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Author Archive

The Ruthless Charmer, Julia London

In author information, Book Reviews, fiction, romance novels, romantic heroes, Uncategorized on November 3, 2010 at 1:33 am

The Bad Reputation Of An English Rake ……..Is So Very Good…

Lady Claudia Whitney is disturbed at the re-appearance of Julian Dane, Earl of Kettering and notorious rake, during her visit to France.  Harboring hidden love Claudia flees, returning to England, unable and unwillilg to trust herself in his presence.  Julian is the unrepentant rake Claudia imagines, with one curious problem of his own.  He has loved Lady Whitney for the last few years.  The memory of tragic events their shared history evokes, and each one’s belief that their love is unrequitted threatens to keep them separated until the fateful party at Harrison Green’s London home.  Julian pushes further than he should with a proper lady of Claudia’s social standing when he realizes her desire matches his own; and when gossip-monger Mrs. Frankton happens upon them in a questionable position, Claudia’s reputation is bound for ruination.  Julian proposes the only acceptable alternative, marriage, and at her father’s insistance, Claudia has no choice but to marry the man she is certain will break her heart.

Julia London nicely brought the couple together in The Ruthless Charmer, however, once together the pair make one bad relationship choice after another.  Honestly, London’s male character has the more level head of the two, and for being a rake, he is quite responsible in his business dealings.  Overall, Julian Dane’s character is ably put together, London writing just enough torment into his soul and swagger in his step to make him tempting.  London also described some very passionate scenes between the newlywed couple worth reading.  Her heroine, Claudia, brings to light the plight of many womens’ sufferings in the early 1800’s through her extensive charity work, which was perhaps the most redeeming quality of Lady Claudia’s character.  Regency romances abound in drama, and The Ruthless Charmer, is no exception.  Readers should be prepared, for London’s drama in this novel is …..ruthless.

Recommendation:  * * * _ _   The Ruthless Charmer offers a smooth English rake for readers seeking that particular poison, but is otherwise an average period romance.

~Moira

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Illegals: The Unacceptable Cost Of America’s Failure To Control Its Borders, Darrell Ankarlo

In author information, Book Reviews, nonfiction, social science on October 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Talk radio personality Darrell Ankarlo has over three decades in the broadcasting business.  He has been awarded multiple Talkers Magazine Heavy Hundred Awards, two Dallas Press Club Katie Awards, a Billboard magazine Air Personality of the Year Award, and the Scripps Howard Excellence in Journalism Award.  Honored by the White House for his efforts to raise money and support for America’s military with the President’s Volunteer Service Award, Ankarlo lives his patriotism in deed.  Numerous television appearances on shows such as Glenn Beck, Anderson Cooper 360, NBC’s Today, and Paula Zahn Now, among many others, in addition to his previous book, What Went Wrong With America and How to Fix It, showcase his knowledge and experience concerning issues that face our nation today.

In his latest book, Illegals, Darrell Ankarlo investigates many aspects of America’s devastating war with illegal immigration.  Focused primarily on the Mexican border, Ankarlo cites the many dangers American citizens are facing in the Southwest such as increasing crime, drug trafficking, kidnapping, and violence in respect to the overwhelming flow of illegals across our border.  Also, he points out the massive expenses of this influx on our weakened economy and struggling health care industry, and in example after example, clearly shows the flagrant disregard for our nation’s laws by both the Mexican government and the illegal immigrants.

Ankarlo and his team, endangering their own safety, crossed the border repeatedly to expose the corruption and mis-information the Mexican government turns a blind eye to, and the hopeless circumstances which encourage the criminal behavior of its citizens.  In story after story, Ankarlo compassionately reveals the plight of those wishing to escape, while always exposing the truth of their belief that they are above the laws of our land.

In no way against legal immigration, Ankarlo explains the harmful effects America’s failure in securing its borders is visiting upon her citizens.  Interviews with Border Patrol Agents reveal startling facts.  In one six month period, agents at one facility saw more than 600,000 pounds of marijuana come through, all confiscated from illegals crossing our border.  Understaffed and overwhelmed, these men and women do all they can, but the numbers speak for themselves.  More than one million people pour over our southern border annually.  These come looking, perhaps, for a better life, but unfortunately, they remain in poverty, with hardworking Americans paying to provide at least one-third with food and healthcare through our welfare system, and approximately three-fourths living at or below the poverty level.  Simply put, they are not giving back to the country they expect help from.  Information obtained from the Center For Immigration Studies shows that crime is up dramatically in areas with large concentrations of illegal immigrants.  Our strapped for cash schools cannot keep up with the extra steps to teach other languages.  Our debt riddled municipalities cannot provide the additional police officers needed to deal with the increase in crime, so mayors must resort to raising property or sales taxes on the law abiding population.  These are only a few of the statistics cited in the book.

What is America to do?  Ankarlo interviewed police, social experts, senators, and Border Patrol Agents, and lists many options.  In the final chapter, he outlines his own “Ankarlo Immigration Top 30”, an approach this broad believes the vast majority of Americans would support whole-heartedly.  The first step, Ankarlo advises is the necessary sealing of our borders.

Recommendation:  * * * * _ An in depth look at the illegal immigration problem facing the United States of America;  very informative and interesting.  I highly recommend this book.

~Moira Naveen

The Princes of Ireland: The Dublin Saga, by Edward Rutherfurd

In author information, Book Reviews, historical fiction, Uncategorized on October 26, 2010 at 1:00 am

History and Fiction Meet on the Liffey Plain……

Edward Rutherfurd takes readers back in history to explore the misty-green, magical land we know today as Ireland, focusing on Dublin and surrounding areas.  Spanning eleven centuries, The Princes of Ireland begins in Dubh Linn, 430 AD, and introduces the characters whose families will carry the saga through the mid 1500’s.  Rutherfurd blends historical fact and fiction seamlessly together, creating the paths the descendants of Celtic, Nordic, and English lines take over the course of years.  Quite lengthy, the novel boasts 770 pages, but in actuality, there are three major time periods dealt with, each with its own characters and events.  Because of this, the story doesn’t feel overdrawn; it stays fresh and flowing, but I must admit, during the second storyline set in the 1100’s, I had to force myself to read through portions.  This was the only section I struggled with, and I very much enjoyed the novel overall.

Edward Rutherfurd has written a number of novels including Sarum, Russka, London, and The Forest, and I will definitely check out another of his works, as this novel was well crafted.  More than an evening’s commitment, The Princes of Ireland, is involved.  This broad appreciated the pronunciation guide and maps, but they are not necessary to understand or enjoy the story.  I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys historical fiction.

Recommendation:  * * * * _ If you have the time and inclination to get involved in a great, but longer, novel and have an interest in history, Edward Rutherfurd’s, The Princes of Ireland, will surely satisfy.

~Moira

Something Wicked, by Jo Beverley

In author information, Book Reviews, romance novels, romantic heroes on October 7, 2010 at 1:33 am

Something Wicked Indeed…..

Set in London in the mid 1700’s, Something Wicked, introduces Lady Elfled Malloren, a woman close to spinsterhood, longing for adventure, desiring purpose.  As a female, Elf is expected to run her brother’s home and flit around the social circuit, none of which satisfy her desires.  When the opportunity presents itself, Elf conspires with her lifelong friend, Amanda, to attend the notorious Midsummer Night’s masquerade at Vauxhall.  Thinking only of seeing ‘something wicked’ from under her concealing domino, Elf imagines she will escape her boring life for one evening without her protective brothers ever finding out; but when Lady Malloren overhears a treasonous conversation, her life is put in serious danger.

Fleeing her pursuers, Elf finds safety in the arms of none other than Lord Fortitude Walgrave, sworn enemy of the Malloren family.  Desperate to keep her identity hidden and escape her attackers, she must play a dangerous game with the sinister Fort Walgrave.  Soon, however, Elf realizes that her savior may be one of the conspirators against the crown.  Unable to discern friend from foe and unprotected at her brothers’ absences, she must trust Lord Walgrave with her life.  Unaware that the intriguing woman thrust into his world is a member of the hated Malloren family, Walgrave desires her fiercely, even as she is inexplicably drawn to him; their forbidden passion inviting devastating consequences.

Jo Beverley’s, Something Wicked, is at its best, an evening’s distraction, and at its worst, ridiculous.  Elfled’s character is sympathetic as a woman restrained in a repressive society, and her desire for adventure reasonable.  Her boldness is tempered with some cautiousness in the first half of the novel.  As the story progresses, Elfled spirals out of control, taking absurd risks and chasing pathetically after a lover who has rejected her.  Beverley does nicely write a female character who takes control in a man’s domain in the sections about her family’s business, and for that I applaud her as well as for a terrific story idea.  Beverley cleverly invents the circumstances which bring the couple together initially.

Lord Walgrave was not the typical hero found in romances in a few respects.  This broad suspects that readers will love him, or hate him, and will say no more on the matter, well aware that one broad’s prince charming is another broad’s frog.

Recommendation:  * * + _ _  (Two and a half stars)

Nice story, mediocre characters, lots of drama.  Read it on a night you have a few hours to kill.

~Moira

Love and Respect For A Lifetime, by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

In Book Reviews, nonfiction, social science, Uncategorized on September 23, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Love And Respect For A Lifetime, Dr. Emerson Eggerichs’ newly published book on marriage offers little more than the redundant restating of the Golden Rule.  While admittedly wise phrases and tidbits grace the pages of Eggerichs’ book, it does not offer couples any real advice on how to deal with issues it recognizes as areas of conflict in marriage such as money, child rearing, sex, or communication.

Eggerichs’ book also suffers from what I refer to as ADHD publishing.  Many of the 153 pages have only one sentence centered on an otherwise empty space, reminding this avid reader of a child’s book.  Boasting more than thirty years of counseling and research, Eggerichs states in his introduction, “Using these powerful tools, you can save a struggling marriage from the divorce court or a ‘ho-hum’ marriage from boredom and concealed bitterness.”   Unfortunately, no tools are discovered in the six separate sections of the book beyond vague statements such as this one from section 1, entitled The Wisdom of Love & Respect, “Here is the secret to marriage that every couple seeks, yet few couples ever find…Unconditional respect is as powerful for him as unconditional love is for her.  It’s the secret that will help you achieve a brand new level of intimacy.”

In the end, Eggerichs’ 153 pages do state one obvious truth that is powerful marital advice.  Love your neighbor (treat your spouse) as you wish to be treated.  Practice this second most important commandment and save the $15.99 you would have spent on Eggerichs’ book.

Recommendation:  * _ _ _ _ (one out of five stars)

Do not confuse this book with Dr. Eggerichs’ Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, The Respect He Desperately Needs, which is a much larger book.  The covers of these books are almost identical.  I read this complimentary copy of Love & Respect For A Lifetime courtesy of Booksneeze.  The opinions in my review are solely my own.

~Moira Naveen