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 Reviews – Modern Classics, Book 1 & 2

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

Top Pick

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

A small sample of the recipes inside Book 1:

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

~~~

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

Top Pick

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

A small sample of the recipes inside Book 2:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Public Lies

Public LiesPublic Lies
Written by: Brenda Youngerman
Published by: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Date: July 2007
Pages: 300
Format: Perfect Paperback
ISBN: 978-1432712969

Public Lies resonates powerfully; a brutally-honest look at domestic violence.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Nancy thought she had married her Prince Charming. But six years later, she was on the run with her two young children, trying to escape her abusive, drug-addicted husband. In a new town, living under new names, the Cooper family begins life anew.
But as the years pass, Nancy’s children begin to question their mother’s motives for leaving. Her son’s constant recriminations fill her with guilt and give way to the thought that if they return home, maybe she can put things right. Returning to the place where her nightmare of a marriage began, she must now face a man whose days have been filled with twisted thoughts of revenge. As the court turns its back on her, her husband takes steps to punish her…as he always vowed he would.”

Public Lies is so incredibly realistic that it reads more like a biography then a fictitious story. This particular story has genuine, real-life implications; domestic abuse is all to prevalent in today’s society and Brenda Youngerman deserves a lot of credit for shining a light on a such serious issue by writing a story that lays bare many of the realities and misconceptions surrounding this type of abuse. The story of Nancy and Vince Cooper follows their lives as drug, alcohol and physical abuse turns a blissfully happy family into an endless nightmare. Nancy needs to keep her children safe and goes to great lengths to accomplish it; not every woman is as lucky. Some women have nowhere to turn and no one to ask for help! The narrative pulses with raw emotion; the fear, anger and hate threaten to overwhelm a mother’s love for her children and jeopardize their safety. The plot is skilfully woven to add realistic depth and patterns to the story. This is not a book for the faint of heart as it contains a fair amount of swearing and many vicious threats against Nancy and those who aid her; it is vulgar, but it lends more credibility to the story and characterizations.

Driving usually calmed her down. Not tonight …Not now … Not this time.
She was running from the horror, the evil, the unimaginable.
I’m being followed. I know I am. He’s watching every move I make. There is no way I’m going to escape without his knowing. He’ll find me.

There were moments when I wanted to shake Nancy for some of the stupid choices she makes but this too is part of an authentic abuse cycle; many times, victims of abuse can’t see what’s best for them because they live in fear of reprisal and are in to deep. I’ve really enjoyed reading this book because it stands for something and doesn’t sugar-coat domestic violence; I read it cover to cover in one day!
I very highly recommend this book!!

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

Read more about Public Lies.
Find out where to buy this book.

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

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

A special thanks to Brenda Youngerman for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – A Lucky Child

A Lucky ChildA Lucky Child
Written By: Thomas Buergenthal
Forward By: Elie Wiesel
Published By: Little, Brown and Company an Imprint of Hachette Book Group, 2009, First Edition, 256 pages, hardcover
ISBN 978-0316043403
Top Pick

A Lucky Child is the deeply compelling, straightforward story of a boy’s survival in Auschwitz; he retained his humanity despite the horrors surrounding him on a daily basis.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“Thomas Buergenthal, now a Judge in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, tells his astonishing experiences as a young boy in his memoir A LUCKY CHILD. He arrived at Auschwitz at age 10 after surviving two ghettos and a labor camp. Separated first from his mother and then his father, Buergenthal managed by his wits and some remarkable strokes of luck to survive on his own. Almost two years after his liberation, Buergenthal was miraculously reunited with his mother and in 1951 arrived in the U.S. to start a new life.
Now dedicated to helping those subjected to tyranny throughout the world, Buergenthal writes his story with a simple clarity that highlights the stark details of unimaginable hardship. A LUCKY CHILD is a book that demands to be read by all.”

The Lucky Child is a poignant memoir, allowing the reader to envision and feel all of the emotions and terror that Thomas (as a young boy) must have felt, while at the same time, maintaining a more detached approach (less gruesome) then many of the Holocaust books I have previously read. I was instantly drawn into this story and pulled into the absorbing narrative; this story is absolutely riveting! This smoothly flowing story has perfect momentum and keeps the reader’s interest from beginning to end. Thomas’ invaluable story really brought the Holocaust ‘home’, to me. As the reader visualizes what life was like for this young boy (and many others like him) during those horrendous times, it makes his experiences even more vivid and heartbreaking. I don’t want to give away any part of this book because it is Thomas’ unforgettable story to tell; only he can properly share with you the misery, wretchedness and the desolation that he felt while he was imprisoned.  Included in this book are 16 beautiful, black & white photographs and a black & white map (2 full pages).You simply MUST read this book!
I very highly recommend this book to everyone!!!

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

Link to Information about the Author:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/books_9780316043403.htm
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.hachettebookgroup.com/

** To watch a video interview with Thomas, please click here.

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Fire Me (ARC)

Fire Me,fire-me
A Tale of Scheming, Dreaming, and Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places
Written By: Libby Malin
Published By: Sourcebooks Casablanca, an imprint of Sourcebooks Inc., 2009, First Edition, 304 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-1402217579
(Available NOW!)

Fire Me is a zany, laugh-out-loud novel that will satisfy the mischievous child in all of us; an office worker’s dream come true!”

Product Description – Amazon.com
“Anne Wyatt has finally had it with incompetent co-workers, a boss who runs hot and cold, and meaningless busywork with impossible deadlines. But the day she goes in determined to hand in her resignation, she learns that her boss is planning to let someone go. She changes course, deciding to try for the lay-off and the severance package that goes with it. Throughout the day, she engages in hysterical antics designed to attract her boss’ negative evaluation, egged on by Ken, the handsome graphic designer in the next cubicle, who has his own ideas for liberation from the corporate grind. In the end, together Anne and Ken have to decide what is important in life, and what they need to discard without a second glance.”

Fire Me is an absolute must-have for anyone who has worked in an office setting. If you haven’t worked in an office before you’re still going to enjoy this sure-fire hit! This novel is insightful, sincere and the characters are all too human; it’s very easy to identify with them. The story is smoothly flowing and the plot twists are fresh and imaginatively written. The majority of the novel takes place over the course of one day. Anne’s day starts off badly and only gets worse as she tries to be the person in their department to get fired; a wonderful part of this story is how much Anne begins enjoying her attempts to get ‘canned’. Anne and her co-workers juggle their daily tasks while trying to guarantee an outcome; to be THE one to get fired. With witty dialog and outrageous situations, Anne and the rest of the office workers have a day that will long be remembered. This novel is much more than a romance; it’s a fascinating, humorous case study of purpose and ingenuity! Can Anne redefine who she is deep down and find love, all in one day? You’ll have to read it to find out.
I very highly recommend this book!

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

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.libbymalin.com/index.htm
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 – The Other Boleyn Girl

The Other Boleyn Girlthe-other-boleyn-girl1
Written By: Philippa Gregory
Published By: Touchstone, a registered trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 2003, First Touchstone Edition, 672 pages, paperback
ISBN 978-0743227445
(Movie cover version: ISBN 978-1416560609)
Top Pick

The Other Boleyn Girl is a vibrant, spell-binding tale of love, loyalty and betrayal in King Henry’s Court; you don’t want to miss this one!”

Product Description – Amazon.com
“Two sisters competing for the greatest prize: the love of a king
When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her familys ambitious plots as the kings interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.
A rich and compelling tale of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe and survived by following her own heart.”

The Other Boleyn Girl is absolutely fantastic! The full account as told by this novel, transcends the on-screen film adaptation by leaps and bounds; if you haven’t read this book you are missing out on 3/4’s of the story. As with many film adaptations, this book outshines the on-screen performances and the story it tells. This novel is full of manipulation, political manoeuvring, deceit and heart-wrenching treachery; as the Boleyn’s rise in power so to does their risk of safety and death by treason. Torn loyalties and familial affection become twisted into a grotesque mask of hatred, jealousy and spite. The flowing narrative is uninterrupted by any sluggishness and keeps the reader absorbed from start to finish. As the plot progresses a sense of impending doom grows; it gets diverted from time to time but it keeps building until the very end. With breathtaking prose, the Author creates a world and its various English settings with a poignancy that flows over you like the cool water from a stream; the picturesque beauty of the outdoor scenes nearly had me in tears. When a family is willing to throw away their morals, values and sell their very souls for a chance at the wealth, status and the throne of England, who knows what can happen. I 100% enjoyed this novel. I can’t recommend it highly enough!
If you enjoy Historical Fiction, romance, intrigue or any of the above I implore you to pick up a copy as soon as possible.
I very highly recommend this book!!!

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

Link to the Author’s website:
http://www.philippagregory.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.simonsays.com/

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

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy

Book Review – Forbidden

Forbiddenforbidden1
Written By: Helen Kirkman
Published By: Harlequin Books, 2004, First Edition, 352 pages, mass market paperback
ISBN 978-0373836291

Forbidden is a beautiful written, highly sensual love story filled with intimacy, betrayal and redemption.”

Product Description – From Amazon.com
“England, 716 — a time of power and passion, corruption, courage, violence and vengeance . . .
He was for sale — a slave forced to do the bidding of others. Dangerous . . . and fascinating, but no more than a thrall in chains.
She was a lady, a woman bent on vengeance. A woman in need of help. Not the ordinary kind of help. What she wanted to do, what she had to do, did not require commonplace skills. It required courage that took no account of either the odds or the risks. Her idea was every bit as reckless as the slave’s bravery . . . and in all probability just as doomed. No matter the cost, she would never be at the mercy of anyone’s will again.
They were worlds apart.
And anything between them was . . .
forbidden . . .”

Forbidden is a really fantastic Historical Romance. The main characters in this story are very well written and with great humanity; I could identify with their thoughts and feelings. With a smoothly flowing story and an interesting plot, this story really satisfies. I was very pleased with the beginning; it captured my attention quickly and held it right till the end. Set in VERY early England, 716, this novel takes you back to a time when powerful families and landowners ruled absolutely; with barbaric savagery and underhanded schemes, the evil and corrupt flourished because there was no one powerful enough to stop them. When Rowena sees a heavily muscled slave for sale, she finally sees a way to right the wrongs. When Rowena purchases Wulf, she also sets a dangerous plan in motion, one that risks everything she owns and loves. The love scenes are very erotic; steeped in sensuality that nearly made me blush. This book was well worth my time and I really enjoyed this beautiful story.
I very highly recommend this book to Historical Romance readers.

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

Link to the Author’s Website:
http://www.helenkirkman.com/
Link to the Publisher’s Website:
http://www.eharlequin.com/store.html?cid=191

A special thanks to Helen Kirkman for sending me a copy to review.

Copyright ©  Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy