Books we just can’t finish!

Books we just can’t finish!Falling in Love Again by Marilyn Forsyth

Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Escape on April 15, 2017
Pages: 173
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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DNF’d at 18%

I leaped into this story with great anticipation.  I loved the idea of a paleontologist and an opal miner on a treasure hunt and getting a second chance romance.  And I have mixed feelings right now as I set the story aside.

First of all, I am not stopping do to writing style or poor writing.  I am stopping because a story element emerged right away that is one that hits a hot button for me.  We all have tropes and elements that do not work for us.  One of mine is secret baby.  I saw that there was a child when I read the blurb, but didn’t realize it was the hero’s child until I started reading so I didn’t intentionally grab a book I knew was not for me.

I read on long enough to find out if the heroine in question had a good reason for hiding a child from his father and grandfather.  At first, I thought, yes, here it is, she didn’t know how to find him.  But then no, she plans to fight him for the treasure and keep hidden that he has a son all the while playing ice queen hypocrite over whose motives are best for the treasure (she spouts it’s best for the world and the museum, but all the long it’s about her using the find to establish her credentials and get the job she wants) and blaming him entirely for the past which it is obvious in the first few pages that her own actions and choices were half to blame for the original break up and estrangement.

So, no, this one is not for me.  It may very well be a fantastic read for those who do not have trouble with that particular trope, but for me I can’t get past hiding a child from his father and hiding the father (and grandfather in this case) from the child all because you’re still irked about a break up in the past that you are partly to blame for.

I rec’d this book in exchange for an honest review.

Books we just can’t finish!Wanted and WiredGenres: Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian Romance
on April 4, 2017
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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I spotted this one and was gung-ho ready to go when I saw it was a dystopian-futuristic-sci-fi romance by a new to me author.  It looked exciting with the two main characters on the run after they are set up while out on a job.  She’s a paid assassin and he’s her handler.  She’s fully human and he’s enhanced.  The future is not a bright world, but one holding on by a fingernail.  Yes, I was very excited for this one.

I ended up DNF-ing at 26%.

The bottom line is that it was not grabbing me.  This may seem odd to say since the opening scene was a hit job.  But yes, I distractedly read through six chapters barely noticing that Mari and Heron were on the run.  There was a distance from the action and the intensity of the chase was absent even between the pair of main characters.  They could have been out for a drive in the park the way they responded to the situation.  And beyond that, there was all the futuristic tech language saturating the story, her not so believable tough gal-ness, and the pair of main characters doing a significant amount of internal monologuing and unrequited lusting for each other.

I also started having early issues with the heroine.  Full disclosure here, I’m on a bit of a short fuse with heroines lying and keeping secrets particularly in dangerous situations that also happen to involve others because I have seriously had a string of these lately.  So in chapter one when she keeps a secret from her handler and lies about it also ignoring when he said something was really wrong about this job and they should abort and her disregarding this thus putting them on the run, I was not impressed with said heroine.

On the flip side, I will say that there was some pretty cool futuristic elements and setting here.  And the conspiracy- set up issue does have me curious.  I love the idea of the partners on the run situation.

But, in the end, I didn’t feel like skimming or skipping to see if there is a point where the story jumps off and roars into vivid life.  I’m also not sure a more exciting and intense fast-action plot would be enough to change my mind about Mari.  So, do consult a few more reviews to see if maybe it’s just a slow starter and builds to some great future-dystopian romance action.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to review this book in exchange for an honest review.

Books we just can’t finish!Island of the Red MangrovesGenres: Historical Romance
on July 6, 2015
Pages: 501
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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After reading book one and loving it, I was delighted to pick up book two and continue with the story of the next generation’s story.

Nora and Doug Fortnam are still successful years later, still in love, and carrying on with their plantation run the way their convictions about slavery would have them run things making them the talk of Jamaica.  Now Nora wants to assure herself of her daughter’s ongoing place by a coming of age society party for Deirdre and see her safely settled.

Deirdre has grown up protected and sheltered as Doug’s step-daughter and Nora’s illegitimate daughter with the African slave.  A little spoilt and a very naive, Deirdre has little notion that her position is precarious and most would rather her live as a free black or black slave rather than parading around as the ‘white’ daughter of plantation owners.  Her parents worry for her even as she has met and fallen in love with Dr. Victor Dufresne son of wealthy French plantation owners on Saint Dominique.

Meanwhile, Nora’s former friend once a slave has styled herself as Maanu.  Akasa her slave husband  who took Nora captive long ago has died.  Maanu has found a home on Grand Cayman with her son, Jefe, who has wild ideas of being an African warrior and hates all whites though he has freedom and more opportunity than most though he throws it away because he feels he deserves more.  He is spiteful, lazy, and makes excuses for his life and circumstances playing mean tricks on people who don’t do him harm and ignoring his mother’s attempts to help him find good work.  He and his young slave girl friend are ready to set out on what they think is a grand adventure into freedom with pirates.

This had its interesting points for me and I really wanted to enjoy it and finish it.  And maybe I will someday.  However, I’m over a hundred pages in and I can’t seem to make myself care about the new generation of characters who are front and center now.  Deirdre and Jefe are okay, but very immature and a little annoying at this point.  It’s very obvious the pair are in for some rather rude awakenings when this story continues.  It’s moving along slowly which isn’t a bad thing, but also another factor in why I’m not engaged with the story.  In the meantime, I’m not really into their stories and don’t have enough curiosity to want to see it through so I’m going to set this aside for now.

