Dear Ms. Levigne,
Wow, you certainly do write a wide variety of genres. “The Dark One” (aka “The Dreamer’s Loom“) was one of the first books I reviewed here are DA waaaay back in 2006. I’d been meaning to try some of your other stories, and have quite a backlist of them at Fictionwise, and finally got off my derriere with “Damsels in Distress.” Question. Is this part of a series, as I recall only one damsel in this book?
I like my heroes and heroines to be balanced which makes Roderick and Nell a good couple, IMO. He tries to magic her but she not only blocks it she eventually turns it on him. At which point she discovers what he already knows and that is no relationship is worth anything if both parties don’t come to it with open eyes and acceptance. I like that they manage to get to know each other in the short span of the story and that each admires what is seen in the other.
You don’t spend pages filling us in on the backstory of the plot but weave it into the story as we go along. I think the issue of them finding out what caused the overthrow of Rod’s many greats-grandfather and Nell’s equally many greats-grandmother is equal to them finding each other and working out how to undo the damage that was done centuries ago. I’m glad you didn’t clutter the book with secondary characters or issues either.
But…but…but right when things were really zipping along I began to get hints that this might be what Mrs. Giggles might call a ‘magic hoo-haw’ book. Nell’s guardians include a dragon and a male unicorn and we all know how unicorns are about virgins. And virgins staying virgin. Hmmmm, I thought. Then Nell mentions how important it’s always been to the unicorn that she remain pure. Oh dear, I said. And sure enough, the story hinges on her purity and the importance of her having sex with just the right person at just the right place. And things sorta seemed to go haywire for a few pages.
If it hadn’t have been for that, I would probably have graded higher but magic hoo-haws and their importance in Saving the World! just don’t do it for me. B