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REVIEW: CB – The Distressing Damsel by Shelly Laurentson

Dear Ms. Laurentson:

The Distressing DamselI am not sure whether this is a comic send up of paranormal romances but that is how it read to me. In that light, this book is hilarious. It’s when the book veers toward the serious that it starts to read like an ordinary romance tale with ordinary romance problems.

Talaith, Daughter of Heldane, is a Nolwenn witch who is under a curse by a god. Nolwenn witches are supposed to be unhappy, unattached women who use men for breeding and pleasure purposes, but not for love. Talaith fell in love with a soldier when she was sixteen. He was killed, however, and her mother and the other Nolwenn witches cast Talaith out to teach her a lesson. While she was cast out, Talaith came under control of a god.

Briec the Mighty, is a shape shifting dragon who happened to be in Talaith’s village doing some information gathering about the local ruler, Hamish. Briec’s family suspects Hamish is plotting something fiendish against Garbhan Isle, the home of Briec’s family. He spies Talaith and desires her. In a turn of events, Briec gets the chance to spirit Talaith away. Talaith has a big secret that does not permit her to stay with Briec and despite the joy she finds in his arms, she takes the first opportunity to run away.

Briec is a dragon who does not have a real understanding of human ways. The way in which you took advantage of this was wonderful.

Briec sat up a bit, his claw to his chest. “What is this unbearable feeling in my chest? It’s driving me mad!”
Fighting her smile, his sister reached over and ran her hand through his hair. “That, my sweet brother, is called heartbreak.”
He glanced down at his chest. “Will that be a physical deformity?”

But for as sweet at Briec is, Talaith, for the first half of the book, was too bitchy. And I like bitchiness. I thought her rude and dislikeable and couldn’t figure out what Briec saw in her.

One major problem was that despite all the supposed danger, no one was in any jeopardy. The good was too strong and mighty to ever be taken down by the evil which made the story lack any external conflict. To a great extent, the secondary characters were full featured. Unfortunately, too many people’s stories were being told in this one book when I wanted to focus on Talaith and Briec. You have a voice that I definitely want to read again, but would like to see a tighter story and more suspense. B-

Best regards


P.S. Is your title a take off of a statement made by Carrie Fischer that she was not a damsel in distress but rather a distressing damsel?

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. jmc
    Jun 17, 2006 @ 13:41:52

    What is that on the cover? I thought it was an open umbrella (whihc was odd and not very romance-coverish….but then I read about the dragon. Is it supposed to be a dragon wing sprouting from the cover model’s back?


  2. Jayne
    Jun 17, 2006 @ 18:17:35

    LOL, at first I thought it was one of those umbrellas that photographers use to focus the light and that it was focued on his man/dragon titties. It looks kind of flimsy to keep him airborn.

  3. Jorrie Spencer
    Jun 18, 2006 @ 09:51:26

    I love that quote!

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