Title: The Dead Man’s Deal (The Witherspoon Mansion Adventures #1)
Author: Jax Daniels
2014 – Adult Fiction – Fantasy
The Story: After Winki’s husband Will dies, she receives a surprise inheritance – a mansion tucked away in the middle of New Orleans, fully staffed by an entourage of eccentric characters. She also learns that magic exists and that as master of the house, she will be pitted against other competitors in an annual tournament. On top of all this, she discovers that Will was betrayed, leaving her and the house in danger.
The Opening Line: It happened again last night.
What I Loved: The bulk of the story revolved around preparing for the tournament. I loved this section because it reminded me so much of playing an RPG, which is my favorite type of game. Winki has to learn different weapons and attacks before going up against different competitors, almost like boss battles. If she wins, she levels up and gains loot. So this section was fun and I could easily understand everything that was going on.
What I Didn’t Love: Maybe this is just because I’m a bit of a stickler for grammar, but I did notice the mistakes and misspellings and that sort of thing. While not inherently bad, they did sometimes detract from the book and make me lose concentration.
Title: You Are Mine (Mine #1)
Author: Janeal Falor
2013 – Adult Fiction – Fantasy
The Story: In Serena’s world, a woman’s worth is based on the amount of magic running through her blood. Sold to the highest bidder, women are little more than slaves and possessions. But after Serena’s owner and intended husband is killed in a duel, she begins to realize that her new owner is not like everyone else. He wants change.
The Opening Line: My blood will entice warlocks to ask for my hand in marriage, so of course Father wants it spilled.
What I Loved: This novel had a really fresh perspective for me. So many times we see novels of oppression or dystopia, and it’s the downtrodden female that changes everything, that becomes the kick-butt hero everyone needs. In You Are Mine, Serena is literally helpless. Living under the fear of being punished, she must do as she’s told simply to survive. In my opinion, it was a more realistic look at extremely dystopian, patriarchal societies.
What I Didn’t Love: I raged at all the men who perpetuated this type of society. I think my inner feminist came out just a bit with this one.