I do book reviews. For me it's a learning experience because if I can articulate what makes a book awesome or flat (for me) then maybe I can integrate those learnings into when I finally start writing my own books.
Of course I understand that different people have different takes on what they think is great or not, this is just for me more than anyone else.
I enjoy paranormal/ fantasy/ regency & historical romances as well as sci fi & fantasy fiction. If you want an unbiased review of your book please let me know at dwanea (at) rocketmail (dot) com.
Undeniable Rogue,(The Rogues Club: Book One)
on Aug. 23, 2015
The plot seemed interesting/exciting enough, but the storytelling... There was too much "telling." For me, the writing style distracts rather than enhances the story. I couldn't finish it.
The Bride and the Brute
on Aug. 23, 2015
I liked the first half. The characters were so vivid and it intrigued me how they would develop. But then the second half became so predictable and overly dramatic. The excerpts of the other books seemed interesting enough, though. I'd skip to those parts instead.
The Elemental Mysteries: Complete Series
on Sep. 01, 2015
The first book will suck you in, the aecond one will let you down on so many counts, the third will pick you up and over til you get to where you"re happywith book 4 Kind of.
Likes: writing style, character development, action scenes (the bloody kind), new concept about vampires. I also liked the dialogus, there's something for everyone to like. I also like the not so subtle message, or lesson, if you will, that was woven in the story since book 3. That of humility.
Dislikes: Too many characters who played background roles that you think it's just a set up for other series, other books. It's distracting. Also, this one had no "origin story," not even a myth to how Hunter's version of vampires all began. There were just these ancient 4 to begin with, with almost no memory of their human life.
The Queen's Blade IV - Sacred Knight of the Veil
on Sep. 16, 2015
This series is insanely good. While other stories seem to depend on stupid asumptions and romantic blunders to move the story along, tnis series does none of that. The main characters are strong and intelligent, the plot is tight and well thought out. Bravo. I will be buying more
The Canary: A Modern Folktale
on Sep. 26, 2015
I totally agree the cover would look great on a tshirt. :-) Anyway, I like the story, particularly the open ending. But not so much the writing style. Too much "telling" instead of "showing."
on Oct. 09, 2015
Can't finish the story. Hesper Fane's character is like a teenager instead of an almost masters graduate. I almost stopped reading earlier after that part where Altair saved her from hypothermia and she started harping about him having had to undress her and seeing her nude. Duh. Her reactions just got more and more juvenile after that that maybe it would've been better if she had been portrayed as a teenager. Anyway to each her own. If you like women characters who overreact first and think later, then this book is for you.
Suddenly a Bride
on Oct. 09, 2015
I just love cool headed women like Caitlyn who doesn't go into indignant histrionics like most heroines in romance novels. She calmly took her new husband home and investigated the marriage claim instead of huffing and puffing about it. In romance novels, so rare is the girl who tries to think first instead of having a knee jerk emotional reaction to everything. And Chris is really sweet. I love the story, I love the characters. Great read.
The Vision, A Dark Romance
on Oct. 24, 2015
Lovely story. The title was a bit misleading though. I didn't see the "dark" in that romantic tale.
Eternal Breath of Darkness
on Oct. 25, 2015
The story was good, 5 stars for the plot, but it needs editing. There were some distractingly obvious usage errors. Correct spelling but the words mean something else. Also the characters, in terms of background and origins, could've been fleshed out more. I mean, you get to the middle of the book before finding out what Haden does for a "living," and Caylee's still a blank. Mia was more solid in that regard. Author does an excellent job in building up the sexual tension though. Good free read.
The Earl's Inconvenient Wife
on Nov. 07, 2015
Many scenes were quite entetaining, there were also some pages I'd rather not read for being waaay too juvenile. If it weren't for the sex scenes I'd say this was for YA. However, the author delivered well on the character development of the main people in the story so it's more than just an okay read.
The Winter Witch
on Nov. 07, 2015
Cute little short story. Nicer if more parts were told from a female perspective but it's nice enough as it is.
on Nov. 28, 2015
Riveting. Really good storytelling, it got me hooked from start to finish. Do not read at night if you have a morning appointment.
on Nov. 28, 2015
Clever storytelling. Unpredictable ending. Needs proofreading, but stull 5 stars.
The Beast Within - A Circle Of Stones
on Jan. 02, 2016
At first, it eems like your usual sacrificial maid erotica, but it isn't. Creative ending for sure. There's a sequel, but it can be read as a standalone story, not a cliffhanger. I wish the other book was in smashwords though.
