Tara Neale

March 15, 2012

Some Kind of Wonderful by Dahlia Rose

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tara Neale @ 7:30 am

Title: Some Kind of Wonderful

Author: Dahlia Rose

Source: Amazon, AllRomance

Price: $3 or so for novellas between 15K and 30K, slightly more for her full-length novels

Heat: HOT, within the confines of a committed relationship

Rating: Tear jerking, heartwarming and BREATH-TAKING

Genre: Interracial Romance

Dahlia Rose was one of my first discoveries in indie romance. Although she also writes for established print and e-publishers, her self-published line offers her variety and freedom to explore boundaries. She has become my author of choice for novellas. When I know I have just a couple of hours and do not want to get into a story that I will have to put down, she’s my girl.

As an African-American author, she writes almost exclusively in the IR (Interracial) genre. Her characters are independent and sometimes a bit quirky black women, who find happiness and amazingly HOT sex in the arms of white and Latino men. Her works realistically and empathetically explore the societal issues that face these couples…without losing the focus on what drives a romance…deep characters with amazing stories.

Some Kind of Wonderful represents Dahlia at her best. Bonnie Gabriel is a photographer/artist who is beginning her life over after a disastrous relationship that left her with a sweet something worth it all…a baby.  But trouble is brewing off the coast of her North Carolina home, in the form of a hurricane. Her best friend is worried about Bonnie and asks her Special Forces brother to drop in on her while he is on vacation. And does he…drop-in that is…literally, repelling from a helicopter. With the hurricane bearing down on them, Conrad Lewis shows the reader what a hero really is…securing Bonnie’s home, delivering her baby and making the world a better place for us all (and a hotter one too, girls). And the rest is an awesome read.

I loved this novella and choose it to highlight what I find so special about Dahlia because it breaks a proto-typical romance mold. In a typical romance, the story would go something like this…heroine has been hurt before so she refuses to give into the new feelings that building within her out of fear.  As a result, there are pages and pages of frustration (hers, his and the readers) as she fights her growing feelings for the hero. It is only when she loses him that she discovers her real feelings and miraculously they are reunited.

Not this time. This story is about two amazing people, who recognize early that something special is happening between them and have the good sense to cherish it for the special gift that it is. The hero admits his feelings and is in her bed in record time. They are married and enjoying a different kind of honeymoon by mid-point. But that does not mean that the storyline is weak or without conflict. This romance is what I have always dreamt of and complained that publishers never print…real-life romance, where the struggles are not against each other or their feelings but against outside forces that are trying to tear them apart. In this case, Bonnie must face the insecurities and uncertainties of becoming a military wife…and the fears of ‘what if’s.’ Add to that the ex, who shows up to make trouble and this couple need all the love and HOT sex they can get to overcome the things that life throw at them.

Of course nothing is ever perfect, so a couple of warnings (I will always include these for balance, folks).  One of the complaints I hear about indie publishing is the lack of adequate editing. First of all, you can find misspellings and grammatical errors in New York Times best-sellers from top publishers. Sometimes lots of them given the amount of money they spent on proof-readers, editors and re-writes. Given the limited resources of authors who self-published, I believe that a bit more leeway is in order.

Like me, Dahlia is a story-teller, first and foremost (and one of the best in my opinion). As a story-teller, our focus is upon just that…the story. This means that sometimes the number of errors that slip past spell-check and beta-readers is a bit higher than traditional publishing and its big budgets. So if your focus is on grammar and spelling more than strong, believable characters and complex, fast-paced storylines then Dahlia might not appeal to you as much as she does to me.

The other thing to remember is that these are fast-paced novellas, not full-length works. Just like a quick sandwich can sometimes fail to fill you up and leave you hungry for more, so can stories that move this quickly. But sometimes, all we have time for in our fast-paced lives is a sandwich. And these are gourmet sandwiches, folks. Full of the meat of rich, robust characters, sandwiched between storylines that are like the best home-made French rolls and with hot, spicy dressings (sex)that leaves you satisfied but hungry for more. So if you are looking for a little something to tide you over until the next meal, a story that you can finish in a single sitting or on your commute to work, then you should check out Some Kind of Wonderful and Dahlia Rose’s other works.

In this brave new world of indie publishing, there is room for so many different styles and tastes. No longer are we restricted in what we read by the big business of publishing.  Shorter works, novellas that were once not worth the publishers efforts are abounding in this medium. And genres such as IR that were once considered niche have been given new life. Those are just two of the many benefits of e-publishing. Dahlia Rose is one of a new breed of authors taking risks in this new reality. So if you are looking for a couple of hours of amazing sex, happy endings and wonderful people give this book and Dalia Rose a try this week.

Next week I step back in time to medieval England with Laurel O’Donnell’s The Bride and the Brute.


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