Book Review – In Quest of Theta Magic

In Quest of Theta Magic
Written by: Enid Wilson
Published by: Steamy D Publishing
Date: January 8th, 2009
Pages: 166
Format: Perfect Paperback
ISBN: 978-0980610505

In Quest of Theta Magic is a sumptuous, erotic fantasy novel with a twist!”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“Dean Williams has no need for love, but he does needs a wife, fast, since only his quest for Theta magic can save his sister. But who could be courageous and tough enough to endure what he needs to demand from his new wife? Elana Bailey is determined to brave the ugly beast in order to save her fragile sister. But she doesn’t expect the only reason for the match is to create a daughter to help Dean with his quest. What if she bears a son instead? Will they succeed in the quest?”

Dean Williams is in need of a wife and not just any old wife will do; she must be versed in the ancient Theta crafts and help him with his quest. Elana Bailey takes matters into her own hands and plans to somehow spare her beautiful but frail sister from having to marry the ugly, brutish man named Dean. One of the first things that struck me about this story was how human and likable the characters were despite the fantasy elements. It is always a pleasure to pick up a book that grabs a reader’s attention immediately. The characters were very unique and with Dean in particular, I was taken aback when I realized how much I liked him. Throughout the story there are contrasts of good & evil, beauty & the beast and it had the requisite simmering romance that makes one blush with the explicit sensuality. So many times I’ve found that erotic stories are big on “skin” and leave a lot to be desired when it comes to plot and story development. You can imagine my delight as I read this story and I enjoyed every single page! I have to commend Enid Wilson on creating this distinctive storybook world and thank her for keeping me thoroughly entertained. I look forward to reading more books by this author and I very highly recommend that you pick up a copy of In Quest of Theta Magic for yourself or a friend!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!

Read more about In Quest of Theta Magic (Adults ONLY!).
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Enid Wilson for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright © Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – In the Land of Cotton

In the Land of Cotton
Written by: Martha A. Taylor
Published by: Outskirts Press
Date: April 6, 2009
Pages: 270
Format: Perfect Paperback
ISBN: 978-1432734718

In the Land of Cotton will open your eyes, educate you and touch your heart; a story of civil rights, racial intolerance and a life long love.”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“SLAVERY IS MORE THAN CHAINS AND SHACKLES
SLAVERY IS A STATE OF MIND
Immerse yourself in this highly anticipated political docu-drama set in the Deep South amidst the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement.
Martha was a young white girl living in the Deep South, inundated with the racist sentiments of the times. But Martha’s natural curiosity and generous heart led her to question this racial divide. When she discovered a primitive Negro family living deep in the woods near her house, everyone’s life changed forever.
Take the journey of a lifetime alongside Martha as she forges relationships that lead to self discovery and a clearer understanding of the world around her. In the Land of Cotton provides an outstanding snapshot of life in the South during those troubled times – a snapshot everyone should take a close look at, regardless of era or color.
The year was 1956.”

In the Land of Cotton is absolutely fantastic! From page one I was hooked! When I first read the synopsis for In the Land of Cotton I was really intrigued but I hadn’t realized that it was based on Martha A. Taylor’s life as she grew up in the Deep Southern United States, in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Here I am, trying to write the review and I am somewhat at a loss for words; it is really difficult to express how much this story moved me and educated me. So much more than a memoir, this story grabs the reader and shares, through Martha’s experiences, what was going on, in and around her small world (politics, civil rights, war, wages, etc.) while she was growing up. The reader may well feel like they’ve opened a time capsule. Thoroughly researched and well documented, In the Land of Cotton will open your eyes, make you ask questions and captivate you with its honesty and humanity. I was really amazed and saddened by how little I knew about the civil rights movement and the civil unrest that was the cause of so much hardship, death, fear and hate in the 1950’s – 1960’s. Martha had a very close and taboo relationship (because of race) with the Boyd family; the reader will see the world through her eyes. I fell in love with Martha and Silas’ love story and I felt so torn for them — living in a society that would not tolerate them being together because they had different skin colours; Martha – white and Silas – black. This is Martha’s story and the story of a nation as it struggles with racial intolerance and discrimination.
The foreword is written by Clifton Dobbins the 3rd and the prologue summarizes & concludes many of the topics covered in the course of the story. Thank you Martha, from the bottom of my heart, for sharing your story with us!
I can not recommend this book highly enough; everyone should read this story! I smiled, I laughed and I sobbed my eyes out and…I can’t really say much more without ruining the story, other than to say that I absolutely LOVED this book!!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!

Find out where to buy this book.

Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Martha A. Taylor for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen

A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen,
Seasonal Recipes and Memorable Meals
Written by: Lucy Waverman
Published by: Random House Canada
Date: October 13, 2009
Pages: 304
Format: Softcover
ISBN: 978-0679314585

A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen is a lovely cookbook with easy to follow recipes, carefully organized by the months of the year. You can pick any month and find mouth-watering recipes — from appetizers and main course dishes to delicious desserts! Lucy incorporates seasonal ingredients into her traditional recipes and also includes them in a bunch of fresh, newly inspired dishes. Flavourful and unique, you’ll be the toast of the evening when you prepare these dishes for your guests.

A sample of the recipes inside:

Leek and Chicken Soup
Spiced Fruit Salad
Aromatic Mediterranean Shortribs
Apple Caramel Tarts
Chive Potato Cakes
White Chocolate Raspberry Tart
Asian Pear and Cabbage Slaw
Pumpkin Squares
Apple Strudel
Chicken Burger Stuffed with Portobello Mushrooms
Traditional Fried Fish
Triple Chocolate Attack
…and a whole lot more!

Lucy Waverman is a Cordon Bleu–trained food columnist with the Globe and Mail and Food Editor of the Liquor Control Board of Ontario’s Food & Drink. She is the author of eight cookbooks, including the James Beard–nominated and Cuisine Canada Gold Medal–winner A Matter of Taste (with James Chatto).

