Tag: Reviews

The Expected One by Kathleen McGowan

Posted September 7, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Two thousand years ago, Mary Magdalene hid a set of scrolls in the rocky foothills of the French Pyrenees, a gospel that contained her own version of the events and characters of the New Testament. Protected by supernatural forces, these sacred scrolls could be uncovered only by a special seeker, one who fulfills the ancient prophecy of l’attendue — The Expected One.

When journalist Maureen Paschal begins the research for a new book, she has no idea that she is stepping into an ancient mystery so secret, so revolutionary, that thousands of people have killed and died for it. She becomes deeply immersed in the mystical cultures of southwest France as the eerie prophecy of The Expected One casts a shadow over her life and work and a long-buried family secret comes to light. Ultimately she, and the reader, come face-to-face with Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, John the Baptist, Judas, and Salome in the pages of a deeply moving and powerful new gospel, the life of Jesus as told by Mary Magdalene.

I tried not to, but I found myself comparing this book to Da Vinci Code a lot. Da Vinci Code won.

My grandfather loaned me this book saying it was interesting. I started reading it and meh. After a few chapters, I found myself skimming. The plot was not grabbing me at all. However, each chapter begins with an excerpt of a letter “written” by Mary Magdalene. I found those and Mary’s gospel much more interesting to read. Everything else… meh.

I hate to compare this book to Da Vinci code but.. again, couldn’t help it. Da Vinci code was… how do I explain… when talked about the paintings, they went into detail, they paced it so it wasn’t rushed but it made me wanting to know more. Made me want to turn the page. This book, to me, was like here is this painting. See that, ok, next painting. I felt rushed, like they were pushing me to move forward.

I felt it was like a wannabe Da Vinci Code. I read a few reviews on amazon and found similar reviews to how I felt. I wasn’t alone!

The book also mention Da Vinci’s paintings. There is one part where the main character asks about Da Vinci, the guy who is helping her learn the truth says, “We will not talk about Da Vinci in this house.” All righty then. An insult maybe?? Who knows.

I have to say, this one is a DNF.

Review: Wanna Play by Gail Faulkner

Posted September 7, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Wanna Play by Gail FaulknerReviewer: Holly
Wanna Play by Gail Faulkner
Series: Ghost Unit #3
Published by Ellora's Cave Publishing Inc
Publication Date: July 6th 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Erotica, Contemporary
Pages: 165
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-half-stars

Wanna Play Gail Faulkner "Ghost Unit, Book Three"

Even her walk made him swallow. The stroll of a huntress — a little arrogant, a lot dangerous. Damn, he loved danger. He'd never seen menace so perfectly packaged in a woman. Wanting her was intoxicatingly forbidden and totally pagan.

Jas watched the beast try to look harmless as he entered her world. Testosterone-enhanced confidence rolling off him spoke of a deadly animal. He was muscle and guile below the face of a naughty angel. Ohhh baby, Jas wanted to play with that beast. Too bad they wouldn't have time.

It would have been Blaster's pleasure to take care of whatever threatened her, but earning her trust required respecting her right to combat. What drove him crazy was she wouldn't let him be the shield at her back as she did it.

"Reader Advisory: This is an action novel with short instances of violence that may not be for the faint of heart."

This is book three in Gail Faulkner’s Ghost Unit series, published by Ellora’s Cave. I haven’t read the first two, and though I felt like I missed a few things here and there, I still feel it can stand on it’s own.

Jasmina Carson is a movie star in the making with a somewhat shady past. When things start happening on the set of her latest movie (attacks on Jas, gunshots, etc) her director, Barry, calls in Samuel “Blaster” Callaway, an old childhood friend of his to help keep an eye on the situation.

Jas is pretty hardcore and more than capable of taking care of herself, so she resents Blaster’s presence. But as things escalate, and she becomes more and more attracted to him, she realizes she may need some help…but help saving her life from an outside threat, or help saving her heart from Blaster?

