Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Ashley Dawn: Shadows from the Past

Shadows From the Past (Shadows Series Book 1) by [Dawn, Ashley]
From Amazon

 By Kelly Bridgewater

“…It is the price you pay for choosing to be a cop. Your brother’s life…”

Those words haunt her dreams, and her waking moments. LAPD officer, Aurora Kavvan cannot rest until she finds her brothers killer. Digging into the past always brings back unpleasant things: memories, guilt…the hit man. Now she is in a race against time to find the murderer before he finds her.

“Kill her. I don’t care how, and I don’t care where, but I want her dead now!”

Someone was trying to kill his dead partner’s sister. FBI agent, Jordan Reiley will stop at nothing to protect the woman he loves. Even if it means going against her wishes; putting himself between her and the man who murdered her brother.

Will God keep them alive long enough for them to find the truth?

My Thoughts:

I have read tons of romantic suspense novels, and I have a pretty good idea of how the mechanics of a novel works, especially in this genre. Ashley Dawn is a new author who I have never heard of, but the synopsis for her story Shadows from The Past sounded interesting and right up my alley, so I signed up for a copy. Not what I was expecting.

First, I do adore the cover for this book. Whoever Dawn hired to do the cover did a fabulous job. It fit the synopsis perfectly and gave a wonderful feel to the upcoming novel. This helped cement my choice to read the novel.

Setting is important to grounding the reader to the characters and the surrounding world. If I can't visualize where the characters are, then I have a hard time following the story. Dawn would mention that the characters were in an apartment or a safe house, which happened to be Jordan's house, but she really didn't spend a lot of time showing me what I was looking at. So my imagination had to make up a house and fill in the blanks.

The characters make or break a novel. In this case, they actually break the novel. I had no sympathy for the heroine or the multiple other characters. They appeared to be stick figures running around on the page. She tried to make Aurora, Rory, Roar, or Roarie (whatever nickname she tried to use) a deep wounded character, but she spent way too much time processing things. I believe I had more time listening to her internal dialogue than watching her actually speak to the other characters. Needs to be dialed back a lot. Like Rachel Hauck says, "Tell the story between the quotes." I think Dawn needs to spend some time editing a lot of the internal dialogue.

The plot. The story begins with a nightmare, which I didn't know is a nightmare until Aurora wakes up. Then I'm thrown into a lot more internal dialogue before any more action. Then Dawn would have something happen to the partners or the person Aurora happens to be with. They always end up in the hospital, and Aurora is apologizing for the incident. The story did not have much hair raising tension either. It felt very slow (maybe because of all the internal dialogue), then the ending to catch the person who wanted Aurora dead is also anti-climatic. I gasped in shock how simple the ending was. Been done before. Not surprising. Also, there is A LOT of head hopping in the same chapter. The story goes from Aurora's perspective to Jordan's to Joe's to Alex's to the bad guys all in one chapter. Confused me a couple of times. Not supposed to do that.

Overall, Shadows from the Past by Ashley Dawn is a first draft of a beginning writer. I think she needs to spend some time focusing on the mechanics of writing a novel and then return to this novel. With more practice, she probably would be able to make the tension stronger, the ending different and better, and the dialogue much better for the readers to endure.

I received a complimentary copy of Shadows from the Past by Ashley Dawn through Celebrate Lit Tours, but the opinions stated are my own. 

My Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

Where to connect with Ashley Dawn:

Author's Bio:

An image posted by the author.
From Amazon
Ashley Dawn was born and raised in rural Arkansas where she developed her love for writing while helping in her parent's office. She graduated with an accounting degree from the University of Central Arkansas but is currently working as a legal assistant.
Ashley has been writing professionally for the past twelve years and has three published books. Her Shadows Series include Shadows From The Past, Shadows of Suspicion, Shadows of Pain, and Shadows of Deception. She is currently working on multiple projects including the fifth in her ‘Shadows’ series entitled “Shadows in Black and White” and also a standalone suspense titled ‘One of Their Own’. She and her family make their home in Texas.

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