This softcover cookbook is well-bound and sure to put up with a lot of usage in the kitchen. There are some beautiful, full colour photographs that accompany some of the recipes. I would like to have seen more recipes that had pictures to accent them; as a visual learner, images help me to decide upon a particular dish. There is a table of contents at the beginning of the book and a detailed index at the back of the cookbook — both very helpful. All in all, a really great cookbook for someone who is looking to expand upon their basic cooking repertoire; you’ll find many distinctive, unique dishes from this cookbook! Many of the recipes remind me of some very tasteful, expensive restaurants and their signature creations!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Read more about A Year in Lucy’s Kitchen.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Black Jack

Black Jack,
Book 2
Written by: Jean Holloway
Published by: PHE Ink
Date: May 14th, 2009
Pages: 294
Format: Perfect Paperback
ISBN: 978-0982447505

“Black Jack is a darkly seductive erotic thriller; a page-turner that keeps you riveted from beginning to end!”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“Lead Homicide Detective Shevaughn Robinson has gone from the cop everyone, including herself, doubted to the “golden child” of the Portsborough Police Department with a record of sensational arrests and closed cases. But when Helene Elliott is found dead from an apparent suicide, her family insists it was murder and pressures the Portsborough Police Department to take on the investigation. Detective Robinson is assigned to the case at a time when she is struggling to strike a balance between her personal and professional life following the death of Tony O’Brien, the love of her life. Elliott’s case awakens a complicated relationship with Terri Becker who harbors resentment towards Shevaughn for the death of Eric Becker, the serial killer dubbed Ace of Hearts. Was the Elliott death a suicide or the work of a cold-blooded predator? Will life throw Shevaughn another unexpected blow? And will Shevaughn’s attempts to move forward inadvertently lead death to her front door yet again? Black Jack is the sequel to Jean Holloway’s acclaimed debut novel, Ace of Hearts. Buckle up and follow Shevaughn as she moves closer to solving the Elliott murder, unknowing rekindling old grudges and awakening sinister spirits. Get ready, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

I’ve been looking forward to reading Black Jack, ever since I’ve had the privilege of reading and reviewing book 1, Ace of Hearts. I was really curious to see how this story would play out, I wondered who the new characters would be and how the new storyline would tie into the first book. Boy oh boy, are you in for a treat! The story picks up just a few short years after Ace of Hearts ended. Shevaughn Robinson (Von to her friends) feels pretty good about her role as lead homicide detective. With work going so well, she can almost forget the pain and sadness of Ace of Hearts. When Von is called to the scene of a homicide and she begins investigating an elderly woman’s death, she can’t stop some of the memories from flooding back as similarities remind her of Eric Becker, the notorious Ace of Hearts serial killer and violent rapist. Black Jack is not for the squeamish; the characters and the fast-paced story line is gritty, authentic and at times, quite graphic. It’s an absolute must, that you read Ace of Hearts (book 1) and then Black Jack (book 2)! I found myself having compassion for some of the sinister characters in the story, almost against my will. Jean Holloway is, in my opinion, a master story-teller; she has an amazing gift and she’s not afraid to use it. With exciting twist and turns, a cold-blooded killer and fast-paced action, this seductive thriller will pull you in and keep you guessing.
I very highly recommend this book to all thriller and erotic thriller fans!
***Some graphic sexual content***

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!

My review of Ace of Hearts (Book 1).

Read more about Black Jack.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Jean Holloway for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Breakfast in Bed

Breakfast in Bed,
Book 3 of 3
Written by: Robin Kaye
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date: December 1st, 2009
Pages: 384
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-1402218958

Breakfast in Bed will charm, delight and satisfy; yet another stunning release from Robin Kaye.”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“Rich, the epitome of “anti-domestic,” can’t cook to save his life, and his idea of cleaning his apartment is to invite his mother over. But he’s ready to settle down, and he can’t stop thinking about the ex-girlfriend who got away. When he notices that his soon-to-be-married friends cooked and cleaned their way into their women’s hearts, he asks his friend Becca to help transform him into a nurturing man to win back his ex. Rich is the only guy who’s taken the time to know Becca for herself. She decides she’ll give him the makeover he’s asking for, though she’ll be damned if she’s going to turn him into a domestic god for another woman. She wants Rich for herself, but how can she convince him that her kitchen and her bedroom are the only domestic locales he desires?”

What can I say? Robin Kaye’s stories keep getting better and better! As usual, the male characters are deliciously yummy domestic gods…or in Rich’s case…a domestic god in training. With well-developed characters who are unique and all too human, Breakfast in Bed will seduce you with its sincerity. As with the first two books in this mouth-watering series, Rich is an alpha male to the core, though he can still get in touch with his feminine side if he has too. Tall, dark and sex pretty-much sums him up! He’s also loveable, a little too self-absorbed and a disaster in the kitchen. Rich seems like an arrogant womanizer at first, but he grows on you really quickly because he’s so darn cute. Rebecca Larson is unlike any woman he has ever met. Becca is strong, independent, standoffish, petite and blond; the exact opposite of the women that Rich normally dates. When Rich and Becca butt heads over who is the rightful tenant of their new apartment and Becca gets sucked into teaching Rich the “domestic” basics, things really start to heat up. I love the way that the story flows and how it includes the main characters from the first two books; Robin Kaye keeps the story fresh by injecting humor and real, honest-to-goodness humanity into her characters. My DH is a domestic god (in training) who reminds me of Rich at the beginning of this story; eager to please but all thumbs at times!
If you enjoy reading contemporary romance, do yourself a huge favor and pick-up this 3-book series for yourself or a friend; you’ll have hours of reading enjoyment ahead of you. These stories will make you laugh, smile, blush and feel good about the possibilities of finding Mr. Right. 
I very highly recommend this book!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!

