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Title: Severed Threads
Author: Kaylin McFarland
Rating: 3 stars
About the Book
While claiming to be a Christian book, this book is pornographic in content.
“Severed Threads” by Kaylin McFarland is set in San Palo, California. Chase Cohan is a treasure hunter. Four years earlier, his partner, Sam Lyons, died because of an equipment failure while diving. Chase fell in love with Sam’s daughter, Rachel Lyons, but left her without an explanation.
Now, Rachel is offering a grant to Dr. Lao Ying, and the local museum. Dr. Ying is very interested in the Wanli II, a Ming Dynasty Emperor’s lost dragon ship, rumored to be just off the coast. He’s hired Trident Ventures to seek the wreck and find the ‘heart of the dragon’, a treasure that is rumored to be worth millions, and is connected to an age-old ghost story and curse. Dr. Ying’s family is connected to the treasure, and if it can be found, it will break the curse that has followed his family for centuries.
Trident Ventures is owned by Chase Cohan, and the search throws the two of them back together again. But that’s not the entire story. This is a dual plot, a ‘meanwhile back at the ranch’ story with a second set of characters.
Devon, Rachel’s brother, has gotten himself involved with thugs and murderers. He has been kidnapped, and if Rachel wants to see him again, she will have to pay the thugs the money his boss ran off with. Her only hope for getting such a large sum of money in short period of time is to join the crew of Trident Ventures, and steal some of the gold from the wrecked ship.
The underwater scenes are mesmerizing. The author knows quite a bit about scuba diving, and paints vivid pictures of what it must be like to go searching the ocean’s depths. There are shark attacks, ghost sightings, landslides, and all sorts of perils in the story, making it a captivating and exciting story. It kept me turning the pages, and taught me things about marine life I didn’t know.
I have two objections, however.
The sex scenes, while few in number and well-spaced, are disgusting. They are much too erotic for my tastes. This type of writing makes me ask the question why some authors think they are above the law? The legal definition of pornography, as relating to pictures and films, is that it shows genitals engaged in a sexual act. If a film producer shot a movie of this scene, the way it was written, he would go to jail for producing hard-core porno. If a photographer from Playboy shot a set the way this scene was described, it wouldn’t be published because it is over the legal line. If equality means that there is one set of rules for everyone, then why is it illegal for a film producer or photographer, but not for an author?
The author’s guidelines for Harlequin and Silhouette, the largest producers of romance novels, state that there are two differences between romance and porn. Romance is about emotions. Porn is about bodily functions. Romance uses physical contact to form and express a committed, monogamous relationship. Porn uses sex to fulfill a physical desire. According to industry standards, this book is a piece of porn. The couples have sex before they say “I love you”, and their reactions to touch are purely physical. They don’t become committed until the end of the story, and when they do, it is only an admission of being “owned” by the other.
This author names the specific body parts, and mentions practices that are pornographic in nature. I don’t need to know [sexual details of how certain characters] deal with [a] broken heart. The sex wasn’t all that necessary, and I would have enjoyed the book a lot more if it had been left out altogether, or just limited to a little fore play.
The author assured me that this book is in keeping with Christian standards, and while it does have one Bible verse worked into the story (love bears all, forgives all…) and there is a preacher who speaks about God’s will, this is not a book that a Christian would enjoy. If it was Christian, then what they believe in would have an effect upon the way they behave. They would rely on belief and faith to help them make decisions, and would avoid known sins such as stealing, fornication and lying.
Authors have the power to shape the moral character of our culture. They can shape the reader’s attitudes on a number of issues by the way they address it. In addition to making sex a casual, meaningless encounter, and lying an acceptable practice, the author has the characters tied up, bound, gagged and entangled in so many ways that it almost becomes kinky. Too much bondage can encourage readers to believe that women enjoy being raped. People read stuff like this, and then we wonder why football players end up going to jail because they thought they were getting ‘lucky’.
My second objection is with the ending. Chase and Rachel end up becoming murderers themselves. I lost respect for them when they sank to the same level as the hoods that were trying to kill them. Two wrongs don’t make a right.
The story is about using people to get what you want, even if you have to lie and steal to do it. After reading the book, I feel that I was used too. I told the author I only review sweet and mild books. I said “no” to sex, and she sent it to me anyway.
This review was submitted by: Paula Hrbacek – please visit their website at http://www.examiner.com/book-review-8-in-panama-city/paula-hrbacek