I loved the heroine in this novel. Yes, I said I loved her. No, I’m not just saying that. Yes, it really is me. I know, I know, I never like the heroines, but Gail Faulkner did an amazing job of writing an extremely well balanced heroine. She was smart, beautiful and more kick-ass than I’ve seen in a long, long time.

Although Jas has some issues that stem from her childhood and a really bad experience she had in the military, she’s very self-confident. She was a Marine and knows how to handle herself, so she wasn’t one of those heroines who thinks she has to rush right into danger just to prove she’s “as good as any man”. But she was balanced just right, because she also didn’t think she had to prove anything or have a bad case of Penis Envy. It was very refreshing to read about such a wonderful heroine.

I also think the relationship between Jas and Blaster developed at a nice pace. There was no rushing right into a physical relationship or an immediate declaration of love.

The story itself was a bit far fetched, but still worked for me somehow. Perhaps there was just a good balance between the suspense and the romance, or perhaps the heroine made it work for me, or maybe the story was just stronger than I thought. Whatever it was, I enjoyed it.

My biggest issue with this book was…Blaster. Yes, I said it. No, the world has not ended. I know, I know. It’s not every day I have issues with the hero and love the heroine, but that’s just how it worked out.

It’s not that I disliked him, really, it’s just that the rest of the story – including the characters – was pretty fleshed out, but I ended the book with a vague picture of him and that was it. I didn’t get to know him at all. I didn’t doubt his love for the heroine, or his character, but I think I would have liked more of a back story…or something.

I also think it ended rather abruptly. Although the major conflict was resolved, I still felt like there were a few too many loose ends left dangling. I know this is part of a series, but I’m not sure all the thinks left open can be resolved in other books.

There were a few typos and grammatical errors I can’t let go, but not so many I was pulling my hair out.

Oh, one thing I couldn’t get over? Something that just grated on my nerves? The hero called the heroine, “woman”. That was her nickname. That drove me batty. But that’s a personal issue and doesn’t have much to do with the story itself.

Overall it was a good read, with a wonderful heroine and a believable plot. The secondary characters enriched the story and the humor laced throughout added just the right touch. I’d recommend it.

4.5 out of 5 (the .5 for the heroine alone, she was that cool)

You can buy it here.

four-half-stars

Booking Through Thursday: Goldilocks

Posted September 6, 2007 by Holly in Features | 11 Comments

Okay, so the other day, a friend was commenting on my monthly reading list and asked when I found the time to read. In the ensuing discussion, she described herself as a “goldilocks” when it comes to reading–-she needs to have everything juuuuuust right to be able to focus. This caught my attention because, first, I thought that was a charming way of describing the condition, but, two, while we’ve talked about our reading habits, this is an interesting wrinkle. I’d never really thought about it that way.

So, this is my question to you–are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?
Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?
Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

Holly:

I can and do read whenever, wherever. Amusement park while waiting in line for a ride? Yep. In the car? Yep. While MM is watching t.v.? Yep. I don’t have a problem reading no matter where it is. I have this amazing ability to block out my surroundings and just dive into a book, whether it’s for 5 minutes or 5 hours.

Honestly, I think that’s one of the reasons I read so fast. It’s not that I’m a speed reader, it’s just that I focus completely on whatever I’m reading. I don’t get distracted by screaming kids or music or background noise. So while the speed I read at may not be as high as other peoples, my attention is more focused. Does that make sense?

Izzy:

So, this is my question to you–are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?
Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?
Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

For the most part, I can open a book at anytime and start reading. The only place I found that I can’t read is while I’m exercising. I tried reading while working out on the elliptical and that wasn’t happening. I just made myself dizzy and had to stop. However if I’m out walking, I can do that.

I used to look forward to car trips because I would pack a few books and read with no problem. I noticed on the last few car trips, I’ve gotten a little car sick while reading. Which sucks.

Wena:

I can read through a tornado, that’s how much attention I pay to anything else when I’m reading….LOL. When I’m reading, if the book is good, it’ll grab me and I wont’ be able to concentrate on anything BUT reading and finding out what’s going to happen next. Life isn’t a distraction to me when I’m reading, it’s more like my reading is a distraction from my life…and I wanna keep it that way. =) I can read for a quick second or a few hours, it doesn’t matter, the only way someone can ply me away from a book is by getting hurt or crying because they’re hungry, anything else, good luck trying….haha.

What about the rest of you?

Nobody’s Darling by Teresa Medeiros

Posted September 1, 2007 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 4 Comments

Dear Reader,

I never enjoyed being a wanted man until the day Miss Esmerelda Fine marched into the Tumbleweed Saloon and pointed her derringer straight at my heart. Who would have guessed some duke’s granddaughter—an awfully pretty one at that—would come gunning for the likes of me, a notorious bounty hunter with a taste for whiskey and a fondness for peach pie? Lucky for me, she was a mighty poor shot. Instead of killing me, she hired me to find her runaway brother. Little did she know she was about to make the acquaintance of a flea-bitten basset hound named Sadie, the infamous Darling Gang, and my shotgun-toting kinfolk. And little did I know she was about to lead me on a merry chase that would take us from a bungled bank robbery to the very first Wild West show to tour London, England.

I should have turned down her offer. I should have resisted her charms. But I didn’t.

Because there comes a time in every man’s life when he’s got nothing left to lose…but his heart.

Yours,
Billy Darling

Quickie Review: This one was a reread for me. I really enjoyed it and damit, I love Billy Darling. He did irk me when he said he didn’t love Esmeralda. He thought she deserved better so used that ol trick to send her back England. Stupid man. He does go to England to confess his love for her though.

Billy’s brothers are funny. Love how big and bad they are, but once Momma Darling steps in, they act like little boys. There is one scene where Billy asks Esmeralda to fake an orgasm so his brothers won’t try and have their way with her. I guess, if they knew Billy was pleasing Esmeralda, they’d leave her alone. Esmeralda does fake one and Billy is all hot and bothered by it. He asks her what she was thinking of. She says a cream puff. The way she describes it to him makes him even more hot and bothered.

I also liked the epilogue. Kind of different from ones I’m used to reading.

Grade: 4.5/5

Back To School Contest

Posted August 31, 2007 by Holly in Discussions, Giveaways, Reviews | 24 Comments

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It’s that time again, Dear Readers. Back to school shopping and schedules. Homework and lunch money. Required reading and Algebra. Piece and quiet at home in the morning and crazy afternoons and after school sports and…

Another Book Binge Contest.

Yes, that’s right, we here at Book Binge want to celebrate Back To School with another giveaway. But you have to work for it…and it comes with homework.

The Assignment:

Tell us what your favorite read in school was. What book was required reading that you just loved? Something you completely devoured. Or, if you can’t think of one, what was the WORST read you had in school?

The Prize:

Leave your answer in the comments or on your own blog with a link and in honor of this being a Back To School contest, we’re giving one lucky winner:

The entire Susan Elizabeth Phillips Stars/Bonner Brothers Football Series (Who didn’t love a jock in HS? Even if he was an ass, he was still good to look at, right?)

or

Perfect and Paradise by Judith McNaught (A teacher, in keeping with our theme, and an old High School Flame)

Or

if you’re not interested in any of those…2 books of your choice.

The Homework:

We’re asking that you do a guest review for Book Binge for at least one of the books (or all of them, if you prefer).

Deadline:

The contest ends Friday, August 31st and the winner will be announced Saturday, September 1st.

Due Date:

Homework review is due no later than two weeks after you receive your package of books (We’ll be flexible about this, however, because we know real life intrudes on reading time now and again).

Kick the school year off right. Enter today!