Book Review – SEALed with a Promise (ARC)

sealed-with-a-promiseSEALed with a Promise
Written By: Mary Margret Daughtridge
Published By: Sourcebooks Casablanca, 2009, First Edition, 384 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1402217630
(Available NOW!)

SEALed with a Promise begins well but fizzles-out about half way through the book.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Can the strength of her love temper his need for revenge?
Navy SEAL Caleb Delaude had a less-than-ideal childhood. His biological father abandoned his family at Caleb’s birth and left them to a life of poverty, refusing to help even as his mother lay dying. So when he is assigned to protect the powerful senator who he suspects is his father, his vicious grudge turns into a strong urge for revenge.
But then he meets biology professor Emmie Caddington, a close friend of the senator’s daughter. He thinks he’ll use her to spring the secret of his illegitimate birth on the senator’s unsuspecting family, but his interest in Emmie begins to get complicated.
He’s a SEAL 24/7, and that doesn’t leave much time for women or love. Her fascination with him finally makes him feel good about himself, but when the truth finally comes out, will their budding relationship be nothing more than a means to revenge… or is she the key to his salvation?”

SEALed with a Promise is fast-paced and the first half of the book is really good; I liked the realistic characterizations of the Navy Seals and I enjoyed the sexual tension between Caleb and Emmie. The plot is unique and the story really captured my attention, at the beginning. Unfortunately, about halfway through the story everything seemed to go downhill. It started getting bogged down with boring, repetitive family functions and some inane dialog. These story elements should have been moving the plot forward, but somehow accomplished quite the opposite. This book is marketed as a contemporary romance so I do not understand why the reader is expected to believe in Caleb’s ‘foretelling’ mental abilities; it just seems a bit far fetched. The love scenes are choppy and did not have any of the flowing elegance that I am used to reading in nearly all genres of romance (including contemporary); the demanding tone, Caleb’s brisk manner and the awkwardness of the love scenes really disrupted the story’s flow and momentum.
I was more then a little disappointed by the second half of this book.

♦♦♦♦ (4 out of 10 Diamonds) – I sort-of liked it
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://marymargretdaughtridge.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.sourcebooks.com/

A special thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy,mr-and-mrs-fitzwilliam-darcy
Two Shall Become One
Written By: Sharon Lathan
Published By: Sourcebooks Landmark, 2009, First Edition, 312 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1402215230

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy is an overly-flowery, rather plot-less love story that at times, had me holding back yawns of boredom.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“The first in a series that follows Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy from their wedding day into married life, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy is inspired by the Keira Knightley/Matthew MacFayden movie. The author vividly imagines this young and energetic couple as they immerse themselves in their profound love and face the challenges of their era.
Elizabeth and Darcy are positively goo-goo eyes for each other and the burgeoning love and closeness between them drives the plot. As the narrative unfolds through the honeymoon and then the challenges of Elizabeth assuming the role of Mistress of Pemberley, Darcy and Elizabeth thoroughly reveal their differing points of view of how their relationship blossomed from misunderstanding to perfect understanding. As the couple grows in maturity and understanding, as they accustom themselves to each other and to married life, Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy emerges as a fascinating portrait of a deep and passionate marriage.”

Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy, Two Shall Become One is…in a word, boring. I’ll admit that I have not read any of Jane Austen’s novels, though I have watched several film adaptations and enjoyed them. When I heard about this novel, I was ready to be swept away with a fine plot and a beautiful love story; well, this story is mostly plot-less, overly flowery and obsessively wordy. The story is overflowing with profuse adulations and compliments, which at points in the storyline, almost made me put the book down and refuse to pick it back up. The love story and the intimate bedroom scenes were very sweet and touching at times, but once again, were really overdone and much to wordy. I am a reader of historical fiction and historical romances so this period in time is not unfamiliar to me. At other points in the story, I found my attention wandering because the story was written with so many descriptives and unnecessary wordiness. Some of the scenery is beautifully written; I enjoyed these brief reprieves.
There is a distinct possibility that I just do not have what it takes to enjoy this Jane Austen-esk book and for some reason ‘I simply may not get it’; I am sorry if this review comes off as a rant. It is not my intention what-so-ever. I was REALLY looking forward to reading this book and I thought I would enjoy it immensely; my disappointment is glaringly obvious. I would love to hear from Jane Austen fans and see if my not-having-read the Austen books, is part of what is keeping me from enjoying this continuing story of Elizabeth and Darcy.