My review of Romeo, Romeo (Book 1) & Too Hot To Handle (Book 2).

Read more about Breakfast in Bed.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks Sourcebooks, Inc. for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Bigger Damner Book of Sheer Manliness

Bigger Damner Book of Sheer Manliness, 2nd Edition
Written by: Von Hoffman Brothers
Published by: QNY
Date: October 15th, 2009
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0843717846

Book Description
From Amazon.com
“The von Hoffman Brothers are at it again with the Bigger Damner Book of Sheer Manliness, a revised and updated release of their 1997 classic Big Damn Book of Sheer Manliness. This book is a rallying cry for every guy whose time has come to get back to his masculine roots and reclaim lost ground in today’s mixed-up world. Face it, after more than a decade since the original hit book’s debut, the time has come for guys to get a reminder that their favorite pastimes are here to stay and more fun than ever! And women, haven’t you wondered why so much of the male population shares a common love for cars, manly movies, beer, and WD-40? This book is an equal opportunity celebration of manhood, whether you’re a guy looking for new ideas and great suggestions, or a lady trying to figure out why that man in your life acts so passionately about the strangest things. Inside you’ll find musings on manly sports, dirty jokes, great chili recipes, 200 names for your “Johnson,” women we like, profiles of pioneers and outdoorsmen, advice to cure hangovers, limericks to help spread manliness through rhyme, and much, much more!”

This large, Coffee Table book will be the topic of much conversation and it is bound to bring brothers, fathers and uncles together for a side-splitting, eye-opening discovery…a vast collection of trivia, photographs, illustrations, jokes and more, await…a veritable smorgasbord of MANLY topics and all with the same sarcastic, masculine bent on the topics and commentary. It goes where few men have gone before and covers topics such as: guns, knives, food, jokes, women, sports, crazy inventions, movies, fishing and a WHOLE lot more!!! There are all kinds of illustrations, both black and white and colour; they are all handsomely printed with high quality and a tasteful presentation of the “Man-tastic” material. You and your buddies will have hours, upon hours of fun looking at and reading through the Bigger Damner Book of Sheer Manliness. I would be shocked if you didn’t try some of what you’ll read and see, right in your own backyard (not that I’d recommend it).
There is a fair amount of nudity, foul language and lots of crude, vulgar humour for those who dislike the afore-mentioned content.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Read more about Bigger Damner Book of Sheer Manliness.
Find out where to buy this book.

Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Langenscheidt Publishing Group for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Love You to Death (ARC)

Love You to DeathLove You to Death
Written by: Shannon K. Butcher
Published by: Forever
Date: October 1st, 2009
Pages: 400
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0446510295
(Available NOW!)

Love You to Death is a spine-tingling, romantic thriller that will creep-you-out and scare you half to death!”

Book Description – From Amazon.com
“Delicate, expressive hands…long, graceful legs…One man is looking for his perfect woman–and he’ll stop at nothing until he finds her.
LOVE YOU TO DEATH
It’s been days since reporter Elise McBride has heard from her sister, Ashley. She’s convinced Ashley has met with some kind of foul play, especially when she learns that bodies of other missing women have surfaced in and around Chicago–all victims of a brutal serial killer. Convinced her sister is still alive, Elise vows to risk everything to save her…
The last thing ex-cop Trent Brady needs is more blood on his hands. Yet when he catches Elise breaking into her sister’s house, full of reckless determination and fear, he knows she needs his help. But just as desire ignites between them, a twisted madman sets his sights on Elise. Hell-bent on possessing her for himself, this psychopath won’t rest until he has his perfect woman.”

Love You to Death is a really great book! One of the best parts about this suspenseful, romantic thriller is the progression of the drama…the story keeps getting better and better! The serial killer character is so fascinating and horrifying at the same time…what amazing writing! Shannon’s portrayal of the serial killer is so lifelike and believable that I would LOVE to read non-romantic thrillers written by her…hint, hint. The romantic elements between Elise McBride and Trent Brady are sweet, but I found that the cold-blooded gruesomeness actually overshadowed the romance…and I’m so glad that it did! I think that Shannon Butcher has missed her true calling as a Thriller writer; I would have enjoyed seeing more of the killer’s character developed and explored. The story has very good flow, momentum and it keeps the reader’s attention riveted as tensions are heightened and the killer gets desperate.
I highly recommend this book to all suspense and thriller fans…if you don’t mind a little romance, you’ll really enjoy the rest of the story!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Read more about Love You to Death.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – A Christmas Ball (ARC)

A Christmas BallA Christmas Ball
Written by: Jennifer Ashley,
Emily Bryan & Alissa Johnson
Published by: Leisure Books
Date: September 29th, 2009
Pages: 336
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0843962505
(Available NOW!)

A Christmas Ball is a heart-warming anthology that offers you three romantic, historical love stories for the price of one; you can’t beat it!”

Jennifer, Emily & Alissa

The first story in A Christmas Ball is My Lady Below Stairs by Emily Bryan. Emily’s characters are refreshing and unique and the witty dialog between them is just what I’ve come to expect and I have always loved about Emily’s writing.
Jane Tate, the illegitimate daughter of nobility, is coerced into impersonating her legitimate half-sister to save the family from disgrace. It’s no surprise when Jane has the presence of mind and generosity of spirit go along with the plan to impersonate her sister for a short time and hopefully save the Somerville family’s name from disgrace. There is one tiny problem; Jane’s muscular beau Ian, doesn’t like the idea one bit! Tempers flare and adventures abound in this historical romance as Jane and Ian fight for their love and a future together.

The second story in this anthology is The Longest Night by Jennifer Ashley. I have never been a big fan of mixing paranormal elements into historical romances, but I’m sure that this story will still be a big hit with many readers.
Mary Cameron offers to chaperone the daughter of a deceased friend as a generous favor. While her charge is whirling with excitement and anticipation, Mary solemnly does her duty by the girl and accompanies her to a much talked about, Christmas Ball. Never far from her thoughts, the darkly handsome Valentin is the last person she expects to see again; yet here he is. Though some time has passed since their first, fiery encounter; sparks still fly between Mary and Valentin as they rekindle what they once had. Without giving too much away, I’ll just say that Valentin has some amazing talents and he has a very colourful heritage.

