Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I'm off to Italy+Giveaways!!!

Fellow Page-Turners,

I am going to Italy for an eighteen month humanitarian mission. I'm super excited about this opportunity but sad that I won't be able to interact with you or read anything.

I will still be posting periodic reviews and posts throughout my service mission and so my blog will remain active. However, I won't have time to respond to all of your comments.

I feel so blessed to have interacted with you and to have shared my passion for books with you. Trust me, in eighteen months, I'll be back to posting a post nearly every day.

So please keep following my blog. 

When I get back, I will be hosting a massive $50 giveaway to all those who have remained active in following while I'm in Italy.

I hope you all have a wonderful eighteen months and look forward to catching up with all of you in a few months.

~Danica Page

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Cover Reveal: Blue Lines by Toni Aleo

Blue Lines - Cover Reveal
Toni Aleo
Contemporary Sports Romance
Title: Empty Net (Assassins #4)
Date to be Published: August 13, 2013


Opposites do more than just attract in Toni Aleo’s latest Nashville Assassins novel about a very bad boy and the good girl he can’t resist.

The instant Piper Allen sees Erik Titov, she wants him—wants his rock-hard body, sure, but the strength and mystery that lies behind that superstar hockey jock demeanor, too. So when he sidles up to her at a bar and slinks his arm around her waist, she’s lost. What follows is the wildest night of her life . . . followed by inevitable heartbreak the next morning. And then, a few weeks later, a very big surprise: two blue lines on a pregnancy test.

Only a check to the head could make Erik fall for a nice girl like Piper. But since their crazy-sexy night together, he’s been trying to forget about her alluring body by falling into bed with every woman in Nashville, and it’s not working. So when Piper shows up at his house with a baby-bomb to drop, it doesn’t take much for Erik to suggest the nuclear option: marriage. While it’s supposed to be all for show, the second they say “I do,” the ice between them starts to melt into sizzling steam.

About the Author:

My name is Toni Aleo!
I am a wife, mother, and hopeless romantic.
I have been told I have anger issues, but I think it's cause of my intense love for hockey!
I am the biggest Shea Weber fan ever, and can be found during hockey season with my nose pressed against the Bridgestone Arena's glass, watching my Nashville Predators play!
When my nose isn't pressed against the glass, I enjoy going to my husband and son's hockey games, my daughters dance competition, hanging with my best friends, taking pictures, and reading the latest romance novel.
I love things that sparkle, I love the color pink, and did I mention I love hockey?

Get the first 3 books in the series:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Book Review: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Walking Disaster
(Beautiful, #2)
by Jamie McGuire
Received for Review
New Adult/Young Adult Realistic Contemporary Fiction
Released On: April 2, 2013
Published By: Atria Books
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.38
Pages: 433

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

Can you love someone too much?
Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.

In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this novel for review from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not obligated to write a good review nor am I receiving any compensation for writing this review. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: After reading Beautiful Disaster, I finished the book with mixed feelings. It seems like people either hate or love that book. There was no in-between. I left uncertain about how I thought about  Travis and Abby as characters. I thought the writing was beautiful, however.

So when I saw the chance to review Walking Disaster, I decided I would. Let me start out by saying this: Travis is not a great guy. He fights, he throws things, he's jealous, controlling, and at times a complete idiot. However, Travis is not abusive. Having said that, there's no way in heck I would ever want anybody I know dating him.

Okay now that I've addressed that Travis is not at all role-model for people, I hope people won't slam my review.

Like I said, I really enjoyed this novel. It was beautifully written. Granted, I was frustrated the whole time, but it was a great book.

I loved watching Travis and Abby's interactions and hearing Travis's side of the story made me like him more than I thought was possible. I'm not excusing his behavior, but knowing why he acted the way he did helped me feel more sympathetic toward him.

Travis might not be the ideal guy. In fact, he's far from it. But deep down, he has a good heart and isn't a bad guy. I know people are worried about the message this book is sending young girls (ie: you can change a guy, rough guys around the edges have good hearts) and feel like it will lead to abusive situations. However, not to bash any books here, but a lot of novels send terrible messages and present it as normal or good. (ie: Hunger Games, Twilight, etc.)

So yes this book might give girls the wrong idea; however, it also is a well-written novel that is intriguing and great novel. Travis is far from perfect but I really loved hearing his story. 

This novel is not plot-driven; rather the reader gets to live inside Travis's mind and hear his thoughts about what's happening. If you haven't read Beautiful Disaster, you will be completely lost. Read Beautiful Disaster first. It was a more lyrical style but I really enjoyed it. 

So why 4 stars? It wasn't my favorite novel ever, but it was well-written. I felt like the novel ran a little bit long at times and it just lacked that extra something to make it a 5 but it was still an enjoyable read. 

In Summary: Walking Disaster and its companion novel Beautiful Disaster are controversial books and people's opinions about them vary. I, however, really enjoyed reading this novel. It was an entertaining book and I don't think it leads to girls wanting abusive relationships. This book isn't for everybody, but I'm glad I read it.

Warnings/Side-notes: It's a New Adult novel and is definitely made for more mature readers. Several sexual references and mentions of drinking and drugs. These references are not graphic, but they are also not meant for young readers. 

The Wrap-up: A controversial book that isn't meant for everybody, but I enjoyed it. It's definitely a book that people love or hate. If it sounds like your cup of tea, then give it a shot. I'm glad I did.


Danica Page

Friday, April 19, 2013

Book Review: The Dance by Dan Walsh

The Dance
by Dan Walsh
Received for Review
Released On: April 1, 2013
Published by: Fleming H. Revell Company
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.33
Pages: 344

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. And why wouldn't she be? He gives her everything she needs. That's why Jim never expected to come home one day and find Marilyn gone.
After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of feeling unloved and neglected. She wants to experience some measure of happiness before she's too old to enjoy it, even signing up for dance lessons, something 
Jim would never do. What will it take for Jim to finally become the man Marilyn needs him to be? 

Combining the literary talents of bestselling author Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of bestselling author Gary Smalley, "The Dance" is the first novel in The Restoration Series. Readers will get caught up in these flawed but sincere members of the Anderson family as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that ultimately affects all of them.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received a temporary electronic arc from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.  

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Going into this novel, I wasn't sure I'd like it. I don't generally like novels that are about married couples or about couples who are having marital problems.

But I decided to give this one a shot and I'm so glad I did. This novel was absolutely beautiful. I loved reading it. 

I love novels where characters experience some life-changing or self-actualizing journey. Jim and Marilyn both changed so much and I loved watching them grow. 

Dan's novel was poignant and a great read. I found myself turning the pages faster and faster as the story went on. I enjoyed watching the Anderson family grow closer and overcome trials. 

I already mentioned how surprised I was by how much I loved this novel, but that doesn't begin to do this novel justice. This novel was easily one of my favorites of the year. Dan wrote this novel with such skill and expertise. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this novel to anybody.

The novel does have a Christian stance, but religion is never pushed down the reader's throats. The theme of faith was expertly woven in. Definitely recommend this novel.

So Why 5 Stars? It was beautifully and poignantly written. There was depth to this novel and yet it was also just a really enjoyable read.

In Summary: A beautiful novel that greatly exceeded my expectations. The Dance is an inspiring novel that reflects the growth of one family in the midst of trials and struggles. 

The Wrap-up: Love this novel. I was really impressed with it and can't wait to read more by this author. Definitely recommend it. 


Danica Page

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Book Review: Rush to the Altar by Jamie Carrie

Rush to the Altar
by Jamie Carrie
Received for Review
Adult Realistic Contemporary Romance
Released On: February 14, 2013
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.65

Before I get into my review, here's a synopsis of the novel:

Madeline Goode is devastated when her husband dies in a car accident. After moving back in with her parents with her two year old son, Max, she attempts to put the pieces of her life back together. But she didn’t plan on meeting Jake Hart, the star NBA player that she keeps bumping into at her new job as a charity coordinator for the Racers. And she certainly didn’t plan on learning that her husband’s accident may have been no accident at all.

Will Jake stick around while her life gets complicated? And if she gives in to her heart, will she just be making another mistake? Rushing to the Altar may be the most daring and risky move of her life.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received a copy of this novel for review from the author in exchange for my honest opinion. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review.

An Overview of the Novel: Madeline's husband just died and she's devastated, but her friends and family are right, she needs move on. She just can't.

That's where Jake Hart enters the scene. Something about Madeline draws him. She's made it clear that she's not ready to date again, but Jake isn't about to take now for an answer. But then Madeline gets mixed up in the middle of a crime investigation and suddenly it might not be such a good idea for Jake to be around her. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Jaime Carrie has a way of creating characters that catch your attention. I loved the characters in this novel from the first page to the very last page. Jake and Madeline had excellent chemistry. 

The writing was cute, a little cheesy, but cute. I loved how Jamie developed her novel. She's always been a skilled writer and certainly knows how to craft her story.

This novel had elements of suspense but I wouldn't classify it as suspense. And while, the events that happened in this novel might have been unrealistic and a little bit unbelievable at times, I still really liked the novel. 

It was a cute read and one that had me laughing and smiling the entire time I was reading it. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to fans of this genre. 

So why 3.5 stars? It was a cute, funny, enjoyable read that left me entertained and amused. Jaime's writing was incredible and I loved the story. 

In Summary: Jamie has done it again. She's written another novel that I loved reading. If you're looking for a cute, fun read, then look no further than Rush to the Altar.

Warnings/Side-notes: Nothing comes to mind.

The Wrap-up: Like I've said, this was a cute book that I enjoyed reading. I've loved every single book I've read by Jamie and plan on keeping close tabs on her and her future writing. 


Danica Page

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Book Review: Taking Chances by Molly McAdams

Taking Chances
(Taking Chances, #2)
by Molly McAdams
Received for Review
New Adult Romantic Contemporary
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.01
Published by: William Morrow Books
Released On: October 16, 2012
Pages: 432

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis:

Eighteen year old Harper has grown up under her career Marine of a father's thumb. Ready to live life her own way and experience things she's only ever heard of from the jarheads in her father's unit; she's on her way to college at San Diego State University. 

Thanks to her new roommate, Harper is introduced to a world of parties, gorgeous guys, family and emotions. Some she wasn't expecting yet, and others she never knew she was missing.

She finds herself being torn in two as she quickly falls in love with her boyfriend Brandon, and her roommate's brother Chase. Covered in tattoos, known for fighting in the Underground and ridiculously muscled...they're exactly what she was always warned to stay away from, but just what she needs. Despite their dangerous looks and histories, both adore and would do anything for Harper, including stepping back if it means she's happy. 

Her first year away is turning out to be near perfect, but one weekend of giving in to heated passion will change everything.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this book for review from the publisher via Edelweiss. I was not obligated to write a positive review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

An Overview of the Novel: I'm not going to be able to give a very thorough synopsis of this book without giving things away and so please excuse me if this synopsis sounds vague. I just can't condone spoiling books.

Harper Jackson lived an interesting life on a marine base with her father who she called sir. She was home-schooled and never really had any other friends besides the ones at the base. But when she leaves for college, she enters an entirely different world—one full of boys, parties, and lots and lots of drama.

Harper was disgusted with her roommate's brother Chase and yet she feels an undeniable pull to him. But then there's Brandon, the boy who becomes her boyfriend. She loves him and yet she can't forget about Chase. What makes it even worse is that Brandon and Chase are best friends and roommates. How can Harper condone coming between them and which one will she choose? She knows that both of them adore her and she likes both of them, so how can she choose. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I knew what was going to happen in this book thanks to a spoiled review. :( That's partly why I was so adamant on not giving anything away. This book was just heart-wrenching. Seriously, once again it was an emotional read. I knew what was going to happen and it still seriously broke my heart. I loved Chase and Brandon both, and even though I hated what Harper did to them, I liked her too.  

That's why I can never decide if I like love triangles. When they are done really well, they break my heart. However, Molly did a great job at developing her characters. They seemed so real to me.

Her writing was solid. The pace never dragged. I just kept turning page after page because I was literally dying to know what happened next and exactly how everything was going to happen.

However, on the whole I did really enjoy this novel. It was frustrating, but beautifully frustrating and poignantly written so on the whole I really liked this book, even if I do wish certain things hadn't happened. 

So why 4 stars? Everything that I've previously mentioned makes giving this book a rating so hard. I had a love-hate relationship with it. I hated what happened in this book, as in I was so frustrated I wanted to throw the book at the wall. And yet, it was powerfully written and just so dang good. However, I really did like the book and so 4 stars.

In Summary: Molly McAdams's has perfected writing novels that frustrate me to no end and yet ones that I still love. Her characters are complex and definitely are not cookie-cutter characters. Her writing is beautiful and her plots are intriguing and yet tragic. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This book is heart-wrenching and because of that several people did not like this book. It's beautiful but tragic. If you can deal with reading a really sad, frustrating, but beautiful book than pick this one up. If that's not your cup-of-tea, then you won't like this one. 

As for a content warning, it's definitely for adults. There is some sexual content, references to drinking, and some instances of strong language. 

The Wrap-up: I really did like this book and yet it frustrated me. Molly McAdams had definitely left me with no desire to read about another love triangle for at least three months. :) Great novel. Definitely recommended to those who don't mind frustrating books. 


Danica Page

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Book Review: Transparent by Natalie Whipple

by Natalie Whipple
Received ARC for Review
Young Adult Realistic Contemporary
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.11
Released On: May 21, 2013
Published By: HarperTeen
Pages: 368

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

Plenty of teenagers feel invisible. Fiona McClean actually is.

An invisible girl is a priceless weapon. Fiona’s own father has been forcing her to do his dirty work for years—everything from spying on people to stealing cars to breaking into bank vaults.

After sixteen years, Fiona’s had enough. She and her mother flee to a small town, and for the first time in her life, Fiona feels like a normal life is within reach. But Fiona’s father isn’t giving up that easily.

Of course, he should know better than anyone: never underestimate an invisible girl.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an electronic arc from the publisher via Edelweiss. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review. This review is my honest opinion. 

An Overview of the Novel: Fiona is invisible—no, really she is. After the Cold War, people started taking the drug radiasure to be safe from radiation. The only problem is that it mutated the cells and suddenly almost everybody in society has mutated and received special gifts.

Hers is invisibility. She was born invisible. Nobody has ever seen her. And since her dad is a syndicate boss, she was born into a life of crime. She hates what she's doing and can't get rid of the guilt she feels for all the terrible things she's done. But that's her father's gift. He's so charming he can make women do anything he wants them too. Fiona is no exception.

But when Fiona and her mom run away again, she's hopeful that maybe this time they can stay out of sight. Maybe this time they will stay safe from her father's and her brother Graham's clutches. But can somebody like her ever really be safe?

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Natalie Whipple lives only blocks away from me. I've heard her talk about what the writing process means to her and so naturally I was really excited to read her writing. So while I don't really know Natalie, I sort of do. Just throwing that out there for means of disclosure.

When I first read the synopsis it grabbed my attention, but didn't leave me completely hooked. I liked the cover though and I really wanted to read the book. So I did. 

The writing was gripping from the very first page until the very last page. It left me riveted for the entire novel. Her writing didn't bring undue attention to itself. It simply flowed and left me wanting to read more and more. 

I hate cookie-cutter characters and Whipple certainly didn't fall into that trap. Her characters were intriguing and beautifully constructed. I loved reading about them and watching them interact with each other.

I also loved how flawless Natalie's world-building was. It was clear that she thought through how she wanted to create her world. I also loved that in this novel everybody knew about each other's superpowers. In most novels I read, the superpowers are unknown or hidden. 

I liked that the ending wasn't a cliff-hanger. It was a conclusion and yet it left room for a sequel. Or in other words, it tied up enough loose ends and left the perfect amount of strings untied. 

So why 4 stars? It was beautifully written, not my favorite, but still beautiful. The characters were intriguing, the world building was well thought out, and the writing was masterfully crafted. 

In Summary: Natalie Whipple created a novel that let me hooked from the beginning and was brilliantly crafted. I can't wait to read Whipple's sophomore novel which comes out next year.

Warnings/Side-notes: None. This book is clean. 

The Wrap-up: Whipple's novel was intriguing and exceeded my expectations. Fans of paranormal or soft sci-fi novels, will love this book. It was an intriguing read and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it. 


Danica Page

Friday, April 12, 2013

Book Review: From Ashes by Molly McAdams

From Ashes
by Molly McAdams
Received for Review
Average Goodreads Rating:
Published by: William Morrows Paperback
Released On: December 11, 2012
Pages: 416

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis from Goodreads:

When Cassidy Jameson's best friend Tyler took her to Texas with him when he left for college, she was expecting his cousin, their new roommate, to be a Stetson-wearing cowboy since his family owned a ranch; not this incredibly gorgeous guy with a husky Southern drawl that seemed to make the world stop whenever she looked at him. Because of her past, she's only ever trusted two men in her life, Tyler and her dad whom passed away when she was six. But there's something about Gage that draws her to him in a way she can't explain, only problem? He's always telling Tyler that he doesn't want Cassidy living there and sees her as nothing more than his little sister.

Gage Carson was excited his cousin Tyler was coming to live with, and go to college with him. When he'd called to ask if he could bring his friend Cassi with him, Gage didn't care. Gage had heard about this mysterious friend since they were kids and felt like he already knew her. Nothing would prepare him for watching her jump out of Ty's Jeep though. Not only was Cassi the most beautiful girl he'd ever seen, but there was something about her that within seconds of meeting her, made Gage want to protect her, and make her his. Too bad Tyler made it a point to remind Gage on a daily basis that he was dating her and she was completely off limits.

For a year and a half, Gage and Cassidy dance around their feelings for each other as Tyler continues to keep them apart; until one day Tyler unknowingly pushes her right into Gage's arms. With Tyler unable to keep lying to them, they finally start a relationship both have been craving since their first meeting. But when an accident and disaster sends her back to Tyler and California, will Cassidy be able to come face to face with the demons from her past to live a life she and Gage deserve; or will the fact that she once again ran to Tyler be the final push that ends Cassidy and Gage for good?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an electronic ARC of this novel from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for my review. 

An Overview of the Novel: Cassidy's life hasn't been easy. Her parents were abusive, and that's putting it lightly. She lived her whole life wondering if she would even make it until she was eighteen. 

Her best friend Tyler was the only bright spot in her life. He was the one who helped her butterfly her wounds and the one who who kept ice in his room for when she came over injured. Now he's provided an escape for her. He's agreed to take her to Texas with him.

But when she meets his cousin Gage, she falls in love with him at first sight. The only problem is that according to Tyler he doesn't like her at all. Tyler claims he loves her. The only problem is she doesn't feel the same way. But if Gage doesn't love her, why shouldn't she go for Tyler.

From the moment Gage first saw Cassidy, he knew she was the one for him. The only problem is that his cousin has told him that Cassidy is off-limits. He tries to respect his cousin's wishes, but he really likes Cassidy. Then Tyler tells him that Cassidy just wants to be friends. But he just can't get over her.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I had heard really mixed things about this book going into it. I knew that some people had really disliked the book and so I was hesitant to read it. However, I really liked it.

The characters were intriguing, really frustrating, but I enjoyed watching them grow and progress. Tyler drove me nuts. All of his lies made me want to beat him with a stick. Cassidy and Gage were clearly meant to be together and he kept getting in the way.

McAdams created characters that caught my interest from the beginning. I love books that talk about deeper issues and this book did just that. McAdams  wrote about these issues in a poignant way. This book was an emotional read and for most of the book I wanted to throw it against the wall.

However, I liked it. 

In Summary: McAdams's novel presents an emotional read centered around intriguingly frustrating characters and a masterfully developed plot. 

Warnings/Side-notes: For adults, instances of language and sexual content. 

The Wrap-up: I enjoyed this novel. I did feel frustrated for most of the time reading this book; however, any book that can make me feel this deeply easily           grabs my attention. 


Danica Baird

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Book Review: Fifteenth Summer by Michelle Dalton

Fifteenth Summer
by Michelle Dalton
Received ARC for Review
Young Adult Realistic Contemporary
Release Date: May 7, 2013
Published by: Simon Pulse
Average Goodreads Rating: 3.33
Pages: 272

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

Chelsea isn’t looking forward to her summer at the lake. It’s the first time her family has been there since her grandmother died, and she can’t break out of her funk. But her summer takes a turn for the better when she meets a boy who works in the bookstore. Josh is cute, sweet, funny…and best of all, seems to like her as much as she likes him. As the days pass by in a blur of boat rides, picnics, and stolen kisses, she can’t believe how lucky she is. No one has ever made her feel so special, or so beautiful.

But Chelsea knows her days with Josh are numbered. She’ll be heading home at the end of the summer—and he’ll be staying behind. Will this be Chelsea’s summer of love? Or will it be the summer of her broken heart?

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received a electronic ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for my honest review. I was not obligated to write a good review nor am I receiving any compensation for writing this review. The opinions expressed within this review are my own. 

An Overview of the Novel: Chelsea is less than thrilled to be going back to the family cottage in Bluepointe. This is the first year her grandmother won't be there; she died and Chelsea is having a really hard time dealing with that.

Her grandmother wasn't supposed to die, at least not until she was old. Now everything has changed. Chelsea takes refuge in the bookstore and meets Josh. Josh is infuriating. She can't tell if he likes her or not and has no clue how to read the signals he's giving her.

Until suddenly she does. Finally, Chelsea seems to have met somebody who likes her as much as she likes him. But they only have the summer? After that, who knows. Her parents could sell the cottage and never return. Is it worth it when one summer is all you might have?

My Thoughts/Impressions: I started this novel without really knowing what to expect. Honestly, I asked to read this book because I loved the cover and because I tend to really enjoy summer reads. However, the fact that they were only 15 was a little bit of a turn-off at first.

I was wrong. This book was beautifully written and had me grinning from page one to the very last page. Dalton's writing was engaging and her talent for story-telling was incredible.

She created characters who caught my attention from the first page. Chelsea faced a lot of insecurity. Her oldest sister was the braniac, her second oldest sister was the athlete, and she was....she didn't know what she was. Her two older sisters were gorgeous and she had what she thought was hideous red hair. Basically, she had no clue how she fit in.

Chelsea wasn't a whiny character or one that was so insecure that you wanted to smack her, but she was dealing with a lot of uncertainty and grew a lot in the book. I loved that. I also really loved Josh. He was such a great guy.

The pacing of the novel, the plot, the characters—they were all brilliantly crafted. This novel was a beautiful, fun, engaging, light-hearted read that I really enjoyed.

So why 4 out of 5 stars? It was beautifully written. It lacked the depth of my favorite novels, and yet it was still really enjoyable and one of the best I've read in awhile.

In Summary: An engaging, cute summer read that is brilliantly written and centered on fabulous characters that readers will adore.

The Wrap-up: I'm glad I took a chance and read this novel. It was way better than I thought it would be and ended up being a really enjoyable read. I'd recommend this to fans of young adult novels or fans of cute, summer reads. 


Danica Page

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Book Review: A Glimpse of Her Soul by Stuart Jaffe

A Glimpse of Her Soul
by Stuart Jaffe
Received for Review
Released On: February 7, 2013
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.33
Pages: 212

Before I get into my review, here's the synopsis available on Goodreads:

When 16-year-old Gillian Boone discovers that a secret message has been etched into her soul, her world of normal teenage life is destroyed. Now, bizarre monstrosities seek to kill her so they can read this message as her soul departs and use its information to escape back to the world they came from.

Though she has the aid of her father and some new friends, there is only one who has the real power to help. A rogue monster named Jackhammer Jack. But he might want her secret, too, even as he helps her evade the clutches of those pursuing her. With threats surrounding her, Gillian will have to lead her allies in a struggle for survival - a struggle all the more treacherous when her allies are just as dangerous as her enemies.

Filled with action, excitement, magic, romance, and mystery, A Glimpse of Her Soul is a pulse-pounding ride you're sure to enjoy. And just the kind of genre bending you've come to expect from a writer whose motto is Fantasy Knows No Bounds!

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this book as part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tour for this novel. I was not obligated to write a good review nor did I receive any compensation for writing this review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I didn't really know what to think going into this novel. I thought the initial premise sounded good. This novel had great potential. The plot sounded really intriguing and original. Basically, I couldn't wait to see what Jaffe did in this novel. 

The book was really interesting and quite original. I thought the plot was well-developed and that the characters were intriguing. The characters did annoy me during several parts of the book and at times I found myself feeling infuriated with them.

I did wish that the pacing would have been slower. The plot seemed really rushed at parts and I felt like I was being jerked from scene to scene at times. However, the book was enjoyable. I'd be interested to see what happens in the sequel.

This wasn't my favorite fantasy book, but it was still really good and I'd recommend it to fantasy fans. 

So why 3 stars? I enjoyed the novel, but at times it felt rushed and it wasn't my favorite in the genre. However, it was very original and intriguing. 

In Summary: Stuart Jaffe's novel was intriguing and original and I enjoyed reading it. However, I felt like the novel could have been better developed. 

Warnings/Side-notes: There were some instances of language, but on the whole this novel was very clean. 

The Wrap-up: I enjoyed the novel and am glad I read it. The plot really was intriguing and original. However, I do wish the novel had been better developed. Like I mentioned earlier, I thought the novel's pacing was a little bit rushed in certain places. I'd be interested in seeing what Jaffe does in the sequel though. 


Danica Page

Monday, April 8, 2013

Book Review/Guest Post: Security by Mandy Baggot

Hello Fellow Page-Turners,

Today I'm thrilled to be taking part of the blog tour for Security by Mandy Baggot. As part of this tour, I will be sharing some information about the author, the book,  my review and a guest post from Mandy.

But first here's some information about the author.

Mandy Baggot is a self-confessed Twitter addict who likes to sing on You Tube. She regularly guests on book blogs and is a featured author on the innovative website loveahappyending.com. She is also a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Mandy lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

Twitter Handle: @mandybaggot
Publisher Author Page

And now for the synopsis of the novel:

Romantic Suspense
Date Published-  April 4, 2013

Autumn Raine is a pop vocalist at the very top of her game. She’s a style icon, the paparazzi’s darling and everyone wants to be her friend. But when her safety is threatened, her whole life starts to unravel.
Eluding kidnap and trying to stay alive, can Autumn find the strength to be the person she longs to be? And can two people, poles apart, forge something strong enough to survive anything?

And now for my review.

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Disclaimers: I received an electronic ARC of this novel as part of the tour in exchange for my honest review. I was not obligated to write a good review nor have I been compensated in any way for writing this review. 

An Overview of the Novel: Autumn Raine is an icon pop diva and is used to be a complete jerk in order to get attention. But then she starts getting the wrong kind of attention—attention from terrorists. 

Her mother assigns her a bodyguard to keep her safe. Autumn is furious. Her relationship with her mother is strained and she hates the idea that because of her mother she's being pulled into this mess. She also finds her bodyguard Nathan infuriating. He's so bossy and doesn't tell her anything. 

Nathan thinks Autumn is a spoiled brat and hates that he got pushed into taking this job. Autumn is beyond frustrating and is a complete jerk in his mind. He's resigned himself to absolutely taking this job.

But then things stop adding up. Who really is behind Autumn's kidnapping and what's the motive? Nathan's job is to keep her safe and he's determined to do it. But day by day, the facade of Autumn Raine starts coming down and Nathan starts becoming more attracted to her with each passing day.

But with pasts as dark as theirs do they have any chance for pursuing a relationship and even if they do will they live long enough to make it last. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Romantic suspense is my favorite genre, so to say I had high expectations for this one would be an understatement. I was preparing myself to be disappointed when I started reading this novel. Instead, I found myself becoming more and more intrigued by the story and the characters.

Autumn was a complete brat for two-thirds of the novel and frustrated me to no end and yet I knew there had to be something more to her. I wanted to like her. As I kept reading the novel, I found myself liking her more and more. 

Then there was Nathan. Nathan was also a complete idiot and yet I really liked him from the very beginning. He was a complete jerk to Autumn which sounds awful, but honestly Autumn probably needed some honesty, maybe a little more tactfully but still. Nathan's character was intriguing and I loved slowly piecing his character together.

The writing was solid and thoroughly entertaining. While some aspects of the suspense/terrorists elements might have seemed a little bit forced/unrealistic, on the whole it was a beautifully crafted novel that I really loved.

The pacing of the novel was masterfully crafted and the conclusion was perfect. As far as romantic suspense goes, this was one of the more entertaining ones I've read recently.

So why 4.5 out of 5 stars? I really really liked this novel. The characters, the plot, the suspense, the romance, everything was just so masterfully crafted. It is not my favorite romantic suspense novel, but it was a really good read that I enjoyed reading. 

In Summary: Mandy's novel Security offers the perfect mix of romance and suspense. Her writing is beautiful; her characters are masterfully crafted, and her plot was absolutely gripping. Fans of romantic suspense will eat this novel up. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Adult novel. Some instances of strong language. Sexual references. None are too explicit, but they are not suitable for children. 

The Wrap-up: One of my favorite romantic suspense novels of the year. This is the first novel I've read by Mandy, but it certainly won't be the last. Her writing is beautiful and I loved that her characters weren't ones I liked from the get-go. In fact, I kind of hated them when I first met them, but by the end I loved them both. That is the mark of a great writer in my book. I can't wait to see more of Baggot's writing. Definitely recommend this one. 

And now for a guest post by Mandy Baggot: 

Starting out as a writer – 5 things you should know and do

       1.      You know everyone says they have a book in them. But do you know how many writers are actually active and out there? There are millions, yes millions of writers creating stories every single day. Choosing writing as profession isn’t easy. There is a lot of competition and if you want to go down the traditional route be prepared for knock backs. There are millions of others all carrying the same dream.

   2.      Be yourself. Read widely but don’t copy style. Find your uniqueness. Do you enjoy writing descriptive passages? Are you a King or Queen of dialogue? You need to write what comes from your heart otherwise it won’t bond together properly. A passionate voice is key.

3.      Ask for help and advice. We all become better writers by accepting critiques from peers. Join a reader/writer community and test drive your manuscript. Ask for honest opinions because in the long run these will help you most.

     4.      Unless you are a bit of a phenomenon you aren’t going to hit the Amazon bestseller charts at the first attempt or even the second or the...do you see where I’m going with this? Be prepared for lots and lots of hard work not just on polishing your novel but on letting people know it’s there. Embrace social media, work hard and it will pay off but don’t expect to be at E L James status overnight.

   5.      Keep writing and never lost heart. It’s your novel, they are your characters and you are the best person to write their story. There will be knock backs, dashed hopes and lots of ‘almost’ moments. Suck in every one of them and remember the feeling. When you get that contract or when copies start flying off the virtual shelves it will all be worthwhile. A real writer will always write regardless of commercial success. Sometimes we all get too wrapped up in this. Don’t forget to enjoy the story – that’s how we all got started!


Danica Page
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Book Review (373) books (366) reading (366) asked to review (298) series (207) romance (188) realistic (161) contemporary (160) young adult (154) netgalley (153) review (150) blogging (144) meme (138) 2015 (115) writing (103) arc (100) new adult (94) fiction (83) adult (81) blog tour (77) christian (76) 3 stars (53) Waiting on Wednesday (50) 2013 (46) my favorites (44) Top Ten Tuesday (41) reading addiction blog tours (41) historical fiction (40) characters (38) writing process (36) 2012 (35) suspense (32) fantasy (31) guest post (31) paranormal (31) Teaser Tuesday (29) standalone novel (28) 2014 (27) IMM (27) 4 stars (25) WWW Wednesdays (25) The Chosen One (21) new adult challenge 2013 (20) giveaways (19) letters (18) promo (17) Author Interview (16) blogger in the spotlight (16) contests (16) giveaway (16) mystery (16) debut novel 2012 (15) writing advice (15) NWOC (14) chick-lit (14) debut (13) edelweiss (13) excerpt (13) sci-fi (13) Black Rose (12) dystopia (12) 3.5 stars (11) author spotlight (11) editing (11) sophomore novel (11) Musing Mondays (10) authors (10) lists (10) tbr pile challenge 2013 (10) inspirational (9) retelling (9) top 10 (9) covers (8) short story (8) 2011 (7) Stacking the Shelves (7) debut novel 2013 (7) Thursday Tutorials (6) dac (6) in my opinion (6) novella (6) sports (6) winners (6) Publication (5) Xpresso Book Tours (5) nonfiction (5) Whimsical Wednesdays (4) amish (4) blog hop (4) challenges (4) journalism (4) list (4) mini review (4) 2013 sophomore challenge (3) Q and A (3) Three Shards of Glass (3) debut novel 2011 (3) discussion (3) male pov (3) middle grade (3) partners in crime blog tour (3) 2 stars (2) 2016 (2) 4.5 stars (2) 5 stars (2) Amazon steals (2) Monday Manifestos (2) NaNoWriMo (2) Saturday Sabbaticals (2) To-Read Tuesday (2) action (2) awards (2) book deals (2) book reviews (2) college (2) contes (2) country challenge (2) debut 2015 (2) howard books (2) rant (2) video (2) women's fiction (2) writing is everywhere (2) 2 (1) 2.5 stars (1) 2010 (1) BookLook bloggers (1) Danica's Writing Corner (1) Filling up the Pages (1) Marissa Meyer (1) Poetry Circle (1) Robert Frost (1) Winter (1) abuse (1) amanda black (1) amazon steals (1) analysis (1) august (1) blogoversary (1) book depository (1) book tour (1) book trade (1) classic literature (1) debut novel 2014 (1) deseret news review (1) design (1) ebooks (1) endings (1) freebie (1) irene hannon (1) january (1) lds (1) literary agents (1) month overview (1) more than fashion (1) new releases (1) plays (1) polls (1) ratedreads (1) read (1) readin (1) realist (1) seasonal (1) serial novel (1) songs (1) the single game (1) trailers (1)