Rachelmarjne #CBR4 Review 7 – Crave by JR Ward

Crave is a novel of the Fallen Angels written by bestselling author J.R. Ward.  This novel is a beach read — not very engaging, easy to skim through. This is the second in a series the author has written and honestly, I doubt I will read more of this series.

The premise of the novel is the original good versus evil with a twist – there actually *are* angels and demons fighting a battle and over souls in the book.  The premise is there will be 7 battles between good and evil and the winner of the most battles win the world.  Its kind of a surreal story based around Christian theology but I found it disturbing that the arch angels were not portrayed as warriors, the basic premise of the tenants of Christianity (ie- God sent his son to earth to be crucified for our sins) is ignored and honestly – the story just stalled!  Isaac Roth is arrested and Grier (the gorgeous rich girl) becomes his lawyer.  He slips away from her but cant leave her alone since he knows his ex-ops boss is coming after him.  Around all this is Jim Heron trying to save souls from the demon Devina – a demon that can slip in and out of bodies and celestial plans at will.

All in all – maybe this book will be of interest to someone who hasnt spent many hours in religious and theology class and who can handles a story line that fizzles out as the book reads on…



See you at the finish line!

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Rachelmarjne #CBR4 Review 6 – Divine Justice by David Baldacci

This is a very robust  murder mystery.  I “read” this book over the past few weeks and it definitely kept me on my toes.  Its not a novel for the faint of heart nor someone who doesnt like conspiracy theories.  Divine Justice by David Baldacci is a Camel Club book in which we learn John Carr a/k/a Oliver Stone’s story.

The book opens with Oliver cliff diving after killing someone and takes us along for the ride when Carr runs from Washington and the two men he killed.  As a highly trained yet aging ex CIA agent who was active in Viet Nam, his character is somewhat expected.  He rescues a young man named Danny on the train, blowing his cover, and the two head for Danny’s home to western Pennsylvania.  There things get very interesting. Carr meets Abby, Danny’s mother and she holds him at gunpoint during their introduction.  Oliver really likes her and there is a budding romance entwined in the tangled mess Oliver finds around him.  The bizarre locals include Meth-addicted miners, a prison warden running his own fiefdom and a crooked judge and his secretary.  Add into it a drug ring, the Camel Club searching for Oliver and a stand up Fed chasing through the countryside looking for the man who commited murder of two of Washingtons top secret agent veeps and you have a good – if a little overdone – novel.

I admit I was disturbed when Oliver and Knox were imprisoned and details of the unpleasant detainment were excruciatingly set out.  I dont generally enjoy the disturbing crooked prison/badly treated prisoner who is locked up although innocent and I especially dont like torture scenes but they were part of the story and necessary to build up a climatic end. And in the end, the good guys win, are pardoned from the president and go back to their lives.

I enjoyed this book and will continue to reach for Baldacci when I see it but I dont think this particular novel was as good as some of his other offerings.  That said, I would recommend it.

See you at the finish line!

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Rachelmarjne #CBR4 Review 5 – Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich

Ok – Straight off – If you arent from Joisey, you are not going the appreciate the fine nuances of Janet Evanovich’s setting for her Stephanie Plum novels:Trenton.  But dont let that stop you from reading this slapstick comedy/murder mystery.   Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich has its laugh out loud moments that anyone can enjoy and  I warn you-be prepared to  laugh out loud and have someone ask you “What’s so funny?”

Explosive Eighteen is a Stephanie Plum novel (and no-Im not going to see the movie! I mean really- Katherine Heigl?! There is nothing that makes me think “Burg” when I see her!!) and its typical Stephanie!  In this latest installment, she still cant decide: Ranger or Morelli.  Both male interests are wonderfully engaging and its hard to pick which one she should be with from a readers perspective as well as from a characters perspective.  The usual a zany cast of characters (Lula, Vinnie, Connie, Stephanie’s parents, Pino’s pizza and Grandma Mazur) are brought into the story, as well as some new characters including Lula’s new love (a local purse snatcher), courtesy of Granda Mazur’s love- potion making friend, a couple fake and a couple real Feds, a killer named Razzle Dazzle and the typical wake and a funeral in the Burg, a new gun for Stephanie and a rocket launcher Lula bought in a garage sale in the projects of Trenton. All this tied together makes for a fun easy read.

I always wind up laughing my way through these books and enjoying the antics of the characters.  They are so over -the -top that you cant help laughing but they are also so almost real the reader quickly become absorbed into the story.  I have driven down many of the streets that are in the book, and I can assure you there is a reason to avoid the streets Stephanie does should you ever trip across Trenton in your travels.  The Burg is a real place in Trenton and the author does a good job conveying the character of the neighborhood and bringing its real flavor to the books.  All in all – there have been other of the Stephanie Plum books I have enjoyed more but I am never disappointed and always get a good laugh.  So I have to ask…Ranger or Morelli??

See you at the Joisey finish line!

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Rachelmarjne #CBR4 Review 4 – Dark Predator by Christine Feehan

Ok – I admit it…I love a good vampire romance.  Christine Feehan is one of the first writers to gain popularity writing this genre and I have been reading her for years.  Dark Predator is her latest offering in the Dark/Carpathian Series and I treated myself to this book over my Christmas holiday break.

Dark Predator follows the story of Zacarias De La Cruz and Marguarita.  Both characters had been introduced in previous books in the series. I thought the story was well developed but I felt that something was missing when I closed the book.  It wasnt as exciting a read as some of her other novels and it felt more like a filler and less like a stand alone story.   I really liked the setting of this book – a ranch set in the wilds of the jungle in Peru- and the isolation of the people and lack of modern conveniences.

One interesting point of this novel- the love interest was not the typical cute-pixie-tomboy/tall-glamorous-sophisticate but a local woman who had been living at the ranch for all her life and was of native origin.  I  would have liked to have seen a little more development of Marguarita’s character and a better understanding her thoughts rather than read her simple acceptance of being the mate to an ancient vampire. Her adventures were amazing – shooting the Amazon – but it felt underdone to me.

Also it would have been satisfying to have had some interaction with other characters who had been introduced to previous novels, namely Zacarias’ brothers.   I kn0w; this isnt high literature.  But I felt the setting for the story was better developed than the characters which was disappointing since Zacaria’s story had long been in the making by the author.  I will continue to read her since there have been other of her books that I have truly enjoyed but I just cant rate this one with a 4 thumbs up review.

See you at the finish line!

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Rachelmarjne #CBR4 Review 3 – Heart Search by Robin D. Owens

So Im on a roll…will get in one more review for the evening and then crawl into bed.

The 3rd book I am reviewing is by one of my favorite authors, Robin D. Owens.  The genre is SciFi/Fantasy/Paranormal and Owens builds a wonderful new world, Celta, where anything can happen – people and familiars can teleport, houses are alive and charming social graces abound.

This is the 10th in the series and tells the story of Laev T’Hawthorne, a high GreatLord and Camellia Darjeeling, who turns out to be the great granddaughter of one of the original ship captains.  This story has a charming tea room, great estate, a pair of Familiar cats that can speak and a grand rescue that culminates in the pair getting together as all Heartmates on Celta do.

Robin Owens has set her characters in a world anyone would want to visit and can find something engaging to enjoy.  Its got some of the rough and tumble of the wild west, characteristic figures of high class society and enchantment occurs around every corner and within every landscape.  Its a wonderful light and fun read.

Merry meet and merry part and merry meet again.

See you at the finish line!

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Rachelmarjne #CBR4 Review 2 – The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Upon the recommendation of my librarian, I took home The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom.  (Dont you love a good librarian??)  I set it down, I picked it up, set it down again and renewed it once before reading the dust jacket.  I opened the book and fell down the proverbial rabbit hole.  I was hooked.  Within the first few pages, I realized this author had not only developed a story line, she had researched it in depth. It was truly a delight to walk through this historical vision even though it was ripe with tragedy.  I was appalled and yet fascinated by the tale told and the harsh reality of it.  It repulsed me yet drew me in deeper.

The Kitchen House is a story of a family on a plantation in Virginia at the turn of the eighteenth century.  Life was different then, slavery was commonplace, slaves were family members both acknowledged and unacknowledged.  The Kitchen House tells a family story through the life of a young orphaned Irish girl, Lavinia, brought to the plantation from the Master’s ship.  From her perspective, the tale is twined through out the slave quarters and reaches into the house.  This novel is engaging because of the ring of authentic truth woven in the tragic family tapestry, its mundane routines, the interests and experiences of both slave and orphan indentured servant, its acceptance of slavery as a way of life rather then the undertones of slavery needing to be abolished.

The characters come alive and you hear the rope swinging, you feel the fire crackling, you see the colors so vivid and horrible truth laid out at the in the beginning, and then you read Chapter 1…only to come full circle at the end with a better understanding and insight into the scene that sets up the book at the beginning.  All in all, I cant wait to read another of Grissom’s books and I have highly recommended it to friends and family.  I highly recommend it to you now!

See you at the finish line!


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RachelMarjne #CBR4 Review 1 – Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michele Moran

Hi… This is my first Cannonball Read and my first review.  WhoooWhoo! I expect this will be the worst review with the best yet to come.  So!  …without further ado…

I picked up Cleopatra’s Daughter as an audio from the library (due mostly to the fact that I had listened to everything else on the shelf already!).  I fell in love with this book quickly and started to recommend it before I had even finished it. It was well written, well researched and the characters were developed in such a way I felt an intimate of them, as if I were there walking with them into the Circus or on the Palatine, swimming in Sicily, wandering through Rome shopping.

Cleopatra and Marc Antony had three children together.  This is the story of the children after Octavian’s triumphant taking of Egypt.  Princess Cleopatra Selene, Queen Cleopatra’s daughter, was the last survivor of the Ptolemaic dynasty.  Her brothers,  her fraternal twin Alexander Helios and younger brother  Ptolemy Philadelphus, both die in the book (its not a secret since its historical fact!) and the author writes of their deaths in such a way that grips the reader, engages the emotion and I admit it-had me bawling on my way to work.  And I couldnt wait to get back in the car and find out what happened next.

Its a beautifully written and poignant story.  Michele Moran has done her research and has visited the sites she is writing about and its obvious by her writing.  She has managed to capture the feel of the people and places and is able to immerse the reader in the culture of the time period.  She intertwined some leaps within the story that arent historically accurate but blend beautifully with the overall telling of this tale.  All in all I loved this book and author and cant wait to get another of her books.

Hey-that was relatively painless!  On to review #2!

See you at the finish line!

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