The third story in the anthology is Traditions by Alissa Johnson. Alissa’s story was truly delightful to read; Traditions is just what I was hoping for!
William Renwick, Earl of Casslebury and Miss Patience Byerly are perhaps the most incompatible couple you could ever hope to find. As the fates would have it, William doesn’t have any interest in the average-looking Patience unless she can get him closer to her best friend and heiress, Miss Caroline Meldrin. As time passes and William gets to know both women better, he finds himself attracted to Patience because of her honesty, her generous nature and her intelligent mind. The sometimes humorous and always witty dialogue creates a touching, deeply sensual and very unique love story that made me smile, laugh and blush.

You won’t be disappointed with this book; I promise! So go on out there and pick up a copy for yourself and maybe grab a few extra copies as stocking stuffers! I recommend this book for historical and paranormal romance fans!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it

Read more about A Christmas Ball.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author Websites:
Emily Bryan, Jennifer Ashley and Alissa Johnson

Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Dorchester Publishing for sending me a copy of this anthology to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Chosen by Desire (ARC)

Chosen by DesireChosen by Desire,
Book 2 in The Guardians of Destiny Series
Written by: Kate Perry
Published by: Forever
Date: October 1st, 2009
Pages: 368
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0446541015
(Available NOW!)

Top Pick

Chosen by Desire is a mouth-watering paranormal romance guaranteed to make you blush; a fast-paced story that pulses with action, emotion and luscious, sensual romance”

Bookish and devoted to her work, Carrie Woods is the last person who you could imagine as a thief; yet here she is, stealing ancient texts and scrolls from a Chinese monastery for her research project. Terrified by her criminal behavior, Carrie is doubly shocked when a monk seems catches her attention. With steely determination, Carrie clutches her bag of stolen goodies even closer to her and carries on her way. Maximillian Prescott knew by her nervous movements that the blond woman had something that didn’t belong to her. In his monk robe he felt that it should be someone elses job to find out what she had taken; unfortunately, Max’s master had other plans. As Max re-joins the outside world he lures the unsuspecting Carrie into a trap; needing to know exactly what she has stolen from the monastery, Max becomes her employer, which puts Carrie in his home, right where he wants her.

I have enjoyed both books in this fantastic series and if anything, book 2 is even better! I loved this story and I adored all the piping-hot sensuality and sexual tension that surrounds Max and Carrie, when they are together. Max is gorgeous, gruff, domineering and guarded while Carrie is open, honest (except for the latest misstep) and generous to a fault; they compliment each other well and I fell in love with their story. There is sizzling erotic bedroom (and other places) scenes; they are descriptive and sexy HOT, HOT, HOT! I enjoyed the witty banter between Carrie and Max as well as the relationship between Carrie & her mother and Carrie & Gabe, from Book 1 in the series.
I very highly recommend this book to Kate Perry fans and to all paranormal romance lovers!!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Chosen by Desire.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Highland Rebel (ARC)

Highland RebelHighland Rebel,
A Tale of a Rebellious Lady and a Traitorous Lord
Written by: Judith James
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date: September 1st, 2009
Pages: 480
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-1402224331
(Available NOW!)

Highland Rebel blends history and fiery romance together in an adventurous story of divided loyalties, betrayal and blazing passion”

Detached and jaded, Jamie Sinclair wants to do nothing more than follow his orders and return home to reap the rewards for his faithful service; until one day on a battlefield, when he meets and mistakes Catherine Drummond for a lad and he is forced to act. Before long, Jamie and the rest of the men realize that the struggling youth is actually a woman. To save Catherine (Cat) from the blood thirsty band of mercenaries, Jamie finds himself married to the daughter of a Highland laird and heiress. Through out all of the confusion, Cat remains suspicious and fears the worst about her captivity and the handsome, aloof Englishman who guards her.

This story grabbed my attention from the first page and held on until the very end! The story is fast-paced, full of intrigue, excitement (bloody battles) and romance. The plot has really good momentum so there is never a dull moment. The camaraderie between Cat and Jamie that made me laugh, smile and really pulled me deeper into the story. The romantic chemistry between the two main characters really sizzles off the page.
I highly recommend this book for romance readers who enjoy lots of romance with their historical adventure stories!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!
 

Read more about Highland Rebel.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Sourcebooks, Inc. for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Earth to Table

Earth to Table,Earth to Table
Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm
Written by: Jeff Crump and Bettina Schormann
Published by: Random House Canada
Date: September 15th, 2009
Pages: 336
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0307356840

Earth to Table is much more than a cookbook; it covers a wide range of organic, “slow food” topics, delicious and unique recipes that use all-organic ingredients and features several Chief profiles.

A sample of the recipes inside:

Scrambled Eggs with Chives and Caviar
Pesto
Saffron Rice
Rhubarb Fool
Maple Shoofly Pie
New Potatoes Salad with Green Beans and Shallots
Grilled Corn on the Cob with Chilies and Cheese
French Vanilla Ice Cream
Shortcakes with Chantilly Cream and Macerated Strawberries
Plum Tarts
French Onion Soup
Pizza Dough
Roasted Pork Loin with Fennel
Braised Short Ribs
Apple Tarts
Double Crispy Onion Rings
Herbed Dumplings
Sticky Toffee Pudding
…and a whole lot more!

Jeff Crump is an Excutive Canadian Chef who has worked in a number of the world’s top restruants; Lumiere in Vancouver B.C., The Fat Duck, Bray, England and at Chez Panisse in Berkeley, California. Jeff is a Canadian Slow Food pioneer and he promotes the use of seasonal food that is grown locally.