The Earl's Scandalous Wife
on Jan. 10, 2016
Predictable, but well written. I love RAN's characters, so atypical of how men and women are often portrayed in Romance novels. The dialogue was engaging, the main characters were well thought out and interesting. The twist to this predictable tale is that the lady wasn't overly emotional to the point of doing anything too stupid the way other books make women out to be. She saved herself and that makes for a refreshing read.
The Bed Wife
on Feb. 28, 2016
It ends in one of those irritating cliffhangers, a major turn off for me. Nothing new about the throne-hungry uncle plot except for he bed wife tradition. Book was cleanly written, though. Good if you're looking for a teaser.
on April 18, 2016
Good free read. I like how the story used flashbacks without making your head spin. The ending was a bit hurried, but the good storyline makes up for that.
on April 19, 2016
Masterfully written. I love TC Southwell's almost poetic style of writing. Everything just comes to life.
on April 19, 2016
What I found distracting was the constant use of the phrase "word of power" during the fight scenes. How hard could it be to make one up? Also, just because it doesn't have sex doesn't mean it's already ok to claasify this as YA without a word of caution, the violence is epic.
Other than those very minor concerns this book is incredible. The way the tension was sustained is amazing. No scene was superfluous, the story was tight while maintaining the same vvid style of storytelling.
Also, few writers would bother tying up lose ends. Most romance stories end with the declaration of love and leave everything else hanging This book was VERY thorough, an awesome finish to Book 1.
The Broken World Book One - Children of Another God
on May 10, 2016
Talsy, the female lead can be a little irritatingly stupid. But she's young. I hope as the epic continues her character also develops and matures.
Other than that minor gripe, this story reminds me of Hayao Miyazaki's work. The scenes with the Kuran in particular reminded me of Princess Mononoke. I hope this story gets picked up by a producer and turned into an epic anime.
Although I loved the story I find that I'm not too keen on buying the next book because of Talsy's juvenile behavior that I can't really identify with. Maybe I'm just too old to relate.
Frankly she was fine until the last few chapters with Kieran where she became ridiculously irrational. Calling someone an oaf for trying to help you for FREE, but championing a mujar that you had to hurt first before they'd help you was way out of character for a being a "chosen one." I thought she was deemed worthy because she dosn't judge and there she is being such a brat.
Although I think the insinuation of a love triangle would raise the tension a bit and make things more interesting for younger readers, I'm not looking forward to more of that behavior in the next book so for now I'll pass.
Dragon Dreams (The Chronicles of Shadow and Light) Book 1
on May 27, 2016
I was fine for most of the book, good plot, interesting characters, vivid storytelling and all that. Up until Auri's stupid idiotic impulsive run to Valdys because of a dream. I found myself thoroughly frustrated by that. Why are women always portrayed as unthinking and stupid (masked as brave) just to move the story along? It would've been better if she had been kidnapped, it could've yielded the same result, Nachal merging with her mind and Valdys killed. But no. Instead she rushed like a ninny and DELIBERATELY excluded everyone who could help her save her Valdys. I mean, what the hell did she imagine she could do ALL ALONE to save her foster father from an entire army or even a dragon? Stupid. She put herself and everyone who cared about her in danger. This part really really bugs me. What a poor characterization of the next Elf Queen: overly emotional and impulsive. She never paused to think what it would do to anyone if she got hurt. What's worse, there was no introspection about the consequences of her actions. She might have exposed the location of Cerralys's kingdom, Nachal might have died, she could have died leaving Cerralys more devastated because he'd also lose his son. After the wonderful story set up, I'm afraid this ending just left a sour taste in my mouth that will probably linger for hours. Three stars.
Forever Dreams: A Small Town Romance
on Aug. 19, 2016
Too slow paced for me. It's one of those books you can put down in the middle of a chapter and forget about it while you move on to another book. Just another story about a girl in denial about her feelings while she searches for her Dad. Frankly I couldn't finish the story when she started laying ground rules AFTER they got married. Sheesh. Refusing to lie in the bed she made is just a little too juvenile for me and the conflict is too shallow for a book this long. Three stars because, apart from boring the heck out of me, the text was easy enough to follow and some readers might find this story interesting.
on Sep. 05, 2016
Story was good, character development was good, love scenes were steamy, the action scenes were great and there's an original twist to the paranormal characters. I really liked it. Would've given it 5 stars if it went through a proofreader just one more time. Or maybe twice. There were just SOO MANY malaprops that it went beyond distracting, it was downright annoying. It seems on every other page you'll find the wrong use for words like except/accept, whenced/winced, sight/site, breath/breathe, rap this session/wrap this session, censor/sensor, at lease/at least, weld/wield, etcetera not to mention minor tense disagreements like: looked forwarded to sharing, what happen to you, to make the changed, and so many others. I don't want to be a grammar nazi, but this is A GOOD BOOK that was just frankly ruined by not putting it through a professional proofreader. If this is an indication of the next book I think I'll wait for a few more books from the two authors before I purchase Vex's story. .
Together in Darkness
on Sep. 20, 2016
This is so worth the download. Starts with a (gruesome) bang and ends with a satisfying finality. I really liked the plot, it's unpredictable without getting messy. You'll keep guessing who the killer is, or how they're all connected, but you'll probably miss the mark until you read everything through. What's also remarkable is the character development of both the heroine and the hero as both of them learn to reconnect with the beliefs and abilities they had abandoned. It's a wonderful book: clean, suspenseful, steamy as well. I'm loking forward to reading more from the author.
on Sep. 25, 2016
There's actually an incredible story behind the porn. Such unique characters! And the allegory that we need to have a deeper connection with the earth or else wither and die is a powerful one. The magic-hungry Mage-King is a statement that greed can make you truly lose your connection to the earth. There are other scenes and passages that may (or may not) trigger your mind to think beyond the story, but you'll just have to read the book to find out.
That being said, I have a few, very minor gripes that can be answered with a sequel, such as What happened to Kitty? And why did Luca say it was a lie that Petal's Master created her? I wish this book was longer, make it a truly epic tale and flesh out more details with the characters, more emotions at least. The book is free though, so I'm not taking down a star for that.
on Oct. 07, 2016
The ending was morbidly funny and worth reading until 4am. I thought I'd read a book to help me sleep, boy was I wrong on this one. Haha. This is my first time to read a story by this author and I'm already checking out some of his other works. Neatly written story. Highly recommended.
Amelia and Lucius, A New Love
on Oct. 14, 2016
If you're into revenge stories, you might want to read this. Fair warning, this reads more like a short story than a full length book, being a bit limited in scope. It also needs an editor, but still quite an enjoyable retelling of the classic vampire-in-shining-armor coming to save a damsel in marital distress.
The Ghost of Lockesley Hall
on Dec. 26, 2016
Glad I got this short story with a coupon. Plot is interesting, it pushes the story along without much character development. Not much time for that in a short piece. At times it feels more like a mystery tale rather than a paranormal romance. I'd have loved a more fleshed out version, but it does have a satisfying ending to make reading it worth ur while.
Six Hours to Sunrise (Sanguine Series #1)
on Jan. 21, 2017
Good writing style, it will really draw you into the story. I also liked the sanguine concept although the idea of a militia isn't new to the genre it served its purpose to add a bit of an edge to the story.
What bothered me a lot was how the only reason the plot moved along was because of one ridiculous misunderstanding afted another. The first one was all right, but again and again and again?
It's a good thing the story ended with a decent closure. Although there were a few unanswered questions, it was nothing major. It would've been annoying to have to purchase another book to get a resolution/HEA.
The Loneliest Alpha - Book #1 (The MacKellen Alphas series)
on March 07, 2017
Nice Beauty and the Beast vibe going halfway through the book until the face reveal. I also loved the very human characters, I mean they screw up and try to make things better. Alicia seemed just a bit irritatingly too much in-your-face at the beginning, thankfully it didn't last long, only until it has served its purpose, and then she showed her reasonable, more gentle side. Everything was neatly tied up at the end and I wished Gavin mentioned a little bit of his past relationships to Alicia instead of only to the readers, but it's just my preference. I'll be reading more from this series. Thank you thank you thank you for making this a free download.
Claimed: Book 1 in the Brides of the Kindred
on Sep. 02, 2018
The good points are that the concept is original, the text seems to have been proofread, and it's free. Down to the basics it's just another female-in-denial love story and those are already, literally, everywhere. And nowhere as extended as this one that it already became so absurd halfway through the book. Many might find the sexual tension exciting, but what I thoroughly dislike about using this type of internal conflict to nudge the story along is that it paints a picture of women as stupid and irrational and juvenile. I mean come on, the main character is a career nurse set in the future I was hoping for a more intelligent plot device (yes I will pay for it) but sadly the rest of the series seem to have the same theme of females who don't know themselves or what they want. Unless there's a semi intelligent woman in any of the upcoming stories I'm going to pass. I love the males though in this story though. But it's not enough to make me want to purchase the others right now. But it's just me. Don't take my word for it. Download a copy (it's free) and read for yourself.