♦♦♦♦ (4 out of 10 Diamonds) – I sort-of liked it
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.darcysaga.net/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.sourcebooks.com/

A special thanks to at Sourcebooks for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – The Shack

The Shacktheshackcover-thumb
Written By: WM. Paul Young
Published By: Windblown Media, in association with Hachette Book Group USA, 2008, First Edition, 256 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-0964729230

The Shack is a unique blend of sadness, regret and tension; with a whole bunch of religion thrown in the middle.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Mackenzie Allen Philips’ youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant “The Shack” wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!”

The Shack is not at all what I had been expecting. When I read the descriptions of this book and all the rave reviews, I was chomping-at-the-bit to get a copy to read and review. As I began reading, I was blown away by the skillful writing and the story; the first four chapters, literally kept me spellbound! Mac’s horror and sorrow because of the loss of his daughter is palpable and so very moving. Then I began reading chapter five and what a disappointment it was…right on through to the beginning of the last chapter. Chapters five through seventeen are a communion with God, as the holy trinity. The holy trinity however, is a somewhat eccentric blend of ethnic persons who stretch the plausibility and the imaginative bounds of who God could be. For some, this book might be a wondrously creative look at the heavenly father, though I can’t help feeling that some Christians and/or religious people may well be offended by this potentially blasphemous characterization of the Holy trinity. These thirteen chapters include parables, re-worded scriptures, divine revelations and religious teachings; it is a not-so-cleverly-disguised religious conversion message (for the reader). Personally, I found the religious portion of this book, namely chapters five through seventeen, a distraction from the wonderful beginning. It had such potential!
This book may appeal to those who have faith in God and a religious and/or Christian background.

♦♦♦♦ (4 out of 10 Diamonds) – I sort-of liked it
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.windblownmedia.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Warrior

Warriorwarrior
Written By: Cheryl Brooks
Published By: Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks Inc., 2008, First Edition, 321 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1402214400

Warrior is a bizarre mixture of paranormal romance and animal perversion.”

Product Description – Amazon.com
“Second in the series, this sexy paranormal features a lovely witch with powers of healing, communicating with animals telepathically and fire-throwing, and an enslaved Zetithian warrior-a being from a planet where the people had a feline gene, making him sensuous, graceful, beautiful and remarkably virile. Tisana is an alien/human hybrid living on the planet Utopia, an Earth colony founded by those looking to get back to a simpler, non-mechanized way of life more in harmony with nature. The witches of Utopia are only female, rarely marry, and will only bear one daughter with a special male referred to as Leo, one of a band of Zetithian warriors captured when his planet was destroyed, and sold into slavery throughout the galaxy, has been beaten nearly to death by his former master, and is brought by his new owner to TIsana to heal him. Tisana cares for Leo, who finally stops trying to escape and accepts her ministrations, which begin to include mesmerizing lovemaking…until the two are drawn into a rescue mission by Leo’s new owner, whose sons have been kidnapped by a neighboring village lord. Pursuing the boys through snowstorms and sword fights, Tisana must locate them by communicating with the animal population, and she must find a way to win her new lover/beloved from the jealous man who would do anything to thwart her if he knew that Leo was her destined.”

Warrior is by far the most disturbing and nauseating romance novel that I’ve ever read! The story itself is wonderful and imaginative with fantastic plot twists and great momentum and the characters are well written and compelling. The heroine is amusing and really likable, while the hero is sexy and captivating. The lovemaking/sex scenes however, are a mixture of smack-you-in-the-face vulgarity and indecent animal sex with a graphic detail that, quite frankly, turned my stomach. Believe me when I say I have a very high tolerance for the creepy, the imaginative and the “out-there”, but honest to goodness, these sex scenes ruined almost all of the books potential, romantic worth. The heroine’s insatiable desire for the “protein” from the horse-like appendage, that the hero gladly and frequently feeds her is…OMG GROSS!
I could barely finish this book…it gave me the creeps and destroyed any desire that I may have had, to read any other book in this series.
The author deserves a lot of credit for originality and uniqueness, but the sex scenes that are so frequent in this book (as they can often be in a romance novel) are just too far-off even my weird-o-meter scale!

♦♦♦♦ (4 out of 10 Diamonds) – I sort-of liked it
 

Link to the Author’s website:
http://cherylbrooksonline.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.sourcebooks.com/

A special thanks to Sourcebooks for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy