresh and nostalgic, “Layover” by Katrina Jackson is a powerhouse of a novella. At 124 pages, the author skillfully takes readers on an emotional journey highlighting music, friendship, grief, healing, self-discovery, new love, family, and creativity.

Lena Ward is a travel blogger/vlogger and playlist music maker who feels like she has lost her creative passion.

The traveling she’d done for herself and blogged about had been for the pure pleasure of seeing, experiencing and sharing. B
J. Greene
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
For such a short novel, wow--a lot was packed into this.

Okay. Lena, travel blogger, music playlist maker extraordinaire, is running.

Okay, she's traveling, but she's running. Running from the grief of the loss of her mother; and the things she can't understand--like home, a foundation, and what exactly is she doing with her life?

While working her travel blog, through social media, she meets, Tony. Tony and his boy Kwame, have a podcast, that has catapulted them in to a sort of stardom. In the
FREE on Amazon.

This book is so short but the story wrapped up so nicely, I love it. I love books that made me feel. I love that music was integral in the story (Lena made playlists for basically everything), and I love the connection between Tony and Lena. Also, Tony's a Muslim (!!!) which is cool, but I had to force myself to forget that fact during the sex scene I mean Astaghfirullah ya akhi you don't drink but you have sex outside marriage??? lololol but that's just a me thing, it's no big de
Mar 17, 2020 marked it as tbr-own-this
Currently FREE on Amazon 03/17/2020
I liked this! It felt remarkably complete for a novella, which is not how I always feel, but I did want a little bit more. Really liked the characters professions and hustle, I feel like I don't see enough romances where it feels like they're truly of the moment. Podcast host and travel blogger do a lot to get you there. ...more
This book is such a perfect story balancing so many great things. Will come back with a better review.
This was short, but the author managed to pack in a lot of feels! I found so much of this really refreshing, especially in that it felt really current with the protagonists being black creatives doing podcasting and travel blogging for a living. I LOVED the role of music in this--I honestly stopped reading so many times just to hop on Spotify and listen to songs I haven't heard in forever--and I loved the descriptions of Oakland and how this explored what "home" means to Lena.

Lena and Tony have
Leigh Kramer
This was a perfect novella. Lena is a travel blogger and Tony is a podcaster. The glimpses into their respective careers were fascinating, especially since I’m a long-time blogger who would never want to do it full-time. Lena has been using travel so she won’t have to process her mom’s death two years prior but coming back home for a layover shifts things for her in ways she did not anticipate and I loved how this was handled.

Music plays a great role in the story, pun intended. I also loved how
Victoria (Eve's Alexandria)
A tightly written novella, about a podcaster and an influential travel blogger meeting for a one-night stand during a 19 hour layover between flights. I needed it as a palate cleanser after the intensity of Pansies by Alexis Hall and it did the trick perfectly. It’s got great rhythm, mild angst, and plays with forms in interesting ways, being partly told through music playlists, DM threads and podcast transcripts. Recommended.
Dec 09, 2020 marked it as dnf
dnf dec 2020 @ 30%

not feeling this one at all
Deidra (ShadeTreeReads)
Fun read!

Excellent intro into Katrina’s work! This story was the book candy I needed! I’ve got like 3 more of her novellas in the cue.
N.G. Peltier
OMG this book...just...why did i take so long to read this beautiful book???? How did Katrina pack so much emotion into this novella? I don't know but i adored Tony and Lena. Tony is so cute and sweet and his nervousness at meeting Lena, again face to face, was just *clutches chest*

Them together was perfection. THAT ENDING ! (i cry)

I also loved the entire concept of Lena's playlist. that nostalgia was real. When Lena was going through her memories via those songs? I felt that. Music can teleport
Weekend Reader_
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: romance, novella

This was such a layered story! This novella covered friendship, family, grief, community, and of course sexy romance. I loved Lena's character as a travel blogger. I thought it was really great to see a Black female character in a career dominated by others. But then extending the field with the magazine. It felt full circle.

The way Jackson talks about grief as an ongoing process was so cathartic. The loss of a parent, that pain never goes away. I loved the flashbacks too, it was a nod to
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing

OMG, I do not have the words to describe how much I loved this book! I have no idea how I found it, but I'm so glad that I did! Despite the fact that this book is short, the author doesn't skimp on anything; the storyline and character development are so on point.

I absolutely loved Lena and Tony. She was such an interesting character a and I loved how she turned her passion for traveling into a full-time gig. I wanted to know everything about her, but knowing that the book was short,
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A short, but filled with emotion novella.

While I would have loved a little bit more from the story, what I got was unexpected and even beautiful.

I loved the meet-cute between Lena and Tony. I enjoyed how social media was played between them and how their flirting online was sort of not known, but in person, it was FIRE.

What I didn’t expect was how dreamy Tony was. Very much a man who is respectful and allowed to be a guy, but have his feelings.

Then there is Lena. How I connected with her was
Dec 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle-unlimited
i should just change my goodreads name to 'should have written the review immediately after finishing the book instead of 2 months later', but that's like, really long. so.

yeah, i don't remember a whole lot about this book because see above. but i remember liking it well enough, just not absolutely loving it. good job kristen, great review, very helpful.
Mar 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
𝗙𝗔𝗩𝗢𝗨𝗥𝗜𝗧𝗘 𝗔𝗦𝗣𝗘𝗖𝗧𝗦: I’m on a Black Love™ kick and this falls right into that category. This was a very modern story with a well to do Black travel blogger and Black podcaster. It doesn't get any more modern than that. I love how their friends were appeared in the background and they weren't isolated from the rest of the world despite it being a short read. ⁣⁣This book does tackle grief and a bit
Lena, a travel blogger and music aficionado, finds herself back in her hometown - one she has been avoiding for years - to record a podcast with Tony, the cute guy she has been flirting with on social meeting ever since their first encounter at a conference. Her return home, and brief dalliance with Tony, has forced her to tackle head on some deep buried thoughts and feelings and reevaluate what she wants in life.

