By: E. D. Beale

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Adriana, the young princess of the Fae, is ready to awaken her magical powers. In order to do so, she must also awaken to sexual desire, so her mother has arranged for sensitive artist, Nicolo, to introduce her to both.


Awakening is a little novella that I had a very hard time categorizing. While the story is essentially one extended sex scene, it isn't descriptive enough to be considered erotic, but it technically isn't romance either. The reason it doesn't quite fit the romance genre, in my opinion, is that it contains no declarations of love, no commitments and no HEA (or really even an HFN) ending for the protagonists, only a playful acknowledgement that Adriana would need more "lessons." I reluctantly settled on the romance category anyway, simply because the novella had a certain romanticism about it. What woman wouldn't want her first sexual experience to be pleasurable and even magical? I also did feel that in a more involved story, Nicolo would have made a very good romantic hero. There isn't a great deal of background information on either character, but what I read of him I liked. He's a more sensitive artist type who is known for his skill not only with a brush and canvas but with helping the young Fae ladies to discover their magical powers which are revealed during their first sexual encounter. I also never would have thought that a guy with lilac hair and a body that takes on the same hue while experiencing pleasure would be appealing, but for some reason, Nicolo was.

I also had an equally difficult time rating Awakening as I did categorizing it. I've already cited the elements that I liked in the story, but nice as the premise and its male lead were, the writing was at times utterly cringe-worthy. The author's actual style of writing was OK, but I can't help but draw into question her command of the English language. For a work so short, there were a number of poorly constructed and incomplete sentences which made it difficult if not impossible to discern her meaning. Not to mention, I was thrown out of the building sexual tension while trying to figure it out. In my opinion, some of the dialog was rather juvenile, particularly lines from the heroine, such as, "Wow!", "It felt weird." and several others which had me wincing. I realize that she was only eighteen, but as the princess of the Fae, I expected her to act a bit more regal instead of sounding like a twelve-year-old (My own twelve-year-old is more articulate than that.). Last but not least this work was in desperate need of a thesaurus. Awakening was an OK novella for what it was, but the lamentable composition made me happy that it was a freebie and that it wasn't any longer. If not for that, I would have had no trouble giving it a higher rating. E. D. Beale seems to have the imagination for creating a promising premise, but in my opinion, her writing skills need some serious polish. Awakening is available as a free download from the All Romance e-Books website.


E. D. Beale