Book Review: Ghost from the Past: A Romantic Thriller by Sorcha Macmurrough

5.0 out of 5 stars Vulnerable and Betrayed

I really loved the dark, scarred, brooding hero in this gripping book. The hero’s major issues with the heroine make him oscillate between him being made to believe, by the agents pulling his strings, that his former fiancee had betrayed him and tried to murder him, versus trusting to love amid the most dire situation they have suddenly found themselves in.
Surrounded by double agents, and convinced she isn’t telling him the whole story, he is constantly being forced to choose between love of country and duty, and the woman he has never forgotten, or never stopped loving, even after all those years, and all the things she’s been accused of.

In the end, the bad guys are exposed for who they really are, but it is certainly a game of cat and mouse.

As for the writing, the characters are strong enough to keep the pages turning, and the plot, based on chemical weapons, is a topical one, though it was written long before 9/11.

This is far better than the absurd puerile Plum novels, which are wooden and one note, or some of the top names on the bestseller’s lists-that one about the killer dolphins a couple of years ago was so bad, Fatal Tide, it was laughable were it not for the hefty price tag attached to any of these books.

The setting, the Pacific Northwest, Portland, Oregon, in fact, is depicted so clearly I feel like I am right in the middle of the action.

For an author who specializes in British historical fiction, (which I have read, and LOVED!!!) this is an excellent effort at the popular US romantic suspense genre. Enjoy!

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This book is available in PDF from HerStoryBooks:


Book Review: A Dark Champion

A Dark Champion (Brotherhood of the Sword, Book 1)
by Kinley Macgregor

1.0 out of 5 stars Hopelessly confused muddle

This is supposed to be the first of the Brotherhood of the Sword books, but first of all, she mentions characters from her other books, from some novella or other that she wrote as part of a book with other authors, and secondly, she says she covered the first part of the story in a book that does not exist so far as I can find it. So the whole thing is confusing from the outset.

The trouble is that there is then so much of this back story- of the ‘he is friends with Simon, also known as Sin,’ and ‘hates Damien because…’ variety that it is confusing, tedious, and waters down the little romance there is in the book.

The hero, as a result, never really gets moving in the book, and becomes so much more dull as a hero compared to the villains of the piece. The whole Brotherhood of the Sword, presumably to help each other, seems to be pointless in a lot of respects when we find out that the villains are amongst them and the so-called Brotherhood are actually all killing each other off.

All of the hero’s duties mentioned so that he has no time for a wife, are what, exactly? He never leaves the castle!

The whole issue of his brother and his sexual preferences is done to death, and never once is the fact that he is a murderer addressed! He just says, that’s okay, you are my brother and I love you. Sodomy was totally sinful in those days, though since there is never once any mention of these people having any religion, it too is lost as a conflict point upon which the action could hinge, or be escalated, meaningful. This was supposed to be the Middle Ages. All the opportunities for really deep conflict and characterization are completely lost.

The whole issue of the heroine falling in love with a warrior is over almost before it’s begun, again because there is no believable context. These people break all ten commandments with gleeful abandon, which is kind of odd for Crusaders, supposed Christians, to want to do.

The book is weighed down with secondary characters or mentions of them for so short a novel, but when we really need them they are not there!! The Heir to Jerusalem vanishes from the book completely with little logic, and then we are supposed to find out what happens to him in the next book in the series, (first chapter included at the back of the book) when he has made hardly any impression. This is just plain bad writing and planning. The couple’s love-making in the jail whilst being spied on by the voyueristic Damien is just gross.

This book has no medieval content-they are all ‘electrified,’ ‘mesmerized,’ and they talk like teens down at the mall. There are no sumptuous or relevant details of medieval life, and there is a decidely disgusting hidden patriotic message that seemingly tries to justify the current war in America which most readers would find repellent.

If you are going to write medievals with a message, keep to facts and truth, not melodrama, and certainly not this propaganda with offensively modern outlooks which devalue both time periods.

I certainly am not going to waste my time on this sensationalist bodice ripper of a series. The blurb on the back of the book was completely misleading. This may well be trying to set up a series, but as a romance it fails completely. Very disappointing.


Book Review: At Risk by Patricia Cornwell

2 out of 5 stars


The trouble with a successful author’s work being treated like a publisher’s ‘product’

This ‘novel’ should have stayed a short serial, because it is so thin on plot, there was really no point in trying to blow it up into a full book just for the sake of the with a hefty pricetag, let alone as a hardcover, when it would at best merit a slim paperback.

Winn the main character stars out fantastic, and we love his gran, though it is pretty silly to have her ‘solve’ the crime in some sense. But then Winn goes on the wild goose chase, and the whole book goes to hell in a handbasket.

Every detail the author gave to provide characterisation at the start of the book as they all lurch into action, and manage to go to it with all of the liveliness of cardboard. Once again, the author is thin on motive, and the whole thing smacks of “Phew, glad I got that out of the way!”

All of her most recent books have felt like that–I know her topics are seldom cheerful, but where is the fun, the wisecracks, of the early Kay, Marino and so forth?

It is a shame that Cornwell has descended into the dark realms of despair with her most recent books, but it is not surprising if she is expected to churn and grind out her next book like a hack writer meeting a deadline.

Definitely give this a miss, and her ones where the serial criminal is a werewolf-I mean, I ask you.  Just like sex is supposed to sell, sensationalism is supposed to as well, but this is a real waste of everyone’s money, time and effort.


Book Review: Dear Lover: A Woman’s Guide To Men

Book Review: Dear Lover: A Woman’s Guide To Men, Sex, And Love’s Deepest Bliss
by David Deida

5.0 out of 5 stars
A superb book for any couple who wants to live in true harmony and love

The author’s previous book ‘Superior Man’ is for men, and an excellent guide, but this is the companion volume for women, and gives deep insights into how a true man of integrity is able to and really wants to love the woman in his life. One woman, for this lifetime and even into the next. He writes beautifully and candidly, and each time I read it, I see more and more what I am able to share Tantrically with my partner.

We have created bliss on a daily basis through skill, determination, discipline, and above all, love, and this from a man who is by no means easy to live with or love! And one who never even thought he knew how to love, because all his other relationships had failed so miserably.

Deida’s advice about loving each other open to the divine even when ‘stuff’ gets in the way is one we would all do to remember. After all, what is more sublime than living and being in love-having that 24/7, 365 days a year, always, at every moment, is well worth it. So take the advice offered to heart in this moving book. And read his other books, like Wild nights and Blue Truth, and definitely get Superior Man for your guy. If you train and practice love, and Tantra, and be happy, you really will experience deepst bliss. It really does work! And as good as it sounds in the book, it is even better in real life.
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Book Review: Porn for Women

2008-04-06 17:58:34
Book Review: Porn for Women (Paperback)
by Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative (Author), Susan Anderson (Photographer)

Chronicle Books $12.95

Books Description
Prepare to enter a fantasy world. A world where clothes get folded just so, delicious dinners await, and flatulence is just not that funny. Give the fairer sex what they really want beautiful PG photos of hunky men cooking, listening, asking for directions, accompanied by steamy captions: “I love a clean house!” or “As long as I have two legs to walk on, you’ll never take out the trash.” Now this is porn that will leave women begging for more!

About the Author
The Cambridge Women’s Pornography Cooperative asked women, young, old, rich, and poor, “What really, really gets you hot?” Armed with their findings, they worked day and night to create Porn for Women. Susan Anderson is a Los Angeles-based photographer who believes the future of porn shouldn’t be in the hands of men alone.

This has offended a lot of people at Amazon, most likely because the title is misleading. Chronicle had gone for the SEX SELLS formula of marketing for this book and its spin offs, including calendars, postcards, and other books in the series, including one for new moms.

The book is comprised of PG-rated photos of our supposed hottest fantasies getting fulfilled, mainly of guys doing the housework for us for a change, and saying the perfect thing, like, “I’m so interested in what you’re saying..please tell me more!”

The whole point of porn is that it is just a fantasy. In this book, you’ll get some cute guys, and some sense of “If only my man did that.” Yes, for many women, it would be super to get a fantastic meal at the end of the day that you didn’t cook yourself! I was very blessed with a hubby who WAS able to cook that well, and do the vacuuming plus the ironing too! There ARE men like that out there!

For those who object to it being sexist, old-fashioned, or just plain silly, well, it is supposed to be a joke. Everyone I have shown my gift copy too thoought it was funny. Yes, a guy who puts down the toilet seat, or thinks you are too thin, now THAT is HOT!

This is not EXACTLY my total fantasy, I have to admit, mainly because I don’t fixate on finding fault with my partner.

I do just want to say though, that perhaps women should not take the little things like the toilet seat so seriously, and do we really have to worry so much about ironing?

Not to mention the fact that the only reason we should worry about our weight is for health reasons, not because of body image. We are far too self-conscious about the weight issue, for the wrong reasons. Worry more about being healthy, than HOT.

Finally, every woman knows what a man finds hot,”a woman with a good sense of humor, lot of self-confidence and sexiness. How do you get sexy? By not sweating so much of the small stuff around the house, and focusing on romance instead.

So if you have a good sense of humor, you will probably enjoy this book. It will definitely get a good giggle as a bachelorette party gift.