Thursday, December 10, 2020

Books I have not finished 2020 #4

I've learned something which should have been obvious but alas, sometimes I'm not that observant. I've read a lot more books this year. Broke my all time high record, actually. What I've learned is with reading a lot more books, I'm also finding more books I've loved, and more books that were duds. The proportion of those books remain approximately the same, but since I've read over 300 books this year instead of my usual 150+, there are a lot more that didn't make the cut. I was debating whether to list them all here today (there are a lot!) or break them up and spread them into next year. I've decided not to overwhelm you because who wants to listen to me grumble about books I didn't enjoy ad nauseum?

So without much further ado, here's some books I have not finished recently.

Driver 10 Seconds Or Less by Scarlett Winters

Review: Driver: 10 Seconds or Less (North Side Kings #1) by Scarlett Winters
I picked up this book to read because it sounded interesting from the blurb and it was short. I wasn't in the mood for anything or complex. Sadly, this didn't work for me. The first page was full of typos which I was willing to overlook since I'm used to reading drafts with lots of errors. However, aside from the errors, the writing didn't draw me in. Short, simple sentences and very basic dialogue. I do not need a literary masterpiece and these days I think I'm quite simple in my needs of a good entertaining read but this didn't hit the mark. The writing didn't grab me, the errors threw me out of the story, and (this is probably my fault) I didn't have the patience to wade through it in the hopes it would improve. When I'm starting a book, I need the opening to grab me and draw me into the story. Not have the writing and typos throw me out of it. Regretfully, moving on from this one.

Thornton Brothers Collection by Carolyn Faulkner

Review: Thornton Brothers Collection by Carolyn Faulkner
Someone recommended this book saying it was sweet. I'm on a sweet kick right now so I went for it. It didn't work for me. It's sweet but it's also slow as molasses. The prologue was so long I kept turning pages and it never ended. I'm starting to learn that with books, if they don't grab me in the first chapter, then my attention doesn't stay. It's also that I'm trying lots of new authors from recommendations and let's face it, I'm not going to love everything. The writing is decent enough but it's weighed down by too much narrative and description. The other thing I'm learning too is to stop when the book isn't grabbing me rather than slogging my way through it. My TBR is gigantic. Might as well move on and chip away at that pile. Onwards and upwards. :-)

Her Russian Master by Renee Rose

Review: Her Russian Master (Master Me #3) by Renee Rose
I enjoyed the first book I read of Ms Rose's - Her Marine Master. It was the last book in the series and since the books are all standalone, it makes no difference which book is read in what order. I wasn't keen on the other books but someone in a book group mentioned this one and said it was a favorite of hers and a frequent comfort read so I decided to give it a shot. Here's what I learned. I am choosy about mafia stories. I do not like heroines who are DJs. There's something about the persona and  profession that just doesn't work for me in a character. I think it has to do with the lifestyle and the fact that I'm such an old fuddy-duddy. I tried hard to get into the book but after a few chapters I was still feeling very disengaged with the characters and didn't feel particularly connected with them. I also did't like the treatment that Lucy was subject to by the other mafia members while Yuri was trying to protect her while still trying to keep up his bad guy mafia persona and not blow his cover. Tough stuff. Ultimately, I didn't feel engaged and invested enough to keep reading so I skipped to the end and read the epilogue. I'm happy to report that Yuri and Lucy seem to have their happy ending though it's not a long term one. I've noticed that Ms Rose tends to set her epilogues to a few months out which is hardly any length or depth to the relationship rather than years later. I had a similar feeling with her previous book I enjoyed and wanted more from the epilogue, like a few years on so I can see what their lives are like after settling into the relationship and each other. I feel like that's lacking in Ms Rose's books.

