Thursday, June 24, 2021

Books I have not finished 2021 #2

Time for another books I did not finish. I'm hoping to slow down the number of books I have not finish by being more circumspect about what I pick to read. This tends to mean I stick more to favorite authors rather than venturing out and experimenting since there's a high probability of books not working out when I do that. That said, I do have a few highly recommended books in my TBR from a book group where people have raved about the book. Those are always iffy. We shall see what happens...

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

Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan

Review: Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan
There's not necessarily anything wrong with this book. It's beautifully written, it's sweet, and I like the characters well enough. Except it's not engaging me and keeping my interest. I'm not going to say that it's boring because it's not. There's plenty of tension and character development. I usually love a grumpy hero but Lucian is not doing it for me although there's lovely banter between Emma and Lucian that's quite fun. It's also a long book by my standards and it was taking me absolutely forever to get through it and after slogging through it for the better part of two weeks, I finally gave up. I'd pick it up, determined to carry on, only to stop reading after a few paragraphs. I wasn't even getting distracted. I just didn't want to read it. I kept losing interest. At that point, I decided I had better give it up and here we are.

Home Forever by Cee Bowerman

Review: Home Forever (Texas Knights MC #1) by Cee Bowerman
I am forever on the hunt for that perfect motorcycle club series that I will finally fall in love with. This one was recommended to me because it was apparently more focused on the relationship and less about the MC lifestyle. Sadly, it didn't do it for me. While it was okay, I found it boring and I couldn't get into it. It might have been the writing or it might have been my mood. I did skip to read the end and even then, when there was a mystery that intrigued me and made me wonder what happened, even as I read the entirety of the last chapter, it didn't make me want to go back and read through the entire book to find out what happened. Like why did she leave town in the first place? Why is she back now? What danger is she in? Why did she have to move so much? These will all have to remain unanswered questions for me because I'm not interested enough to find out.

Dario's Jewel by ChaShiree M

Review: Dario's Jewel (Darios Empire #1) by ChaShiree M
I'm in this book group where the main theme is jealous possessive heroes. There are some pretty good books recommended in there but I've come to realise that there's a line where it's possible for a hero to be too jealous, possessive, and obsessive for me. This is one of them. Dario is over the top possessive. Crazy over the top. I had stopped reading after four chapters because Dario was a little too intense for me and I left it for about a month or so. I finally went back to it today and after reading another half chapter, I realised that really, this book is too much for me. In the eternal words of Simon Cowell, "it's a no from me!"

Swim Deeper by TS Joyce

Review: Swim Deeper (Keepers of the Swamp #1) by T S Joyce
It's really hard for me to not finish a book by Ms Joyce because she is one of my favorite authors but that said, one can't love everything. I didn't love her earliest books before she found her stride. This book I'm objecting to because the heroine is a reporter and in general, I tend to hate reporter characters. They are generally an unscrupulous bunch with a distinct lack of integrity. This goes with this particular heroine who is wearing a wire to record everything that's going on between her and the hero, plus she's bugging his house to she can record everything he says and does in his own home. That's just skeevy to the extreme. On top of that, she slapped the hero. That's another thing I hate. When the heroine hits the hero. It's a terrible double standard because it seems to be okay for the heroine to hit the hero but if the hero did that readers would be up in arms. I hate it. So sadly, this book is not for me even though a part of me really wants to read it to find out how the heroine redeems herself, but I also don't want to torture myself.

Hard by Scott Hildreth

Review: Hard (Biker MC Romance #1) by Scott Hildreth
I am always on the eternal search for the perfect motorcycle club romance. I haven't found it yet. This one isn't it for me either so I'm thinking maybe the whole MC genre is not for me. I thought I'd give this a shot because one, a man is writing romance and he seems quite popular, two, I'm still searching for that MC romance unicorn. Nothing against Mr Hildreth as a romance writer but his style is not for me. It might be the whole MC thing and how rough they are, but I found the writing style rough and a little grating. I didn't connect with the characters and the blatant sexuality that was not particularly romantic didn't work for me. I'm more of a build up to sexy times than Nick's "let's eff" attitude. Nothing against Peyton either. She's doing what it takes to get what she wants and she's upfront about being a reporter. If I had to pinpoint one thing that stopped me reading it was the roughness of the writing style, the rough sex, and even rougher man. I am going to check to see if Mr Hildreth has written anything else other than MC romances. I don't want to write him off completely right away.
Update: I gave the book a second shot and got into it a bit more. There's a fight scene where Nick is a total bada*** and I found that hot as heck. But then something happened and it threw me off again. If I keep thinking about it, I'll go back and give it another shot and maybe even finish the book. At which point, you won't be seeing this review. But right now I've moved on to a favorite author who just released a new book and I'm loving it.

Always My Babygirl by Jane Henry and Shanna Handel

Review: Always My Babygirl (Vegas Daddies #2) by Jane Henry and Shanna Handel
I was pretty excited after I finished the first book to find out that this next book was going to be Miranda's. I liked Miranda a lot in her role in the previous book where she helped Katie out a lot. However, I do not like her in this book at all. In this book, she's negligent about her own health, preaches professionalism but doesn't display it herself, is uncooperative, and stubborn. I'm trying to make it a point to stop reading a book when it doesn't agree with me. I have such a huge backlog of books waiting for me to read in my TBR that I don't want to suffer through a book I'm not enjoying for whatever reason just in the effort to get through it. In this case, it's because I do not like the heroine in the story and she's ruining the book for me. Such a pity. I loved the first book in the series. Katie was an awesome heroine.

Finding Her Luck by Isoellen

Review: Finding Her Luck (An Orki War Bride Tale #1) by Isoellen
I have loved the first two omegaverse books by Ms Isoellen set in her Twelve Sectors world. I also enjoyed her Orki story from an anthology so I'm a fan of her writing. I was pretty excited when I saw she had a new Orki book out. I like the Orki. What I didn't like was Corrin. I'm probably an exception when it comes to not liking Corrin. Corrin is a fighter. She's spunky and sassy and feisty. There are times when I like that in a heroine but times when I don't. I don't like those characteristics in Corrin because is meant she was fighting her Orki captor whose name is Urku-ri, I think. It's hard to tell because communication is rather stunted between the two of them and that's difficult too. She's mouthy and disobedient, and she's a spitfire that fights Urku-ri every step of the way. Aside from kidnapping her as the spoils of war, Urku-ri has been nothing but solicitous towards her. Well, aside from spanking her silly for being disobedient, that is. Anyhoo, I finally stopped reading around about 30% because I didn't like Corrin. That's pretty much it. I'll wait for the next Twelve Sectors books to come out and read that instead.

Buck Wild by Lauren Landish

Review: Buck Wild (Bennett Boys Ranch #1) by Lauren Landish
This one is a hard one to review because I DNF'ed it because I wasn't enjoying the female narrator in the audiobook rather than anything to do with the story even though I generally don't enjoy Western cowboy stories. I didn't get far enough into the story to get a feel for it so I don't have an opinion on it. It's written by Lauren Landish and I've read and enjoyed some of her books. However, from an audio perspective, I am learning that I do not like female narrators at all. A lot of romances now have dual narrations where the male will read the male point of view in the book and the female will read the female point of view in the book. They would alternate chapters as the points of view alternate and they would both do the voices for the male and female characters in those sections. I really DO NOT like female narrators doing male voices. I find it hard to listen to, jarring, and it throws me out of the story. I wanted to give it another shot before I wrote all female narrators off because I'm certain there are some brilliant female narrators out there, but no. I do not like female narrators. And female narrators doing male voices simply does not work for me. At least now, I can say I tried and gave it an honest shot before making the decision to be more selective about my audiobooks and insisting on male only narrations. Those are hard to find these days though since dual narrations are so popular. I might at some point go back and just read the book but I doubt that's going to happen anytime soon. Goes back to the not a fan of cowboy stories thing. I'm sorry if this is not the most helpful review for a book out there since it's not really a review of the book itself.

Hunting Gorgeous by BB Hamel

Review: Hunting Gorgeous (Hunters #1) by B B Hamel
I've been a fan of Ms Hamel's writing for a long time, her older stuff, at least. I haven't read much of any of her newer work since last year as she's changed up her writing style and the new writing style didn't jive with me. I got pretty excited to see that she had released a romantic suspense, yet another shift for her. I love romantic suspense so I decided to give it a try. I found the writing somewhat stilted and didn't flow as well. It also didn't draw me in. I kept reading a chapter or half a chapter and getting distracted. I wasn't connecting with the characters or the story so I finally gave up trying. Maybe I just need to lay off Ms Hamel's work for a while. I do still love her older stuff and still read her backlist.

Bluegrass State Of Mind by Kathleen Brooks

Review: Bluegrass State of Mind (Bluegrass #1) by Kathleen Brooks
I got to chatting with a friend recently about audiobooks and decided to dig through my collection of audiobooks to listen to while doing some work that didn't require my full concentration. I have a male narrator whose voice I adore called Eric G Dove and I must have bought this book simply because he was narrating it. First off, the narration is wonderful. I love his voice and listening to him. Sadly though, the story didn't do it for me. It's okay for the most part but two things stuck out that rubbed me the wrong way. One, there's implied cheating in the book. Kenna gets the wrong impression of Will because he was married but everyone talks like he's still married to his ex-wife so Kenna thinks that he's still married and cheating on her. This drags on for a long time (several chapters) and no one even mentions that she's his ex. This mixed with the assumption that Kenna who is new in town is supposed to know they are divorced and Will is asking Kenna out to dinner and almost kisses her is just all sorts of nope for me. I only know that Will is not cheating because the blurb of the book mentions an ex-wife. This whole implied cheating thing drags on for way too long or perhaps it just seems like a long time because I'm listening to the audiobook and it goes slower listening to the narration. I keep waiting for them to clear up the misunderstanding but they don't. The other this is, Kenna is running from a bad situation. Anyway, in one chapter she has a dream and relives what led to her running. It's a rape or potential rape scene, and again because of the narration, it goes slow and it's graphic. That made me very uncomfortable. I'm not one to enjoy reading things like that (there are people who do!) and it didn't sit well with me. It made me wish there was a way to skim the section but again, it's an audiobook and it was harder to fast forward. At least I got the context and reasons for her running away from her life in the city. What made me ultimately stop listening though is the fact that I could not stomach the continued implied cheating. I can tell this is an intentional plot device by the author but it's not for me. I thought I could keep listening just to listen to Eric G Dove's voice, but alas no, the story was dragging me down and I was not enjoying it no matter how much I loved the narration.


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 sad when you DNF a book, I rarely don't finish one, but one of the things that will push me that way is if I find the book boring, if I can't engage with the characters and I can't get involved then that is what would push me :)

    Have Fun


    1. It's always hard for me though I'm getting better at stopping books that do not work for me. Not connecting with the characters is a big one.

  2. For MC club, you should try Cate C. Wells! I haven't read them all, but her first book, Charge, is great. I just DNF a new omegaverse book After the Fade. I had high hopes but it just got boring fast and my interest plummeted.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation. I will check it out.