Review: A Beauty’s Bargain by Ashley R. Carlson

A Beauty’s Bargain was a part of the anthology that I participated in that was released this past November. I’ve finally started reading my fellow authors’ work in more detail, and I’m super proud to be sharing some thoughts with you about them.

It Begins Here, our anthology, has been getting lovely reviews from readers, and while I plan to write blurbs about the stories, I won’t rate them unless the authors have published them independently from the anthology (like myself and Ashley did). I have a thing about not giving anything I’ve worked on a star rating, so here we are.




A Beauty’s Bargain is the perfect companion piece to Carlson’s The Charismatics. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it as a standalone, and I personally don’t think it can be read before Charismatics. It really enriches the whole fictitious world, and I think serves as a great tasty treat while readers wait for the release of the second book in the series. I wish it was longer, but given it was written for the anthology I also wrote a 10K piece for, I absolutely understand why it isn’t. That being said, I can’t wait to read more on Merry’s story.

This short piece earned such a high rating from me because it really made me feel. As always, Carlson is a fantastic writer, and I feel this was one of her strongest pieces of written works to date. However, it was the very squicky (SPOILER) rape scene that sold me. It was just so awful and brutal, even though it was a fade to black, that I actually had a physical discomfort while reading it–and that to me is the mark of a talented writer. They make you feel things, good or bad. So I applaud Carlson once again for making me feel with her work, and I can’t wait to read more from her!

Check out the short story on Goodreads for more reviews and purchase links!

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