Friday, July 27, 2018

Books I have not finished in 2018 #2

There have been quite a few books recently that I didn't finish for varying reasons. Here they are.

Succubus Lips by Lina Jubilee

Review: Succubus Lips (Succubus Sirens #1) by Lina Jubilee

The blurb of this book was somewhat intriguing, and since I'm on a reverse harem kick right now, I decided to give it a shot. Unfortunately, this book was a disappointment from the get-go, and it was impossible to get into. It felt like I was thrown into the deep end of a swimming pool with no water wings or ability to swim. There was no introduction to the characters or the basic plot or backstory. I felt like I was left floundering as I tried to figure out what the heck was going on. I did not appreciate the feeling of being thrown into something with no explanation. I kept feeling like I was missing something. The writing didn't draw me into the narrative and the dialogue either. Nothing made sense to me, which is very unusual because, with as much as I read, I'm pretty good at filling in the blanks when it comes to world-building and backstory. I tried and gave this book several shots at luring me into the story, but alas, that didn't happen. As much as I wanted to like this book, I didn't.

Heartbreaker by Pavan Kaur and Maddie Wade

Review: Heartbreaker by Pavan Kaur and Maddie Wade

Full disclosure, I picked up Heartbreaker because one of the writers in the duo is a favorite of mine. I love her romantic suspense books and am deeply invested in the series. However, this one sucked. Big time! I hate to say this about books I read because I try to see the good or the other side of it. I know I won't like everything and I'm prepared for that, but I was prepared to like this one because Ms Wade co-wrote it. Perhaps this will appeal to a younger audience or those who like their books shallow, juvenile, without depth, and written in first person. I am not that reader. And perhaps I'm the wrong demographic for the book. I gave this book the good ol' college try but I couldn't keep torturing myself with it. I've never read Ms Kaur so I do not know what her writing style is but if this book is any indication of what her writing is like, I do not like it at all. As for Ms Wade, this is so far from her usual standard that it has left me somewhat gobsmacked. I hate saying this to an author I like but I hope there will not be any future collaborations between them. This one did Ms Wade no favors. I'll continue to read Ms Wade's solo efforts but I'm going to steer clear of Ms Kaur's work.

One Night With Dr Nikolaides by Annie O'Neil

Review: One Night with Dr Nikolaides by Annie O'Neil

There's nothing technically wrong with this story. The writing is good and the pacing flows well. Except the trope and I don't get along very well. Second chance romances and I are not friends. We haven't been for a while and lately, I'm even less patient and less forgiving of it. A lot of people love the second chance romance trope but it's my least favorite trope. I won't go into the reasons why it doesn't agree with me here because that will be an entire long blog post. Suffice it to say that as well written as this story is, the trope didn't work for me and I kept thinking as the story unfolded before me that I really didn't want to be reading this. I got as far as Cailey and Theo's reunion and instant attraction to each other. The memories of what might have been, the longing, the regret, the remnants of a teenage crush, and Cailey's insecurity at being shunned and minimalized by Theo's father. Between Cailey's low self-esteem and Theo's father's awfulness, I couldn't get myself to read beyond the 20% I managed. Cailey is still attracted to Theo. She has never stopped loving him, but struggles with feeling inadequate and the negativity of her internal dialogue did her no favors to my mind. I did skip to the end and read the ending. The showdown between Theo and his father was epic, and I'm glad Cailey and Theo finally found their happy, but this is a romance after all so you know that's meant to happen. All I have to say is if you enjoy Harlequin's Medical romances and enjoy the second chance romance trope, you might enjoy this one.

Kept By The Viking by Gina Conkle

Review: Kept By The Viking (Forgotten Sons #1) by Gina Conkle

I picked up this book because I like Vikings. What I wasn't prepared for were medieval Vikings. That's likely my fault for not reading the blurb of the book properly and getting caught up in the romanticism and fantasy of the Vikings themselves. I think I prefer modern day Vikings steeped in lore and myth. My preferences run more towards paranormal romance than historical romance. On the whole, I thought the writing for the story was pretty good but I was not captured by the story. It did not excite me. I kept checking my reading status to see how far I'd read frequently, willing the time and the percentage read number to go up faster. That could have been the pacing of the story or my own impatience. I do not know which. Aside from that, I also didn't like Safira, the heroine. She's feisty and proud and provocative and much too bold. All of those are probably not bad characteristics to have but she rubbed me the wrong way. I didn't like the way she challenged and teased Rurik when it was she who imposed herself upon him to further her own ends. I didn't like the way she kept taunting him and digging into him while keeping her own secrets. I generally just didn't like her. And I've long since decided that if I don't like the heroine, I'm not going to torture myself by reading the entire book and disliking her every minute of my reading experience. It makes me cranky. I'm sorry Ms Conkle, but Rurik and Safira (mostly Safira) didn't do it for me. This didn't work for me but it wouldn't stop me from recommending it to people who enjoy this sort of story. I'm sure there are other people out there who will be more patient with Safira than I was.

On The Line by Liz Lincoln

Review: On The Line (Milwaukee Dragons #1) by Liz Lincoln

This was supposed to be a cute story but it turned out to be kind of average. Okay, the initial attraction "meet cute" at the grocery store and the subsequent sexting was cute but then the following chapters of Carrie and Seth resisting each other was not fun. I totally understand why they have to do it, boss-employee thing, what with Carrie being Seth's daughter's nanny. Both Seth and Carrie were great. Seth is a great father and a dedicated athlete. He wants to do the right thing for his daughter and perform the best he can as an athlete. Carrie is sweet too. Out of work as a science school teacher, she's forced to take the nanny job to make ends meet. Both Seth and Carrie have an insane attraction to each other going on. I get the reluctance to cross the lines but man, I wanted them to. There's a lot of teasing and self-gratification going on which was quite sexy but honestly, I was a bit bored with the pacing of the story and how it was unfolding. I kept thinking that this story was not captivating me and making me want to turn the pages as fast as I could to get to what happens next. By 30% I was actively skimming it to see if they ever fall into each others' arms. Not yet! I wanted this story to excite me a lot more than it did. And the sports aspect of it kind of didn't interest me. Now, granted I don't know much about the sport but I know enough about American football to know what a linebacker is. I thought I'd be more engaged learning a bit about the sport or be entertained by that aspect of it, but sadly, I felt about the sports part of the story much the same way I felt about watching it on TV. Kinda bored. That really sucks and I feel kinda bad about it. Maybe I just need to lay off sports romances? Overall though, the whole story seemed to lack spirit to me. I had such high hopes.

Westin's Chase by Cristin Harber

Review: Westin's Chase (Titan #3) by Cristin Harder

Full confession here - according to my Goodreads "currently reading" shelf, I started this book on April 27, 2016. Yes, almost two years ago! I was hesitant about this story because as much as I liked Jared, I did not like Sugar. In one of my book groups, I was encouraged to give Sugar a chance and told that she grows on you, that's she's great with the women in the group and is a real den mother kind of character, very nurturing. I started listening to this in an audiobook because I love Jeffrey Kafer's narration and Cristin Harber's writing. I've listened to the previous two books and enjoyed them greatly. However, as much as I enjoyed Mr Kafer's narration, I could not get past Sugar's character. I just did not like her. She was brash, foul mouthed and reckless. Perhaps it's a calculated recklessness because she was some sort of undercover agent but heck, I did not like her. She just rubbed me the wrong way. And she was always butting heads, disagreeing, aggravating and fighting with Jared. Even when they were having sex, it was all angry sex with hissing and spitting. I finally stopped listening when they were in a situation about 42% in where they were being attacked and Jared told Sugar to stay put. Instead what does she do? She runs off and disregards his instructions, because, of course, she knows better cos she's a kickash woman, right? Feh! I'm not asking her to be a doormat, but it would be a lot better if she was a lot less abrasive and disruptive. Nope, she never grew on me and I've got a long drive coming up in a few days and in need of an audiobook. I was trying to psych myself up to continuing this but as soon as I thought back to where I had left it and what I was feeling when listening to it, I decided it was finally time for me to abandon this book and say a rather relieved farewell to Sugar and her antics. It's a pity though, cos I like Jared. And I'm not sure if I'll pick up the next book because I'm not keen on the premise of the story where one of the agents were forced to betray the team because his family was being held hostage. All very nasty stuff. I'll have to see if I come back to this series at a later date or not when I am in need of another audiobook to listen to.

The Morcai Battalion The Pursuit by Diana Palmer

Review: The Morcai Battalion: The Pursuit by Diana Palmer

I made the mistake of starting this book without reading any of the previous books in the series. I'm usually okay with doing that sort of thing but with this being sci-fi romance and what has come before (there's a lot of mentions of previous characters and things that happened in the past) and not being up with all the previous world building that went on, I felt myself drifting with this book. Don't get me wrong, what I read, I enjoyed. I found Jasmine to be utterly delightful even though she was a self-pronounced ditz. And Mekashe was so sweet in his attraction to Jasmine and his joy in finally finding her after being alone for so many years. I could see myself getting heavily invested into both these characters and I'm certain I will once I get a bit more back story under my belt. Mekashe is keeping a lot of secrets from Jasmine and that can't be a good thing. One thing though, I'm nervous about them being forced apart for whatever reason.The blurb implies it's a conscious decision on Mekashe's part and that's what makes this a second chance romance even though the story opens with Jasmine and Mekashe meeting for the first time and exploring a sweet budding relationship. I'm looking forward to picking this book up again once I've caught up with the first four books. PS. I might have skipped to the end and read the ending a little bit and it mentions a lot of trials and tribulations Jasmine and Mekashe have to overcome in order to have their happy ending. I'm not sure how I feel about that either. Stay tuned.

The Last King by Katee Robert

Review: The Last King by Katee Robert

Let me start by saying I liked both the hero and heroine in this story. Beckett was sexy, commanding and driven although damaged from his childhood and an unloving parent. Samara was ambitious and beautiful with a kindness that was surprising. They are both rivals or as Samara kept having to remind herself, enemies, working for different companies often competing for contracts. They have faced off each other frequently in the boardroom and have an enormous mutual attraction that they shouldn't succumb to because, ya know, enemies! Even so, their interactions while often tense are not unpleasant. There's a lot of mutual respect and grudging trust going on. What I didn't like was the unpleasantness around the family intrigue and the enmity between Beckett's aunt and his side of the family. Perhaps her hate is justifiable because she was badly treated by her father but the feud in the family has carried on for years and grown over that time. There's an entire very negative subplot going on with Beckett's aunt and the mystery surrounding the death of Beckett's father and the final changes to his will at a very late stage. I found I didn't have the patience to wade through all the animosity and negativity that was going to pepper the entire plot of the story with Beckett's aunt pitting Samara against Beckett to undermine him, while they fight their attraction to one another. My patience ran thin after giving the book about 25% but even the discovery of more intrigue and accusations didn't keep me engaged but in fact pushed me away from the story. I like Ms Robert's writing but this story itself wasn't for me.

A Mother To Make A Family by Emily Forbes

Review: A Mother To Make A Family by Emily Forbes

This story starts with a tragedy and then weighs down with even more sadness and tragedy as we get to know Mitch and Rose. I honestly started skimming and skipping parts of it as I read because there was so much internal dialogue that was focused on their regrets, sadness and missing out of life. I simply could not deal with all the negativity with the way the story started and it didn't look up by about 15% and I couldn't keep going even though the writing itself was good and both Mitch and Rose's first glimpses of each other and their reactions were scintillating. It will probably pick up as it progresses, at the very least, I hope it does but there's a heavy blanket of melancholy in the tone of this story and it just was not what I could handle and wanted to read at this time. If I'm being honest I don't think it would be anything I'd want to read later on either. I prefer my romances to be a lot more upbeat and hopeful rather than being weighed down with so much hurt, sadness and regret.

There you have it. A few books that were a bit lacklustre for me.

Tell me, are there any hot buttons that don't work for you in books? Something that will make you shut the book and not keep reading? How many books have you not finished so far this year?

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  1. It is sad when you can't finish a book so far this year there has been one book for that I DNF and that was a new to me author the story jumped around way to much and was very hard to follow

    have Fun


    1. I read a lot of books and a lot of new to me authors earlier in the year and that amounted to a lot of DNFs for things I was trying. Still, at least now I know. I enjoy more than I DNF, fortunately.