Bettina Schormann is a Pastry Chief who began her career in culinary arts after receiving a degree at the University of Windsor. She has worked in every section of the restaurant, including service. Pastry has since become her passion. Bettina has won numerous awards including the Lindt Chocolate Competition and the OHI Professional Pastry Chef Award. She has studied the pastry arts in Paris, New York and Toronto. Bettina has been pivotal in the unique relationship between the Ancaster Old Mill Restaurant and ManoRun Organic Farm.

This securely bound, hardcover cookbook is just the thing for cooks who are very selective and prefer to use organic foods; it is also a very functional cookbook for those of us who are non-organic cooks and food consumers. Each of the seasonal recipe sections is prefaced with an introduction that talks about the foods available during that particular season; the flavorful and imaginative recipes are easy to understand and easy to follow with a clear layout that makes this a great cookbook for beginners, right on up to experienced cooks. There are several enlightening profiles that feature Chiefs from around the world; they add some of their feelings and explain some of their personal ideas about food and the restaurant business. There are lots of gorgeous, full-colour photographs that enhance an already enjoyable cookbook. There is a concluding section at the back of the cookbook that includes 18 extra, basic recipes that every cook needs to know, followed by an appendix and an index. Some of the recipes are a little too trendy and modern for my tastes, but I’m really old fashioned when it comes to food so don’t let it stop YOU from picking up a copy of Earth to Table.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it
 

Read more about Earth to Table.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy of this book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Haunted

HauntedHaunted
Written by: Barbara Haworth-Attard
Published by: Harper Trophy Canada
(HarperCollins Canada)
Date: August 18th, 2009
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0002008211

Top Pick

Product Description – From Amazon.ca
“Dee is feeding the chickens the morning that bones are discovered on the mountain. Something doesn’t feel right–and her feeling is confirmed when local police show her a ring that they found with the bones, a ring belonging to Mary Ann Simpson, who disappeared four years earlier. Other girls, Dee learns, have disappeared too, unusual for a small town nestled in the shadow of the Bruce Peninsula’s rugged escarpment, the “mountain” that Dee loves.
Like her Gran, Dee has “the Sight,” an ability not only to see spirits from the afterlife but also to experience their deaths–a quality that becomes more horrifying as the story takes darker turns. While trying to help with the investigation, Dee is drawn into a deepening mystery that soon strikes terrifyingly close to home.”

Haunted is one of my favourite books of 2009! Barbara Haworth-Attard  is the author of more than 13 children’s books and she is a Canadian author. While reading the story about 14-year-old Defiance or “Dee” as she is known to her friends, I was immediately taken in by the convincing, evocative tale. Set in the early 1900’s, Haunted takes the reader on a journey through history, into the realm of the supernatural. Dee’s “gift” allows her to see and feel good and evil in many forms. As a reader, I am very sceptical about “ghost stories”, but I have to admit that I was blown-away by the outstanding writing and skilful telling of Haunted; I cannot say enough great things about it! The story flows smoothly with mesmerizing tension that builds slowly with bursts of emotion and tension so thick that you could cut it with a knife; there is a suspenseful pull that keeps the reader tuned into the story and makes this book VERY difficult to put down. I really enjoyed the build up and the pace of the story; it changed momentum often and heightened moments to the point where I felt MY heart pounding with fear for the characters as they were endangered by the murderer. Each of the characters are unique and all too human…even those in a ghostly form. The forest/mountain setting was used very imaginatively by the author to enhance the atmosphere and the mood of the story. I must commend Barbara Haworth-Attard on her writing skills and her ability to bring the story of Haunted, to life. I know that I haven’t talked very much about the story itself, but I don’t want to say too much and ruin it for you; suffice it to say that I simply loved this book and enjoyed every single minute that I spent reading it! This is NOT a story for children, though it will be enjoyed  by YA readers and adult fiction readers.
I very highly recommend it!!!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Haunted.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Ripley’s Believe It or Not! 2009

Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: Seeing Is Believingripleys seeing is believing
Edited by: Rebecca Miles (Managing Editor), Judy Barratt and Sally McFall
Published by: Ripley Publishing a Jim Pattison Company
Date: August 4th, 2009
Pages: 256
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1893951457

The latest Ripley’s Believe It or Not! hardcover volume is the 6th in the series and it certainly seems to go the extra mile. The cover is vibrant with a very eye-catching (pun intended) hologram on the front cover. With hundreds of full-colour pictures and photographs, most of which are highlighting some of the bizarre content inside, you are not going to get bored with this book. The majority of the tidbits or factoids are inside are in point form with some of the more outrageous ones highlighted or spotlighted on partial or full-page spreads with really big photographs. Each page is printed in full colour (unless they are black and white photographs). With 31 museums all over the world, you’ll definitely want to plan a visit for your family; you will all have fun trying to figure out if the outlandish displays, claims and interactive features are real or not. Or, you could just save some of your money and buy this book instead!

This book’s content is sorted into the following categories:

Strange But True
Extreme Earth
Incredible Feats
Unusual Customs
Crazy Creatures
Travel Tales
Fantastic Food
Body Oddity
Strange Sites
Artistic Licence
Amazing Science
Beyond Belief

Here’s a tiny sample of what’s in store for you:

Big BurgerPlaying Scrabble While Skidiving, Guy Blows Up Baloons With His Eyes, A 9 year old’s $10,000 5-day Shopping Spree, Edible Organs, Exploding Toilets, 9,000 lb. Ball Made From Rubber Bands, Elephant Man, Lava Surfer, 100 Person-Strong CheeseHuman Kite, Toilet Paper Wedding Gown, Two-Faced Kitten, 2,000 lb. Cheese Sculpture, 15 lb. Burger, Barnum and Bailey “Freakshow” Showcase, Magnetic Man, Pulls A Van With His Eyelids and much, much more!!!

