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In Desperation (Jack Gannon)
In Desperation (Jack Gannon)
by Rick Mofina
Edition: Mass Market Paperback

3.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
You may also read my review here: [...]

First off, let me say a big THANK YOU to Rick Mofina for always publishing his book in paperback and not touching hardcover... for someone on a budget (me), it is always appreciated!

Now, I have read every one of Rick Mofina's books and have to say that the Jack Gannon series is not my favourite. It's not the character because, to be honest, all of the main characters have been reporters and they all sort of blend. That's not the issue though... it's more the plot. I am not enjoying the cross-border action.

So, I am going to break my review into two parts... the cross-border, drug cartel part and the kidnapping part.

One - underdeveloped characters, overwhelming circumstances surrounding their backgrounds and lingo that was unfamiliar to me... a lot of 'narco' and Spanish 'drug' language.

Two - great character development; although having two other novels to meet Jack definitely helps. I appreciated Cora and her story; the reason she left so many years ago and her reasons for not coming back. The relationship between Jack and Cora is one that I completely understood... you do everything you can to protect those you love. I thoroughly enjoyed all the action and drama that surrounded this aspect of the novel.

Overall, it was a good book and I will be looking for the next instalment to the Gannon series in January 2012.


From London with Love
From London with Love
by Jemma Forte
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: From London with Love (Paperback)
You can also read my review here: [...]

Chick-lit is fast becoming my favourite genre and this gem from Jemma Forte definitely adds to that feeling.

When we first meet Jessica Granger, her Hollywood icon father is constantly interfering in her life... career and personal. Being skeptical as to how hard Jessica's life really could be, I was interested to see how this book would progress - and it was a journey worth taking. As Jessica set out to 'find herself', I found myself wanting to read faster and faster so I could see how everything would turn out.

A fantastic story with an unforgettable cast of characters that will leave you wanting more. The ultimate in romance... 'will love conquer all?' is a question that I found myself asking more than once.

Overall, this book is a true love story and one that I would recommend to anyone who loves chick-lit... Jemma Forte is definitely an author to keep an eye on.


Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why It Often Sucks in the City, or Who Are These Idiots and Why D
Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why It Often Sucks in the City, or Who Are These Idiots and Why D
by Jen Lancaster
Edition: Paperback

5.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
You may also read my review here: [...]

When a book starts off by telling Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) to go 'suck an egg' (in not so many nice words), you just have to know that you're in for a treat... and what an amazing one this was. Bright Lights, Big Ass had me laughing-out-loud in so many chapters that people were starting to get my application to the local funny-farm ready. It was really rather embarrassing! Seriously... I'm not kidding.

This is not my first Jen Lancaster book and in fact, it appears that I am reading her backwards, but it doesn't seem to matter. She is so friggin' hilarious that I could read her stories again, and again, and again. I actually found myself telling my husband that I want to be her friend. Her narcissistic personality is the reason that she makes me laugh... I think that those who have the same personality just get it and she, my friends, understands!

One of my favourite things about Jen Lancaster and her writing style is that she tells is like it is. There is no sugar-coating, it is how it is and that's just the way it's going to be. She has such a way with her words that I could imagine myself in so many of the scenarios that she found herself in... especially the day-spa and the 'brown-star'. OMG, still laughing!! (Oops, sorry... Oh My Goodness)

While reading this book, my husband actually told me it was like listening to her book on tape because I 'never.shut.up' the whole time... constantly reading parts to him. Now, if that doesn't say something about the book, nothing will!! It was AWESOME!

So, if you like memoirs... pick up this book and I promise, you will NOT regret it!!


Night Road
Night Road
by Kristin Hannah
Edition: Paperback
Price: £7.99

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Night Road (Paperback)
You can also read my review here: [...]

An epic tale of love, friendship, loss and forgiveness.

Once I finished sobbing (and we're talking UGLY cry), I was able to look at Night Road and realize just how wonderful this book truly was.

I am having such a hard time writing the review for this book because it evoked so much emotion in me - sad, angry, happy, frustrated - that I don't know if I can find the appropriate words. How do you tell someone about a book that, literally, took your breath away? Having read Winter Garden and Firefly Lane, I thought I knew what I was in for but this one... nothing could prepare me for the ride I was about to have.

