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 – 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

Book Review – The Grand Sophy

The Grand SophyThe Grand Sophy
Written by: Georgette Heyer
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Date: July 2009 (Originally published in 1950)
Pages: 384
Format: Trade Paperback
ISBN: 978-1402218941

Top Pick

The Grand Sophy is lively and emotive; a thoroughly satisfying read for all regency era, Historical Romance fans!”

The Product Description – From Amazon.com
“When Lady Ombersley agrees to take in her young niece, no one expects Sophy, who sweeps in and immediately takes the ton by storm. Sophy discovers that her aunt’s family is in desperate need of her talent for setting everything right: Ceclia is in love with a poet, Charles has tyrannical tendencies that are being aggravated by his grim fiancee, her uncle is of no use at all, and the younger children are in desperate need of some fun and freedom. By the time she’s done, Sophy has commandeered Charles’s horses, his household, and finally, his heart.”

The Grand Sophy is a delightful book set in London, England where the story begins in the spring of 1816. When meddlesome Sophy Stanton-Lacy arrives at her aunt’s Berkeley Square home for a lengthy visit, the oppressive atmosphere quickly weighs down on her. Sophy wastes no time and gives her younger cousins a few unique pets to enjoy. Though outspoken, honest and more then a little too cheeky; Sophy’s meddlesome ways cause quite a few quarrels. Even with the best of intentions, she manages to ruffle a lot of feathers. The smoothly flowing, fast-paced story includes some wonderful plot twists that take the reader on a delightful journey filled with witty characters, humorous dialog and precious, G-rated romance. A rather large cast of characters makes for a veritable menagerie of interactions, clashes and confrontations; this delightful story is packed-full of charm and amusement. Not too long after her arrival, the self-confident Sophie notices that her oldest cousin Charles, Mr. Rivenhall, seems to rule the household with his holier-then-thou, domineering attitude. Never one to back down from a challenge, Sophy makes it one of many important tasks, to transform the dreary home into a house filled with smiles and contentment; unfortunately, the dour Charles does not care for her intrusive behaviour.

A quote from the book – Charles & Sophy:

‘I’ll take care of that!’ he retorted. ‘Let me tell you, my dear cousin, that I should be better pleased if you would refrain from meddling in the affairs of my family!’
‘Now, that’, ‘said Sophy’, ‘I am very glad to know, because if ever I should desire to please you I shall know just how to set about it. I daresay I shan’t, but one likes to be prepared for any event, however unlikely.’

Georgette Heyer is the author of more than 50 novels and many of them are being republished by Sourcebooks Inc. I really love this particular story; it made me smile and laugh!
I very highly recommend this book to regency era, historical romance fans and those who enjoy classic literature.

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

Read more about The Grand Sophy.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Fan Website:
http://www.georgette-heyer.com/

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

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – The White Queen (ARC)

The White QueenThe White Queen - UK Book Cover
Book 1 in a new series – The Cousin’s War
Written By: Philippa Gregory
Published By: Touchstone/Simon & Schuster
Date: Available NOW!
Pages: 432
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1847374554

Top Pick

The White Queen is another smashingly-successful novel from Philippa Gregory; this gifted writer gives us yet another breathtaking book about warring kingdoms, witches magic, bloody battlefields and so much more…YOU do not want to miss this one!”

Product Description- From Simon & Schuster
“Brother turns on brother to win the ultimate prize, the throne of England, in this dazzling account of the wars of the Plantagenets. They are the claimants and kings who ruled England before the Tudors, and now Philippa Gregory brings them to life through the dramatic and intimate stories of the secret players: the indomitable women, starting with Elizabeth Woodville, the White Queen.
The White Queen tells the story of a woman of extraordinary beauty and ambition who, catching the eye of the newly crowned boy king, marries him in secret and ascends to royalty. While Elizabeth rises to the demands of her exalted position and fights for the success of her family, her two sons become central figures in a mystery that has confounded historians for centuries: the missing princes in the Tower of London whose fate is still unknown. From her uniquely qualified perspective, Philippa Gregory explores this most famous unsolved mystery of English history, informed by impeccable research and framed by her inimitable storytelling skills.”

The White Queen is the 6th book written by Philippa Gregory, that I have reviewed. I am very pleased to share a little something with you all; like a fine wine that improves with age, so too, does Philippa Gregory’s writing. As a fan of Philippa’s work in general, I was hopeful that her latest book would sweep me up and transport me back in time with a historic tale that was convincing and very compelling; I am happy to tell you that I was not disappointed! The White Queen is book 1 in a new series called “The Cousin’s War” where we meet the young King Edward of York, not long after he has taken the throne. This is also considered to be the beginning of a time in English history called the “Wars of the Roses”. When the widowed Lady Elizabeth Grey meets the charismatic and handsome young King Edward, she can’t help her feelings and yearnings as she dreams of spending more time with him. Elizabeth is strong-willed, determined and fiercely loyal; though loving and kind, she is not a woman to be trifled with. This fast-paced story has a winding plot that pulses with conspiracy, betrayal, witchcraft, bloodied battles and some exquisite, g-rated romance threaded in among it all. This book was really hard to put this book down and I feel confident that the reader will enjoy this detailed, skilfully written story from beginning to end!
I very highly recommend this book to all Philippa Gregory and Historical Fiction fans!

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

Read more about The White Queen.
Find out where to buy this book in the UK, the US or Canada.

Watch a video with Philippa Gregory:
Seeing the Past Through 21st-century Eyes
 

Link to the Author’s Profile:
http://www.philippagregory.com/

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

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Talk of the Town

Talk of the TownTalk of the Town
Written By: Sherrill Bodine
Published By: Forever an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, 2008, 326 pages, mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0446618588
Top Pick

Talk of the Town is sassy and sizzling; a decidedly entertaining romp inside the world of News Media.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“GOSSIP QUEEN DETHRONED!
Darlings, what a to-do at the Daily Mail today! After fifteen years as Chicago’s gossip guru, Rebecca Covington has been demoted from divulger of secrets for the city’s elite to headlining recipes in the Home and Food section. Apparently, a touchy senator is threatening legal action for Rebecca’s latest extramarital scoop. But Windy City rumor has it that new CEO and dreamy Pierce Brosnan look-alike David Sumner downgraded Rebecca in favor of fresher, younger blood on the social beat.
Industry insiders expect Rebecca to fight her denouement, and inquiring minds have already seen the feisty maven trading quips and searing glances wtih her arresting new boss. Rebecca swears she’ll reclaim her shining star status, but can the dishy diva even cook? And how can she ignore David’s arousing effect on her sensibilities?
Don’t miss a trick, darlings. Sparks are going to fly.”

Talk of the Town is a delightful story about a middle-aged gossip columnist who gets replaced by a  much younger woman. As Rebecca fights back and tries to reclaim her “throne” sparks fly between her and the new sinfully-handsome boss. New CEO, David and Rebecca are oh-so-good together as romance sizzles in and out of the bedroom. The smoothly-flowing story is enchanting, tender and fast-paced! The sexual content is very hot without explicit detail. They fight for love while Rebecca fights for her professional reputation and her career. I love the ending; I can’t share it with you or I’d ruin it.
I very highly recommend this book!

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

Read more about Talk of the Town.
Find out where to buy this book.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.sherrillbodine.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 – Creating Empty Bottle Moments

Creating Empty Bottle Moments: Cooking With Clive Creating Empty Bottle Moments
Written By: Clive Berkman
Published By: Baxter Press, 2009, 259 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-1888237719Top Pick

Creating Empty Bottle Moments is a fantastic cookbook with delicious recipes, photos, tips and an interesting history of Clive Berkman as he “cooked and created” his way through his career; superbly bound in hardcover and vividly presented, make sure you pick up your copy today!”

Creating Empty Bottle Moments: Cooking With Clive is Top-Notch! From the front cover forward I was captivated by the beautiful layout, full-colour photographs, mouth-watering recipes and the friendly, down-to-earth tone. More then just a cookbook, this hardcover masterpiece gives us a genuine feel for Clive Berkman, the man as well as World Class Chief. As an Award-Winner in the Cookbook/Food category of the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards and the Winner of the 2009 New York Book Festival’s award in the Cookbook category, Creating Empty Bottle Moments gives the reader everything they were hoping for and a whole lot more! I am now a big fan of Clive’s work; the diversity and quality of each recipe takes some old favourites and adds a new twist while presenting very unique and delectable selections of entrees, appetizers, desserts, breads, sides, soups, salads and more. Easy to understand and even easier to follow; I guarantee that your mouth will be watering before you’re done.

A random selection of recipe titles are:

Blackened Shrimp Quesadillas
Curried Chicken Salad
Red Beans and Rice
Shrimp Fritters
Spinach and Watercress Soup
Baked Alaska
Apple Strudel
Crabcakes
Yorkshire Puddings
Almond Tartlets
Cajun Barbecued Shrimp and so much more!

There is a table of contents, an index of recipes and 15 pages (at the back of the cook book) of absolutely indispensable tips for every cook regardless of skill level.
I very highly recommend this cookbook to beginning cooks right on up to gourmet chefs!

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

Link to the Author’s website:
http://cookingwithclive.com/

Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.baxterpress.com/index.html

A special thanks to PR By The Book for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – My Cousin Rachel

My Cousin RachelMy_Cousin_Rachel
Written By: Daphne du Maurier
Published By: Sourcebooks Landmark, an Imprint of Sourcebooks Inc., 2009 (Originally Published in 1951), 392 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1402217098

My Cousin Rachel is a captivating Gothic story that pulses with emotion and dark undercurrents; you don’t want to miss it!”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Philip Ashley’s older cousin Ambrose, who raised the orphaned Philip as his own son, has died in Rome. Philip, the heir to Ambrose’s beautiful English estate, is crushed that the man he loved died far from home. He is also suspicious. While in Italy, Ambrose fell in love with Rachel, a beautiful English and Italian woman. But the final, brief letters Ambrose wrote hint that his love had turned to paranoia and fear.
Now Rachel has arrived at Philip’s newly inherited estate. Could this exquisite woman, who seems to genuinely share Philip’s grief at Ambrose’s death, really be as cruel as Philip imagined? Or is she the kind, passionate woman with whom Ambrose fell in love? Philip struggles to answer this question, knowing Ambrose’s estate, and his own future, will be destroyed if his answer is wrong.”

My Cousin Rachel is the second book by Daphne du Maurier that I have read and reviewed; I’ve enjoyed this story ever-so-much-more then Frenchman’s Creek. The flowing plot includes some startling, yet very satisfying twists and turns that encourage the reader to devour the book’s content as quickly as possible, so they can find out more; it led me on a exciting chase of emotional ups and downs, during which time I was aware of the dark undertones suggesting that people might not be who they seem. Some gentle clues within the story nudge the reader in one direction while Philip Ashley’s naivety and inexperience with women forces the story to go another. This book is an easy read; the story flowed off the page and allowed me to escape into Philip and Rachel’s world for a few, extremely entertaining hours. This novel reminds me a little of A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick; if you love one, you will likely enjoy the other.
I very highly recommend this book!

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

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.dumaurier.org/
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 Reliable Wife

A Reliable WifeA Reliable Wife
Written By: Robert Goolrick
Published By: HarperCollins, 2009, First Canadian Edition, 304, trade paperback
ISBN 978-1554685035

A Reliable Wife simmers with dark, passionate undertones; a masterfully crafted tale of desire and betrayal.”