I entered into reading “Layover” knowing that this was a novella. Not a problem as
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked this up after Alyssa Cole recommended it in a video. Then I saw novella and then I remembered, Alyssa recommended it. This book was 124 pages of pure enjoyment. It actually is a quick read, but I am reading several books and decided to read it just before bed. And I am glad I did it.
Lena is a travel blogger ( an music enthusiast who creates banging playlists on Spotify) who doesn't have a permanent residency in her hometown since her mother passed away and Tony is a podcaster on the co
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Checked my list, and say wha?? Only my second romance read for this year?? I chose well, though - or rather, @inwardfangirl on Twitter rec'd well! Thank you! Podcaster (who is Muslim, btw) and travel blogger in a kind of slow burn romance and LDR, which is just my thing, lol. The sweet and the humor and the steam are all in a perfect balance, and if this isn't going straight to my fave reads of 2020, then what kind of happy-ending/happy-for-now fan am I, really. CW for death of a parent

C.M. M. Lockhart
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Just What I Needed

So, this book was not on my TBR. I snagged it a few weeks back and it was just sitting there. I picked up my Kindle to read and just couldn't — my mind just wasn't in a place for what I was supposed to be reading. I clicked the Kindle app on my phone (something I don't do because, like, notifications and distractions right?) and was going to just look at some pretty covers and add to my list, but then I thought, let me give this a shot.

My God, this book was everything I needed
Britt McCritt (Bantu Book Review)
In Layover, Katrina Jackson curates the best connection.

This story centers a travel blogger interviewing about her globetrotting adventures from her estranged homebase. The most beautiful irony is that she's been searching for something she never had to leave to find. This story is vulnerable, powerful; it is inclusive, thoughtful, authentic.

This book is layered- the prose is at once subtle and descriptive, the characters are well-developed, the romance is smoldering. This book is a musical mood
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"What's your favorite 90's R&B song," Lena asked Tony because at some point in the drive from 90th Avenue, to her favorite hood burrito shop in East Oakland and back to his apartment she'd decided that she was absolutely going to have sex with him, but his taste in music could still change her mind.

Oh the joy of finding a new author who can handle the challenging format that is the Romance Novella! This was SO good! To quote Tony: "Wow Wow Wow."

Their jobs (travel blogger and podcaster) played a
Shawna (endemictoearth)
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-voices, 2020, novella, ku
4.5 stars. I really really loved this. It took me a few chapters to get into the format, but then it really started to flow, just like a good mixtape. There were a couple of editing errors that almost took me out of it, but didn't impact how much I enjoyed this.

I feel like, of course, it COULD have been longer (more than an epilogue, I would have liked a little more extrapolation of the period of radio silence after their day together), but I was satisfied with what we got.

It started off kind
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
2020 is turning into the year of novellas for me, and I’m so glad I read this one. The characters and situation are the perfect fit for a story of this length and not a word is wasted. It was rec’d on a podcast I listen to and had everything I look for in a contemporary romance, from characters who feel utterly real—and occupy a world and landscape I recognize—to use of modern technology, to natural, entertaining dialogue, to a love story I’m rooting for with each breath, to excellent pacing and ...more
kittykat AKA Jo Tortitude
My favourite Katrina Jackson to date, and definitely the best written. Short and sweet (and bittersweet - it brought back my own grief as it touches on Lena's loss of her mom and how that affected her life and relationship with her sister), it did just what it needed to, but I'm greedy and could have read a whole full length novel about this couple and how they navigate their romance, their online businesses and their uplifting of their community together. Oh, and Tony is such a respectful but s ...more
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing

This novella has two of my favorite elements, Love & Music.

Lena and Tony were the absolute cutest, their chemistry was so organic and the way she spoke so freely about her fears and her Mother evoked way too much emotion with me.

This story left me greedy for more, like a spoiled child I literally wanted to wail when I realized it was the end Lol You have definitely got to download this novella....it’s soooooo good!!
Susan Cliff
May 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lovely, sexy, interesting novella. Lena is a travel blogger and Tony does cool podcasts. They meet up in Oakland for a "collab" interview piece, which ends up in Tony's bed. Then Lena disappears from his life to work out some family issues. They spend just enough time together to flirt a lot and fall in love a little bit. Everything about the story just works. Modern voice, good people, low angst/conflict, but plenty of heart and heat. 4.5 ...more
Brandan WH
Apr 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Perfection in a short package

I absolutely devoured this book! From the first page, it kept me interested for the duration. I loved the weaving in of music throughout. I believed and liked the characters and thought they worked well together. And the friends and family only added to the love fest. I seriously want to know how Leena and Tony end up, but I’ll have to be satisfied with this glimpse into their start.
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Katrina is a seasoned spinster with an active imagination, a love of romcoms and a keenly critical nature. She's a college professor by day who writes romances by...weekend. Right now she also happens to be on summer vacation. She enjoys yogurt, sparkling water and her three cats, who don't appreciate her love. ...more

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