Thursday, October 14, 2010

10/10/10 Reviews: #4 – Cozumel Karma

Book Review #4: Cozumel Karma by Lainey Bancroft

Maggie O’Shea is stuck. She has a distant, rarely sober mother, and a needy do-nothing sister who both rely on her. And she’s part owner of a small bar that has become her home. When it all makes her too gloomy to be around, her best friend and business partner buys her a ticket for a singles cruise. She balks, but she goes. And then she gets stranded and ‘stuck’ with a gorgeous, rich beach house owner.

I stayed up until one this morning finishing this book. That’s not horribly exceptional for me, but I also read it in three nights. I do think that’s a record.

Note: Cozumel Karma is 18+ only, as it is rather spicy.

I don’t tend to read spicy books. I love romance but I don’t need to read the manual for the physical aspects. I’ve been married for 22 years; I know how it’s done. And I didn’t realize it was so spicy when I jumped at one of the three free copies the author was offering to whoever asked first.

I jumped because I’ve read Lainey Bancroft’s work before. In fact, The Trouble With Tessa was the first book I ever read on my Ereader. It was full of amazing, rich characters and a nice look deeply inside people and society with great introspection and things to take away from the story other than the romance. There were a few issues that showed the editor didn’t quite do her job, but the story and writing style made that pretty easy to overlook.

The same is true of Cozumel Karma. I also don’t often read first person POV novels. They can be hard to pull off well and the POV character often comes out either self-absorbed or too whiny and harder to like that way. Now and then while reading, I did think I would have enjoyed it third-person better, but it didn’t quench my enjoyment.

The beginning of the story made we wonder if this was going to be something I wanted to read or if I should just pass it along. It looked like one of those “meet a hot guy and jump in bed” books that I don’t like. Yes, I’m rather old-fashioned and traditional. However, I’m not narrow minded and I loved her last book. Plus, Maggie is a wonderful character, as is her friend Pat. They hooked me. I had to keep going.

As the story progressed and Maggie changed, so did the way the story was written. It ‘grew’ with her; it opened into a deeper, more insightful story as she allowed herself to start to open. I’m not sure if it was planned that way or if it just happened, but I’m impressed. It’s a great technique. Along with technique and characters, Lainey Bancroft has a unique way of phrasing at certain times that just makes you grin, or even chuckle. I love her quirkiness that shines through. I love the balance of light and balmy mixed with intelligent thought.

Overall, this is a must read for romantics who want to be absorbed in a story and come out with something to show for it. If you don’t like spice, it’s easy enough to skip over those bits and move along (I often did the same *shrug*) although they are done tastefully.

I hear Lainey is working on a women’s fiction novel. I very much look forward to it.
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Music Review: Dark Horse, Nickelback (2009)

While we’re on the subject of spicy, this CD is one of my recent obsessions. I suppose it’s funny that I skip spicy scenes in novels and yet love Dark Horse. It’s … plenty spicy. Actually, the first time I listened to it, I laughed through much of the CD. Naughty boys! And yet, somehow it isn’t disgusting as most music I would describe as naughty. No, I would describe those as vulgar. This one is very “out there” but not vulgar. I suppose some would argue.

Maybe it’s the humor of it that saves it for me. It’s obvious (how can a song called “Something In Your Mouth” not be obvious?) but just as Lainey’s scenes, they’re also tasteful, in that the phrasing is clever and played down, no nasty words intrude, and you never get the idea that anyone is being degraded. The whole CD sounds like single boys having fun, but at least in a fairly respectful manner, considering.

I would also label this one as 18+ although Nickelback does have plenty of younger fans and that actually doesn’t bother me, because it doesn’t sound seedy. I let my under 18 kid listen to it: it’s much better than a lot of that stuff he hears on the bus on the way to school! *sigh*

Anyway, for some good rockin’ humorous fun, give this one a try. Unless you’re even more squeamish than I am. ;-)
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Move Review: What the Bleep Do We Know? (2004)

I should hesitate to call this a movie, although there is some story to it in the form of a photographer who was jilted and is trying to find her way back to happy.

I also have to say I only watched the first hour and a half of the 140 minutes. I got interrupted and didn’t go back to finish it, but I got the gist enough by then.

This is an “alternative” science theory put into film. It has some very interesting points to ponder, such as the power of belief and how your thoughts actually create your world more than the other way around. It also has some rather far-fetched ideas that I just can’t buy at all. But, it does make you think, and there’s always benefit in that.

Do I recommend it? Maybe. If you’re looking for something to think about, or if you want to delve into just how the brain works (as far as science even knows). Be aware that it’s largely experts of some sort talking at you about their beliefs as though they are fact. They aren’t, of course; it’s all theory.
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Legal Note: Cozumel Karma was won in a promotional event, Dark Horse was purchased by the reviewer, What the Bleep Do We Know was rented by the reviewer. No compensation was received and reviews were not requested.

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