THE DAWSONS by Lydia & Santina Casablanca, Fantasy Romance, 432 pp., $.99 (kindle)
: THE DAWSONS
Author: Lydia and Santina Casablanca
Witnessing the horrific demise of everyone he knew and loved has made Derrick Dawson strong, but it has also made him cold and broken. Tormented by his past and fears for the future, Derrick drowns himself in alcohol and drugs to dull the pain he can’t seem to escape. When Rose, the granddaughter of his sworn enemy, suddenly appears in his life, his world turns upside down. The wall he has built to protect his heart is
crumbling. Will Derrick ignore what he feels or will he let the wall fall?
Francesco has felt alone and miserable all his life. The loss of his family and the harshness he receives from his constantly intoxicated older brother has left a void inside him that he thought he would never fill. Until a young princess named Rosa stumbles into him and changes his life forever. There’s only one thing that stands in his way—King Antonio has forbidden Rosa to have anything to do with a Dawson.
This novel was interesting to read. I felt bad for Derrick as he had to take on the role of the main caregiver for his sister and brother at only four years old, but he somehow managed to do it. I disagreed with the way he changed because he became very abusive towards his siblings, and then got mad at his siblings when they began to act the same way that he had been acting for years. I understand where the story was trying to go, but he and his siblings actually succeeded at making me angry at certain times throughout the book.
My favorite character was Francesco. He had been bullied by his brother and sister all of his life, and he is falling for Rosa. He does not feel that he is worthy of her love though. I loved seeing him finally have the relationship that he deserved.
Teresa was a unique character. I couldn’t decide what I thought about her. Sometimes I thought that she was another victim of Derrick, but then with the way she treated Francesco, she definitely had a mind of her own. I wish that I had the chance to see things more from her perspective, but she is left behind as the time continues to move forward.
The plot moved smoothly even with the time skips and it was interesting to see how the characters changed as the years went on. The twin princesses also have interesting stories of their own, but they have a lot of spoilers so I won’t say too much about that.
The worldbuilding was definitely fleshed out at the beginning, but as the time went on I saw the description start to dwindle. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because there was simply more story to cover, but I would have liked a bit more focus on the description.
When the excuse is given for why Derrick and Francesco are as sex-craving as they are, I found it to be a bit weak. I thought that they could have had a better reason for why they acted the way they did. I won’t spoil anything again, but it was just not what I was expecting. It also did not explain the reason why Derrick was addicted to alcohol and drugs.
The princesses definitely have personalities of their own. I saw Rosa’s start to disappear a bit when she got together with Francesco, but Rose’s never disappeared. Their brother also had some unique quirks that I grew to love as the story continued.
I did not find any editing errors in my copy of the novel that I read.
I would recommend this book to lovers of fantasy/dark fantasy romance novels. Even though the characters are teens for a good portion of the novel, I would suggest that you treat this as an adult or a new adult story if you aren’t a fan or adult themes in stories.
I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
There is a world like no other, a world where anything is possible, where no
mortal walks—or lives. This world is on a planet called Magika, a place like
Earth with the same identities, the same personalities, and the same countries.
The only difference is the people on Earth are mortal, and the people on Magika
are witches, which makes things very different. All kinds of beings and
creatures—any supernatural thing you can think of—live on this bizarre planet.
Mortals aren’t allowed to visit Magika; nor do they even know that the planet
exists. Though it’s located close to earth, Magika is barely possible to find
in space, given that it’s invisible to the mortal eye. If somehow a human were
to miraculously figure it out and enter the magical land, the rulers of Magika would
make sure he or she never returned. Mortals can never know Magika exists; their
knowing would change everything, and drastic measures would have to be taken.
The only way in or out of Magika is through several portals around the
world, and they open only once a year at twilight. Witches in books and movies
on Earth are nothing like witches in the witch world. On this planet, witches
fly without broomsticks and heal quickly. They are given a gift from an angel
on the day of their birth, but they also receive a curse by a demon on the same
day. The only way to get rid of the curse is to kill the demon who gave it.
However, if you do get rid of the curse, you will gain another. Witches senses
are heightened. Their eyes and hair can grow any colour. They will never age
and can never die, unless they are given the curse of mortality. Child witches
usually grow faster than do mortal children. You can never tell how old a witch
may be, and it would be better not to guess, if you know what we mean.
And so our story begins one night on the shores of Casa
Lydia and Santina Casablanca are twin sisters who were born in
Brisbane, Queensland Australia. They grew up mostly in New South Wales,
moving around all the time and never staying in one place for more than
three years. Growing up, Lydia and Santina were left at home a lot with
nothing to do while their mother worked to provide for them. The twins
had wild imaginations and would often play make believe where they lived
in this world where only the supernatural inhabited it. They made up
all kinds of characters and story lines, and in doing so they did not
realize that they were creating magic.
When Lydia and Santina were 14 years old they noticed they were
starting to forget the stories, the characters and the families they had
made up and they didn’t want to forget, they wanted to always remember
the adventures they went on when they played, pretending they were
witches who lived in a magical place. The twins decided to put down all
their adventures they had had, all the characters and the families they
had made up on paper so they would always remember them.
While writing their book they were suddenly aware that they had a
passion for it, and realized they didn’t want their stories to be
hidden, to just be shared between themselves. They wanted to share the
families they had created, the adventures, the characters with the
world. The twins wanted to share their love of writing, their magic and
write for a living.
Lydia and Santina worked on their first novel (The Dawsons) for ten
years, adding to the story, maturing and professionalizing it, editing
it and trying their best to make it as perfect as a manuscript can be
before they approached the self-publishing company Xlibris in October
2016. The twins knew that self-publishing a book is not cheap so they
saved up for years, working at Gloss Cosmetics, Coles, etc. to earn the
money that would help them to publish their first novel.
Lydia and Santina’s book “The Dawsons” was finally self-published
with Xlibris Publishing in April 2017. The twins went through a crazy,
exhilarating ride making their book a reality, and haven’t regretted
taking all the nerve-racking risks in the hopes of being successful.
They have been trying to get as many people as possible to know about
their book, contacting radio and television stations, bookstores,
newspapers and social media in the hopes that their dreams will come
The twins are now 24 years old and are living on the Central Coast,
New South Wales. Lydia is currently working on the second installment to
The Dawsons. She is also working on the first novel by contacting
anyone she can to popularize their book. Santina helps Lydia with the
marketing of The Dawsons whenever she can.
WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS: