My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Rating:                              6

General Rating: No, no, no, no, and no. I don’t usually bad-mouth other authors or books but this is a hard no. I give it a 8 for writing but a 4 for content.

Skip factor:  20% At least. I skipped much. I don’t like reading the sex details between a pervert and a child.

Who should read:   For the first time I’m talking about people who SHOULDN’T read this rather than those who should. No one under eighteen (maybe twenty-one), that’s for sure. No one that doesn’t like sex scenes, and certainly no sex addicts. (Let’s not encourage them to get off thinking about kids.)

Summary: It’s the typical student-teacher sex affair. I’m not going to say much more.

I read similar student-teacher story, Choose Me, by Tess Gerritsen and LOVED it. This one? I googled the publishing company to see who would allow sex scenes between a child and pervert to go to print. Okay, they weren’t long lived, but the author sneaks in information I thought better left unsaid.

Characters:  The character development was good. Characters seemed unlikeable and true-to-life. I felt complete empathy for the abused girl. I searched after to see if the author had done extensive research on victims, but could not find.

Storyline: Classic retold teacher-student sex—not love—story.  

Writing:  This author writes well. My unworthy two cents is that she needed a better edit. (This is my blog and I’m usually cautious in criticizing other authors, but this story went too far.)

What she did extremely well was relay how manipulative an abuser can be and how devastating the consequences to a victim. For that, the author deserves credit.

Read this author again?  Not if she publishes with this publisher again. I’m totally shocked other authors condoned this.

Find another book and read on!


CJ Zahner is the author of The Suicide Gene, a psychological thriller, Dream Wide Awake, and Project Dream, two thrillers that carry a sixth-sense paranormal element, and Friends Who Move Couches, women’s fiction. These last two novels were inspired by Zahner’s own experiences. See the video of her own paranormal experience, a premonition of 9/11 here. Download her Beyond Reality Radio podcast here. Follow her on InstagramTwitterFacebookGoodreadsBookBub, or LinkedIn. Purchase her books on Amazon. 

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