Scrabble Skydiving

You, your family and friends are going to have hours upon hours of hackenwerth-balloonsenjoyment from Ripley’s Believe It or Not!: Seeing Is Believing. You’ll be grossed-out, amazed, disgusted, surprised and just plain shocked by some of the foolish, idiotic, imaginative and hard-to-believe stuff inside; most of all, you’ll be getting your money’s worth!
I’m not sure if I personally believe all of the claims and pictures, but I’ve enjoyed this book, regardless!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it
 

Read more about Ripley’s Believe It or Not: Seeing Is Believing.
Find out where to buy this book.

Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Wellons Communications for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Tall, Dark & Fangsome (ARC)

Tall, Dark & FangsomeTall, Dark & Fangsome
Immortality Bites, Book #5
Written by: Michelle Rowen
Published by: Forever
Date: September 2009
Pages: 352
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0446505857
(Available NOW!)

Top Pick

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Sarah Dearly’s vampire life is not all B-positive cocktails. A curse made her a nightwalker, the most vicious vamp there is; the charm she wears to curb her deadly tendencies is losing its juice; and a hunter from hell is turning up the heat. Gideon Chase will kill the ones she loves most if she doesn’t obey his orders. That includes breaking up with master vampire Thierry and turning Gideon into an immortal vamp so he can escape a doom of eternal hellfire.
Making things worse are Sarah’s growing feelings for Gideon, a bad boy who keeps showing a vulnerable side . . . but is it for real? Will Sarah’s dark side take over? Or can she cure herself of the nightwalker curse in time to stop Gideon and finally live happily ever after with Thierry . . . forever?”

Tall, Dark & Fangsome is something else; in a good way of course! Set in Toronto, Ontario this story has the appearance of a contemporary romance novel…until you start reading. I haven’t read books 1-4, but this final volume in the Immortality Bites series is a winner in my books! There are so many colourful, well-developed characters in this story that it was hard to choose a favourite. With a fast-paced, action-filled plot the reader is going to have a really hard time putting the book down. There is a wealth of romance in this story even though there isn’t any graphic sexual content; there are some super-HOT, romantic moments that sizzle. Sarah Dearly was turned into a vampire by Thierry de Bennicoeur in one of the earlier books so one could say that she has “grown into her fangs” by book 5. Her life seems to be confrontation after confrontation but Sarah does her best to persevere through it all with scathing wit, sarcastic humour and a deadly sense of purpose. Thierry and Sarah have a strong connection to one another despite the fact that Sarah was forced to end their relationship in an attempt to protect everyone she loves. With a cast of humans, vampires, demons, vampire hunters and a nightwalker, the reader is guaranteed a good time. Hold on to your seats and prepare yourself for a paranormal romance that will take you for one WILD ride.
I very highly recommend this book!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Tall, Dark & Fangsome.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Lucan: The Pendragon Legacy (ARC)

LucanLucan The Pendragon Legacy
The Pendragon Legacy, Book #1
Written by: Susan Kearney
Published by: Forever
Date: September 2009
Pages: 368
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0446543316
(Available NOW!)

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“THEIR LOVE IS FORBIDDEN
Healer and high priestess of her people, Lady Cael is fated to life without a mate. But a mysterious explorer named Lucan Rourke doesn’t know her secrets, and his touch makes her crave a future that her extraordinary birthright has forbidden her. . .
BUT DANGER IS NO MATCH FOR DESIRE
Lucan has just one mission on Pendragon: to find the mythical Holy Grail, Earth’s only hope for survival. His powerful attraction to Cael is a distraction he can’t afford, unless he convinces her to join forces with him. Yet working so closely together only heightens their passion . . . even when the terrifying truth of Cael’s heritage threatens to shatter Lucan’s every belief-and the galaxy itself.”

Lucan: The Pendragon Legacy is an extraordinary book! This paranormal romance novel is one of my new favourites because it’s jam-packed with action, adventure and erotic romance. Lady Cael, high priestess to her people, is isolated by a wall of fear and reverence. Her rank and position among her people offers untold riches and magnificence but she can never share her life with anyone. When Lucan Rourke begins working alongside Lady Cael on an archaeological dig, she senses that there is something different about him and his confidence and ease of manner surprises and pleases her; the attraction between them is forbidden but that doesn’t keep either of them from wanting more. Lucan is fiercely protective of beautiful Lady Cael and it warms the heart. There are some amazing things that happen in this story, but I can’t share them with you because I would ruin it for you; suffice it to say that this paranormal romance isn’t afraid to take the reader outside their realm of reality and create worlds that are so realistic that you get pulled into the story right away. This fast-paced plot will take you on a wild ride that soars with emotion, drama and romance.
I highly recommend this book!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (9 out of 10 Diamonds) – Loved it!
 

Read more about Lucan: The Pendragon Legacy, Book #1.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Seduced at Midnight

Seduced at MidnightSeduced at Midnight
Mayhem in Mayfair, Book #3
Written by: Jacquie D’Alessandro
Published by: Berkley Sensation
Date: January 2009
Pages: 345
Format: Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 978-0425225493

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“The Ladies Literary Society of London gathers again for a ghost story…
Lady Julianne Bradley has always longed for wild adventure. Unfortunately, the man with whom she wishes to share her fervor can never be hers. Tormented by her desire, she’s preparing for a suitable marriage when ghostly occurrences straight out of her latest read start happening—and to protect Julianne, her father hires the very man her heart cries out for.”

