DIAMONDS AND TOADS: Shiny but with Warts

Diamonds and Toads: A Modern Fairy Tale


K.E. SaxonDiamonds-Toads
Passion Flower Publishing
Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Members’ Titles
Pub Date Sep 22 2011 48,000 words
E-Galley provided via NetGalley for review purposes. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.

Together, sweet Delilah and wicked Isadora make the perfect woman. But the Perrault family fairy is a troublemaker and imbues diamonds upon one sister and toads upon the other. Now up is down and down is up in a world where no good deed goes unpunished. Leather, blindfolds, and handcuffs purge sweet of all reserve. A few misspoken words of lust gives wicked a whole new meaning.
Once upon a time, there were two sisters, one cursed and one blessed by fairy magic…
Bibbidee-bobbidi-boo, They’re naughty. How about you?(





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There were parts of this that I enjoyed. And, some other parts I really did not.

I liked the storylines; it was an excellent modern retelling of a couple of fairy tales and I could really feel the atmosphere of an old tale, with castle walls and women in gowns.

Except  that these are thoroughly modern tales. But the impression of a renaissance or medieval castle was just right. It also felt distinctly Norman French versus Celtic. Now while I liked this it was also a little confusing because I had a hard time placing it in time and location. At one point I thought it was in Paris, then New York then Texas.
illustration from a book of fairy tales,
I also liked that the characters in both stories are complex:Delilah is good but a Dominatrix; A Dominatrix but a virgin. And the characters

face a lot of issues about choices.  The right choice might be obvious to us, but that would make a boring story.  I always find it amusing that most problems between lovers in books are the product of not just coming out with it and being honest.

One aspect of the book I did not like  was the sex.   The sex scenes were embarrassing to read and not at all sexy.  I just re read one to be sure I was not being too harsh and I was not. Gah!  I read a lot of sex scenes and if one embarrasses me it’s either incredibly filthy or just really badly written.  These are in serious need of editing.

I also thought the characters were complex but the young woman in the first part Delilah is unbelievably dense.  And, the young woman in the second half is incredibly shallow. And that the stories are told in halves, intersecting at one event that gets recounted twice was less effective than telling the stories concurrently until they are not running parallel. That and a few other instances on the telling made it feel repetitive.

I really enjoyed the premise of the book and the atmosphere as well as the paradoxes and choices faced by the characters, but the sex ruined it for me. The splitting of the stories into a first and second half did not work for me, nor did the sex scenes. This was a fractured fairy tale for me, thus the mixed review.


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