“Sweet Dreams”: by Kirsten Ashley

A Book Review Lost and Found

Georgia NeSmith
20 min readFeb 14, 2022


Telluride, Colorado — Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash

Finally! I found this book review I wrote in 2014 on one of the three books I ordered free through Audible, via my membership then. I’ve been looking for for it for at least 6 years. Found it where hadn’t occurred to me to look until this evening — on my business website for my editing services.

I remember now I put it there to demonstrate the thoroughness with which I might review a fiction manuscript (as opposed to the dissertations I was doing back then). Tho I suspect it probably scared a lot of fiction writers away.

However, I reviewed the book as a finished, published piece, which is very different from what my approach would be to a student’s/client’s work. I’d certainly be a lot more supportive and the exasperated tone would not be there. This is a published piece by a writer who now has more than 80 books published (a bit fewer in 2014). She is no beginner (another distinction I would make in terms of my expectations). Not by a long LONG shot.

So the delicious pleasure I took in pointing out its massive flaws derives from shock at discovering she is an NYT Best Selling Romance author who’s been around quite a while. Plenty of time to get some decent feedback both from editors (which she now clearly has the ability to pay, and well).

So... WTF?

Ok, I admit it. This review is way too long and too detailed for Medium readers, and maybe even a bit too harsh — or rather, would be if the author hadn’t been writing and publishing as long as she has.

Regardless, hang on for a really wild ride.

Preface: I originally wrote this review for Amazon.com but it got rejected, no doubt because of the discussion of explicit sexual language — in a book that they have no problem selling, of course. I decided to post the review on my business blog instead, even though this book and my review are rather a bit outside my usual focus on scholarly editing.

Some of what I have to say applies to writing in general, but also, primarily, I am interested in editing quality fiction as well. And I also have a great deal to say about how this book reproduces some of the worst gender stereotypes (as well as…



Georgia NeSmith

Retired professor, feminist, writer, photographer, activist, grandmother of 5, overall Wise Woman. Phd UIA School of Journalism & Mass Communication, 1994.