Seduced at Midnight is the 3rd book in the Ladies Literary Society series that centers around a small group of friends who participate in a seemingly innocuous book club; unbeknownst to their family and friends, the book club includes some racy titles that really fire the blood and in Lady Julianne Bradley’s case, they cause her imagination to run wild. The source of her passionate desires is the Bow Street Runner, Mr. Gideon Mayne; his a-typical, mouth-watering, muscular physique and his very presence makes Julianne’s heart pound wildly with need. There is sizzling chemistry between Gideon and Julianne; their love scenes are very descriptive with luscious sensuality that heats up the room! The dialogue between the characters is witty, humorous and you can feel the chemistry sparking between them. One small downside to the dialogue was a repetitive phrase that was cute the first few times, but it was used too often and too close together, in my opinion. It was nice to read a book that had strong characters, both male and female and I always enjoy it when they are beautiful people!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (7 out of 10 Diamonds) – I really enjoyed it
 

Read more about Seduced at Mighnight.
Find out where to buy this book.

Author’s Website
Publisher’s Website

A special thanks to Jacquie D’Alessandro for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Love in Bloom

Love in BloomLove in Bloom
Written by: Sheila Roberts
Published by: St. Martin’s Griffin
Date: 2009
Pages: 320
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 978-0312384814

Love in Bloom is a wonderful story that deals with several important issues within a close-knit community; I would love to live in Heart Lake!”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Hope Walker survived early breast cancer at just thirty-years-old, but a mastectomy left her with a lot of scarring—and some serious fears about dating. Hope owns Changing Seasons, Heart Lake’s most popular flower shop. When it comes to love and relationships, she’s able to work magic through her expert flower arranging…for everyone but herself. Then one day a handsome contractor starts coming into her shop, but Hope knows he’d rather have a whole woman than someone like her.
When Hope stakes a plot of ground at Heart Lake’s community garden, she finds that a woman can grow all sorts of things there: flowers, herbs, vegetables and even friendship. As she gets to know the two women who share neighboring plots, they discover that they can learn a lot from each other—not just about gardening, but about life. And Hope realizes that in order to live life to the fullest, sometimes you have to take a chance on love.”

Love in Bloom is a really inspirational story that combines gardening and a group of well-intentioned people. When I accepted a review copy of this book I didn’t know how the author planned to deal with some of these heavy issues in an engaging way. Hope Walker owns and operates her own flower shop in Heart Lake. She has a big heart and wants to make her community more beautiful and happier by arranging and selling her flowers. As a cancer survivor, Hope realized that she needed to make everyday count and did her best to encourage a positive spirit in everyone she met. When Hope meets Jason Wells one day, her heart starts racing and she can’t help how much he affects her. Unfortunately, Jason seems to have eyes for Bobbi, Hope’s younger sister. The story progresses nicely and I enjoyed the inspired way that the author had the characters interact with one another. I was pleasantly surprised when the storyline didn’t get bogged-down by some of the seriousness and I enjoyed the depth of character and winding plot; it made for a more compelling read. Love in Bloom is a really brilliant story that runs the gauntlet of emotions. There were lovely romantic moments that charmed me and then there were heart-wrenchingly sad moments that tore at my heart. This story vividly illustrates that love can bloom in the shadows of loss, in the glow of success and that it can happen at any age. All of the characters are really well developed and unique; I felt for each of them in their own circumstances. An added bonus: there are a few helpful gardening tips scattered throughout the book.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (8 out of 10 Diamonds) – Thoroughly enjoyed it
 

Read more about Love in Bloom.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.sheilasplace.com/

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://us.macmillan.com/default.aspx

A special thanks to Sheila Roberts for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Reviews – Modern Classics, Book 1 & 2

Modern Classics, Book 1modern classics book 1
Written by: Donna Hay
Published by: Ecco
Date: 2002
Pages: 192
Format: Trade Paperback
(Trimsize: 8×12)
ISBN: 978-0060095246

Top Pick

Modern Classics, Book 1 includes recipes in the following categories: soup, salads, vegetables, roasts & simmers, pasta, noodles & rice, savoury pies & savoury tarts.

A small sample of the recipes inside Book 1:

