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!

Book Review: Cruel by Ashley R. Carlson


All I can say is: MORE, MORE, MORE! I read this book in just under an hour, and I want more of this rich, interesting world. I loved the characters, the background, and the villains. I loved everything about it. The pace moved right along steadily, with the writing not bogged by down unnecessarily long histories and description of this new world. It was so easy to suspend my disbelief and really immerse myself in the world Carlson created, so kudos to the author! The only reason it isn’t a full 5 stars is because I wish it was longer. More time imprisoned, more subtle fighting with the Big Bad, more everything.

I’d definitely recommend this to anyone who is looking for a fast-paced, tension-filled sci-fi read! Well done. You’ve got a fan in me.

Original Review Date: August 26th, 2014

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