Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Book Review - The First Ten Pages - Deception Island by Judith A. Boss

As a reader, if my interest isn't stirred in the first ten pages of a book, it's most likely I won't take the time to read the rest of the story. First impressions do matter...

So, what exactly is the point of a ten page review? Obviously, it's not the story itself, the effectiveness of the plot development, the quality of character development, or the overall talent of the author. What I'm reviewing is the author's ability to draw me into their story in just a few pages. Can they give me a sense of place and time, set the tone of the story, make me care about their protagonist, and give me an impelling reason to keep reading. In today's competitive market, an author only gets a few pages to make all that happen for a reader. The rating reflects my view on those elements. It doesn't reflect on the whole book, since I haven't read the entire story. So I encourage those who read these reviews to keep that in mind and to peruse other whole-book reviews to help make your buying decisions.


Title: Deception Island
Author: Judith A. Boss
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Wild Rose Press

Review Rating: ***** Totally Hooked - Can't Put It Down

Review Comments: 
The first page of this book had the feel of a Sci-Fi thriller, the kind that jerks you up from your lounging position into full action mode. I wanted to jump into this story and head to Antarctica with Rachel St. Claire to analyze a frozen body with strange anomalies. But wait, what's going on with her right now as she's about to explore a cave in Afghanistan is way not normal. What's going on with the gold pendant that gives her strange vibes? And what about her boyfriend who is acting edgy and asking her probing questions that seem to be very suspicious.

As you can tell, this author has grabbed my full attention in the first ten pages of her story. So much is going on, so many curious things happening at once, people acting out of character, all these elements nailed me in place. I didn't want to move an inch until I could find out what was going to happen next.

Quote from Book:
~ Rachel closed her hand over the pendant.  A familiar melody, faint at first, drifted through her head, transporting her to a white land, pristine and sparkling in the sunlight. ~



Monday, June 19, 2017

Book Review - First Ten Pages - Be Mine by April Hollingworth

As a reader, if my interest isn't stirred in the first ten pages of a book, it's most likely I won't take the time to read the rest of the story. First impressions do matter...

So, what exactly is the point of a ten page review? Obviously, it's not the story itself, the effectiveness of the plot development, the quality of character development, or the overall talent of the author. What I'm reviewing is the author's ability to draw me into their story in just a few pages. Can they give me a sense of place and time, set the tone of the story, make me care about their protagonist, and give me an impelling reason to keep reading. In today's competitive market, an author only gets a few pages to make all that happen for a reader. The rating reflects my view on those elements. It doesn't reflect on the whole book, since I haven't read the entire story. So I encourage those who read these reviews to keep that in mind and to peruse other whole-book reviews to help make your buying decisions.


Title: Be Mine (A Candy Hearts Romance)
Author: April Hollingworth
Genre: Sweet Contemporary Romance

Review Rating: *** Hum... Has Possibilities - I'll read ten more pages

Review Comments: 
I'm somewhat struggling with this review. The reason being, is that I had two very different responses to the first ten pages. First, let me address the positive. I really liked the klutzy Beth and I could sense her troubled past was going to raise it's ugly head in the pages to follow. She seemed sincere and determined to make the best of her situation, but at the same time, a little wounded and apprehensive. I also liked Mark, and wondered if he could surround her with the haven of love and protection I felt she needed.

While the author's characterizations were effective and drew me toward these people, the overt sexual innuendos and overtones of these first pages gave the story a sharp edge that, for me, cooled my interest. It's a case of too much too soon...

Quote from Book:
~ The simplicity of the interaction astounds me. I can’t help compare him to my ex James. A shudder ripples through me at the thought of him. His temper and volatile nature still scares me, even though it’s been seven years since I left him. ~



Book Review - First Ten Pages - Not According to Flan by Karen C. Whalen

As a reader, if my interest isn't stirred in the first ten pages of a book, it's most likely I won't take the time to read the rest of the story. First impressions do matter...

So, what exactly is the point of a ten page review? Obviously, it's not the story itself, the effectiveness of the plot development, the quality of character development, or the overall talent of the author. What I'm reviewing is the author's ability to draw me into their story in just a few pages. Can they give me a sense of place and time, set the tone of the story, make me care about their protagonist, and give me an impelling reason to keep reading. In today's competitive market, an author only gets a few pages to make all that happen for a reader. The rating reflects my view on those elements. It doesn't reflect on the whole book, since I haven't read the entire story. So I encourage those who read these reviews to keep that in mind and to peruse other whole-book reviews to help make your buying decisions.


Title: Not According to Flan
Author: Karen C. Whalen
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Review Rating: **** Intrigued - Taking This Home

Review Comments: 
I have to be honest. By page six I was not getting drawn into this story. Sure, poor Jane Marsh had just discovered a dead body in the neighbor's yard next door to the new house she was moving into, but still, this is a mystery, so I expect a dead body to appear. But, hold everything...page seven completely changed the tone of this story and made my heart skip a beat. In just a few sentences, the author let me know that there was a lot more going on here than I currently knew.  With an effective twist of information, I now felt as though I had to follow Jane around a little more, see what was really going on in her life. I was left with a big question that needed answering, Why Jane?

The story's hook doesn't have to come on the first page, but it surely needs to happen in the first ten pages as this author certainly proved. 

Quote from Book:
~ Had she made a mistake leaving her comfortable home to move to this northern suburb of Denver where she didn't know anyone? And where a person was killed right next door... ~



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Book Review - First Ten Pages - Ethan's Daughter by Rachel Brimble

As a reader, if my interest isn't stirred in the first ten pages of a book, it's most likely I won't take the time to read the rest of the story. First impressions do matter...

So, what exactly is the point of a ten page review? Obviously, it's not the story itself, the effectiveness of the plot development, the quality of character development, or the overall talent of the author. What I'm reviewing is the author's ability to draw me into their story in just a few pages. Can they give me a sense of place and time, set the tone of the story, make me care about their protagonist, and give me an impelling reason to keep reading. In today's competitive market, an author only gets a few pages to make all that happen for a reader. The rating reflects my view on those elements. It doesn't reflect on the whole book, since I haven't read the entire story. So I encourage those who read these reviews to keep that in mind and to peruse other whole-book reviews to help make your buying decisions.


Title: Ethan's Daughter
Author: Rachel Brimble
Genre: Contemporary Romance Suspense

Review Rating: **** Intrigued - Taking This Home

Review Comments: 
Leah Dixon is minding her own business when an icy deluge infringes on her walk along the beach promenade. If that isn't enough to worry about, she finds a lone child sitting in the rain dangerously close to the water's edge. On a mission of retribution against a neglectful father, she helps the little girl find her way home. What she finds doesn't ease her mind, a short-tempered man with a knife cut on his hand. He's ready for her to leave. She's not moving in that direction...

Nothing explodes in the first ten pages. But that doesn't need to happen if the writer can move me to the edge of my seat with information that unsettles my nerves. That's exactly what happened! Nothing in these first pages makes me comfortable. I've met three characters, all of which, are in their own pitiful circumstances. I'm in complete agreement with Leah Dixon, I'm not ready to leave...

Quote from Book:
~ “I was caught up with something. I really can’t thank you—”

“Caught up with something?” Her eyes narrowed. “As in work?”

Whether rightly or wrongly, he suddenly felt defensive. “Hey, I’m trying my best, okay?”

“No, not okay.” ~



Monday, June 12, 2017

Book Review - First Ten Pages - Too Many Women in the Room by Joanne Guidoccio

As a reader, if my interest isn't stirred in the first ten pages of a book, it's most likely I
won't take the time to read the rest of the story. First impressions do matter...

So, what exactly is the point of a ten page review? Obviously, it's not the story itself, the effectiveness of the plot development, the quality of character development, or the overall talent of the author. What I'm reviewing is the author's ability to draw me into their story in just a few pages. Can they give me a sense of place and time, set the tone of the story, make me care about their protagonist, and give me an impelling reason to keep reading. In today's competitive market, an author only gets a few pages to make all that happen for a reader. The rating reflects my view on those elements. It doesn't reflect on the whole book, since I haven't read the entire story. So I encourage those who read these reviews to keep that in mind and to peruse other whole-book reviews to help make your buying decisions.


Title: Too Many Women in the Room
Author: Joanne Guidoccio
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Buy Now

Review Rating: **** Intrigued - Taking This Home

Review Comments: 
Prologue: The author introduced me to a nameless man on the first page and instantly, I detested him, hoping that somehow, someone would straighten out this good-for-nothing creep! Page 2, and I was ready to do the job myself... Page 3, It appears someone else had the same thought, only they have no aversion to violence.

This was a good example of making me, the reader, care about the character. To be effective, I didn't necessarily have to like the character, feel sympathy for him, or fall head-over-heels in love with him. I just need to connect on a level that fired some emotional response that kept me turning pages. Well done!

A few story elements gleaned from the first ten pages: 
A husband unexpectantly meets his wife on a jogging path at midnight. She has a knife.

Quote from Book:
~ His eyes traveled around the deserted field. Not a soul. And that was the appeal of running close to the midnight hour. 

This is not how he had planned his demise, not by a long shot. ~





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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Book Review - First Ten Pages - Beloved Enemy by Hywela Lyn

As a reader, if my interest isn't stirred in the first ten pages of a book, it's most likely I won't take the time to read the rest of the story. First impressions do matter...

So, what exactly is the point of a ten page review? Obviously, it's not the story itself, the effectiveness of the plot development, the quality of character development, or the overall talent of the author. What I'm reviewing is the author's ability to draw me into their story in just a few pages. Can they give me a sense of place and time, set the tone of the story, make me care about their protagonist, and give me an impelling reason to keep reading. In today's competitive market, an author only gets a few pages to make all that happen for a reader. The rating reflects my view on those elements. It doesn't reflect on the whole book, since I haven't read the entire story. So I encourage those who read these reviews to keep that in mind and to peruse other whole-book reviews to help make your buying decisions.


Title: Beloved Enemy
Author: Hywela Lyn
Genre: Sci-Fi Romance

Review Rating: *** Hum... Has Possibilities - I'll read ten more pages

Review Comments: 
Kat Kincaid is in trouble on the first page. A crash landing of her space ship puts her on an unknown planet with a Shifter for a companion. Battle sounds in the distance seem to be moving in her direction. Kat appears to be equal to the dangerous situation when she finds a wounded man, one with whom she has a personal score to settle. Vengeance is in the air!

I would have rated this higher if I'd had reason to be worried about Kat. But in the first pages, she comes across as strong, capable, and methodical. Even in her dire circumstance, she never blinks, as it were. That's why I'd continue to read a few more pages. Is she as unemotional as she seems, or is there good reason for her demeanor? Ten more pages and I might find that she has a vulnerable streak and needs me to stay with her...

A few story elements gleaned from the first ten pages: 
An emergency crash landing, a Shifter, blaster fire, and a wounded enemy.

Quote from Book:
~ As Cat bent over him, her hair, now loosened completely from the scarf, swung forward, and she shook it back from her face with an impatient gesture. She took her knife from her belt, and inserted the point into the material of his tunic.  ~