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Smashwords book reviews by Bea

  • Beg Me on Dec. 20, 2010
    star star star
    Book Blurb: Beg me…there had been a time when those words made her burn with desire. But now, there was only fear. Once, Tania Sinclair’s life was almost perfect…oh, it had its ups and downs but she was happily married to a guy that adored her, one who had no problem indulging every kinky fantasy she ever had. But a couple of tragedies later, she’s barely holding it together. A car accident took away her husband, and an attack from somebody she should have been able to trust has shaken not only her confidence, but it’s also stripped away her fantasies and even made it painful to look back on her memories of her husband without fear. Two years after her attack, Tania is determined to take her life back and the first step is taking back herself…her fantasies, her dreams, her memories. There’s only one person she can trust to do it, too. One person she wants enough…Drake Bennett, her husband’s best friend. Falling for your best friend’s wife—never smart. Drake’s watched Tania quietly for years, watched her…wanted her, knowing he’d never have her. First, she was taken. And then, that night two years ago—a night that still scars her, a night that’s left bruises on her that still haven’t healed. He does what he can, though, because he loves her too much not to. He’s her friend, there when she needs him. And now she needs him. She’s asked him for a favor…one that just about blows his mind… Warning: This book involves light bondage play, rape fantasy & role-playing. The acts between the hero & heroine are consensual, but they may not be ideal for all readers… My Thoughts: I'm not really one for rape fantasies, they strike me as wrong and make me squirm. Rape, real rape, is pretty horrific.That said, people do have rape fantasies and I knew what I was getting when I bought this book. Not only does the book description include the above warning (I added the bolding) but Walker was also up front about it in her pre-publication buzz, both on her blog and on Twitter. I appreciated the fact that she was so upfront about the topic and so careful to inform her readers. The book sounded interesting and I decided to take a chance. I'm glad that I did. The topic is handled with great sensitivity and I can almost see the appeal. I say almost because I just don't run that way. Of course, the story is a romance too and that was my favorite part. I liked how it unfolded though I did think the ending was a bit rushed. Still, the characters are well-written and the story held my interest. My main quibble has to do with the behavior and actions of Tania's in-laws, especially her brother-in-law. I had no trouble believing his actions at the beginning of the book, but what we find out later about him and his mother, that was less believable. Despite that, the story flowed well and I enjoyed it. I even enjoyed some of the sex scenes. Walker handled the emotional fallout of the rape fantasies with a deft touch. Overall, a good book, well worth reading.
  • Silver Rush on July 01, 2011
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    In this installment of "Into The West" we see more of Tina and her everyday life. There's more teen angst than in the previous installments but also more character development. Tina is a teen age girl who's been uprooted, as is common, by a parents job, in case her father, to new town, worse, a new state. They live out in the middle of nowhere, she doesn't have a car and there's no public transportation (having grown up in a small, rural/suburban New England town that also lacked public transpo, I really felt her pain) which makes it difficult to meet people her own age. To top it off, her friend Jessica from back East is slowly pulling away. When Tina does meet some local kids her own age, it doesn't go well. Being the new kid sucks. Still, she starts to make connections. I liked that we got to see more of Tina acting in normal, everyday situations. She even misses her boyfriend, though the circumstances of that are certainly not normal. :D Tina acts rashly towards the end, leaving us with a bit of a cliff hanger. At one point, I thought to myself, "Not smart, Tina, not smart." It's a less action packed story but as I said earlier, we get more character development and in this one Tina really seems like your average American teen. There were more typos and copy edit problems in this one. I know the turnaround time on these stories is very, very tight, but it was frustrating that such a short story had so many. Some examples: Missing word - "Tina rubbed her face and tried soothe.", "His ungainly legs too cute."; typos or grammatical issues - "A couple went off to nurse when their mom's nickered to them.", "She'd already out the plastic bags in her saddlebags at the barn." I know that not every reader is bothered by this but it does bother me, especially when there are so many in such a short story. (And I can't wait to publish this post and see how many I missed in my editing. :P) Overall, a solid installment. The reviewer owns this ebook.
  • Westward, Yo! on July 01, 2011
    star star star star
    JA Campbell was a guest here on her release day for this story, talking about the new series. I was intrigued by the concept of the digital short stories to lure in new readers and wanted to give her story a try. And I am a sucker for horses. My sister and I had a horse when we were teens and I grew up reading horse stories. This was a quick, enjoyable read that kept me engaged. I'm looking forward to the rest of her shorts (#2, Range Feud, is already on my Kindle) that will be released (and she has a novel later this summer). I was a bit skeptical about the wild-wild-west theme, mainly because it's not what I typically read, but I was happily surprised.I grew up in a smallish town so I could still feel for Tina's predicament as she adjusted. It's not a long read, but there's lots going on and it's a nice mix of the predictable and the unpredictable. Campbell blends teen angst (but not too much!), western life and a hint of the supernatural and successfully pulls the reader into the story and keeps the momentum going. She doesn't forget the characters though and I look forward to seeing more of them. Will teens and young readers enjoy this story? I think so. Tina and her BFF Jessica feel real, Campbell is respectful and doesn't talk down to her readers and the story is fun and interesting.