As the characters lives become intertwined, and the story more developed, you can see the amazing gift and talent that Kristin Hannah has. Through her writing, I became a classmate of Lexi, Mia and Zach. I could feel every emotion that I had back then, resurfacing. Their journey through high school becomes like that of a memory, something you have done and aren't just reading about.

Overall, this is a book that I am and will be thinking about for a long time to come. Whether you are a mother, a sister or a friends, Night Road is a story that anyone can relate to. A definite MUST-read!!


Breaking the Ice
Breaking the Ice
Price: £1.99

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Breaking the Ice (Kindle Edition)
You can also read my review here: [...]

Combine a story about an everyday girl, a 'has-been' gold medal skater and a wonky-eyed cat, and you have the perfect setting to a wonderful romantic story.

Mandy Baggot brings a breath of fresh air when she introduces Samantha Smith, as the main character in Breaking the Ice. Samantha isn't your typical run-of-the-mill girl with blonde hair, blue eyes and big boobs. She is so average that you probably wouldn't notice her if you were trying. It is so uncharacteristic of main characters these days that I was overjoyed. She is the perfect role model for anyone suffering the slightest bit of low self-esteem. If Samantha can do it, anyone can do it!!

Being a big fan of ice skating, it was really fun to have that in the background of the story. Jimmy Lloyd, being that dreamy athlete with all the baggage of a 'superstar' and all the looks of a god, is so nice that it seems almost unbelievable, but then again... that is the stuff dreams are made of, right?

The storyline of Breaking the Ice was very well crafted. While you felt you knew how the story was going to end, little bits and pieces would pop up and surprise you, taking you off track and making you guess if the ending really would be as you imagined.

Overall, this is a true fairy tale story with enough drama to keep you turning the pages. An awesome introduction to the writing of Mandy Baggot. I will definitely be picking up another book soon!!


Always Something There to Remind Me
Always Something There to Remind Me
by Beth Harbison
Edition: Paperback
Price: £10.99

4.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
You may also read my review here: [...]

Have you ever run into an old friend and spent the rest of the day wondering about others who were a part of your early life? Heard a song on the radio that brought you back to the time you first heard it? While I don't have the same connection to my first 'love' as Erin has to Nate, I can definitely understand all the feeling that came to light in Always Something There to Remind Me.

Once again, this novel uses the 'past and present' format. Spending one chapter in the character's current life; the next, in the past. This format is one that is 'take-it or leave-it' for me, but this one... very much a 'take-it'. I found myself desperate to read the next chapter because I wanted, no needed, to know what had happened to bring the character's to this current place in their lives. What was the BIG thing that broke apart Erin and Nate... how did such an intense love not survive?

Beth Harbison's description of Erin's feelings brought me back to a time when hormones ran wild. A teenager changing into a woman and having no idea what was happening. Crazy one minute, happy the next. Through skilled writing, Beth relates to every female and makes this book a must-read for everyone. No matter who you are, you have had a first love... whether you let them go or are spending the rest of your life together, you know this story all too well.

Overall, this book is a brilliant read and one that will leave you thinking LONG after you put it down.


Girls in White Dresses
Girls in White Dresses
by Jennifer Close
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Girls in White Dresses (Hardcover)
You can also read my review here: [...]

"Always a bridesmaid, never a bride"

As spring and summer approach, those traveling in large social circles must open their mailboxes while holding their breath. For there is nothing worse than the dreaded wedding invitation - such a joyous occasion to the family of the betrothed, a wedding can be single girl's worst nightmare. Okay, worse is picking up the phone and hearing the words, 'I would be honoured if you would be in my bridal party!' Oy!

Jennifer Close's description of weddings as you age was bang-on perfect. The first weddings that you attend after graduation are absolute gong-shows... binge-drinking to your heart's content, dancing all-night-long, and staying out until sunrise. As you get older and the weddings become more frequent, the drinking is less (as you tend to look like the crazy single lady that people stay away from), the dancing is slower (high heels hurt), and the all-nighters are now midnighters (who can handle staying up all night anyways). I often found myself nodding in understanding as Isabella, Mary and Lauren discussed the next event they HAD to attend.

Being an avid fan of a good wedding story, I really enjoyed that Girls in White Dresses looks at the other side of the story and isn't from the brides point-of-view. It was very refreshing and brought into focus that the day isn't always about the bride... unless you ARE the bride!!

Girls in White Dresses will be proudly displayed - on my bookshelf - next to Nora Roberts wedding quartet series because it ranks right up there as one of my favourite wedding reads. A perfect summer story that will make you laugh out loud as you journey through the lives of these three wonderful, loveable, women.

Overall, this is a fantastic novel and I look forward to reading many more from Jennifer Close. She is a true gem to this genre!!


Escape
Escape
by Delinsky
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Escape (Hardcover)
You can also read my review here: [...]

Wouldn't you just love to escape the everyday and run as far as you can with little to no consequences? I know I would.

Escape for me was a book of fantasies... looking towards to 'what-ifs' and the 'shoulda, coulda, woulda's. While I really enjoyed the characters and the setting of the book, I found the whole premise to be to unbelievable. It just doesn't seem possible, in our present world, that you can literally 'escape' the everyday and not have a single issue as a result; not with your job, your marriage or your finances.

Putting aside the unrealistic, I found myself living through Emily. I could hear the static in her head and, through Barbara Delinsky's desciption, could feel her stress lessening as she escaped to Bell Valley. The story was a perfect mix of 'then and now', never really leaving the present to explain the past but instead, giving you just enough information to make the story work. You understand why Emily chose Bell Valley and what she needed to accomplish in order to return to the 'real world'.

A pleasant surprise to this book was the hidden mystery that Emily stumbles upon when she meets Lee, the baker at the bed and breakfast she is staying at. As the mystery develops, the book really becomes a page-turner, and Emily's future seems to become mapped out right before her eyes.

Overall, a good book with a story that anyone can relate to.


Marrying Cade
Marrying Cade

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Marrying Cade (Kindle Edition)
You can also read my review here: [...]

Let me start by saying I am mourning the end of this book... I was not ready to let go of my personal - or at least that's how it felt - relationship with Cade and Melo.

Romance novels rarely top my 'to-be-read' list because they tend to be too touchy-feely, full of over-the-top romance and sex scenes that make me squirm. Marrying Cade was nothing like I expected. It had the perfect mix of everything - romantic gestures, sizzling sex scenes, family troubles and even a page turning mystery.

We all have that certain someone from our youth that makes us swoon - whether it be a real person or a fictional character - there is always someone there. Just imagine your childhood sweetheart coming back home after a decade and into one of the most idyllic settings around - Paradise Beach. Even just the description makes my heart start pounding a little harder. From the very moment that Melo and Cade's eyes connected, I was hooked. Sally Clements used the perfect combination of words to describe everything in this novel that it was like watching a movie.

While I could have predicted the ending, it was still a very enjoyable read and one that I will be thinking about for days to come.

Overall, a great introduction to Sally Clements and I can only hope that there is more of Cade and Melo in my future - hint hint! :)


Then Came You
Then Came You
by Jennifer Weiner
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars A Turning the Pages Review, 14 Feb. 2012
This review is from: Then Came You (Paperback)
You can also read my review here: [...]

The premise of this book had me hooked from the get-go. Having struggled with fertility myself, I found it interesting to read from three different aspects; the donor, the surrogate and the mother-to-be.

Jennifer Weiner's books are always a must-read for me but this one left me wanting more. After getting over my instant desire to call the nearest fertility clinic and sign up for some egg donation of my own, I found the read a bit of a struggle. Whether it was the fact that I was reading two books at once or the fact that my sister had a baby 8-weeks early while I was reading, something just didn't feel right. I enjoyed the characters of Jules, Annie, and India well enough but just felt they were very stereotypical. A snotty spoiled step-daughter, investigating her gold digging step-mother. A daughter who does all she can to help her father get through his addiction and a wife, struggling in a down-turned economy, making money for her family in the most unusual way. It just felt that these characters could have been in any book and that is not typical of Jennifer Weiner's novels.

The story line was also a bit of a struggle. I found it very hard to figure out how much time had passed between each of the story lines. One second, Jules was donating an egg and the next, India was meeting Annie. It was all very confusing.

Overall, a good book with an interesting concept. One that I was happy to be reading but felt left wanting more when I finished.


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