Thursday, January 20, 2022

Books I have not finished 2022 #1

Okay, I know I posted a DNF books review post recently, but I had a bunch accumulated from last year and I didn't want them to carry over for too long. My apologies if you're over the whole DNF thing, but I promise not to post them too frequently. Hopefully, during this year, I will have much fewer books that I do not enjoy. Maybe I need to be more discerning with the books and authors I try and stick to old favorites. A lot of the DNFs are from new to me authors. Sigh.

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

Warlord and the Waif by Chloe Parker

Review: Warlord and the Waif (Alpha Worlds #1) by Chloe Parker
I was in a bit of a mood and this didn't catch my attention when I tried to read it. Maybe I'm just a little tired of reading about Earth humans being abducted and sold into slavery or servitude on an alien world. On top of that, I think this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling in alien sci-fi romance form, and that fairy tale has never been my favorite when it comes to retellings. I do love the Disney cartoon and live-action movie though. Heathen that I am, I skipped to the end and read the epilogue. I like knowing that even if I don't read the book, the couple end up together and happy. PS. I'm wondering if I should go back to this book and read it in its entirety when I'm feeling less of a moody princess. Not sure. Will see.

Smitten by Lauren Rowe

Review: Smitten by Lauren Rowe
I picked this book up to read because I saw a thread where someone was asking for recommendations of their favorite comfort reads. Someone recommended this book and when I read the blurb, it sounded fun. In fact, I was waiting for the line in the blurb that I read to show up in the book. That was fun. It's actually a very sweet book which I would class as a coming of age, New Adult romance. Not normally my thing and I didn't know it going in. The heroine is only 19 and the hero is 25. Most of the story has the hero and heroine having a long distance relationship and it's sweet and cute the way it develops, but it's not exciting and it didn't hold my attention. I can't say that I got bored because I don't think I was bored, but I kept thinking it was moving too slowly and it was a little bit too innocent. Okay, I admit it, I love my romance with a side of smutty and steamy, so this is a little tame for my liking. While it was all things sweet and adorable, it was not enough to keep me going. PS. Read the end of the last chapter and the epilogue (yes, I'm that monster that skips to the end!) and the epilogue is lovely and romantic.

Wrong Room, Wright Girl by Megan Wade

Review: Wrong Room, Wright Girl (Wrong, Wright #2) by Megan Wade
Is this book supposed to be funny? I'm four chapters in and I'm not feeling it. I mean, it's cute and there's a lot of word vomit on the hero and heroine's parts recapping stuff about what I think is characters from the previous books, and there's a lot of telling. I don't feel like I'm getting particularly engaged with the story, nor am I feeling particularly connected with the two main characters. I normally like big, burly heroes but there's something about Ash that I'm not falling for. Maybe it's his lack of confidence and the fact that he's kinda down on himself. I thought I'd love Tahlia too cos she's tiny and cute, but I'm not digging her internal monologue and her outlook on men. I do find that usually if I'm feeling iffy about a book, venting about it and then going back to reading it might help so I'm going to give it another shot after this. Will see how that goes and will update accordingly. Maybe I need to skip to the end to see how it all goes and that will motivate me to keep going.
Update: y'all, I tried. I went back after sleeping on it for a night and still couldn't get into it. Ash was all lacking confidence and insecure and sure part of it was him being a gentleman, but maybe, I'm just so into take charge, dominant, OTT heroes now that he just seems like a puff muffin to me.

Grimor The Joyless by Cara Wylde

Review: Grimor the Joyless (Orc Mates #5) by Cara Wylde
Orcs are in right now. Every time I turn around, someone is recommending an orc book or asking for orc book recommendations. I've been seeing this series float around and I was quite attracted to the covers. Some of the covers in this series look great. The orcs looked pretty hunky even if they were green and had tusks. I came across this book and was interested in the sound of the blurb so decided to check it out. Most of the story is told from the heroine's point of view. I would have liked more from the hero orc's point of view. I got pretty far into the book, about 32% but the pacing is very slow, I wasn't crazy about the writing style, and the connection between the heroine, Faith, and the hero, Grimor is tenuous. I did enjoy the fact that Grimor was slowly becoming attracted to Faith despite his initial intention to keep them separate. The thing that made me decide this book was not for me though, was Faith. While her intentions were good, she was planning or thinking about some rather deceitful things she was going to do with regards to Grimor and the other orcs' generosity and kindness. I get where she's coming from and the reason she was thinking of doing the things she was considering doing, but stealing and lying are not for me. Between that and the slow pacing, I decided that I wasn't going to slog my way through it. Faith's internal monologue of what she was considering doing made me very uncomfortable. And yes, I know it all works out for the best because I skipped to the end and read what happens. Still, yeah, not for me.

Christmas Lane by Andie Fenichel

Review: Christmas Lane by Andie Fenichel
I was looking for a short book to read and this was touted as a fun, charming Christmas story which what exactly what I needed after a particularly heavy duty read. Alas, it was not to be. Emma is rather unbearable. She's the reason I could not keep reading the book. I did not like her at all. She's angry and rude, and she's really not very nice to Lucas even though what happened when they first met and also the second time were clearly accidents. She needs to get off her high horse and stop being mad at the accidents which I thought could have totally been meet-cutes if it weren't for Emma's attitude. I did like Lucas though. He's charming and funny, and he does try to apologise and make it up to Emma. He even behaved like a total gentleman and credit to him, even though he had some rather naughty caveman instincts going on in his head, he did the right thing. So yeah, Emma ruined the book for me. I'd like to point out there's nothing wrong with Ms Fenichel's writing. The story is well-written and the writing style is engaging. Me not liking the heroine and can't tolerate her enough to keep reading the book is entirely a me thing. I need my heroines to be a certain way and Emma was not it.

A Bear For Thanksgiving by Lisa Daniels

Review: A Bear For Thanksgiving (Holiday Shifters #1) by Lisa Daniels
Not all shifter stories are created equal. I saw this shifter holiday series and thought it would be fun to read. It started off rough. The storytelling is at a very low grade level and a lot of telling. Actually, the whole story is mostly telling and not told in a particularly engaging manner. I thought I'd try to stick it out because I was somewhat intrigued by the story itself and I managed to stick it out to about 58% but there was too much other woman drama and too much telling. On top of that, the other woman whose name was Amelia in the early chapters turned into Beatrice later on, but stayed Beatrice for the rest of the book. I think Ms Daniels could have done a final proofread to catch that because it was very obvious. Maybe a universal search and replace missed a couple of spots in the book. Oops! I'm not particularly taken with Ms Daniels' writing style so I don't think I will be reading more of her books. I had high hopes with this series because I love shifter stories and the holiday themes sounded fun, but alas this will not be going into my regular reading rotation.

Buttered Up by Mayra Statham

Review: Buttered Up (Friendsgiving Chronicles #1) by Mayra Statham
I thought this book would be cute. It sounded cute. But I couldn't get into it. I read a few chapters and got a fair bit into the story but the banter between the friends and how the hero got dared into going to talk to the heroine didn't work for me. I don't like dares and bets. They somehow have a way of backfiring on the character when it comes out that that's how the initial contact was instigated. I did like the hero's immediate attraction and possessiveness though. But no, it didn't hold my attention and I kept wanting to stop reading. I took that as a sign and gave up.

His Stand-In Holiday Girlfriend by Kasey Stockton

Review: His Stand-In Holiday Girlfriend (Christmas in the City #1) by Kasey Stockton
I was in search of a holiday read and this caught my attention. I grabbed it since it was free. I read the blurb and it sounded cute so I decided to give it a shot. It could have been very adorable, but the writing is bland and uninspired and it's not that cute. It's also slow moving and kind of boring. When I considered giving up on it, I went to read a few reviews and also found out it's a clean romance. Clean romances need to come with a warning so that people who want it can read it and those who don't can avoid it. Not bagging a clean romance, I would have kept reading if it had held my attention but it didn't. However, this is the second clean romance I've accidentally clicked on because it's not clearly labeled and both have been disappointing. I read a lot of Harlequin Romance and Harlequin Medical romances, and those are pretty tame so I'm not against closed door or fade to black. I am against boring though. The premise of this book had so much potential. It's one of my favorite tropes too. Sigh.

Propositioning Love by Izzy Sweet and Sean Moriarty

Review: Propositioning Love by Izzy Sweet and Sean Moriarty
It's always a risk reading a new author and a new book when it's one that's been recommended or raved about by strangers. However, that said, how does one find a new favorite author if one does not take chances and try new things. Sadly though, when it comes to trying new authors, more often than not, a lot of them don't work out. Especially when recommended by strangers, even strangers in a book group where you supposedly share a common taste for a particular type of book. This book was one such recommendation and was selected as the book for the group read for the month. It sounded fun enough but I didn't like the way it was written. I gave up after two chapters because I didn't like the heroine's attitude and I didn't like the situations she found herself in. Then I read a few reviews and thought I'd give it another shot and see how I felt since the hero's chapter was next. Unfortunately, the hero didn't grab me either. Apparently, the hero has characteristics I should love but it was a long time in coming and I did not enjoy the build up. Usually, the way the hero and heroine meet and the getting to know you parts are some of my favorites, but I couldn't get into this book. The heroine was angry and depressed because she was about to lose her job, then she was sad and jealous because her best friend was happily in love. She was morose, maudlin, and feeling sorry for herself. And she kept getting into trouble with men who would not take "no" for an answer. The hero was equally as downbeat. He was tired, bored, and jaded about his life and what he's been doing even though he's successful and has achieved everything he's set out to. Also, this is a one night stand story with a mistaken identity of the hero thinking the heroine is a hooker and they have one night together, only to find out the next day that he's her new boss. It's not one of my favorite tropes. I didn't get past chapter three because nothing about it engaged me, not the heroine, not the hero, not the writing. Also don't worry... all this is in the blurb of the book. I'm not giving any spoilers away. This book was just not for me. I couldn't get into it and didn't want to keep trying.

Bossed By The Dad Bod by Reina Torres

Review: Bossed by the Dad Bod (Dad Bod - Men Built For Comfort) by Reina Torres
I love dad bods and big, burly heroes, so I was super excited when I saw this series announced. Decided to dive right in with the first book out and struggled to get into it. Doyle was described as a bossy, take charge kind of guy, but he was cautious and a little too careful with Shelby. Shelby is hugely attracted with Doyle but she keeps shying away from him even when he shows interest and she's reluctant for ages and ages. Even when Doyle shows his intentions and tries to talk to him, she's resistant and pulling away more often than not. I'm sorry, but this is not the way I like my romances to go. I do not like reluctance and resistance. It's like wading through quicksand while slowly sinking to me. It's just too much of a struggle to get through it especially with it being such a short book. It should have been a quick, exciting, fun read, but it was not.


So there you have it. That's what I've not liked recently.

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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