Book Reviews

Do you find book reviews difficult to write?
When I attempted my first book review, 
I spent hours working on it. 
Since then, I’ve adopted an easy template to use. 
I’ll even share. 😉
First, if you’re blogging, it’s a good idea to 
insert a copy of the book cover 
for your visual viewers. 
Just as an attractive plate of food stirs your taste buds, a well-designed book cover draws a reader in and prompts them to take a deeper look. Generally, you don’t need to ask permission to use the cover. Most authors I know would LOVE the free advertising.

Secondly, I usually 
plug the back cover copy into the top of a Word document 
as a working copy. Although I don’t always use it in my review, doing this keeps the names and general story idea handy, saving time later.

Journey’s Edge back cover copy:
A Routine Audit? Hardly. 
Red flags—including some goon who’s following her—raise McKinley Frasier’s suspicions that numbers don’t add up at the insurance firm. When someone tries to snatch McKinley’s daughter from school, she turns to police officer and ex-fiance, Renner Crossman—the cop who walked out on her a month before their wedding. But Renner’s not the same guy who broke her heart ten years ago. He calls himself a “new man.” She trusts the new Renner with her daughter’s safety…but what about her heart?

As I’m reading the book, I 
use the following template 
to type notes in the Word document.

  • What I liked.
  • What I didn’t like. Was I confused about something?
  • Characters ~ were they 3-dimensional? Did I like them?
  • Setting ~ was it real enough that I felt like I was there? 
  • For romantic suspense novels, was there an appropriate balance?
  • Is there a message for the reader to take away? A faith thread?
  • How would I rate the book?

Answering these questions as you read the book allows your review to flow fairly quickly and painlessly. 

Your readers may also appreciate purchase links. 😉

And lastly, due to 2009 FTC regulations, you’re obligated to indicate whether you received any compensation 
for the review. 

Want to see an awesome example? Check out Susan Tuttle’s Bookshelf Friday

Do you have a method for writing book reviews?
What works for you?

My Review of HEARTS KEY by Marianne Evans

A sweet, irresistible romance from the first page to the last…

My review:

Hearts Key opens with a heart-wrenching scene, the dissolution of a marriage. Once a vibrant youth leader, Amy Samuels barely escapes her husband’s drunken rage with her daughter, Pyper. Estranged from family and friends because of her husband’s abusive behavior, Amy places a collect call to her former pastor for help.

A year later, settled within the loving arms of the Woodland Church family, Amy and Pyper begin the healing process. Hiding behind the safety of a camera lens, Amy arrives at Woodland Church to shoot the homecoming of Tyler Brock. Tyler Brock, whose love she’d tossed aside because she’d been enamored with football star, Mark Samuels. Now a powerhouse in Christian music, Tyler is still the gentle, faithful guy Amy knew in high school. And he still loves her. With his gentle spirit, Tyler breaks down Pyper’s fearful “male” barrier and reminds Amy that God’s love is all she needs to overcome her self-doubts.

I have to admit that once Tyler entered the scene, I wondered if Ms. Evans would be able to sustain the book, but did she ever deliver! Not only does Tyler battle his own fears when an agent woos him with crossing over into mainstream music, but he also helps break down Amy and Pyper’s insecurities. Ms. Evans built the romantic tension to such a level that I found myself whispering, “Kiss her! Just kiss her already!”

Hearts Key is a sweet, irresistible romance from the first page to the last! Even at two hundred and fifty four pages, I wasn’t ready for Hearts Key to end. Sadly, Hearts Key is the last in the series, but that won’t stop me from going back and reading the first three books. Congratulations, Ms. Evans. Five stars from this reader!

Available with White Rose Publishing.

Disclaimer: An unbiased review, based on my purchase of this book.