The colorful and rich historical backdrop is all that I could love in a historical and I love the feel of a vast saga that spans generations to keep telling the story of the characters from book one.  It’s interesting to see how the actions of the earlier generation are seeing fruit in the younger.  And maybe this is exactly why I could care less about these younger ones.  They are young and know it all and aren’t willing to accept the wisdom and concerns of those who have lived out tough lives to get where they are now.

So, I can still applaud the good writing and work that went into this one (the translator did a fab job of translating it from German to English).  It is a slow go at first as things are being established just like the earlier book.  Even though it is one I’m setting aside, I would still encourage those interested in historical family sagas and/or the history of the Caribbean during the Colonial period to pick up both books.

I rec’d this book from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review.

Books we just can’t finish!A Fire in the Blood by Amanda Ashley

Genres: Paranormal Romance
Published by Zebra Books on April 25, 2017
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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“A master of her craft.” —Maggie Shayne

“I see a man. He is old. Very old. He will come into your life in a moment of danger. He will watch over you and protect you.” The gypsy’s hand gripped Tessa’s tighter. “He will bring you death,” she whispered, her voice like the rustle of dry leaves. “And life.”

Ten years later, when Andrei Dinescu saves Tessa from a vicious attacker, she has no idea that the handsome stranger the gypsy fortune teller predicted is not a hunter but a seven-hundred-year-old vampire. Darkly powerful, unbelievably compelling, he is obviously pursuing Tessa, but is it her love he's after or her blood?

“A classic vampire tale of sensual, spine-tingling suspense.” —Christine Feehan on Desire After Dark

“Sexy, fast-paced, gritty, this is Amanda Ashley at her best! A must read!” —Ronda Thompson on Dead Sexy

DNF – oh my. I was really looking forward to this one. I was browsing NetGalley and was in the mood for a serious paranormal romance….well any paranormal romance would work. This was anything but serious. Oh, it tried to make you feel the terror of being hunted, but it did it with a campy feeling that just didn’t fulfill the urgings. I just felt kind of lost.

So people know there are vampires, but not much really about them. Vampire hunters are popping up and it’s a career move a lot of people are embracing. When Tessa was a teenager a fortune teller said someone old would save her and bring her death and life. Now years later the vampires are after her because supposedly her blood will give them more powers. So the old guy? He’s a vampire who has been keeping her safe, but now wants to know why vampires want her so bad.

What was the my final breaking point? Andrei, the vampire, is also married. Yeah, she is a psycho bitch and they have been separated for a long time, it just didn’t sit well with me. She’s back and making Tessa’s life a little more Hellish. So I gave up. I wasn’t interested. The chemistry was really lacking and the characters just weren’t interesting.

~Shari

Books we just can’t finish!Murphy's Law by Lori Foster

Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Zebra Books on April 25, 2017
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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ANYTHING THAT CAN GO WRONG. . .
Nothing is going to go wrong. Ashley Miles has worked too hard for her independence to let some Bentley-driving hunk named Quinton Murphy interfere with her plans--or her freedom. Yes, the chemistry is phenomenal. Kind of scary, actually. But that's it. NO emotional commitments.
. . .WILL
But he's SO wonderful--a woman could fall in love . . . How did that happen? That wasn't part of the plan! But can she trust him? Really trust him? The man is just so mysterious. There's only one solution: put it all on the line and see what Quinton does when she tells him how she feels. And hope everything that can go wrong. . .won't. . .

I feel so bad for not finishing a Lori Foster book! I have started and stopped this book 3 times. It’s a re-release and I could tell the writing was a little different. You get right into the mind of someone wanting revenge and the hero felt a little stalkerish right off the bat. This put me off. So I decided to wait and get her newer books and leave this one to the past.

~Shari

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Shari is the Delighted Reader. Married to her Prince Charming and mother to two Princesses and one Prince. When she is not slaving away as Cinderella she loves to get lost in the pages of a good book. Never without a reading device and a few good paperback books, because she never knows when she might get 5 minutes to read!
  • Oh yeah, I am also not a fan of the secret baby plot. I can deal with (although it’s never my favorite) if the woman has a good reason, but for the most part – I’m not interested.

    • I felt a little guilty about putting it down for something like that, but I really really don’t like that particular plot device. Bummer because the dinosaur fossil hunt was really a neat thing.

  • Oh I’m sorry these books didn’t work for you guys. Lori Foster’s book sounds like having so much potential to be great. I’ve heard about her but never read any of her books yet.

    • Thanks, Geybie. Sometimes its just not a good match up and its time to try again. 🙂

  • Bummer on Wanted and Wired. That one looked so good. I loved Murphy’s Law (read it when it was an original release). Secret Baby. Nope. I’m out, too. Meh!

    • Yeah, I really wanted Wanted and Wired to launch me into an exciting gritty story and it just didn’t. Oh well. And man, the secret baby thing was frustrating because I really wanted to read about fossil hunting, Opal Mines and all in Australia. Oh well… better to let it go than to get really mad and grumbly at a book like I was starting to.

      • It does sound so good. Ah well. I have one I need to follow your lead. I was so mad at it I put it down (secret baby, lady acting a martyr over it) like a year ago. And it still sits in my Edelweiss waiting for me to try again or dnf. lol