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 – The Killing Tree: A Novel

The Killing Tree: A NovelThe Killing Tree
Written By: Rachel Keener
Published By: Center Street a division of Hachette Book Group Inc.
Date: 2009
Pages: 327 pages
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1599951119

The Killing Tree is gritty and compelling; an emotionally-haunting story of life in a small, mountain top community.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“It’s the summer after Mercy Heron graduates from high school, and she’s living in the household of her domineering grandfather and a grandmother whose behavior has always been erratic–some folks even call it crazy. They’ve raised Mercy since her mother died giving birth to her under the June apple tree, after Father Heron locked her out and ignored her pleas for help.
Mercy’s days are spent working at the local diner, and hanging out with her wild best friend Della. Unlike Della, she’s never seriously considered leaving the insulated community on Crooked Top mountain. Not until that summer when she meets Trout, a man who opens Mercy’s eyes to a world beyond what she’s known–both physically and emotionally. Their relationship must be kept secret, because Father Heron won’t approve of his granddaughter being involved with a migrant worker. But when Mercy tries to escape, she’ll learn just how powerful, and ruthless, her grandfather can be. And the truth of her past will threaten to forever bind her to the mountain.”

The Killing Tree‘s title alone is enough to pique ones curiosity. As I began reading the story I was immediately drawn into Mercy’s emotional struggle and felt very strongly towards many characters whose lives impacted the teen-aged girl in a negative way. Mercy’s Grandfather in particular, is a real (insert curse word here)! As the story unfolds, we learn more about Mercy’s history and what her plans are for the future. Along the way we meet Mercy’s best and only true friend on Crooked Top Mountain, “dazzling” Della. Each of the characters in the story is painstakingly drawn to help the reader feel more connected to the story and leaves them wanting more. With a smoothly-flowing story that has extremely emotional overtones, The Killing Tree explores love, loyalties, religious zealotry, hope and redemption. When Mercy meets Trout, she begins to flourish, finally understanding that she can have more then her blighted past has promised her thus far. Love blossoms and danger lurks as freedom is tasted and it all seems too good to be true. At about 1/3rd of the way through I figured out one of the major plot twists; but no need to worry, it didn’t ruin the rest of the story.
I recommend this book for readers looking for a strong, emotional drama written with vivid characterizations and darkly-beautiful settings.

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

Read more about The Killing Tree.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.rachelkeener.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 – Holly’s Inbox (ARC)

Holly’s InboxHolly's Inbox
Written By: Holly Denham (Bill Surie)
Published By: Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks Inc., 2009 (originally published in 2007), 672 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1402219030
(Available NOW!)

Holly’s Inbox is addictive and entertaining; a fresh, fun take on inter-office politics and romance in the workplace.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“System alert: Inbox full of scandal, romance, and office hilarity!
Meet Holly Denham. It’s her first day as a receptionist at a London investment bank and inexperienced Holly is struggling. How’s a working girl supposed to have a love life with a demanding job, crazy friends, a dysfunctional family, and gossipy colleagues? Not to mention that Holly’s been keeping a secret from everyone – and the past is about to catch up with her.
An affair with a sexy VP heats things up at the office, but when Holly’s first flame (who, she thinks, left her in the lurch) gets a job at the same company, complications abound and Holly’s inbox becomes a daily source of drama, laughter and scandal.”

Holly’s Inbox is written in an email format which is unique and for me, a little distracting as well (having to check on who the emails are to and from all of the time). Holly’s new job as a receptionist gets a rocky start and she gets more than she’s bargained for with the new employees that she communicates with. As she settles in, Holly finds a new love interest who provides a great deal of fodder for the email gossip-mill. The story is told via emails that Holly and the other characters send to one another. For the most part, it is fairly enjoyable to read; the first 2/3’s of the book was a little slow for me but I am happy to tell you that it picked up in a BIG way after that and it finished with a satisfying, well written ending! As I read through the book, I began to care about Holly and how I hoped her life would turn out…as I said before, the last 1/3 of the book is where Holly’s story really starts to seize the reader’s attention. The story isn’t as fluid as I would have liked; it is broken up by the email format and the constant back and forth between the different email senders. The plot consists of some fairly typical office-type romances and the stresses that office workers deal with on the job.
Make sure you check out www.hollysinbox.com/ to visit the fun, interactive website that looks like Holly’s REAL inbox!

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

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.hollysinbox.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 – A Shattered Village

A Shattered Village,a-shattered-village
A Logan & Cafferty Mystery (Book 1)
Written By: Jean Henery Mead
Published By: ePress-Online Inc., 2008, First Edition, 209 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1934258293

A Village Shattered reminds me of the show ‘Murder She Wrote’; a sleuthing story full of mysterious murders and characters; it keeps you guessing, right till the end!”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“The Valley Retirement Village is the scene of a serial killer’s revenge. Who is alphabetically killing Sew and So Club members, and why? When the newly-elected sheriff botches the investigation, Dana Logan and Sarah Cafferty, widows living in the village, decide to solve the murders themselves. Dana, a mystery novel buff, and Sarah, a private investigator’s widow, soon make a sobering discovery: they are also on the killer’s list. Dana’s beautiful daughter Kerrie, a news correspondent, arrives, complicating matters, but she quickly proves her value in the investigation. San Joaquin Valley fog hides the killer as well as hindering the murder case. The plot is sprinkled with romance as well as humor in this first novel of the Logan & Cafferty senior sleuth series.”

A Shattered Village feels like you are sitting down with a reassuring, old friend; it is one of those books that let you relax into it. The story is only mildly suspenseful until about 3/4’s of the way through when it ramps right up, but the whole story is packed-full of mysteries that lead you further and further away from the answers to these puzzling and disturbing murders of the members of the seniors Sew and So Club. The Author does a brilliant job of creating moods and settings that enhance the story; she is very skilled at creating entertaining and unique characters as well. With a smoothly-flowing plot and some surprising twists, the Author weaves a mystery that leaves you with more questions then answers, daring you to solve the mystery yourself, before she reveals the killer. I thought I’d figured it all out, several times over, but I was in for quite a surprise. The serial killer is a menacing mixture of deranged self-importance and twisted mania; I would have enjoyed reading more about the killer and hope that perhaps in the next books, more internal dialog from the killers will be included. Throughout the story, romance tries to blossom; but who knows if it can thrive in such a death-laden atmosphere. I enjoyed reading this book, even though mysteries are not one of my favourite genres.
I highly recommend this book to fans of murder mysteries!

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

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://jeanhenrymead.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://epress-online.com/

A special thanks to Jean Henry Mead for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – A Love Letter to Black People (ARC)

A Love Letter to Black People,a-love-letter-to-black-people2
Audaciously Hopeful Thoughts on Race and Success
Written By: Brian McClellan
Published By: Sherian Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 288 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0979567650
(Available NOW!)

A Love Letter to Black People is uplifting and positive; a supportive and inspiring book written to encourage Black People around the world.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“I Love Black People! I Just Can’t Help It.’ A Love Letter to Black People: Audaciously Hopeful Thoughts on Race and Success’ by Brian McClellan is a book sure to challenge and inspire those who have this type of deep affection for the Black community but also deep concerns for its future. Inspired in part by the historic political success of Senator Barack Obama, ‘Love Letter’ explores the unique way high achieving African Americans view race and success and why, for the love of the Black community, all Black people must apply these lessons. The insightfulness of McClellan’s discussion in ‘Love Letter’ is bolstered by a supporting survey about race and success completed by more than 100 young, Black business and community leaders. Their opinions regarding provocative racially charged topics such as ‘acting white’ are inspirational, thought-provoking and sometimes more provocative than the questions themselves. ‘Love Letter’ is a must read for those who love Black people and just can’t help it!”

A Love Letter to Black People is a moving book. No matter what your skin colour is, this “Love Letter” really explains a lot about the inner workings of the Black community. It strives to build hope and a strong belief that there is every possibility, for a Black person to be totally and completely successful. By asking some tough questions and answering them with a flourish, Brian is hopeful about the future of the Black community, as he should be! This somewhat controversial book, inspires everyone to take some risks and dare to believe that you DO have the right, even the responsibility, to be everything you ever hoped you could be.
Some chapter titles include: Living Angry, The YSB’s, Carrying The Weight, The “Man” Is Dead, Keeping It Real, Can’t We Do Better? Responsibly Black, Who To Be, How To Be, Ignoring The Evidence – The Remix. There are lots of interesting testimonials from successful Black people and great quotes throughout the book.

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

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.bamstrong.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.sherianinc.com/

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Night of Flames

Night of Flamesnight_of_flames
Written By: Douglas W. Jacobson
Published By: McBooks Press, Inc., Ithaca, New York, 2007, First Edition, 383 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1-59013-166-4

Night of Flames is a WWII story of love, loss and duty; an inside look at the resistance movement and the unsung, civilian heroes who helped to defeat the German Armies.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Painting a vivid and terrifying picture of war-torn Europe during World War II, this tale chronicles the lives of Anna, a Krakow University professor, and her husband Jan, a Polish cavalryman. After they are separated and forced to flee occupied Poland, Anna soon finds herself caught up in the Belgian Resistance, while Jan becomes embedded in British Intelligence efforts to contact the Resistance in Poland. He soon realises that he must seize this opportunity to search for his lost wife, Anna.”

Night of Flames is an entertaining historical fiction novel. I have read several non-fiction, first-hand accounts as well as second-hand accounts of the holocaust so I found this book to be a less-disturbing look at some pivotal parts of the war. This is by no means as graphic as holocaust novels but instead it focuses on the underground movement and the relationship, struggles and heartache felt by Anna and Jan as they try to find their way back to each other.
Up until this point I had not realized that the underground movements were so essential to the ultimate and successful downfall of the German occupation. Their determined, selfless efforts and the risks that they took on a daily basis were truly the stuff legends.
This book includes a wonderful note from the Author and a brief, one page chronology of World War II in Europe.
I recommend this book to Historical Fiction lovers and those who have some interest in the WWII resistance movement.

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

Link to the Author’s website:
http://douglaswjacobson.blogspot.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.mcbooks.com/

A special thanks to Douglas W. Jacobson for sending me a copy of his book to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – OUTCASTS of Skagaray

OUTCASTS of Skagaray,outcasts-of-skagaray
Written By: Andrew Clarke
Published By: MusterionPress, a division of VMI Publishers, Oregon USA, 2006, First Edition, 272 pages, softcover
ISBN 978-1933204222

OUTCASTS of Skagaray is the story of a ruthless people who use brutal strength and tyranny to dominate the weak.”

The ways of the Skagaray are uncompromising and cruel; the rules for their people are absolute.
The strong survive because of there superior in strength and authority.
The weak are despised. Those who are puny and ineffectual are quickly driven out. To pity the weak or offer a helping hand is an unforgivable transgression among these ruthless people. Tarran despises the life he is destined to lead and wants to find a better way of life. When Tarran goes on a hunt with an Elder Warrior but refuses to kill an injured baby bear, Tarran is branded a coward; too pathetic and weak to live among the Skagaray people.
No longer welcomed by his people, Tarran must survive in the wild with very few supplies. He has to scrounges for food stuffs and gathers all that he can find. The longer Tarran spends as an outcast, the more alive he feels. The Elders on the other hand, grow angrier and more fearful as time passes.
As Tarran discovers other outcasts, he cares for them and tries his best to provide food and a refuge for them. He gives of himself to help those who are weaker and considered worthless by the Skagaray people. When a strange messenger arrives on their island, he brings with him bizarre dreams that predict two battles. Are these battles going to be the end of his small band of Outcasts?  Or could it mean a new beginning for all?

OUTCASTS of Skagaray was a very interesting novel. This isn’t a genre that I often read, but I have to admit that I really enjoyed reading this book.
There are a few small editing errors but they didn’t take away from the story.
I found the characters to be very genuine. Tarran and his fellow outcasts were very lovable, determined and loyal. The Elder Warriors and the other formidable people of Skagaray were richly detailed and strangely vivid. The landscape and surroundings were intricately described. It was as if I could hear the wind blowing and smell the smoke from the fires. Very nice!
The story flowed smoothly and it had some neat twists and turns. The plot had good momentum through most of the story.
I highly recommend this book to fantasy readers who are looking for a book which parallels parts of the bible.

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

 

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.vmipublishers.com/default.htm

A special thanks to Andrew Clarke for sending me a copy.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy