Monday, April 26, 2021

Books I have not finished 2021 #1

I'm back with some DNF reviews. With the blog and reviewing books, I try a lot of new authors and books and sometimes they just don't work. Plus I'm in a lot of book groups and books get recommended frequently in them. Sadly, I am finding that my taste in books is quite conservative and I tend not to like what seems to be really popular and get recommended a lot.

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

Devoted To The Bear by TS Joyce

Review: Devoted To The Bear (Bear Valley Shifters #2) by TS Joyce
Not finishing this book is entirely my fault. I should never have started it in the first place. The first book didn't end with Hannah and Riker's happy ever after and their story continues as the danger to Hannah is not yet gone. The reason I say I should never have started this book is because I generally do not enjoy stories that stretch over several books. I do not enjoy the pain and heartache that the couple continue to have to endure and not get to their happy ever after. On top of that, in reading the blurb for subsequent books, it looks like Hannah and Riker's happy ever after is not guaranteed after this book and it might continue into the third book. That's just not for me. I prefer standalone stories and it's purely personal preference on my part. There's no fault to the writing or the storytelling so if continuing stories over several books is something a reader enjoys then this is a good well-written series. I think I'm going to stick to Ms Joyce's more recent books where they are all standalones and feature different couples in each book.

Smooth Kisses by Ella Goode

Review: Smooth Kisses by Ella Goode
There are a lot of things I do not like in a romance and I won't stand for. One of them is the heroine hitting the hero. Why is it not okay for the hero to hit the heroine but it's okay for the heroine to hit the hero? I hate that double standard. This heroine jumped to a conclusion about the hero and hit him the moment she met him within the opening chapter of the book. No. Just no.

Kingpin's Promise by AG Henderson

Review: Kingpin's Promise by A G Henderson
I have come to learn that it's kinda hit or miss when it comes to books that people in a particular reader group recommend. This group seems to focus solely on specific characteristics of the hero in determining whether it's a good books or not. Now, don't get me wrong, I love a possessive hero as much as the next person, but I also like a plot and a heroine that is likable. I had a hard time connecting with Jasmine. She was insecure and fearful, and she had done something to cause problems for Hawk. I was wanting to love the story but I had a hard time connecting with Jasmine and getting past her attitude that seemed to wobble between fear and defiance. Much as I would have liked to get to know Hawk since he seems like a solidly powerful man, Jasmine dimmed the whole reading experience for me. Maybe I'll go back to give the book a second shot after writing this review, maybe I don't. I've gone back and finished a couple of books recently after writing a DNF review for them and a good vent. If I do, I'll post an update or write a proper review for a book I finished. I'll be honest and say I'm not too cut up about not enjoying this book. I'm learning not to dwell and move on.

Whiteout by Adriana Anders

Review: Whiteout (Survival Instincts #1) by Adriana Anders
I picked up this book to read because it came highly recommended. I don't remember why. When I commented that it was a long book the response was that it didn't feel long to them. Well, it felt long to me. I've been on this recent kick where I've been reading books that have been recommended and most of them have been long. One, I don't enjoy long books for various reasons, I won't bore you with them. Two, I seem to have fallen into this trap that if I don't attempt to read some long books I may somehow bee missing out. I seem to want to find that one long book that doesn't feel like a drag to me. This felt like a drag to me. Don't get me wrong, it's well written but the reading was taking a long time and I wasn't that into it. I kept reading because everyone who has read it said they loved it and I just wanted feeling it. I mean, Ford and Angel are in a real tight spot and they are fighting for their survival but I wasn't particularly engaged in their survival process and I didn't feel like I was rooting for them one way or the other. Mind you, Ms Anders does a great job describing the cold, frigid temps of the Antarctic and the danger they are in of getting lost or dying from the cold. I felt that. But I guess survivalist stories just don't do it for me since I am totally anti-roughing it. I made it to about 45% of the book and then I skipped to the end only to find out that the danger doesn't end and this story continues probably into the next book in the series, I do not know if it's with Angel and Ford as the protagonists or another couple, but at that point, I decided I was done. I didn't care enough about Angel and Ford and the predicament they were in. I shouldn't be reading a book I'm just not that into only because other people said it was good and I have FOMO. It was time to set aside the FOMO and admit that this book was not for me. I want to read where the book makes me feel like I'm soaring into a fantasy world rather than trapped and trudging through mud.

Property Of The Mountain Man by Gemma Weir

Review: Property Of The Mountain Man (Montana Mountain Men #1) by Gemma Weir
I picked up this book to read because it was the flavor of the week in this book group I'm in and it's hugely popular in there. It got some mixed reviews in the book but most everyone agreed the hero was awesome. The heroine however, is hateful.
Beau is awesome. He's the only reason I kept reading the book even though I wanted to ditch the book many many times because of the intolerable heroine. He goes from zero to obsessed in about three seconds flat and it's amazing to watch. I love how he's all in with Bonnie and he's dead set on making her his. Scratch that about making her his. As far as he's concerned they are a done deal. He even declares his intentions the moment he meets her father. It's fantastic. Beau is dominant, confident, and consistent.
Do you know what's not fantastic? Bonnie. I hate her with a high passion. She's annoying, immature and just because the real life Beau is different from her made up fantasies of him, she's screeching like a peed off monkey. She's kind of a shrew cos she's screaming and shouting most of the time and she's angry the rest of the time. She is utterly unlikable and annoying as all eff. There's nothing to redeem her at all. It's a good thing Beau thinks she's cute as a hissing kitten because she's unlikable, unpleasant, mean and a full on beeatch. She's even mean to Beau's brothers who have been nothing but kind to her. Some authors might think they are writing a feisty heroine and yeah, some even pull it off, but there's a fine line between feisty and beeatch and well, Bonnie is full on, one hundred percent witch. She even hits Beau at one point because she's pissed off at him. That's a big no-no in my book. If a hero hit a heroine in a book, readers would be screaming bloody blue murder. Why is it okay then for the heroine to hit a hero? That's a total double standard and completely unacceptable. It's utterly hypocritical behaviour. And you know what else is despicable. Her utter disrespect for Beau when he repeatedly tells her he's committed to her, but she's still thinking the whole time that it's temporary and she's just going to hit it and quit it with him. So not only is she hateful, she's also using Beau to satisfy an itch while toying with his affections because he think's she's it for him, but she thinks this is just a fling.
If Ms Weir is planning on writing the stories for all the other brothers (Beau has six brothers and they are all delightful men) then I sincerely hope she does a better job of writing the heroines and making them a lot more likable because Bonnie was hateful. The only reason I'd check out her other books is because her heroes are incredible and I'd like to read about the heroes, but if her heroines continue to be so unforgivably annoying, then hero or not, I'm out.
Anyway, I got to about 75% of the book before I finally gave up. I thought I could muscle my way through the book with hateful Bonnie but I couldn't stomach it after her stunning display on a night out with Beau and her brothers. I tried. I really did. 75% into a book that's over 300 pages is a really good effort but I couldn't get past Bonnie. She ruined the book.

Mountain Man SEAL by Quinn Peachwood

Review: Mountain Man SEAL (Steel Brothers & Heroes # 1) by Quinn Peachwood
Okay, when an author puts the words "mountain man" and "SEAL" on the cover of a book, it's certain to get my attention. The question though is whether it holds my attention and this one did not. It's kind of a funny thing, but I was just setting aside another book that was dragging for me and thinking I'd give it a break and then get back to it and maybe I'd enjoy it more later on. So I started reading this book. Only this one is kinda weird and Blaze is weird and Whitney is just out of rehab and running from her ex. I didn't connect with any of the characters and I gave it a fair shot. I read to about 20% of the book which is a fair chunk. Enough to get to know the characters with several chapters of each of their point of views. It just didn't suck me in. My mind was off floating somewhere else and the story was not my focus. Did I mention Blaze is weird? The whole vibe between Tank and Blaze is weird actually. Sadly, this was not for me. Maybe I'll go back to that other book and see if I can pick it up again, although, I don't really feel like doing that. Maybe I'm just in a funk?

Martin Law Detective by Sara Jones

Review: Martin: Law Detective by Sara Jones
This is supposed to be a short, instalovey, steamy romance. I picked it up to read because it said short and I was in the mood for short. What I was not in the mood for was the quality of this writing which was not engaging and had way too much telling and very little showing. The heroines awkwardness was not cute and the dialogue was strained and unnatural between the characters. It's only a 35 page story so it's very short. Even so, I struggled to bring myself to finish it.

Naughty Neuro by Karen Deen

Review: Naughty Neuro by Karen Deen
I was in the mood for a medical romance with a hunky doctor so I asked in a book group and got some recommendations. This one sounded good so I thought I'd give it a shot. I always did like the best friend's little sister trope. I had high hopes for this book but it ended up being kind of flat for me. For starters, it is a long book. I don't mind long books but they need to engage me and this one didn't hold my attention much. I know this because after I started reading a couple of chapters I set the book down and didn't pick it up again for two days. If I didn't pick it up again because I was too busy then that would have been fine, but I'm on Christmas break and I had plenty of time to read but instead I distracted myself with other things instead of going back to reading which is usually my number activity of choice. This is when I know the book isn't working for me. The book is slow. I'm four chapters in and Tate and Bella spend so much time apart skirting around their feelings. I get that there needs to be build up and scene setting but it's dragging. I want to get to the part where their relationship starts and things get interesting instead of them either avoiding each other or yelling at each other. I guess for such a long book there just needs to be a lot more padding to get the word count up. Some of it seemed unnecessary. The other thing is the writing wasn't engaging me. It's well written but the style seems disconnected and clinical to me. I didn't feel like I was connecting with the story or the characters. I skipped to the end (I always do with books I have trouble finishing and usually read the last chapter and the epilogue to see what happened) and I wasn't even engaged enough to read the whole last chapter and epilogue. I even stopped reading the epilogue which I have never done before in all my reading live. I love epilogues and this did not interest me enough to finish. I guess Ms Deen's style is not for me.
Ps. I went back after writing this review to give the book another shot. Two things. One. I like the medical aspects of the story. It was exactly what I was looking for. Two. I really really dislike Bella a lot. Can’t stand her and her attitude. Even though what extra I read had some interesting parts, I’m not willing to put up with Bella for another 300 pages since I find her so unlikable.
PPs. Sometimes I wonder if it's just me or if it's the book when I don't get on with it. In this instance it was the book because I picked up another book to read and immediately fell into it. You know the feeling. You get sucked into the story, the story and characters engage you, and you just want to keep reading to find out what happens next. It's such a nice feeling, especially after a book that didn't work and I'm second guessing myself.

Adominal Snowman by Sloane Peterson

Review: Abdominal Snowman by Sloane Peterson
I saw an ad for this book and thought it sounded cute so I clicked and downloaded it. I'm all for Christmas stories this time of the year. Well, this book is not cute. In fact, it's downright depressing being in the heroine's head. And it goes on for the first three chapters of her sad life (okay, I get is, she's recently divorced, life sucks) and how she's failing at everything. I got the book for the snowman come to life and yeah, her depressing attitude put me in such a downer of a mood that I'm not even prepared to keep going. I gave it a really good effort too. Got to over 30% before I called it quits. I'm going to skip to the end and hope that at least the last chapter and the epilogue is somewhat cheerful since I do like to read the ending and see that they got their happy ever after. Also, this might be a personal preference thing, but the writing style didn't work for me. I get Ms Peterson was going to cutesy and homey, but instead it came off as cheesy and cringey. I’m sorry if I sound grumpy. This book made me grumpy.

Stealing The Bride by Nadia Lee

Review: Stealing The Bride by Nadia Lee
I had such high hopes for this book. I saw an ad for it and read the blurb and then the first chapter. It sounded like it would be a hoot. Sadly, after the first chapter it was a let down. I kept waiting for it to get fun and cute but aside from the opening bride stealing scene it didn't deliver. It's also a much longer book that I usually read and it dragged on longer than I liked. I didn't have the patience to wade through it so I finally gave up.


So there you have it. That's what I've not liked from the start of the year. I'm hoping there won't be as much this year but I'm reading more than before so there's bound to be stuff that doesn't work 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 a while since I have DNF a book and there are not many but I struggled with a book recently, I did finish it but I found the characters were very immature and there were time when I thought it would be a DNF but I have to say the ending was really good and I am glad I pushed on with it :)

    Have Fun


    1. Wow! I admire you for pushing through. I do not know if I have that kind of patience or endurance. Probably why I DNF so many more books than you do.

  2. The Abdominal Snowman billed as a feel good romance? It looks downright creepy

    1. Yeah, that cover is terrible too but I'm trying to make myself not judge a book by its cover since I've read some phenomenal books with only so-so covers. This one is not it.