Friday, November 30, 2012

Review: The Cobra and the Concubine by Bonnie Vanak

Synopsis:  Badra sought refuge in the Sahara, but she could never truly escape the sheikh who'd stolen her childhood. Fareeq had proven that her long dark hair and lush body aroused a passion in men that meant only pain-and neither his death nor protection by her rescuers, the Khamsin, the Warriors of the Wind, could change that. Badra could no more forget her past than one Khamsin's burning sapphire eyes. And she could no more accept the feelings Khepri aroused than she could admit the secret shadowing her heart. Kenneth Tristan, heir to the duke of Caldwell, had ridden with the Khamsin since his English family's slaughter. Known as Khepri, the Cobra, he'd grown up in Egypt and loved the land. Yet, now, all was sand in the wind. The love of his Arabic brothers, the title that awaited him in London, the treasures from his family's archaeological dig - all was nothing, for he could not protect Badra, could not avenge her past and win her love. He would sacrifice all to make her whole. But until he did just that, they would still be just... THE COBRA AND THE CONCUBINE (from the back of the book)

Review: This is a typical romance novel. It’s a bit clich├ęd, but she does a solid job of creating believable characters (especially Badra) and the action is heroic and melodramatic, as is proper. The “big mystery” I thought was forced and contrived, but it is a romance novel – that’s part of their charm.  If you want a good romance novel NOT set in the typical Regency drawing room, I recommend this book. It is the third in a series, and the previous characters show up. I would say that "spoiler" the previous books, but it doesn't.

Prude Note: The sex scenes are a bit graphic, and seem overly dramatic. However, given Badra's past, it's forgivable. You can skip if you want to and it will only detract from the story in a minor way.
Bookmarks: 6.5 of 10
Awards: None
Date Finished: 10-28-2012
Pages: 342

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I recently completed a book purge. Of my 2,700+ books, I culled about 350 from the herd. It is a good feeling. It is amazing what brutal honesty with one's self can accomplish.

Some books I got rid of because I can load them onto my kindle (i.e. classics).
Some books I got rid of because I was only keeping them to feel smart about myself.
Some books I got rid of because I've had them for 10 years and never read them.
Some books I got rid of because I will never read them again.
Some books I got rid of because they were dreadful and I'm sorry to have wasted time on them.
Some books I got rid of because they interested me once, but no longer.

I plan to distribute them to various persons in my know and a local shop for credit.

My husband warned me that just because I got rid of books does not mean I can buy more. Oh, silly man. Of course it does. I have room on the shelves now!

He never learns.

Review: The Matchlock Gun by Walter D. Edmonds (Author) and Paul Lantz (Illustrator)

Review: The Black Moth by Georgette Heyer

Synopsis:  Set in around 1751, The Black Moth centers on Jack Carstares, oldest son of the Earl Wyncham. Disgraced years before and forced abroad, he return as a highwayman in the country he loves. He foils an abduction by the Duke of Andover (the brother of Carstares’ sister-in-law) and ends up in the home of Diana Beauleigh. Adventure and Romance ensure, the hero gets the girl, the villian gets his due and everyone is happy in the end.

Review: This is most likely Heyer’s first book, written when she was 19. It’s a lovely story.  Heyer jump between characters, giving almost as much page time to minor characters as to the main, but that does not detract from the story. Her writing is smooth, her plot properly melodramatic and fraught with peril, as is only right for a romance, but she grounds it in solid characters and historical facts. If you enjoy Jane Austen, then Heyer is for you.

Prude Note: Like Austen, this is a clean book with no sex scenes at all. Anything even remotely close to that is hinted at in the vaguest terms.
Bookmarks:  7 of 10
Awards: None
Date Finished: 10-19-2012
Pages: 190