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