What Lies Within: Not Your Average Antho by Several Authors
I recieved a copy of What Lies Within in exchange for an honest review. I want to thank Fred East for contacting me and allowing me the opportunity to read for him, and his co-authors.
Soothing Nightmares by M. Sinclair
“Even on my best days, it had the potential to fuck up my day.”
Arabella, a smart, brave, bold, unapologetoc woman doing work deemed questionable and scary by others is our narrator.
I enjoyed this story. Meeting Arabella, and learning that despite certain visual challenges, she is a powerful female with a brain and isn’t afraid to challenge the status quo was refreshing. I found using nightmares the way M. Sinclair does in her story very unique and interesting, I enjoyed the descriptions used to bring the nightmares to life, and the bold way Sinclair humanized them. I was sad when this story ended, because I was really enjoying the plot!
Sam: Hyper Omega Space Fantasy Romance By L. Starfyre
“…- it also prevented us from producing females. We weren’t as intelligent as we thought we were.”
L. Starfyre is an imaginative writer with an affection for dragons. With several published works available, and a strong love for a matriarchal stronghold, getting lost in the writing of Starfyre is a guaranteed adventure.
This is a story about what could be the perfect world. People are accepted for who they are inside, and genetics is so advanced that giving someone the ability to blossom into who they are is effortless.
This was a sweet introduction to this story, which will be more of a series as the mythology progresses. I am not usually a sci-fi fan, but this was well done. I enjoyed the concept, and I am glad Samantha found a way to live her best life.
The Ultimate Rescue By F. East
“I’ve always done my best to avoid my uncle, who I’ve lovingly dubbed Colon, because just like a colon, he’s full of shit.”
This book contained a trigger warning for physical torture, rape, and child abuse. I very much appreciate being forewarned about these topics before reading about them.
The dedication of this is precious, and I love that F. East does not want mom reading this. Don’t corrupt her innocence!
I appreciate how the men in this story handle Kimberly. They not only realize that she has been victimized and validate that, but they talk through everything they are doing. They want her to feel safe and comfortable. The level of absolute respect is lovely.
I will be getting this complete book. I need to know how it ends, officially, and I need to find out what happens to Kimberly.
Smoke and Harvest By A.J. Macey
This story started by explaining the relationship dynamic and a trigger warning that some of the content may be disturbing for some readers. I appreciate the notice.
Not sure how I felt about this one. I think the characters were some supernatural beings? But I’m not entirely sure. I’m also not a plural relationship person, so Lucie dating six men, three of which are brothers (twins and a single), is a little weird. The sex scene was uncomfortable for me, honestly. This isn’t a series I would read.
Heart Strings By Melody Calder
After reading the first paragraph, I had to pause and Google the price of a custom-built harp. $50,000-$150,000 is considered average. Holy buckets.
The dinner meeting behavior is very out of the blue, and quite honestly, I am not sure how I would react to the situation. Probably loudly. Don’t touch someone without consent. And probably avoid suggesting a sexual relationship before dinner.
I am not interested in the stepbrother sexual fantasy, and the rate the relationship evolved, for me, was uncomfortable. I did like that Jordan was independent, talented sought after woman and that despite being in a wheelchair, she doesn’t let anything hold her back. I appreciate the power thy Jordan possessed, and that she was a powerful woman within her industry.
Silence of the Hunter By Everly Taylor
“Yup, still the same with the undead , no one like a hit to the dick.”
I love that Claire comes from a long line of hunters. She is like a grown-up, much more badass version of Buffy. The beginning of this story is well done. I enjoyed the build-up. I would read the full-length version of this story.
Taming the Westons By Lara Elmore
“I always left the last piece for Mam to put in. She said it was the sweetest thing I did, letting her be the one to finish the puzzles. I just.” He pauses, his eyes welling with tears. “I just can’t seem to finish them without her.”
I liked the family unity in this story. I also liked that this story brought attention to how to educate yourself and how to approach situations with individuals who have ADHD and depression. And the emphasis placed upon accepting those as they are and not trying to fix them. People aren’t broken simply because they are different—a charming story.
Guards of the Garden By Ashley Amy
”It was time for me and Gran to have a little heart to heart.”
I loved that this story opened with a beautiful scene explaining Vella’s bond with her beloved Gran. It brought memories of my dear Nan, and that is always a welcome thought.
I enjoyed this story. The joining of the mate scene was a bit weird, but overall I found this well done. The character development and plot were well conflicted, and overall it is an exciting concept. I’d read this book!
Through Destiny’s Eyes By Eileen Troemel
This was an exciting and charming story. I enjoyed the emphasis placed on being whole, regardless of a disability—the power to see oneself as a whole, irrespective of any difference. I would read this book.
Overall, most of these short stories were very well done, very interesting, and are stories I would read thoroughly. There is a lot of empowerment, female heroism, and acceptance within these pages. It is an excellent anthology, diverse, and creative. I enjoyed reading this!
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