THE DAWSONS by Lydia & Santina Casablanca, Fantasy Romance, 432 pp., $.99 (kindle)
Author: Lydia and Santina Casablanca
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
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.
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Magika is a world like none other, it is a magical planet filled with witches and the supernatural. Mere mortals can never find out about Magika and if they stumble upon it by mistake, they are never seen or heard from again. Magika can never be exposed for what it is. In Magika, we meet the Dawsons. They are a boisterous family full of merriment. They live life on their terms. During their yearly family gathering we learn that the Dawsons are not liked by the king of Magika and they try to steer clear of him at all times. There was a falling out many years ago when one of the Dawsons killed the King’s brother.
During the family gathering, well into the night Zancho, an evil demon set fire to the Dawson camp killing every member of the family except for Derrick and his siblings Francesco and Teresa. They were only children at the time and were forced to make it out into the world alone only having each other to rely on. They find an abandoned house and make it into a home. Derrick fights to keep his family together often stealing food so they won’t go hungry. Derrick being the oldest, has the weight of the world on his shoulders. Being poor does not offer them any luxuries and they fight every day of their lives to survive. Derrick does not believe in love. To him, love is pain, especially after witnessing his entire family being killed. He never wants to go through that pain ever again. All that is about to change though when they meet the Princesses, twins Rosa and Rose. Both Derrick and his younger brother Francesca feel a connection to the twins. Is love even possible between the poorest of the poor and the Princesses?
I really enjoyed this story when I first started reading it. There is a lot of action going on in the first quarter of the book. We witness the destruction of the Dawsons and I could not help but feel sorry for these poor children out on their own. Zancho is a nasty evil demon that will stop at nothing to make those he wishes suffer and die. Derrick was definitely a favorite of mine through the first half of the book. He really loved his siblings and in a way became a father figure to them. Derrick would do anything for his family to ensure their safety. Then we have Rose and Rosa who both grew up in a life of privilege. They never wanted for anything and lived in a castle with their grandparents, the king and queen. Rose and Rosa also lost their mother to the same evil demon much like Derrick and his family.
The romance is a slow buildup and you really can’t help yourself from rooting for a happily ever after and yet wondering how there will ever be a happily ever after when the king forbids the twins from any contact with the Dawson brothers. The romance is more like a modern version of Romeo and Juliet. The romance was very sweet at times and also very raunchy other times. Which I kind of liked.
Lydia and Santina Casablanca are very detailed in their story telling which helped immerse me into the story. Although I enjoyed the story, there were a couple of parts that I was iffy about. There is a lot of underage sex. Nothing graphic and everything was off scene, but it definitely touches on the taboo. There is also a reference to a gay comment that was a bit off putting, but all in all it did not sway me away from the main storyline. Please be aware that the ending kind of ends on a cliffhanger, so I am hoping their is going to be a sequel to the story? All in all, I did enjoy The Dawsons and would love to find out what happens next.
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.
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