Product Description- From HarperCollins.ca
“Set in a small Wisconsin farming and manufacturing town still crumbling a decade after the depression of the 1890s, A Reliable Wife tells the story of Ralph Truitt, a wealthy businessman who advertises for “a reliable wife” in newspapers across America. The woman he chooses, Catherine Land, describes herself as “a simple, honest woman,” but in truth she is both complex and devious— not the missionary’s daughter she claims to be in her letter to Truitt but a courtesan of great beauty, kept by men and haunted by a terrible past. Catherine’s plan in accepting the marriage offer is simple: she will win this man’s devotion, and then, ever so slowly, she will poison him and leave Wisconsin a wealthy widow. What she has not counted on, though, is the passion she finds in this seemingly solid, forthright man—a man who also harbours secrets and whose own past is far from pure.”

A Reliable Wife is exactly what I was hoping for! This multifaceted story flows smoothly with some interesting plot twists. There are so many emotions simmering just below the surface of this story that they swamped me (in a good way) with their oppressive weight; it made me feel a little tainted and sullied. Ralph Truitt leads a constricted, colourless life as he hides behind decorum and routine. Catherine Land is running from something and wants to be a good wife; or so it seems. This crisp narrative is absorbing and intense; it is swathed in betrayal and pulsing with deception. Each of the characters is well developed and feels all too human. This compelling story reveals hidden desires and hidden agendas while striping all pretensions bare. Can Catherine be the reserved, reliable wife that Ralph is looking for or is his new bride a portent of doom?
I very highly recommend this book!!

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

*To read more or to browse inside this book, please click here.

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://robertgoolrick.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.harpercollins.ca/

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Afraid (ARC)

Afraidafraid
Written By: Jack Kilborn
Published By: Grand Central Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 384 pages, mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0446535939
(Available NOW!)
Top Pick

Afraid is a horrifying nightmare come true; if you dream of winning the lottery, all I can to say is BE CAREFUL what you wish for…”

Product Description – Amazon.com
“Welcome to Safe Haven, Wisconsin. Miles from everything, with one road in and out, this peaceful town has never needed a full-time police force. Until now . . .
A helicopter has crashed near Safe Haven and unleashed something horrifying. Now this merciless force is about to do what it does best. Isolate. Terrorize. Annihilate. As residents begin dying in a storm of gory violence, Safe Haven’s only chance for survival will rest with an aging county sheriff, a firefighter, and a single mom. And each will have this harrowing thought: Maybe death hasn’t come to their town by accident . . .”

Afraid is a fantastic book; I just couldn’t put it down! The fast-paced plot and emotion-driven story is very convincing; it’s so fiendishly nauseating that it makes your skin crawl! The suspense is palpable and the atmosphere is rife with tension and fear; just what you would expect from a book with a title as simple, yet powerful, as Afraid. When the action starts it just keeps on coming. With an eerie sense of dread, the reader will be drawn into this skilfully woven story and gripped by the horrifying events that take place in the quiet little town of Safe Haven, Wisconsin. This novel is jam-packed with high-tension that escalates with murder, torture, cannibalism and more! The evil that infests this town is written with such intensity and zeal that you can’t help but loathe them; they are the reason we should be afraid of the dark. I sure double checked my door and window locks last night; not that it would have helped me…or anyone in Safe Haven. Will the ever spreading malevolence consume the whole town; or can the people of safe haven fight back and win the day?
I very highly recommend this book!!

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

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.jakonrath.com/kilborn.htm
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 – My Little Red Book (ARC)

My Little Red Bookmy-little-red-book1
Edited By: Rachel Kauder Nalebuff
Published By: Twelve, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 240 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0446546362
(Available NOW!)
Top Pick

My Little Red Book is honest and insightful; it breaks the barriers of age, religion, race and unreasonable taboos surrounding menstruation and first periods.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“MY LITTLE RED BOOK is an anthology of stories about first periods, collected from women of all ages from around the world. The accounts range from light-hearted (the editor got hers while water skiing in a yellow bathing suit) to heart-stopping (a first period discovered just as one girl was about to be strip-searched by the Nazis). The contributors include well-known women writers (Meg Cabot, Erica Jong, Gloria Steinem, Cecily von Ziegesar), alongside today’s teens. And while the authors differ in race, faith, or cultural background, their stories share a common bond: they are all accessible, deeply honest, and highly informative. Whatever a girl experiences or expects, she’ll find stories that speak to her thoughts and feelings…”

My Little Red Book is one of the most honest, soul-bearing story collaborations that I have ever had the good fortune to read. When I heard about this book I was instantly intrigued. What woman hasn’t at some point, felt embarrassment or felt somewhat stigmatized by their monthly flow? I know there have been many times that I disliked being female because of the ‘monthly appearance’ that cramped by style, literally! As I read this book, I was really delighted to read about women’s accounts of their periods; I didn’t enjoy the painful parts obviously, but I could relate.  The differences in cultural beliefs and how the first periods were treated along with how the women were treated; reading about it all and imagining the trepidation they must have felt while sharing their stories; it really humbled me.
This book includes a wonderful note from the Author and is indexed by author, subject and decade and includes a list of creative euphemisms and code words for when we have or are getting out period. Though it sometimes feels like we are still in ‘the dark ages’ of menstrual tolerance, this poignant collection helps map the progression of treatment and personal feelings about menstruation as the years have passed and provides a surprisingly diverse look at our ‘monthly friend’. I had to laugh at Gloria Steinem’s essay, “If Men Could Menstruate”; what  brilliant wit!  All the proceeds from the sale from this edition, including the advance, are being donated by Rachel Kauder Nalebuff to charities that promote women’s health. I really enjoyed reading this book!
I very highly recommend this book to women of all ages and to men who want to expand their minds on a somewhat hushed (until now), feminine topic.

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

Link to Information About the Editor:
http://www.mylittleredbook.net/
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 – Apologize, Apologize! (ARC)

Apologize, Apologizeapologize-apologize!
Written By: Elizabeth Kelly
Published By: Twelve, an Imprint of Grand Central Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 336 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0446406147
(Available NOW!)
Top Pick

Apologize, Apologize! is a darkly-swirling mixture of humour, wit and eccentricities; a literary Masterpiece!”

Product Description – Amazon.com
“Cinematically vivid with heartstopping dialogue, Apologize, Apologize! is an extraordinary debut about a family that puts the personality in disorder.
Welcome to the world of the fantastic Flanagans; a wildly eccentric Massachusetts clan that is both blessed and afflicted with an inexhaustible reservoir of old money, unwavering subversive charm – and a veritable chorus of dogs. At the centre of this maelstrom is sensible Collie Flanagan, first-born son and heir to his grandfather’s publishing fortune, whose easy life is shattered by the outcome of a casual afternoon outing. Affecting, funny and wise, this is a rollicking story packed with characters that are a delight to get to know, and are impossible to forget.”

Apologize, Apologize! is a truly incredible novel. With an original plot and a unique story, this poignant novel pulls you into a world full of contradictions and extremes. The settings for the story are written with care and skill; you can almost hear the waves crashing and nearly smell the crisp, clean air. Collie and his family make up an unforgettable cast of characters whose tumult, emotional clashes are of near-epic proportion. This story has a way of wrapping you in its craziness and dares you to open yourself up to the rich experiences. With clever humour and intelligent dialog, this story (if you let it) will draw you in and hold you with an absorbing sincerity. This Author has a brilliant gift for weaving a story that makes you incredibly happy, then drops you into a murky pool of sadness. Elizabeth Kelly has written a compelling story of a family full of characters who experience jealousy, loss, sorrow, love and unwanted redemption; this novel is a literary masterpiece!
I very highly recommend this book!

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

Link to Information About the Author:
http://www.twelvebooks.com/authors/elizabeth_kelly.asp
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 – Romeo, Romeo

Romeo, Romeo,romeo-romeo
Book 1 of 3
Written By: Robin Kaye
Published By: Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks Inc., 2008, First Edition, 384 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1402213397

Romeo, Romeo is witty and fun; a sizzling Contemporary Romance that will leave you with a smile on your face!”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Rosalie Ronaldi doesn’t have a domestic bone in her body …
All she cares about is her career, so she survives on take-out and dirty martinis, keeps her shoes under the dining room table, her bras on the shower curtain rod, and her clothes on the couch …
Nick Romeo is every woman’s fantasy – tall, dark, handsome, rich, really good in bed, AND he loves to cook and clean …
He says he wants an independent woman, but when he meets Rosalie, all he wants to do is take care of her. Before too long, he’s cleaned up her apartment, stocked her refrigerator, and adopted her dog …
So what’s the problem? Just a little matter of mistaken identity, corporate theft, a hidden past in juvenile detention and one big nosy Italian family too close for comfort…”

Romeo, Romeo is a fantastic book that I really enjoyed reading! This novel has an entertaining storyline that has a smooth momentum and a few, fun plot twists; the conclusion of the story has a neat little twist that surprised me in a good way. Nick’s wealth didn’t evoke the usual resentment or dislike and independent Rosalie has a quick wit and a sharp tongue that’s just a part of her charm. The chemistry between Nick and Rosalie is flaming-hot and virtually sizzles off the page! The sex scenes are frequent but not overwhelming and they are written with lovely intimacy. I know that the “rich guy” character can sometimes be overworked, but the Author has written skillfully and given Nick Romeo a great depth of character that makes you fall in love. This wonderful novel left me with a smile on my face and a peaceful feeling of satisfaction.
I very highly recommend this book!

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

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

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Seeing Red (ARC)

Seeing Redseeing-red
Written By: Susan Crandall
Published By: Forever, an imprint of Grand Central Publishing, 2009, First Edition, 432 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0446178570
(Available NOW!)

Seeing Red is a fast-paced, fiery and extremely entertaining, romantic suspense novel; you don’t want to miss it!”

Product Description - From Amazon.com
“Ellis Greene remembers very little about the night of her cousin Laura’s murder, but she does recall the face of the murderer. Ellis was the key witness to the crime, and her testimony helped put Hollis Alexander in jail for a long time. With Hollis behind bars, Ellis should feel safe, but the memory of that awful night still haunts her. Determined to free herself from the fear of being attacked like her cousin, Ellis has become an expert in self defense. However, when Ellis hears that Hollis has been paroled, she feels like a helpless teenager again–and she isn’t the only one who notices that he’s free.
Laura’s boyfriend Nate was one of the prime suspects for her murder. After the court case, many still believed that Nate was guilty and he left town to reinvent himself. Now, fifteen years later, he has returned to protect Ellis from suffering the same fate as her cousin. As soon as Ellis and Nate see one another, sparks fly. But Ellis hasn’t let herself fall for a man in a long time, and she isn’t sure whether she can trust Nate. As Laura’s murderer zeroes in on Ellis as his next target, she must fight to stay alive while she finally discovers her true feelings about Nate.”

Seeing Red grabbed my attention right away and held it to the very last page! This story is unique and has a wonderful flow and momentum that kept me riveted; I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. The plot twists were creative and suspenseful. The relationship between Ellis and Nate escalates quickly and the sparks fly between them as they try to find her cousin’s twisted and depraved rapist and keep Ellis safe from the ever increasing danger to herself. The characters are all very well written, each with a unique personality that makes them believable and all the more entertaining to read about. The Author has a fantastic ability to weave tales and I hope to read many more of her books, very soon!
I very highly recommend this book!

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

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.susancrandall.net/index.html

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