Wild by DD Prince

Review: Wild (Savage Alpha Shifters #1) by DD Prince
I've been meaning to try a book by Ms Prince for quite a while as she's quite popular in a couple of book groups I'm in. I hesitate because her books seem rather dark and I'm not into dark books. This book is supposed to be light according to the blurb and I was intrigued enough to give it a shot. I barely made it past the first chapter and struggled to get to the second. The heroine's point of view was dreary and depressing with lots of complaining. Yeah, she found herself in a difficult situation she needed to get out of and it sets up how she meets the hero. Still... I managed to get to the second chapter with the hero's point of view and he's more beast than man. The tone of this book is very reminiscent of some of Piper Stone's dark romances I've read so I'm going to say that this is probably not the kind of light I enjoy. I think Ms Prince and I might have very different definitions of light. I had high hopes for the story but decided I wasn't going to continue to struggle through something I clearly was not enjoying from the get go. Think I might steer clear of Ms Prince's books from now on. Her brand of storytelling might not be in sync with that I enjoy reading. At least not right this instant. More power to those who love her work. Go them!

Bad Teacher by Clarissa Wild

Review: Bad Teacher (Unprofessional Bad Boys #1) by Clarissa Wild
This was me getting sucked in by another excerpt from a Facebook ad. Alas, the book did not live up to the ad. I couldn't even get through the first chapter. The hero's internal monologue made him sound like a right shallow douche bag. I need to stop trying to read books where the term "bad boy" is either in the title, description, or series name. Clearly bad boys are not my thing.

Molly's Man by Laylah Roberts

Review: Molly's Man (Haven, Texas #4) by Laylah Roberts
So far, I've read book 7 in the series and loved, and book 6 in the series which was okay. There were some things in there that I didn't particularly like. I wanted to read this book because it's Jake's book and he's appeared in both the books I've read so far and I've liked him. Sadly, as much as I like him, I do not like Molly at all. Her attitude from the moment she meets him just rubbed me the wrong way. Sure, I was sympathetic towards her since she's got a limited life expectancy due to a rather tragic family history which took both her mother and grandmother at a very young age and it appears she's next, hence the bucket list. Still, I didn't like her and her attitude and behaviour right from the get go made me not want to read about her story because I was not willing to put up with her. I'm sorry Jake, I really wanted to read about how you got your happy ever after but I hated your woman.

Royal Ruin by Jessica Peterson

Review: Royal Ruin (Thorne Monarchs #1) by Jessica Peterson
Royal romances are my catnip. I love a good royal romance. Alas, this was not one of them. Don't get me wrong, Prince Kit was awesome. I loved him. He's gorgeous, loyal, dedicated, responsible, selfless. I couldn't fault him. Who I would fault is Emily. She used him in the beginning and left him in one of the darkest moments of his life. It was an extremely selfish move on her part. It also makes this a second chance romance which is one of my least favorite tropes next to enemies to lovers. I know! I know! They are both popular tropes but they are not my jam. Back to Emily. Her motives for agreeing to the fake engagement are also selfish. Kit is buying her agreement to pose as his fake fiancee because he needs to save the monarchy at the expense of his own desires. But of course, he still wants Emily. Silly man. When they reconnect, Emily is jaded, bitter, and probably kind of broken. I didn't like that she was using Kit again even though this time there's benefit to the monarchy though not Kit directly. See what I mean about him being selfless? So Emily comes to Kit not too recently divorced but still all bent out of shape over it. And broke. Her business is going bankrupt because of the divorce. And to top that off, there's a small scene, it's probably even a throwaway line about Emily in the backseat of a car with a hookup she picked up at a bar. It's meaningless but it rubbed me the wrong way. I don't like reading about this sort of behaviour even though she's not cheating on Kit since they are not "officially" back together again even if it's a fake engagement. And that scene was far enough into the book after she reconnected with Kit again that it seemed wrong to me. I felt Kit was getting the short end of the stick. While I was reading last night, I got cranky and stopped. I thought it was me and I was in a book funk. I felt like I wasn't giving the book a fair chance so I stopped reading to take a break thinking I'd get back to it when I was less of a grouch. I woke up this morning feeling great. Good night's sleep (for once!) and all refreshed. I read a few chapters of a manuscript that was sent to me overnight and it was fabulous. Great writing, packed an emotional punch, and I even shed a few tears. I decided that I was cured of my book funk so I decided to pick up the book and continue reading. I think I made it about about one and a half chapters before I started feeling cranky again. I realised it wasn't me but the book itself. I was not enjoying the book even though I love royal stories and I love Kit. I wanted to beat Emily with a stick. At that point, I decided I wasn't going to force it. If reading this book made me upset, I was done with it. This makes me sad since I adore Kit and feel he deserves to be happy (just not with Emily!) and the Queen in the few scenes she appeared in was fantastic. PS. I need to stop clicking on Facebook ads for books and getting sucked into the excerpts posted. So far none of the books I've read from the ads have lived up to expectations.

Son of a Beard by Lani Lynn Vale

Review: Son of a Beard (The Dixie Wardens Rejects MC #3) by Lani Lynn Vale
I don't remember where I read it, but I read the blurb of the book and thought it was cute. Then I realised it was an MC romance and I'm really not into motorcycle club stories since there tends to be too much womanizing, violence, and other unsavory things. I knew this author was a favorite in a particular book group I was in so I went there and asked about it and got reassured it was light on the MC lifestyle. It was enough of a push for me to give this a shot since this author has the ringing endorsement of a lot of readers and she's recommended a lot in the group. Sadly, this didn't work for me. I liked Verity well enough even if she was a little too focused on body issues. I did not enjoy reading about her hang ups regarding her self image chapter after chapter. It got repetitive and boring. Truth (the hero) was okay. I didn't fall for him like I do with many of the heroes I enjoy reading but for the most part he was fine. He seemed to blow hot and cold with Verity thought and his behaviour said he took her for granted because Verity while amenable to most everything Truth wanted was kind of a doormat where he was concerned. Mind you, she stood up to people, and in one particular scene she did brilliantly against someone maligning Truth and she defended him brilliantly. She was feisty as heck then. But she let Truth walk all over her. I love a submissive and sweet heroine, but I do not want her to be a doormat. It was a kinda insta-love sort of a story and I'm all for insta-love but the intensity and emotion wasn't there. In fact, it was all rather bland and fell flat even when there were a few rather emotionally charged situations. By about halfway I lost interest and decided to stop reading. I didn't care anymore. I skipped to the end to read the last chapter and the epilogue. Enough to know there was some danger which they overcame and they got their happy ever after. I'm not sure I like Ms Vale's writing style so I don't know if I'd give her other books a shot. This is an older book of hers so her writing may have improved recently. I might consider reading one of her more recent books if the mood strikes me at some point. Not sure.

Sweet Temptation by Jaine Diamond

Review: Sweet Temptation (Players #3) by Jaine Diamond
I picked up this book from reading a short excerpt on a Facebook ad. See! Those ads do work. The excerpt was fun and flirty so I decided to download it. Did it live up to the excerpt? Not really. I didn't like Summer. She's brash, bold, full of sass and disregard for her own safety. The ultimate party girl. She also didn't like being inconvenienced and didn't like her life changed by having a bodyguard where there's serious danger to her person. She bounces between being a brat and being reasonable or at least trying to be reasonable, so I don't completely hate her. As for Ronan. Mmmmm... Ronan is delicious. He's the perfect bodyguard, but also the strong, silent type. He's not broody, just that he keeps things close to his chest and he has total control over his feelings and reactions. I did love all the chapters I read with his point of view because I loved being in his head. The times when his thoughts and his imagination runs away from him were delightful. As I was reading this book, I kept thinking I was bored and wanting to stop reading. The only reason I kept going for as long as I did was because I loved Ronan and wanted to read more of him. Maybe I should just only read his chapters? And I should have paid attention to the word count before I started reading. It is a long a** book. A very, very long a** book. I'm not a fan of extremely long books if they are not engaging. Then they feel like a slog. And this book mostly felt like a slog with some bright moments. The pacing is slow and it's a slow burn. Someone should have warned me it was slow burn. I do not like slow burn. There needs to be more action too. Did I mention it's kind of boring? Sigh.
PS. After I wrote the first part of this review, I went back to give the book a second shot. Sometimes venting about the book helps me to refocus and I catch a second wind. I was still annoyed as heck by Summer and couldn't bring myself to like her, even though I'm reading the book and I'm thinking "if I'm reading it, I must like it, right?" but no. I just got sucked right back into Ronan's point of view and his strong, silent, alpha self. I kept reading and got increasingly annoyed with myself. I finally stopped in the middle of a paragraph to go to sleep since it was getting late. I picked up the book again in the morning and read a few more chapters all the while getting more and more annoyed with myself for continuing to read since I wasn't even enjoying it but getting sucked in at the same time. And you know when I decided I had enough? When Ronan couldn't resist anymore and kissed her for the first time. I legit stopped reading at the first kiss, in the middle of the scene. Who does that? Then I skipped to the end and read the last chapter. They got their happy ever after and I didn't even find out if they solved the threat to Summer. I assume they did. Ah well... Oh, one other thing. The whole rock star lifestyle? Not my thing. I mean I've read a few rock star romance and enjoyed them. Nalini Singh's Rock Kiss series is fantastic. But what I didn't enjoy in this book was the parties, the drugs, the alcohol. Summer didn't partake in it but she also turned a blind eye to it and accepted it when others around her were doing it. I found the whole thing rather unappealing. Not saying I'm never reading another rock star romance. Only that I don't enjoy certain aspects of it so I prefer when authors don't focus on it as much.
PPS. This book left me feeling very cranky and it ruined my book reading mojo.

Alexandr Obsessed by Alice May Ball

Review: Alexandr Obsessed (Bad Russian #1) by Alice May Bell
This book is weird and terrible. The writing is subpar and strange. Short, chopping sentences that do not flow. While I was reading I felt like I was trotting along on a very uncomfortable horse and bounced all of the place only it was doing that to my brain instead of my body. It's not a pleasant feeling. When I read the first chapter, I thought it was strange but decided to keep going, hoping it would improve. The second chapter was not much better but I held out hope. I also tried not to get too irked when the heroine ran away on sight of the hero. Running away does not make this an insta-love story the way it's touted as. By chapter three I decided I had given it enough of a shot and I could not get into it. I wasn't going to spend any more time trying.


So there you have it. The books I've read this year that have not worked for me. There were so many.

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?

Find Deanna around SOCIAL MEDIA:
blogger  blogger  rss  facebook  twitter  instagram  email  youtube  pinterest  google+  goodreads



  1. It is a long time since I have not finished a book last year sometime I think and it was a very popular book but it didn't click with me the characters seemed boring and the nothing was pulling me in.

    I am not sure that I have something that will make me close a book, I do like to feel engaged and liking the characters from the start and I am not impressed with lots of description I do like some so as I get a feel for where I am but don't go overboard I get bored

    have Fun


    1. I have lots of things that make me not finish a book but I don't think I keep a list. It just has to do with the book at the time I'm reading it.

  2. Like Helen, there is no one thing that will stop me reading a book. It's often just something that doesn't click. There are no books that I've DNF'd but a few I've skimmed over to the end. The recent one being the last one, Leopards Rage by Christine Feehan. She is so repetitive these days. I love a good sex scene, (on page, lol) but hers are getting boring and monotonous. I dont even mind the kink but she does make a meal of it, so to speak. And too many uses of the qualifier, very, which does annoy me!

    1. I haven't read any Christine Feehan in a long time. The last book of hers I read was a couple of years ago. A Torpedo Ink book.

      I like writing the DNF reviews because they are a bit of a purge for me but at the same time I like to examine why I didn't enjoy a book enough to finish it.