Potato, Bacon & Leak Soup
Vietnamese Noodle Salad
Thai Beef Salad
Spinach and Cheddar Soufflé
Basic Gravy
Roast Pork Loin
Roast Leg of Lamb
Bacon & Egg Pies
Fettuccine Carbonara
And so much more…

~~~

Modern Classics, Book 2modern classics book 2
Written by: Donna Hay
Published by: Ecco
Date: 2003
Pages: 192
Format: Trade Paperback
(Trimsize: 8×12)
ISBN: 978-0060525897

Top Pick

Modern Classics, Book 2 includes recipes in the following categories: cookies, biscuits, small cakes, cakes, desserts, hot puddings, pies & tarts.

A small sample of the recipes inside Book 2:

Shortbread Biscuits
Chocolate Brownie
Melting Moments
Lemon Slice
Mango Cakes
Scones
Apple and Cinnamon Tea Cake
Chocolate Truffle Cake
Summer Trifle
Poached Summer Fruits
Lemon Soufflé
Christmas Pudding
Berry Tartlets
Tiramisu
And so much more…

Donna Hay has written more then 17, award-winning cookbooks and she is the editor of the donna hay magazine; it has more than 300,000 Australian readers, has subscribers in 82 countries around the world and it is a top-selling international food magazine. Donna’s cookbooks are beautifully presented with many, large, full-colour, elegant photographs of the respective dishes; the photographs really motivate the reader to get out there and start cooking! Both of these cookbooks have a wonderful variety of mouth-watering recipes inside; theres something for everyone. The cooking instructions for each recipe are very concise and this is perfect for the experienced cook. At the same time, these succinct instructions might cause a few problems for the beginner cook who might prefer more step-by-step instructions until they can get the hang of things. I still recommend that cooks with all levels of expertise, buy these cookbooks, but the less-experienced cooks may want to save these fine books for a few weeks, until they’ve become a little more comfortable in and around the kitchen. For experienced cooks, these books are the answer! I firmly believe that you can never have too many cookbooks; if you don’t have the space to store a vast cookbook collection, I highly recommend that you add these modern classics to your small list of must-haves…you won’t be disappointed. At the back of each of the cookbooks there is a list of tools that you will need (and pictures of the tools), a detailed glossary and a helpful index. These classic, but fresh recipes are sure to please the most discerning guests and keep your guests coming back for more .
I very highly recommend these cookbooks to anyone who loves to cook!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Modern Classics, Book 1 or Modern Classics, Book 2.
Find out where to buy: Book 1 or Book 2.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.donnahay.com.au/

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.harpercollins.com/imprints/index.aspx?imprintid=517997

A special thanks to HarperCollins Canada for sending me a copy of each of these cookbooks to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Fear the Worst

Fear the Worst
Written by: Linwood Barclay
Published by: Doubleday CanadaFear the Worst
Date: August 11th, 2009
Pages: 416
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0385668026

Top Pick

Fear the Worst is a heart-pounding thriller that keeps you guessing to the very end; this book is a sure-fire hit!”

Product Description – From Amazon.ca
“Seventeen-year-old Sydney Blake’s summer is shaping up to be typical for a teenager: she’s spending it with her father, and she has landed a part-time job at a local hotel. One night, Syd fails to come home from her shift, and her father Tim is a bit alarmed. However, that alarm turns to full-on panic after he visits the Just Inn Time hotel and the manager claims that Syd has never worked there. Grilling his daughter’s friends for clues leads Tim nowhere — except to threats against his life — and as he frantically chases every lead, he can’t help but wonder if Syd is even still alive. Despite a growing list of unanswered questions, all Tim knows for certain is that he must continue searching for his daughter — no matter how high the stakes become.”

Fear the Worst is one heck of a ride and it comes from the Canadian, #1 Internationally Bestselling Author of Too Close To Home; I’ve never read it and if Fear the worst is any indication, it is probably phenomenal! I cannot say enough positive things about this book; it’s high-adrenaline, fast-paced and has a lot of fantastic plots twists that surprised the heck out of me…in the very best of ways. This story is painstakingly-weaved to keep the reader guessing and I, as a sceptic, still didn’t see any of the major plot twists coming which increased my interest in the story and clearly demonstrated the Author’s skill for writing awesome thrillers! I seriously couldn’t put this book down and I really didn’t want it to end; it’s a page turner so if at all possible, you’ll want to set a few hours aside for uninterrupted reading. All of the characters are well developed and felt all too human. Tim Blake’s love for his daughter Sydney, is a big part the story’s focus and also on the attempted search and rescue of his child from terrible cruelties and who knows what else if he can’t find her quickly enough. In the race against time, criminals (who are also searching for Syd) and the authorities, Tim pulls out all the stops and reveals the genuine depths of a father’s love. This story is very realistic, gritty and aggressive; there is some swearing and graphic violence that may offend some readers but these essential elements enhance the story immensely.
I very highly recommend this book to all thriller fans and to anyone who wants to try something exciting and new!

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about Fear the Worst.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.linwoodbarclay.com/news.html

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.doubledaycanada.ca/

A special thanks to Random House Canada for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – East of the Sun: A Novel

East of the Sun: A Novel
Written by: Julia east-of-the-sunGregson
Published by: Simon & Schuster,
A Touchstone Book
Date: June 2009 – Reprint
(Originally published in 2008)
Pages: 604
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1439101124

Top Pick

East of the Sun is a breathtaking, literary masterpiece!”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“As the Kaisar-i-Hind weighs anchor for Bombay in the autumn of 1928, its passengers ponder their fate in a distant land. They are part of the “Fishing Fleet” — the name given to the legions of Englishwomen who sail to India each year in search of husbands, heedless of the life that awaits them. The inexperienced chaperone Viva Holloway has been entrusted to watch over three unsettling charges. There’s Rose, as beautiful as she is naïve, who plans to marry a cavalry officer she has met a mere handful of times. Her bridesmaid, Victoria, is hell-bent on losing her virginity en route before finding a husband of her own. And shadowing them all is the malevolent presence of a disturbed schoolboy named Guy Glover.
From the parties of the wealthy Bombay socialites to the poverty of Tamarind Street, from the sooty streets of London to the genteel conversation of the Bombay Yacht Club, East of the Sun is graced with lavish detail and a penetrating sensitivity — historical fiction at its greatest.”

East of the Sun begins in London, England in September of 1928. Viva Holloway poses as an experienced chaperone and she takes on three charges for the voyage; two young women, Rose & Victoria, and a rather odd young man named Guy. They all make their way to Bombay, India on the luxurious ship, Kaisar-i-Hind. Viva is on her way back to Bombay to deal with unfinished business related to the death of her family and she chaperones the three young people as a way to pay for her passage to India. This story is beautifully described with picturesque images of India that capture the essence and the different customs found on the far away continent; the tastes, sights, aromas and sounds are so vivid, so tangible, that the reader experiences everything along with the characters and with the same impact. Many colourful, carefully-crafted characters dot the storyline, each of them unique and utterly captivating. I felt as if I had been transported to India where I became immersed in its unfamiliar culture and its earthy vitality.

Viva ran down the beach with them. There’d been days since she’d been back in Bombay when she’d positively hated it-too hot, too crowded, too smelly, too hard-but today, how could you not love it? This beautiful beach; the sun pouring out of the sky; the madcap bravery of these children forgetting so easily that they were orphaned and poor in one of the harshest cities on earth.

The narrative is vastly entertaining; at times it is humorous and witty, yet it has poignant moments that leaves the reader humbled with emotion and a deep sense of loss and sorrow. This story flows effortlessly, pulls at your emotions, and asks questions about your own humanity as it sweeps you up in its magnificence of scope and imagination.
This book is a long read, but it is worth every moment of your time!
I very highly recommend it to all historical fiction lovers and anyone with an interest in Bombay India or the “Fishing Fleet”.

♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦ (10 out of 10 Diamonds) – Absolutely LOVED it!!
 

Read more about East of the Sun.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://juliagregson.net/

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.simonandschuster.com/

A special thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy