Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review: A Heart's Obsession by Colleen Coble

A Heart's Obsession
(A Journey of the Heart, #2)
by Colleen Coble
Adult Inspirational Romance 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.37
Published by: Thomas Nelson
Published on: April 7, 2015
Pages: 128

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

Can a woman held captive by her family make it back to the one man she knows she can trust?

When Sarah Montgomery's father succumbs to his long illness, Sarah is faced with a life-altering choice: submit to her brother's will and marry the deceptive Ben Croftner . . . or escape through the dangerous American West to reclaim the heart of her beloved Rand Campbell at Fort Laramie, Wyoming.

From captivity in her family's home, Sarah makes her decision--and begins the perilous journey to Wyoming by train.

But even in the company of Rand's brother, Sarah does not receive the reception she had hoped for. The necessity of a military wife has preempted her, and Rand is already engaged to Jessica DuBois, the seductive daughter of the post commander. With her heart broken and her life in ruins, Sarah has no choice but to remain at Fort Laramie and try to win Rand back. But things will get tougher before they get easier . . . the obsessive Ben Croftner has just shown up in Wyoming.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I always forget this until I start reading one—I really don't like serial novels. I don't know why. I just don't.

Having said that, this one was actually fairly enjoyable. I liked the characters and the plot. Coble's novel picks up right after the first one ended. However, despite the fact, it was hard for me to get into the beginning of the series. 

I thought that Coble's writing was good; however, I just didn't fall in love with the characters or the stories. 

On some level, I just had a hard time connecting with the book. Having said that, I do believe that most fans of historical Christian fiction will really enjoy this one. Recommended to fans of the genre. 

So why 3 stars? It was good but it didn't stand out. 

Can I read the series out of order? Not recommended. 

The Wrap-up: I think this book would appeal to fans of the genre on some level, but personally, I had a hard time connecting with it.  

Love,

Danica Page

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Cora Carmack's Special Announcement

HERE’S THE SCOOP!

Fans of Cora Carmack’s Rusk University, we have a SUPER exciting announcement:



ALL CLOSED OFF, Book 4 in the Rusk University Series, is coming!!!


Check out this message from Cora!

*WARNING: This letter contains spoilers for All Broke Down. If you haven't yet read that book, read at your own peril. SECOND WARNING: this letter talks about fictional characters as if they are real people. Sorry I'm not sorry. THIRD WARNING: The letter below broaches a serious topic that could be a trigger for some people*


Hello beloved readers!

The first person who read one of my Rusk University books was my older sister. I gave her All Lined Up when I finished, and her first question was "Are Ryan and Stella going to be together?"

At the time, I told her no. I had plans for both of them that included their own storylines. I thought they were too much alike. They'd make great friends. They might even hook-up, but in the end... I couldn't envision anything serious for them. So I actually rewrote some of their scenes trying to make that aspect of their connection more obvious. And still, when All Lined Up released, amidst the chatter about sweet Carson and sassy Dallas, I had people asking if Stella and Ryan were next. I denied it again (and again and again).

But sometimes in writing, the stars align and a character will become bigger and more real than you could have possibly imagined. It's a wonderful experience, but in Stella's case it was also incredibly heartbreaking. While I was writing All Broke Down, the news was inundated with information about the Steubenville rape trial and other tragedies and injustices like it. Tragedies where women have been violated first by an attacker, then by judgmental and hateful people, and finally by a justice system that repeatedly fails survivors of sexual assault. Having grown up in Texas, where too often football stars are treated like gods and can get away with just about anything, it hit particularly close to home. And since All Broke Down featured a passionate activist heroine, I felt compelled to reference this chronic dark underbelly of elite sports.

I can remember vividly sitting on my couch, brainstorming how I would incorporate such an event into the book. I had thought the assault would happen to an unknown character, and maybe I would focus on the way it divided the team and the school and the town. But like I said... Sometimes a character will become bigger and more human than I anticipated. And it sounds crazy, but in my mind, I felt Stella push her way forward and say, "Mine. This is my story." I immediately began to cry. Sob, really. Because I loved her as a character. She was hilarious and strong and didn't take crap from anyone. She was everything I always hope to be. And I didn't want her to go through that. Even as I cried, my brain began to tell me that it made sense. Stella was vibrant and enjoyed a wild party. She was not afraid of her sexuality, and she had no problem with casual sex. She was the kind of girl that probably had a reputation. The kind of girl who could be heinously and violently taken advantage of, and people would STILL blame her. Because she was in the wrong place, wearing the wrong clothes, behaving in the wrong way. But just because it COULD happen to her, didn't mean I wanted it to. But once again, Stella was there in my head saying, "Someone needs to tell this story. And I'm strong enough to do it. Let me." And when Stella chose her story, she also chose the man I'd been adamant wasn't right for her. Because as it turns out... Those two characters who I thought were too alike aren't so alike anymore. And Stella needs Ryan to help her hold on to that vibrant and strong girl she was before.

So I let go of all the plans I had for her, and allowed her to tell me her story, which is about more than just sexual assault. It's about the aftermath. Depression. Shame. Guilt. Anger. Injustice. Victim-blaming. Slut-shaming. It's about the way that kind of event can change everything-- how you relate to people, how you think, how you dream, how you love. It's about the way the rest of the world moves on to the next big tragedy, and you're still left holding the broken pieces of who you used to be, with no idea how to put them together again or even if you want to. It will be the most difficult story I ever tell. And the most important. Because it’s a story that belongs not just to Stella, but to millions of people around the world. It’s a story that belongs to a new person every 107 seconds*. And that’s just in the United States. Think about that for a moment. 107 seconds. Stella’s story won’t be any easier to read than it will be to write. But I hope you’ll help me drag this story into the light.

So now I’ll step off my soapbox and just tell you about the book…



ALL CLOSED OFF:

Stella Santos is fine.

Maybe something terrible happened to her that she can’t even remember. And maybe it drives her crazy when her friends treat her like she’s on the verge of breaking because of it. Maybe it feels even worse when they do what she asks and pretend that it never happened at all. And maybe she’s been getting harassing emails and messages for months from people who don’t even know her, but hate her all the same.

But none of that matters because she’s just fine.

For Ryan Blake, Stella was always that girl. Vibrant and hilarious and beautiful. He wanted her as his best friend. His more than friends. His everything and anything that she would give him. Which these days is a whole lot of nothing. She gets angry when he’s there. Angry when he’s not there. Angry when he tries to talk and when he doesn’t.

When Stella devises an unconventional art project for one of her classes all about exploring intimacy—between both friends and strangers—Ryan finds himself stepping in as guinea pig after one of her subjects bails. What was supposed to be an objective and artistic look at emotion and secrets and sex suddenly becomes much more personal. When he hits it off with another girl from the project, Stella will have to decide if she’s willing to do more than make art about intimacy. To keep him, she’ll have to open up and let herself be the one thing she swore she’d never be again.

Vulnerable.

*****

ALL CLOSED OFF will be releasing sometime in early 2016. I don't have a date yet for several reasons. The first and most important, is that I want to do this story justice. And as such, I have no intentions of rushing the process. Secondly, I'll be returning to indie publishing for the remainder of the Rusk series. As you can probably tell, this story means a great deal to me. And by having the ultimate control over everything from timing to editing to price, I'll be able to ensure that I'm able to create exactly the story I envision. Unfortunately, that means you won't be seeing the paperback of ALL CLOSED OFF on the shelves in most stores. Nor is it currently available for pre-order. But I hope you'll add the book on goodreads, follow me on social media, and/or join my newsletter. I promise to shout it all over the place when I have a set release date or pre-order links.

Thank you for listening as I told you the evolution of Stella's story. When it's finished, I hope you will feel as passionately about it as I do.

All my best,

Cora Carmack



*Statistic from RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network)



AND AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADD YOUR VOICE TO STELLA’S…

Stella’s experience is only one story of many. She was with someone she trusted when it happened, and the only memories she has are pieced together from her own blurred recollections and the things people have told her. Not everyone’s experience with sexual assault is the same. Each person reacts, copes, and overcomes differently. And while this book is about one specific character’s journey, I would like to tell as many sides of this story as possible. As Stella grapples with her thoughts and emotions she’ll be searching for advice, for comfort, for a place where people understand her and can identify with what she’s experiencing. There will be room for truth within the fiction, and if you’d like that truth to be yours, this is your chance.

If you have a story like Stella’s, and you want your voice to be heard….

If there’s something you wish more people understood about what you’ve gone through….

If there’s something you’d like to tell people struggling with a story like yours…

I’d like to give you the opportunity to add your voice to Stella’s. Use the hashtag #WhenItHappened and let your voice be heard on your own by posting on your own social media, or if you’d rather I share your words fill out this google document and tell me your story. You can fill out this form anonymously or not. I’d like to begin this discussion now because April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. But my hope is to include as many stories as possible within the book itself.

So many have stories of #WhenItHappened. Your voice and your story deserve to be heard. I’m listening.

#WhenItHappened Google Formhttp://goo.gl/forms/4VRjWgZYSW



HeadshotABOUT Cora Carmack:

Cora Carmack is a twenty-something New York Times bestselling authorwho likes to write about twenty-something characters. She's done a multitude of things in her life-- boring jobs (like working retail), Fun jobs (like working in a theatre), stressful jobs (like teaching), and dream jobs (like writing). She now splits her time between Austin, TX and New York City and spends her days writing, traveling, and spending way too much time on the internet. In her books, you can expect to find humor, heart, and a whole lot of awkward. Because let’s face it . . . awkward people need love, too.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Review: Every Bride Needs a Groom by Janice Thompson

Every Bride Needs a Groom 
by Janice Thompson
Adult Christian Romance 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.15
Published by: Fleming H. Revell Company
Published on: April 21, 2015
Pages: 336

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

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an copy of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  I'd heard great things about this book and have loved other books by this author, so naturally, I was excited to read this one. 

I was expecting a funny comical read, and that's exactly what I got.

The novel started out a little slow for me. I found it hard to get into the characters and the story; however, about half way through it started to really pick up. 

I'd definitely recommend this to fans of christian fiction who are looking to laugh a lot. 

A great read. 

Major Strengths: Funny plot-line and quirky, interesting characters.

Major Weaknesses: Beginning lagged a little bit as did other parts of the novel. However, it was still a pretty fast-paced book. 

So why 3 stars? It was a great book, but it didn't quite stand out enough to be 4 stars. 

Warnings/Side-notes: None. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable funny read. 

Love,

Danica Page

Review: Bet on Us by Rachel Higginson

Bet on Us
(In the Dark, #1)
by Rachel Higginson
New Adult 
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.07
Published by: Reckless Siren Publishing
Published on: December 8, 2013
Pages: 262

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


All Ellie Harris wanted was a life of her own.

In a shortsighted decision, she follows her high school boyfriend to college, only to get cheated on and then dumped. And to add insult to injury, her overprotective family is suddenly clinging to her again, fighting to control every part of her life.

Bad luck follows her hasty decision and when her roommate steals her identity and leaves town, Ellie is left to clean up a gigantic mess.

Fin Hunter insists Ellie owes him seven thousand dollars from an online poker game and he won't stop until he collects it. Determined to keep her family out of her life, Ellie agrees to work for Fin in his illegal online poker operation. He's given her six weeks to pay off the debt.

Soon sparks are flying between them and the only thing keeping her from falling for him is the debt she still owes and the money she doesn't have.

At the end of those six weeks, Ellie will have to pay the mistaken debt or bet that her feelings for Fin will be worth more than the money.

This book was previously titled Bet in the Dark. 


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I read a chapter sneak peek, and I was hooked. The plot immediately grabbed me as did the characters. 

I liked Higginson's writing in her novel The Rush, but I fell in love with her writing in this one. I adored the characters. The novel was fast-paced and kept me up all night turning the pages.

This is new adult fiction at its best. The book wasn't overtly sexual, but actually had substance behind it. The relationship was solidly built, but there was enough tension to keep me on my toes the entire novel. 

The Characters: Ellie was a character that I liked from the very first page. Ellie's determined to make her her way in life without relying on her family. She's independent and yet she's fun. She was a comical character. I loved watching Elli find herself in this novel.

Fin was the perfect bad boy who isn't a bad boy. He was flawed, and yet I still liked him. I adored watching him interact with Ellie. 

Major Strengths: The novel was fast-paced and intense. The chemistry between Ellie and Finn was fantastic. It was a slow-burn novel, which I adored. The comedic elements were definitely a strength. 

Major Weaknesses: The novel was predictable, which doesn't bother me, but it does some. 

So why 4 stars? It stood out from the crowd. I loved the plot. 

Warnings/Side-notes: It was actually fairly clean for new adult. 16+. 

The Wrap-up: A fun, quick read that I adored. Definitely recommend to fans of the genre. 

Love,

Danica Page

Monday, April 27, 2015

Review: The Rush (The Siren, #1) by Rachel Higginson

The Rush
(The Siren, #1)
by Rachel Higginson
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.06
Published by: Reckless Siren Publishing
Published on: March 20, 2013
Pages: 370

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


A life not her own—A future already decided.

Every facet of Ivy Pierce’s life is meticulously planned out and plotted. Cynical and jaded by sixteen, Ivy’s only hope is to escape the legacy she was born into. 

She has a plan, a carefully thought out, feasible plan. She just has to play by the rules until everything falls into place. Unfortunately as predictable as her life can be, she never sees Ryder Sutton coming. He tumbles into her life unimpressed and untouched by her and the life she lives. He’s an enigma to her. A gorgeous, frustrating, sincere mystery and a complete phenomenon in the ugly world she lives in. 

What blooms between them is a fiercely intense attraction that cannot be ignored. Even though they would both be better off without each other—Even if both their lives depend on staying apart. 


My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This was another book that I went into with no expectations. I liked the cover and synopsis enough to give it a shot.

The book wasn't anything like I thought it would be. I thought it was going to be a romantic story between Ryder and Ivy; that wasn't the story at all. 

I loved Higginson's writing. Her character were interesting and her plot was intriguing. 

Higginson did a great job at capturing my interest. However, having said that several parts of the story lagged and I felt confused about certain scenes. 

Yet, I still really enjoyed this novel. She did a great job at blending mystery, intrigue, and a tad of romance. 

I think fans of young adult paranormal novels will enjoy this one. 

The Characters: Ivy was a likable character. She was definitely down in the dumps of self-pity, and yet she didn't annoy me. I enjoyed watching her character change throughout the novel.

Ryder, I loved him. He seems like such a great guy. Maybe a little too perfect, but I'm not going to complain.

Major Strengths: Originality, strong insight into Ivy's characters and rationale, and a fairly intriguing story line. 

Major Weaknesses: It lagged a little bit and left me confused at times. 

So why 3.5 stars? While I really enjoyed the story and it did stand out of the crowd, it just didn't have that extra something to really wow me. However, all in all a good read. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Fairly clean. Some mild references to violence and sex. Recommended for 15+. 

The Wrap-up: It was enjoyable. It was good enough that I went ahead and bought the sequel. I'm hoping it doesn't disappoint. 

Love,

Danica Page

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Review: Nova and Quinton: No Regrets by Jessica Sorensen

Nova and Quinton: No Regrets
(Nova, #3)
by Jessica Sorensen 
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 
Published by: Grand Central Publishing 
Published on: April 15, 2014
Pages: 384

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

Today is the first day of Quinton Carter's new life. The toxic guilt of his past left him in pieces-but one girl unexpectedly put him back together. Thanks to Nova Reed, Quinton can finally see the world with clear eyes. She's the reason his heart is still kicking behind the jagged scar on his chest. And he would love to have her in his arms every minute of the day . . . but he's not ready yet.

Playing drums in a band and living with her best friends are just some of the highlights of Nova's life. But the best new development? Talking to Quinton on the phone each night. She wishes she could touch him, kiss him, though she knows he needs time to heal. Yet shocking news is on the way-a reminder of life's dark side-and Nova will need Quinton like he once needed her. Is he strong enough to take the final leap out of his broken past . . . and into Nova's heart?


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: In the past, I have either loved Sorensen's books or been deeply disappointed. It's always been really hit or miss with me. 

I hadn't read the previous books in this series, but when I was given the chance to review this one, I decided to give it a shot anyway. 

Sorensen, like awalys, tackles tough issues in this book—overcoming drug abuse, suicide of close friends, and death in general. She's never afraid to address tough issues and that's why I like her.

Her writing was engaging and kept me intrigued. She also did a masterful job of making sure that newcomers to the series knew what was going on; while not boring those who have read the rest of the series with a bunch of info dumping. 

I thought that the book was pretty fast-paced. I enjoyed reading it; however, it didn't stand out in my mind. 

The Characters: Nova is a hard character to describe. She comes across as a goody-goody person, who is always trying to help other people. Yet, she sunk into drug usage herself at once. Ever since Nova's first boyfriend committed suicide, she's been determined to save everybody else. 

It was an interesting complex. One that could lead to several problems. She wasn't perfect, but I would have liked Nova to have more of a backbone in the story. I would have liked to see her stand up for herself more. The end gives me the hope that she'll change, but really I would have liked more. 

Quinton was a character that I had an easier time connecting with. (Strange since he was the messed up character, recovering from drugs. And neither of which applies to me.) Quinton was a flawed character and yet he seemed real. He was struggling to get over his past, but he was trying. I loved watching Quinton finding himself.

Other Thoughts: I also liked how Quinton and Nova found themselves and worked through their problems while they were mostly apart from each other. I thought that the romance between them was well crafted. 

So why 3 stars? While I enjoyed it, I didn't love it. It didn't really stand out of the crowd for me. 

Can I read the series out of order? I hadn't read the previous two in the series, and I didn't feel lost. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Several instances of strong language and drug usage. References to sex. Not adult, but not young adult. I'd recommend for 17+. 

The Wrap-up: Fans of Jessica Sorensen will love this one. If you love books that explore gritty issues, then check it out. 

Love,

Danica Page

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Review: After a Fashion by Jen Turano

After a Fashion
(A Class of their Own, #1)
by Jen Turano 
Adult Inspirational 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.33
Published by: Bethany House Publishers 
Published on: March 3, 2015
Pages: 352

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

Miss Harriet Peabody dreams of the day she can open up a shop selling refashioned gowns to independent working women like herself. Unfortunately, when an errand for her millinery shop job goes sadly awry due to a difficult customer, she finds herself out of an income.

Mr. Oliver Addleshaw is on the verge of his biggest business deal yet when he learns his potential partner prefers to deal with men who are settled down and wed. When Oliver witnesses his ex not-quite-fiance cause the hapless Harriet to lose her job, he tries to make it up to her by enlisting her help in making a good impression on his business partner.

Harriet quickly finds her love of fashion can't make her fashionable. She'll never truly fit into Oliver's world, but just as she's ready to call off the fake relationship, fancy dinners, and elegant balls, a threat from her past forces both Oliver and Harriet to discover that love can come in the most surprising packages.
 


My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I went into this with little expectations. I had never read anything by this author before. I was blown away. I loved the plot and the characters. 

Harriet was a character who left me laughing out loud. I absolutely adored reading about her. Oliver was also a great character. He wasn't perfect, but he was very likable. I loved watching the chemistry between them. 

The plot was fantastic. It left me laughing out loud. While the plot was predictable, I really did enjoy it nonetheless. 

An enjoyable read that I loved. I will definitely be keeping my eyes on this author. 

So why 4 stars? It was fantastic. It definitely stood out from other books I've read in the genre. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Perfectly acceptable for readers of all age. 

The Wrap-up: I adored this book. It was hilarious and a great read. 

Love,

Danica Page

Friday, April 24, 2015

Review: The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine


The Secrets of Attraction
by Robin Constantine  
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.08
Published by: Baler + Bray
Published on: April 28, 2015
Pages: 384

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

Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.

Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: I will admit that I read this one purely because I loved the cover. I think it's fantastic.

Cover-lusting aside. I  thought that Constantine's sophomore release was a great, enjoyable read. I think that fans of Katie West will like this one. Her novel didn't explore dark or deep issues like rape or abuse, but neither was it pure fluff. 

The novel follows the character Madison and Jesse. Two very normal teens who for the most part have normal families. They faced normal issues that most teenagers face—heartbreak, disappointment, uncertainty, and a certain amount of teenage angst.

I thought that Constantine's writing was engaging. It never touched anything too deep, but I did like her characters. 

I wished more would have happened in the book. I can't really explain what I mean by that. I just felt like there could have been more drama or more action. However, I did enjoy it. 

Constantine's sophomore novel was a success. I can't wait to see what she comes up with next. 

So why 3 stars? While I did enjoy it, there was nothing in particular that made it stand out. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Vague references to drinking and sex. I'd recommend for 14+. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable realistic contemporary young adult novel. One that's not all fluff but isn't super gritty either. All in all, a fun read. 

Love,

Danica Page

Review: Brentwood's Ward by Michelle Griep

Brentwood's Ward
by Michelle Griep
Adult Inspirational Romance 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.12
Published by: Shiloh Run Press 
Published on: January 1, 2015
Pages: 314

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


Place an unpolished lawman named Nicholas Brentwood as guardian over a spoiled, pompous beauty named Emily Payne and what do you get? More trouble than Brentwood bargains for. She is determined to find a husband this season. He just wants the large fee her father will pay him to help his ailing sister. After a series of dire mishaps, both their desires are thwarted, but each discovers that no matter what, God is in charge.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  While this novel started off really slowly in my opinion, it quickly picked up and became quite suspenseful. I loved how Griep chose a setting in which her characters could realistically change and grow.

Mr. Brentwood and Miss Payne were not without their flaws, but that's partly why they were such great characters. The chemistry between them was there from the beginning, but the author did a great job of slowly building that in a realistic manner. 

The suspense was masterfully crafted and left me intrigued. All of these qualities made this a great book. 

However, I felt like the story lagged at times. I found myself wanting to flip the pages faster and faster just to get to a good part at times. These scenes that lagged knock it down to a 3 to me. 

So why 3 stars? Because of the slow-pacing at times.

Warnings/Side-notes: Several mildly violent scenes or attempted assault scenes. Recommended 15+. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable, realistic historical romantic suspense that I thoroughly enjoyed. I'll be keeping my eye on Griep. 

Love,

Danica Page

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Review: Learning to Live by Jerrica Knight-Catania

Learning to Live 
by Jerrica Knight-Catania 
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 
Published on: December 1, 2014 

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


Losing someone is never easy. The hardest part is learning how to live without them -- mentally rearranging your future now that your dreams have been shattered.

Devastated by the loss of her fiance in the World Trade Towers on 9-11, Jessica Brooks is certain she'll never love again. Hell, she may never even leave her apartment again. But circumstances force her back to her hometown of Atlanta and into the arms of someone who understands her pain.

Torn between mourning her fiance forever and finding peace in the midst of her grief, Jess must find the key to her happiness, the cure for her pain, and learn how to move on without the person she held most dear.

Learning to Live is a New Adult novel about love and loss, and finding comfort in the company of those you'd least expect.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This book was intriguing and I really did enjoy the overall plotline. The author did a great job at catching the grief of having lost everything she loved on 9/11. 

The writing was also fairly good. I enjoyed the story. I had a hard time connecting with the main character Jess for several parts of the novel, but I enjoyed reading about her. 

I loved how the book portrays messages of hope and survival. I think fans of realistic new adult will enjoy this one, and it only cost 99 cents. So why not?  

So why 3 stars? It didn't really stand out of the crowd for me. It was missing that extra something to set this over the edge. 

Warnings/Side-notes: This is actually really tame as far as new adult goes. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to 15+. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable, insightful book. Well crafted. I will be keeping tabs on this author. 

Love,

Danica Page

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Review: The Consequences of Loving Colton by Rachel Van Dyken

The Consequences of Loving Colton
(Consequences, #1)
by Rachel Van Dyken  
New Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating: 4.25
Published by: April 21, 2015

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

My name is Milo Caro and I have a confession to make.



I’ve been in love with Colton Mathews since I was five. He should have known that sharing a cookie with a sugar obsessed little monster would do the trick–it sealed his fate. So really, the fact that he’s sporting a black eye, a limp, almost got ran over by a car, and was nearly responsible for another person’s death? Right. HIs fault. Not mine. 

I made a pact with myself–this weekend would be different. I’d come home for my brothers wedding, smile, and Colton would naturally melt into my arms, we’d get married have five kids, live in a house by the river, and get a dog named scratch (clearly I’ve thought this through).

What really happened? I punched my brother in the face, Colton kissed me and apologized, I lied about having a boyfriend, oh and everyone wants to meet the mystery man. 

They say laughter always comes before insanity–ha, ha. All I wanted was my brother’s best friend…instead I’m sitting in prison. 

Let this be a lesson to you all…life rarely happens the way you want it to. 


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions:  This book wasn't anything like I expected it to be. The strength of this book was that it was hilarious. The characters in the novel were so quirky that you couldn't help but laugh.

It was cheesy and predictable, but oh so funny. I loved the characters and couldn't wait to see what happened by the end of the book. 

If you are looking for a hilarious book, this one is definitely a great pick. 

So why 3 stars? It was hilarious, but the story dragged at times for me. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Fairly tame as far as New Adult goes. I'd recommend for 16+ still though. Lots of drinking references, references to drugs, and sex are included.

The Wrap-up: A hilarious fun read. 

Love,

Danica Page

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Review: The Truth about Jack by Jody Gehrman

The Truth about Jack
by Jody Gehrman  
Young Adult 
Asked to Review
Average Goodreads Rating:3.65
Published on: April 15, 2015
Published by: Entangled Crush 

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


Dakota McCloud has just been accepted into a prestigious art school. Soon she'll leave behind the artists' colony where she grew up―hippie dad, tofu since birth, yurt―and join her boyfriend and best friend on the East Coast. It was the plan…until Dakota finds out her boyfriend and best friend hooked up behind her back. 

Hurt and viciously betrayed, Dakota pours out her heart on a piece of paper, places it in a bottle, and hurls it into the ocean. But it doesn't quite go where she expects…

Jack Sauvage finds the bottle washed up on the shore and responds to Dakota's letter. Except what if his straight-laced life doesn’t jive with the free-spirited girl he’s only seen from afar? As Jack creates a persona he believes she’ll love, they slowly fall for each other with each new letter. Now Jack is trying to find a way to make this delicate, on-paper romance happen in real life…without revealing his deception.


My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. 

Disclaimers: I received an e-galley of this novel from the publisher 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.

My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: This book was very different than I thought it would be, but not necessarily in a bad way. I enjoyed watching the characters grow and develop.

The book's biggest strength was originality. The characters, the setting, the plot, it all felt different from other things I've read before.

The writing was fairly good and the plot moved. I did, however, feel like the book was missing that extra something to really make it stand out.

However, I do believe that fans of the genre will enjoy this one. 

So why 3 stars? It just didn't stand out for me and the ending felt rushed. 

Warnings/Side-notes: Some references to violence and drinking. 

The Wrap-up: An enjoyable book that I liked reading. Predictable but cute. 

Love,

Danica Page

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